Services - General Dentistry
What is a dental exam?
A dental exam has two functions. One is to examine your gums to evaluate their health and determine if there are problems such as gum disease, which is a silent disease that needs to be addressed. The other is to make sure there are no decayed teeth.
When Dr. Bayat or one of her skilled dental hygienists cleans your teeth, they remove the soft and hard deposits that cause problems. The main reason for having your teeth cleaned is to reduce plaque that can turn into tartar and to prevent or delay the progression of gum disease and tooth decay.
Dr. Bayat recommends that most of her patients have dental examinations that include cleanings once every four to six months, however every patient has individual needs. The frequency of professional teeth cleaning depends on the health of your teeth and gums. For example, if you smoke or are prone to gum disease, you should have your teeth examined and cleaned more often. Dr. Bayat will offer a personal recommendation on how often you should come in. Frequent exams and cleanings help maintain healthy teeth and a bright smile.
How often a dental examination should include a full set of x-rays differs from patient to patient. Generally, full mouth x-rays are good for three to five years. After that, continuing care x-rays are taken once every one to two years. Dr. Bayat will recommend which x-rays you should have and how often after your examination.
What is a crown?
Made of gold or tooth-colored porcelain, a crown is often called a "cap". It is a dental support designed for a tooth that is fractured or so badly decayed that its structure is compromised. A crown protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure and restores it to its original shape and size.
During your first appointment, decay will be removed and your tooth prepared for a crown. Then a highly accurate impression or "mold" is made of the prepared surface. This mold is used to create a model of the tooth. The model is then sent to a special dental laboratory that creates a crown in the material you choose: gold or tooth-colored porcelain fused to metal, both of which are lasting and durable. Another option is an all-porcelain crown, which is a great aesthetic choice. Made to perfectly match the shade and shape of your adjacent teeth, porcelain is strong and virtually undetectable. Its seamless look will keep your smile natural looking. However, not all teeth are candidates for all porcelain crowns. Dr. Bayat will discuss your treatment options at your appointment.
While the mold for your crown is being produced, Dr. Bayat will fit you with a temporary crown, made of durable plastic. You can expect to wear the temporary crown for two to three weeks.
Once the permanent crown is completed, you will come in for a second appointment. During this visit, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is cemented onto the prepared surface of your tooth. Dr. Bayat makes sure that the crown fits perfectly onto this area, reducing the size of the seam between the crown and the tooth. This helps keep decay from eventually occurring under the crown, and also extends the life of the crown.
When a crown is recommended, it's best to start the process before your tooth becomes severely decayed or fractured. An overly decayed tooth could lead to a root canal. A fractured tooth that's not crowned may have to be removed later on, which could involve a bridge or implant. By initiating the crown process promptly, you can avoid the possibility of these more expensive procedures.
What is a bridge?
A fixed bridge is a seamless, attractive solution to missing teeth. A single appliance, it is designed to be attached to the two teeth that flank the space where your tooth is missing.
An artificial tooth is created to fill the gap between teeth. The teeth on either side of the gap are prepared for crowns and a highly accurate impression or mold is made of the prepared area. This mold is sent to a dental laboratory, where your bridge will be created in your choice of gold or porcelain. Both choices are strong and durable, but porcelain is made to perfectly match the shade and shape of your teeth. The effect is virtually undetectable.
Unlike dentures, a fixed bridge stays in place and looks and behaves just like your natural teeth. It fills an unattractive gap and stops other teeth from moving. In addition to providing aesthetic value and better chewing ability, a bridge eliminates the possibility of future bite problems. It also saves money that might otherwise be spent on future dental treatment.
What is an implant?
Crowns and conventional bridges or dentures may not be your only options when replacing missing teeth. For some people, dental implants offer a smile that looks and feels very natural.
Implants offer stability because they fuse to your bone. Integration of the implants into your jaw also helps your replacement teeth feel more natural. Some people also find the secure fit of an implant more comfortable than conventional substitutes.
Surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, implants fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture.
Dental implants with attached crowns are the next best thing to having your natural teeth grow back. They are strong, stable, durable and virtually undetectable. However, candidates for dental implants need to have healthy gums and adequate bone mass to support the implant. A thorough evaluation by Dr. Bayat will help determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a procedure that saves a sick or dying tooth. Inside each tooth is a pulp chamber that contains the nerves and blood supply for the tooth. When the pulp becomes infected due to decay or injury to the tooth, the infection creates pain and the danger of a spreading infection. It could also lead to a dead tooth that may need to be extracted.
The infected pulp is first removed from the center of the tooth and the canals of each root. The remaining space is filled with a rubber-based material to seal the gums off. The treated tooth is protected with a tooth-like covering known as a crown. This is because once the pulp is removed, the tooth is more susceptible to fracture.
When a tooth's pulp is infected, it could easily spread and worsen. Having a root canal performed promptly will avoid the spread of infection or the loss of the tooth.
If you've lost all of your natural teeth, whether from periodontal disease, tooth decay or injury, complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and restore your smile. Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Without support from teeth or dentures, facial muscles sag, making the face look older. Dentures enable you to eat and speak as normally as you did with your natural teeth.
There are various types of complete or "full dentures". A conventional full denture is made and placed in the mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed, which may take some time. In some cases, an immediate complete denture is inserted as soon as the remaining teeth are removed. During your preliminary visit, Dr. Bayat will take measurements and make models of your jaw. With immediate dentures, the denture wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period.
Even if you wear full dentures, it's important to take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before inserting your dentures. This will stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque. Dr. Bayat recommends leaving dentures out of the mouth overnight to give the tissue a chance to rest.