Infinity Dental care is a mercury-free practice, meaning we do not place alloy or “silver” fillings. All permanent fillings placed in our office are tooth-colored composite resin fillings. These fillings are durable, tissue compatible, kind to the opposing teeth, and stain resistant. This type of filling allows us to preserve the greatest amount of healthy, natural tooth structure, keeping the fillings as small as possible to extend the life of the teeth. We use a strong bonding system to bond the fillings to the teeth, producing strong, long-lasting restorations. Composite fillings are made from inert, non-toxic ingredients, and are unnoticeable as they blend in with the surrounding tooth.
The result is a beautiful smile!
Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth Colored Restoration
It is your decision whether or not to replace any old mercury-silver fillings, and we recommend having the dentist evaluate any existing fillings for signs of wear, margin breakdown, breakage, or decay. The dental profession now knows that by unavoidable design, “silver” fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure, which can occasionally lead to fracture lines and new cavities, occasionally leading to lengthy, expensive treatment such as crowns and root canals. We will work with you to determine if it would be best to replace old silver fillings, and welcome any questions you may have.
Occasionally, we will recommend an inlay or onlay to replace old fillings. This is a two-step procedure. At your first appointment, the old filling and any decay are removed. An impression is made of your teeth and sent to the lab. A temporary onlay/inlay is placed on the tooth while the dental lab fabricates a meticulously designed porcelain restoration. At the second appointment, the temporary is removed, the tooth is cleaned, and the porcelain restoration is cemented to place.
Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!
Dental sealants play a huge role in preventing the formation of decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth. Applying a dental sealant is a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored acrylic "coating" is painted onto the surface of the tooth. This effectively "seals" the deep grooves, making the teeth smoother and less likely to trap food and plaque. Plus the sealant acts as a barrier to protect enamel from plaque and acids.
Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can't reach.
It takes the doctors at Infinity Dental Care only a few minutes to seal each tooth. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years before a reapplication is needed.
Sealants are an especially important tool in the prevention of childhood tooth decay.
Dentures and Partial Dentures are a common and inexpensive way to replace missing teeth. Dentures replace natural teeth and provide support for the cheeks and lips. Infinity Dental Care creates customized dentures and partials that are comfortable, affordable and make it possible for people to feel good about their smile again. Our special training in new denture technology puts dentures within everyone's reach. We also offer implant-supported dentures.
Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways
- An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture. This allows the patient to maintain their smile the entire time.
- A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
The teeth are made of plastic, and the denture is made of acrylic. Some partial dentures require a metal base for stability, however we also offer VALPLAST dentures that are metal free. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth and a complete denture can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.
Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dentist examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.
It is vitally important to replace missing teeth to maintain proper function of your mouth. Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking, and of course, can impact the way you look. Missing teeth can make life very difficult and should be replaced. Infinity Dental Care offers a variety of ways to replace missing teeth, including bridges, which are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.
A bridge, or fixed partial denture is a restoration used to replace missing teeth. It attaches a tooth shaped replacement to the adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth, completely filling the gap a missing tooth creates. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Removable bridges or partial dentures, as the name implies, can be taken out and cleaned. Fixed bridges offer more stability than their removable counterparts, and generally a much longer lifespan.
Why do I need a bridge?
Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older.
Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful disorders.
Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge.
Missing teeth can cause speech disorders as they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.
How is a bridge attached?
The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment Dr. Shirey will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.
Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed.
Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
What materials are used?
Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either precious or non-precious metal.
How do I take care of my bridge?
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.
Dental implants are the preferred way to replace missing teeth whenever possible. Acting as a substitute tooth root, implants bond with the bone (biointegration) to form a stable foundation for permanent replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The dental implant actually helps preserve the bone by providing the stimulation that was previously provided by natural tooth roots. This helps maintain the integrity of facial structures.
There are a number of reasons Infinity Dental Care favors dental implants over other traditional treatment options. For instance, it is not necessary to grind down the adjacent teeth for a bridge, or secure a partial denture to them with clasps that can eventually loosen the natural teeth. By utilizing dental implants, patients may be spared the many problems associated with traditional false teeth.
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. In addition, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants are tiny titanium posts which are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums, gradually bonding with the jawbone. We call this biointegration, or osseointegration. If you choose, you should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your Infinity Dental Care dentist designs the final bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. The surgeon will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. Dr. Shirey can then start making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The replacement teeth are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.
Our goal is to provide the highest quality dentistry that is beautiful, long-lasting, and fits well with your smile and treatment goals. That's why we offer all types of crown restorations. The all-porcelain crowns and crystal zirconia crowns we use are the strongest and most aesthetically translucent restorations available in dentistry today. At Infinity Dental Care there is no worry about esthetics or that ugly “black line” you see around some crowns. Dr. Shirey will work with you to determine the best restoration for you.
What is a crown?
A crown is a restoration that covers all surfaces of the teeth to bring strength and stability to the tooth, and the overall bite. It is the ideal solution for major dental problems caused by accidents, disease, old fillings, broken crowns or hairline cracks in teeth. Teeth that are brittle, such as those that have had a root canal can be strengthened by placing a crown on the tooth.
How long does it take to fit a dental crown?
Getting a crown usually requires two visits to our office. Initially, we will remove decay, shape the tooth, and fit it with a temporary crown. Usually this process takes approximately 45 minutes-1 hour. We will take an impression so our high-quality dental lab can make a custom crown perfectly adapted to the contours, shape, and shade of your smile.
On the subsequent visit we will remove the temporary crown, and then fit and adjust the final crown. Finally, we will cement the crown into place and you have a new beautiful looking tooth. This usually takes less than 3o minutes.
There are a number of different reasons a tooth may need to be extracted. Some teeth are removed because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need to be extracted because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment. Sometimes, it's a matter of health in the case of infections, cysts or wisdom teeth. And primary teeth are frequently removed to create the space necessary to allow for other teeth to grow.
It is imperative to understand the removal of teeth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health. So they will also discuss with you replacing extracted teeth with implants, bridges, create links to each of these or removable partials.
The Extraction Process
Dr. Shirey prides herself on working with you to complete any needed extractions with as little discomfort as possible. Her patients routinely comment that their extractions were “easy.” She also offers nitrous oxide sedation, and conscious, oral sedation if you are anxious. As each tooth is different, and extraction processes vary from person to person, Dr. Shirey will sit down with you during your initial consultation and answer any questions you may have over the procedure.
After Extraction Home Care
Dr. Shirey performs root canals most every day. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges. Contrary to some stories, root canals do not have to be painful!! With proper planning, medicating, and talented delivery of local anesthetic, root canals can be completed with little discomfort. We offer nitrous oxide “laughing gas” sedation, or oral conscious sedation for patients who are anxious. Dr. Shirey will be more than happy to discuss with you any options, and all of the risks and benefits to a root canal procedure prior to completing it.
Why would you need a root canal?
At the center of your tooth is the pulp chamber, where a collection of nerves and blood vessels that help support the surrounding tooth. Infection or inflammation of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or other dental procedures. If tooth pain lingers when you are eating or drinking, wakes you up at night, or occurs spontaneously, you might need a root canal. Dr. Shirey will run tests to determine if root canal therapy is needed.
How is a root canal performed?
The doctors at Infinity Dental Care use a non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. You will be able to drive home after your treatment (unless oral sedation is used), and you will probably be comfortable returning to your normal routine.
Much like a solid foundation is critical to the longevity and stability of a house, your periodontium (the gums and bone that surround the tooth), plays a vital role to the health and stability of your mouth, and your entire body! Recently, developments in healthcare have revealed that there is a direct link between periodontal disease (also called “gum disease”), and other health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. At Infinity Dental Care, we treat the mouth as an integral component to the health of the human body, and maintain the motto: “prevention is key!”
Prevention is Key!
At your initial visit, we will measure and record the health of your periodontal (gum) tissues. We will examine closely for any signs of gum disease and help you determine the right course of treatment. As your homecare routine is critical to the success of preventing or treating periodontal disease, we want to work with you to help you make great decisions for your health. We will customize an oral health care routine for you based on your needs, and make recommendations for everything from brushing and flossing, to mouth rinses, diet, smoking cessation, and even exercise! We will work with you to determine how often you will need to return to our office for cleanings and exams. For patients with healthy gums, this is usually every 6 months. However, for patients with active gum disease, we may recommend a more frequent recall schedule, such as every 3 or 4 months. At each subsequent visit, we will continue to track the health of your gums and listen to your feedback to determine if any changes in your oral healthcare routine are needed.
Gum disease is usually discovered on patients who have not maintained a regular check-up schedule with a dentist. Some patients who have other diseases such as diabetes or heart disease may also be prone to gum disease. Plaque is a sticky substance which adheres to your teeth in the form of a biofilm. As minerals deposit into this film, it becomes attached to the tooth much like cement. This is called calculus, or “tartar.” The bacteria that live in plaque and tartar produce toxins which cause inflammation and destruction of the surrounding gums and bone. As bone is lost due to periodontal disease, it can lead to loosening and eventual loss of the teeth. It is critical to detect this disease process and begin treatment as early as possible to prevent health problems and costly gum procedures.
If any signs of gum disease are noted during the exam, we may recommend a procedure called a scaling and root planing, or “deep cleaning.” This involves cleaning below the gum line to remove the built up tartar and toxins causing the disease, and reshaping of the tissues to help prevent further problems. This requires use of a local anesthetic, or putting your gums “to sleep.” We use a specially formulated numbing cream and often can complete the deep cleaning without a shot! If further numbing is needed, we take care to do this as pain-free as possible! In addition, we offer nitrous oxide, “laughing gas,” or oral conscious sedation for patients who are anxious. We may suggest adjunctive procedures such as medicated rinses, or antibiotic therapy in conjunction with the deep cleaning. At times, in more severe cases, we may need to perform this procedure in phases, and some patients may require additional treatment, such as laser or surgical therapy. If that is the case, we will discuss your options in full to help you make the best decision for your health.
Smoking and it’s correlation to gum disease
Tobacco use has been proven to increase the risk of many diseases, from cancer to heart disease. It also has a direct correlation to periodontal disease, therefore, our recommendation is cessation of all use of tobacco. For anyone currently smoking or using other forms of tobacco, we can help you quit! We offer various treatments from counseling to medications to help break the habit, and it is our privilege and joy to help patients achieve the results they are seeking, in a non-judgmental manner.
How does my bite affect gum disease?
The position of the teeth in the mouth can have a direct impact on the underlying supporting gum and bone tissues. Patients who have improperly aligned teeth (malocclusion) are at increased risk of gum disease and/or recession. Crowded, or overlapping teeth, or areas with excess spacing, can cause food traps and areas where plaque bacteria are much more difficult to remove. Teeth that have an improper bite are much more likely to develop areas of abfraction (splintering of the tooth next to the gumline). This exposes an area of the tooth that is much softer and more prone to cavities and gum disease. In addition to any needed gum therapy, we may consider other treatment options such as a bite splint, nightguard, orthodontic movement of the teeth, or restorative treatment to help correct any areas of malocclusion that are contributing to periodontal disease.
Pregnancy and gum treatment
Many women experience a drastic increase in bleeding and inflammation of their gums during and just after pregnancy. Hormone changes and other factors help contribute to something called “pregnancy gingivitis,” which exhibits as puffy gums that bleed easily when you are brushing, flossing or eating. For the health of the mother and the developing child, it is incredibly important to keep the teeth as clean as possible during this time. We are happy to work with you to structure a customized oral health care routine during this incredibly important and exciting time! If you are not pregnant yet, but are planning to be soon, we recommend a thorough exam as soon as possible, so we can detect and treat any problems prior to conception.