Dental Procedures

Dental Procedures in Houston, TX

Cleanings and Prevention

Cleaning and prevention is a cooperative effort by the patient, dentist, and dental staff to preserve the natural dentition and supporting structures by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions.

Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. It is continued in the dental office by the efforts of your dentist and staff to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.

Prevention also includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays. Sealants and fluoride are also great preventive treatments that help protect the teeth.

Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.

Back to Top

Teeth Whitening

Teeth stain during our lifetime due to consumption of a variety of foods and drinks (Coke, spicy food, coffee…) New technology of teeth whitening has enabled dentists to whiten teeth without any change or damage to the tooth structure.

Almost all the whitening methods are similar in concept but some are much more effective because of the way the whitening material is delivered to the teeth. The other factor in effectiveness of the method is the concentration of material, which is the reason why over the counter whitening systems usually don t give patients the result they are hoping for.

The two main methods of professional whitening are tray whitening and in office whitening. Tray whitening is when a custom tray is made for the patient after an impression is taken, then a supply of whitening gel is given to the patient and he/she will wear the tray for a few hours a day (techniques differ) for a period of time until an acceptable result is achieved. Sensitivity of the teeth is a normal complication of this method of whitening and is almost always transitional.

In office whitening on the other hand is the most effective method of whitening. There are a few different ways that are available for example, Britesmile, Zoom, Laser whitening….But in all these methods the process is similar and you can have your teeth whitened in one session with great results. Your dentist can give you more detailed information and tell you which method is more suitable in your case and which one is indicated for your teeth.

Back to Top

Teeth Sealants

Sealants are thin layers of resin that are placed on the pits and fissures and grooves of (usually) molars to prevent decay on these surfaces.

Majority of decays on back teeth starts on grooves and pits of chewing surfaces, especially during the first few years after their eruption. Sealing these surfaces with composite resins prevents these kinds of decay.

Sealants are one of the most effective methods of preventing decays on the surfaces where they are places. Although it is still a possibility that decay may happen on surfaces in between the teeth, sealants significantly reduce the overall chance of having cavities.

Back to Top

Dental Crowns

A crown (cap) is a restoration that is placed on teeth that have lost a lot of their structure. There are various types of crowns, ranging from full porcelain to full metal.

The process of making a crown includes a number of steps, beginning with preparing and taking impressions of the tooth/teeth involved. A temporary crown or bridge is then placed on your teeth. Meanwhile, the impressions are sent to the lab where a mold of the teeth is poured and the work begins. The completed work is sent back to the office; after inspection and any necessary adjustments, it is cemented onto your teeth.

A severely chipped front tooth and The tooth prepared for a porcelain crown

When the structure of the entire tooth is compromised, a crown, which covers all the surfaces of the tooth, will need to be placed. The example to the left illustrates a fractured front tooth.

The first step is to prepare the tooth for a crown, which requires us to reduce the tooth so the lab has enough room to produce a life-like crown. We then take an impression, select the proper color for the crown and make a temporary, at which time the first appointment is completed.

Your case is then sent to the lab to make the crown, which is then tried in and adjusted. Our job is to communicate what your wishes and desires are to the lab technicians so your new crown will be in harmony with the surrounding teeth.

Before your new crown is cemented, we check the fit, the contacts, the bite and the color to make sure it has the same characteristics of your natural teeth.

Back to Top

Bonding

Bonding is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that enables us to restore chipped, spotted, discolored or gapped teeth in usually one visit. We use modern materials that match the shade, translucency and texture of your teeth and our goal is to have the end result appear as if no treatment was performed. This can do wonders for your self-confidence since smiling will come naturally to you with the improved appearance of your teeth. Bonding is the material of choice when it comes to small defects in your teeth. When the defect or end result requires covering the entire front of the tooth, a veneer or crown will probably provide superior esthetic results.

Back to Top

Composite Fillings

Bonding is a process for restoring or reshaping a tooth using g composite or tooth color resin materials. With these material in some cases we are able to change the color of the tooth as well as it’s shape and contour.

A composite (tooth colored) filling is also, used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for composite fillings:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Closing space between two teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Decayed teeth
  • Worn teeth

How are composite fillings placed?

How are composite fillings placed?

Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

How are composite fillings placed?

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

Advantage of Composite fillings

  • Can be completed in one appointment
  • Good esthetic result
  • Shape and color of the restoration can be controlled
  • Cost less than other options for restoring a tooth

Disadvantage of Composite fillings

  • Composite resins have a tendency to chip in stressed area like edge of the front teeth.
  • Depending on patient’s diet they may get stained.
  • Initial cost is less But, repeated replacement cost over the years increase the cost.

The best alternative to composite resins are porcelain Veneer or Crown.

Back to Top

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom made (for shape and color) by a professional dental laboratory. They are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful and attractive smile.

Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile. They can often be alternatives to crowns especially on the intact front teeth when changing the color and shape of the teeth is the main concern.

Although studies has shown remarkable longevity when veneer is performed on the selected candidate But, as most dental restorations, veneers are not permanent and may someday need replacement. They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Note: In some cases changing the shape and color of the tooth can be achieved with composite veneers which cost less But, due to discoloration they need to be replaced more often with new restoration.

Reasons for porcelain veneers:

  • Cosmetically, to create a uniform, white, beautiful smile
  • Crooked teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Severely discolored or stained teeth
  • Teeth that are too small
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces
  • Worn or chipped teeth

What does getting porcelain veneers involve?

Getting veneers usually requires two visits to complete the process, with little or no anesthesia required during the procedure. The teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer. A mold or impression of the teeth is taken and a shade (color) will then be chosen by you and the dentist.

On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond. Bonding cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a special light beam is used to harden and set the bond.

You will receive care instructions for veneers. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new veneers.

Back to Top

Crowns

A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.

Reasons for crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.
  • Cosmetic enhancement.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Fractured fillings.
  • Large fillings.
  • After root canal treatment.

What does getting a crown involve?

A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately one week until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.

Back to Top

Dentures & Partial Dentures

A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.

There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.

A Complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate”. A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 10 to 12 weeks. During this time the patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.

Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, they need relining every 2 years to fit the jaw . they may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.

Today with having the implant options to support the dentures ,they are much more comfortable and stable than before.

Reasons for dentures:

  • Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch
  • Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch
  • Enhancing smile and facial tissues
  • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion

What does getting dentures involve?

The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture.try-in appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.

It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.

You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.

Removable, implant anchored overdenture

A removable full denture that is connected to either a ball or bar attachment, which in turn is anchored on two or more implants in the front part of the jaw.

The implants help keep the denture in place and provide better function and comfort.

Traditional removable full denture

A denture that is placed on top of the gum to replace the lost teeth. This alternative has no real advantages – except for its low price and easy installation.

The disadvantages for traditional dentures are : discomfort in eating, may affected speech, and sore gums from denture movement. Moreover, a full denture placed in the upper jaw severely reduces the sense of taste.

Back to Top

Porcelain Fixed Bridges

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.

There are several types of bridges. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case. The “traditional bridge is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. Porcelain fixed bridges are most popular because they resemble your natural teeth. This type of bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

Reasons for a fixed bridge:

  • Fill space of missing teeth
  • Maintain facial shape
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
  • Restore chewing and speaking ability
  • Restore your smile
  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance

What does getting a fixed bridge involve?

Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.

At the second visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.

Back to Top

Inlay Restorations

An inlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. It is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist.

Inlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Inlays are an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings. Also, they are more conservative than crowns because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of inlays.

As with most dental restorations, inlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Reasons For Inlay Restorations:

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings

What Does Getting An Inlay Involve?

An inlay procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom inlay and a temporary restoration.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an inlay restoration. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your inlay is made by a dental laboratory.

At your second appointment your new inlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.

You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new inlay.

Back to Top

Onlay Restorations

An onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. An onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown. It is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist.

Onlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of onlays. Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.

As with most dental restorations, onlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Reasons for onlay restorations:

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings

What Does Getting An Onlay Involve?

An onlay procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom onlay and a temporary restoration.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an onlay restoration. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your onlay is made by a dental laboratory.

At your second appointment, your new onlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.

You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new onlay.

Back to Top