Our comprehensive dentistry services help distinguish our broad range of treatment abilities from those offered by most dentists. We offer you the convenience of having most of your dental services performed at the same place. Many patients will never be involved with having to get records and insurance information to another specialist or dental service provider to receive the treatments that are commonplace for children and adults. It’s an exciting offering that is meant to save you time and effort by allowing one practice to constantly monitor most aspects of your dental health.
The list below should help you understand the range of services, from the simple to the more complex, that you can expect us to provide for you. These services, which focus primarily on dental health, are complemented by a full range of cosmetic dentistry services. Of course, complicated dental health situations do, from time to time, require the involvement of oral surgeons or other dental sub-specialists. Raleigh Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dentistry has made the investment in time and that allows us to offer you this broader range of services with confidence.
We offer both traditional braces and invisible braces (Invisalign) to our patients to help improve their smiles and overall facial appearance. With proper orthodontics, we can treat overbites, underbites, and crooked or crowded teeth. Traditional braces use brackets (metal, ceramic/tooth-colored, or clear plastic) that are bonded to the teeth. Wires are then attached to the brackets and are used to adjust the position of teeth.
Increasingly popular invisible braces (Invisalign and other similar types of systems) use a series of aligners that are transparent, customized, removable inserts that aren’t visible to others while you’re wearing them. Being able to remove them while eating, brushing, and flossing your teeth helps to avoid the trapping of food and plaque that can become an issue with traditional braces. Each aligner is typically worn for about two weeks before being replaced with the next one. Invisible aligners are generally not a good choice for young people who are still waiting for permanent teeth. Our commitment to you is to recommend braces that are best suited to dental health, improving your smile, and containable within your budget or payment plan.
While orthodontic problems are often more quickly and simply resolved while the head and mouth are still growing (between ages of 10 and 14 years), braces are no longer just for kids! We go out of our way to help you, as patient/parent/guardian, to understand the options. That includes how often you’ll have to return for visits, and things you can do (before, during, and after the braces) to help you achieve the best short-term and long-term improvements to your smile, appearance, and dental health.
Preventive Care and Cleanings
At Raleigh Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dentistry, you’ll receive the most thorough dental exam possible. We use methods such as the intraoral camera to identify small problems that we will either monitor or treat before they become more serious problems. While we use cleaning procedures that are gentle yet effective at helping to ward off gum disease, we offer patients who find the procedure uncomfortable the option of sedation dentistry.
Tooth-Colored Fillings (and Traditional Silver Fillings If Preferred)
A composite filling is a mixture of tooth-colored material that can be used as an alternative to traditional silver fillings to repair decayed teeth. Composites usually result in restorations that are nearly invisible to others. Trust our staff to recommend the best solution to your specific situation. We will help you understand the costs and how much your specific dental coverage plan will pay for your situation.
Oral Cancer Screenings
The ADA and the American Cancer Society report that 30,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States, making it the sixth most common form of cancer. When oral cancer is detected late, only one in two patients usually survive for more than five years. We perform an extensive but painless cancer screening procedure that saves lives. Do not be alarmed if the thoroughness of this exam differs from that you experienced in other dental practices; we have opted to make this in-depth procedure our practice’s standard of care. Our exam includes evaluation of lymph nodes, glands, and muscles in the head and neck area; an exploration of the lateral borders and underside of the tongue and the floor of the mouth; an evaluation of tracheal mobility, and a check for thyroid growths.
Extractions / Wisdom Teeth
Many patients dread or postpone the procedure when extraction of a tooth or wisdom teeth is the recommended course of treatment. In most cases, we can perform these extractions within our office. A thorough evaluation will determine whether we perform the procedure or whether referral to an oral surgeon is a more appropriate course of action. With sedation dentistry as an option, you may find yourself wondering where the time and the tooth went so quickly.
Gum Disease/ Periodontal Treatment
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue. About three of every five people will experience it at some point in time. Unfortunately, it is also the cause of the overwhelming majority of tooth loss in adults. Redness, swelling, and bleeding while brushing and flossing are signs of gum disease, as are a receding gum line, persistent bad breath, loose teeth, or pain in the gum areas. Early removal of the plaque and tartar from the tooth and root surfaces, while it is still in the stage called gingivitis, can usually prevent the need for surgical treatment. Patients may also be treated with antibiotics, and will be advised on daily practices to use at home to avoid or minimize future disease.
Crowns and Bridges
A crown (sometimes referred to as a “cap”) is used to repair a tooth that has been broken, cracked, or damaged in such a way that a filling is not an option for restoration. Crowns can also be used to keep weak teeth from breaking, and to improve the look of badly shaped or severely discolored teeth. To put on a crown, we shape the tooth and reduce its size so that a crown can fit over it. We then create impressions of your teeth that will allow us to create a customized crown especially for your tooth. While the crown is being made, we place a temporary crown over the tooth. On your next visit, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be cemented in place.
A fixed bridge is a false tooth that is fused between two crowns to fill in the gap where a tooth is missing. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. It cannot be removed from your mouth like dentures could be. An increasingly popular alternative to a bridge is a dental implant. Our smile gallery shows before/after views of a front-tooth dental implant.
Root Canal Therapy (Endodontics)
Beneath the outer surface of your tooth is soft tissue, called the pulp, that contains the nerves and blood vessels that keep your tooth alive. Each tooth has at least one, and sometimes as many as four or more, root canals that run from the top of the pulp area down to the end of the tooth’s root. The pulp of the tooth can become infected if the tooth is damaged, cracked, has deep decay, or the pulp dies. This results in a build-up of symptoms, including pressure and pain when you bite down, chew, or expose the tooth to hot or cold foods and beverages. If not treated, the infection spreads, the pain intensifies, and the surrounding bone can begin to degenerate from the infection. Root canal therapy involves opening up the pulp area and removing the infected tissue and cleaning the root canal(s). Sometimes medication is applied in the canals for a period of time during the treatment process. After the infection has been eliminated, the root canal is filled with a rubber- or plastic-like substance. The tooth is eventually sealed permanently and covered with a porcelain or metal alloy crown. This procedure lets patients keep the original tooth to chew and function, preventing other teeth from shifting into improper positions.
Dentures and Partials
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth that is made of acrylic resins, sometimes including various metal components. A complete denture replaces all the teeth. A partial fills spaces of missing teeth so that other nearby teeth don’t change position. Dentures, both complete and partial, improve the patient’s ability to chew and to speak, in addition to improving the facial appearance and smile. We make impressions of your mouth to ensure good-fitting full and partial dental plates, and take great care in selecting appropriate color and customizing the fit. Dental implants are an option that you may want to consider to help hold the denture in place or perhaps to even attach fixed bridges.
Mouth and Bite Guards
Mouthguards prevent hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. Most people still think of football and hockey as the most likely cause of orofacial injuries, but studies show that soccer players are more likely than football players to experience an injury. Also surprising is that basketball players are injured 15 times more frequently than football players. And don’t forget the number of injuries that occur with “weekend warriors” who play pick-up games and tag football or otherwise have rough-and-tumble interaction with friends. We can custom-fit a mouthguard to maximize your protection as well as your comfort when wearing it.
Bite guards are similar to mouth guards. They simply protect patients from the self-inflicted, but unintentional, grinding and clenching of teeth, known as bruxism. The result is persistent jaw pain, tense muscles, headaches, and teeth that become sensitive. We routinely check for this condition when we examine your teeth because there are telltale signs. Awareness may help the problem, but some patients will need a custom-fitted bite guard that prevents them from unintentionally damaging teeth while asleep. Untreated bruxism can result in serious issues such as damaged tooth enamel/decay, recessed gums, or misalignment of the jaw. Other bite guards are orthotic and are used in the prevention and treatment of TMJ/TMD.