From routine cleanings and fillings to bruxism devices, Cooper Family Dental is equipped to handle all your dental needs. To help you understand your options, we've included descriptions of some of our leading services on this page.
New Patient Comprehensive Exam
Your initial oral examination includes a visual examination, charting of your teeth and existing dental work, periodontal probing to measure gum health, intra-oral photos, and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment recommendations. We will also take x-rays, which includes the panoramic x-ray to visualize the oral cavity and skeletal structures, as well as a bite-wing series for proper diagnosis of bone level and decay in between the teeth. Without x-rays, we cannot fully diagnose and treat you with the utmost standard of care.
We will always administer topical and local anesthesia for patients experiencing sensitivity or for any restorative or surgical procedure. Nitrous oxide, or "laughing gas" is also available for children and adults to help you relax or reduce dental fear and anxiety. Oral sedation, or medication to reduce anxiety, can also be prescribed and taken before your appointment.
After cleaning out or removing old fillings, decay, chips, or small fractures from a tooth, we restore them with a tooth-colored resin called composite. We no longer use amalgam metal, or the silver-colored fillings. These newly developed composite materials can also be used to do simple esthetic bonding on the front teeth, depending on the case.
Crowns are caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth. They are typically used to restore a tooth's strength, function, and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal or when the decay is too large for a simple filling.
Crowns can be used used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or when an existing large filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns can also be used for esthetics, to enhance or dramatically change a smile, or cover stained or chipped teeth.
A tooth must be shaved down in size to accommodate a crown. An impression is then made and sent to a special lab to create a custom-designed crown. A temporary crown is then cemented until the permanent crown is ready.
Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically only applied to the facial surface of the tooth, rather than covering the whole tooth, and are much more conservative. They are typically done only for esthetics.
CARING FOR YOUR CROWNS
With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.
We offer lab-fabricated bleaching trays with take-home bleaching gel or ZOOM! whitening, an in-office whitening procedure that can allow you to achieve your desired "white-ness" in one appointment!
A night-guard, or occlusal guard, is a retainer fabricated by the lab to fit perfectly to your upper teeth. This device is becoming increasingly common, as many people tend to clench or grind their teeth at night, during stressful or focused periods, or even when working out. The hard retainer not only helps protect your teeth from wearing down and cracking over time, but they also extend the life of your existing fillings and crowns, as you are protecting the edges of the fillings or porcelain from wearing thin. They can also provide relief from tight jaws and facial muscles.
We refer to various specialties for more complex or specialized therapies, such as pedodontics for children too young to cooperate in the chair, orthodontics for braces, endodontics for more complicated root canal therapies or re-treats, oral surgery for biopsies or more complicated extractions, and periodontics for procedures such as gum grafting, bone grafting, dental implants, etc.
Implants are biocompatible structures that are surgically placed into the bone of an area with a missing tooth. They act as a foundation for an artificial crown, permanent bridge, or supporting structure for a denture.
Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant, however. For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density, bone width, and be in good health. Following the surgery, a period of healing is required for the implant to take hold and for bone tissue to build up and anchor the device before an impression for the implant crown can be taken. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene. Implants are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth after complete healing.
Root canal Therapy
Root canals are tiny passageways that branch off from the crown of the tooth, coursing their way vertically downward, until they reach the tip of the root. All teeth have between one and four root canals.
Many tooth problems involve infections that spread to the pulp, which is the inner chamber of the tooth containing blood vessels, nerves and other tissues. When the infection becomes worse, it can begin affecting the roots. A traumatic injury to a tooth can also compromise the pulp, leading to similar problems.
A diseased inner tooth brings a host of problems including pain and sensitivity as the first indications of a problem. A spreading infection can also cause small pockets of pus to develop, which can lead to an abscess.
Root canal therapy is a complex treatment that involves removing the diseased nerve and tissue, halting the spread of infection and restoring the healthy portion of the tooth. In fact, root canal therapy is designed to save a problem tooth, as an alternative to extraction.
Root canal therapy usually entails one to three visits. During the first visit, a small hole is drilled through the top of the tooth and into the inner chamber. Diseased tissue is removed, the inner chamber cleansed and disinfected, and the tiny canals reshaped. The cleansed chamber and canals are filled with an elastic material and medication designed to prevent infection. If necessary, the drilled hole is temporarily filled until a permanent seal is made with a crown.
Most patients who have root canal experience little or no discomfort or pain, and enjoy a restored tooth that can last almost as long as its healthy original.
Teeth that are badly stained, shaped or crooked may be improved by a veneer placed on the surface of the affected teeth.
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic cemented over the front of your teeth to change their color or shape. Veneers are used on teeth with uneven surfaces or are chipped, discolored, oddly shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked. Veneers have a longer life expectancy and color stability than bonding, and highly resist permanent staining from coffee, tea, or even cigarette smoking.
Veneers are usually made by a dental lab technician working from a model provided by your dentist. Veneers are usually irreversible because it's necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth to accommodate the shell.
Porcelain veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline, by an injury, or as a result of a root-canal procedure, and are ideal for masking discolored fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider porcelain veneers.
Typically, veneers entail at least three appointments: diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation and impression, and bonding.
Bridges are natural-looking dental appliances that can replace a section of missing teeth as an alternative to implants. It is essentially two crowns on either side of a space, with a fake tooth in the middle. Because they are custom-made, bridges are barely noticeable and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth.
Dentures and partial dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing arches or missing sections of teeth. They are custom-made and fitted properly to not only esthetically restore your smile, but also to function with eating, speaking, and the anatomical profile of the face.
Dentures and Partial Dentures
A knocked out tooth or sudden dental pain can cause panic in any parent, but quick thinking and staying calm are the best ways to approach such common dental emergencies. This includes taking measures such as application of cold compresses to reduce swelling, and of course, contacting our office as soon as possible. If a tooth is knocked out, the best way to transport it to our office is in milk or saliva.