Our practice can provide a wide range of dental services. We can typically provide every type of dental service without having to refer you to other specialties. This flexibility saves you time and keeps your total dental care within one practice.
Our emphasis is on total preventive care for our patients. Total care begins with regular hygiene visits, regular check-ups and continued home oral health routines.
Our practice also provides the highest-quality services for restoring mouths that have been damaged by dental disease and injury and common problems that require cosmetic dentistry. Our primary goal for our patients is to achieve and maintain optimum oral health through advances in techniques, technologies and by maintaining their scheduled dental exams.
Bi-annually, you should schedule a routine dental cleaning. During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque from your teeth, especially from places where your brush can’t reach, such as underneath the gum line and in-between teeth. We will then clean and polish your teeth and apply fluoride, if eligible, to help protect your teeth once you leave the office.
Fluoride is a relatively recent but important advancement in dental and oral health. Studies consistently show that a moderate but consistent exposure of teeth to fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, and helps prevent future decay.
If you are due for your dental cleaning, please call our office to schedule an appointment.
The concept of a “filling” is replacing and restoring your tooth structure that is damaged due to decay or fracture with a material. We will replace old, broken-down amalgam/metal fillings that contain traces of mercury with white fillings (composites) to restore your smile and teeth to a more natural look and feel.
With today’s advancements, no longer will you have to suffer the embarrassment of unsightly and unhealthy silver/mercury fillings or metal margins of the past. Eliminate the dark, black appearance in your teeth with new-age, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials.
White Fillings versus Silver Amalgam Fillings:
White fillings bond to the tooth; they strengthen the tooth by restoring most of its original shape. Silver amalgams, on the other hand, weaken the teeth and make them more susceptible to breaking. Broken teeth can be very expensive to replace; white fillings can actually save time and money in the long run.
Composite white fillings are preferred by most patients. This is due to the natural color, strength and overall appearance and feel. Composites are naturally more comfortable.
Hot and cold sensitivity is greatly reduced with composite material compared to the silver/mercury amalgams. Restorations with composites require less removal of tooth, less structure to place than those with amalgams and especially with new cavities. Dramatically smaller holes are needed with a composite.
White fillings are healthier because no traces of mercury are used, unlike silver amalgams.
Before and after
Crowns and bridges
A crown is a custom-made covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:
Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks). Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the custom-made crown is being created.
Applying the custom-made crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth.
After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.
This process generally consists of a minimum of two to three visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.
Before and after
Gum disease, injury and tooth decay can all cause a loss of your natural teeth. However, we can bring back the smile on your face with dentures to restore your missing teeth. With improved technology and updated materials, dentists can now make them appear more natural and more comfortable for the patient.
Types of Dentures
There are two types of dentures: complete and partial.
Complete dentures cover the patient’s entire jaw.
Partial dentures, with their metal framework, replace multiple missing teeth.
To know which type is best for you, be sure to ask your doctor.
It may take some time to adjust to your dentures. Speaking and eating may feel different at first, but these regular activities will resume normally once you are accustomed to your dentures.
An extraction is the complete removal of a tooth. Extractions are sometimes necessary if a primary tooth is preventing the normal eruption of a permanent tooth, if the tooth has suffered extensive tooth decay or trauma that cannot be repaired, if the patient has gum disease, or if the tooth is impacted (usually the wisdom teeth). Depending on the complexity of the case, an extraction can be performed surgically or non-surgically. A mild anesthesia is used to ensure your child is as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.
Your third molars are more commonly called “wisdom teeth.” Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction.When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.
In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.
To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, we have the equipment and training needed to perform such extractions, with an absolute minimum of discomfort. Ask our staff for more information regarding tooth extractions if you feel you may need one.
Extraction site preservation
After you have a tooth extracted, unless for braces, you will need to have it replaced. There are many options, including a dental implant or bridge. After the extraction, the extraction site needs to be preserved in order to accommodate a restoration. If you do not preserve the site, your jawbone could deteriorate, for example, and will not allow an implant to be placed without a bone graft. Preserving your extraction site will not only ensure a healthy recovery, but will also allow you to get a restoration as easily as possible.
Bonding is a common solution for:
- Fixing or repairing chipped or cracked teeth
- Reducing unsightly gaps or spaces between teeth
- Hiding discoloration or faded areas on the tooth’s surface
Often, composite boding is used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.
Composite bonding has many advantages:
- It is a quick process, which typically lasts less than one hour.
- It does not reduce the tooth’s original structure and is relatively inexpensive.
- Composite resins come in many different shades and provide better matching of shades to the natural color of your teeth.
- Composite bonds, however, are not as durable and long-lasting as veneers and crowns and may need to be re-touched or replaced in the future.
Composite bonds stain more easily and therefore require proper care and regular cleaning. In order to ensure the longest possible duration of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily. Common staining elements include coffee, tea, tobacco, foods and candy.
Gum disease affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Gum disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. The infection starts when the gums become inflamed due to bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth. While this is often the main cause of gum disease, other factors can also be attributed to affecting the health of the gums and bone, including:
- Smoking or Tobacco Use
- Poor Nutrition
Gum disease comes in many forms. Gingivitis is perhaps the mildest form of gum disease. While the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily, there is very little to no discomfort associated at this stage of the disease. Through a good oral hygiene regimen and treatment from your dentist, the results of gingivitis can be reversed.
Periodontitis is another form of gum disease and can be aggressive or chronic. Aggressive periodontitis displays rapid bone destruction and attachment loss in clinically healthy patients. Chronic periodontitis is one of the most common forms of gum disease and is frequently seen in adults. The stages progress slowly and can be recognized by gum recession and pocket formation.
Inlays and onlays
Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations. They are a great alternative to traditional metal fillings primarily because less of the tooth structure needs to be removed. Inlays and onlays are suitable for treating mild to moderate decay, and can be used to restore a cracked or fractured tooth if the damage is not extensive enough to require a crown.
Generally, inlays are small restorations that fit within the contours of the biting surface of a tooth, while onlays cover a portion or the entire chewing surface.
Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain, gold or composite resin. Once fabricated, they are securely bonded to the tooth.
The advantages of inlays and onlays include:
- Since they can be fabricated from tooth-colored materials, inlays and onlays are aesthetically pleasing. Unlike traditional metal fillings, the restoration is virtually invisible.
- Less removal of the tooth structure is required to achieve optimal results.
- They do not cause excessive wear and tear to opposing tooth structures.
- Inlays and onlays prevent the need for more significant treatment in the future.
The process for placing inlays and onlays generally requires two or more office visits. Initially, once the decay is removed, your dentist will take an impression of the tooth. A temporary restoration is placed until the custom-made inlay/onlay is manufactured in a laboratory.
Following a proper oral hygiene regimen daily ensures the success and longevity of your new restoration.
The “Temporomandibular Joint,” more commonly referred to as the “jaw joint,” assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw. Unfortunately, this joint is a common area for recurring pain. Although conventional wisdom suggests that “popping” sounds in the jaw indicates a TMJ dysfunction, this is not a lways true. Many times, your jaw is functioning properly even if a “popping” sound is present when chewing or talking.
We offer a TMJ exam that evaluates the joint tissue in the “hinge” of the jaw. Possible problems include swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue or damaged joint tissue, which cushions the jaw bones during the opening and closing movement of the mouth. Common pain relievers and cold compresses can provide temporary relief for most cases of TMJ.
For more serious cases of TMJ, we will recommend alternate treatments. Often, we will suggest using a mouthguard to relieve teeth grinding. In some cases, we will instruct you to use appliances or retainers to alleviate discomfort or redirect positioning of the TMJ joint. For the most severe cases of TMJ, we may recommend certain invasive procedures.
We are pleased to offer our patients custom-fabricated night guards for sleeping. Unlike stock night guards, which fit loosely because they are designed to accommodate many possible wearers, our custom night guards are tailored to fit your exact dental profile, providing the highest attainable level of comfort and effectiveness.
The first step in fabricating these night guards is to take an impression of your teeth. We then use that impression and fabricate the night guard using special professional-grade materials. The perfect fit of these custom-fabricated night guards ensures that not only will your night guards fit comfortably, they will also offer the most protection and will interfere the least with breathing.
After receiving a composite filling
Several hours after your appointment, your lips and tongue may be numb because of the anesthetic used. Do not eat or drink a hot beverage until all the numbness has subsided so you do not accidentally bite your lip, tongue or cheek.
For a few days, the tooth with the filling will usually have heat, cold and pressure sensitivity. The injection sites for the anesthetic shots will also be sore. To alleviate the pain, we recommend taking ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin as directed on the bottle.
After receiving a crown or bridge
Usually it takes more than one appointment to give a patient a crown or bridge. At the first appointment, your mouth is anesthetized so Dr. Stumpos can prepare and file down your teeth that need the restoration. While the permanent, custom crown or bridge is being made, Dr. Stumpos will place a temporary crown or bridge in order to protect your teeth. After this first appointment, your lips and tongue will be numb because of the anesthetic used. Do not eat or drink a hot beverage until all the numbness has subsided so you do not accidentally bite your lip, tongue or cheek.
If your temporary crown falls off, please call our office immediately. Bring the temporary crown with you to the office, and we will re-place it on your tooth. To ensure the temporary crown stays on, do not eat sticky or hard foods or chew gum.
For a few days, the tooth with the temporary crown will have heat, cold and pressure sensitivity. These sensitivities should subside a few weeks after the permanent crown is placed. To alleviate the pain in the meantime, we recommend taking ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin as directed on the bottle.
Early dental care
Normally the first tooth erupts between ages 6 to 12 months. Gums are sore, tender and sometimes irritable until the age of 3. Rubbing sore gums gently with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon or a cold, wet cloth helps soothe the gums. Teething rings work well, but avoid teething biscuits—they contain sugar that is not good for baby teeth.
While your baby is teething, it is important to monitor the teeth for signs of baby bottle decay. Examine the teeth, especially on the inside or the tongue side, every two weeks for dull spots (whiter than the tooth surface) or lines. A bottle containing anything other than water and left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping can cause decay. This happens because sugar in the liquid mixes with bacteria in dental plaque, forming acids that attack the tooth enamel. Each time a child drinks liquids containing sugar, acids attack the teeth for about 20 minutes. When awake, saliva carries away the liquid. During sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and liquids pool around the child’s teeth for long periods, covering the teeth in acids.
Infant’s new teeth
The primary, or “baby,” teeth play a crucial role in dental development. Without them, a child cannot chew food properly and has difficulty speaking clearly. Primary teeth are vital to development of the jaws and for guiding the permanent (secondary) teeth into place when they replace the primary teeth around age 6.
Since primary teeth guide the permanent teeth into place, infants with missing primary teeth or infants who prematurely lose primary teeth may require a space maintainer, a device used to hold the natural space open. Without a maintainer, the teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause permanent teeth to come in crooked. Missing teeth should always be mentioned to your family dentist. The way your child cares for his/her primary teeth plays a critical role in how he/she treats the permanent teeth. Children and adults are equally susceptible to plaque and gum problems—hence, the need for regular care and dental check-ups.
A child’s first dental visit
A child’s first dental visit should be scheduled around his/her third birthday. The most important part of the visit is getting to know and becoming comfortable with a doctor and his staff. A pleasant, comfortable first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits. If possible, allow the child to sit in a parent’s lap in the exam room. Children should be encouraged to discuss any fears or anxiety they feel.
Why primary teeth are important
Primary teeth are important for several reasons. Foremost, good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth allow for clear pronunciation and speech habits. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. Primary teeth also guide eruption of the permanent teeth.
Good diet and healthy teeth
The teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups helps minimize (and avoid) cavities and other dental problems. Most snacks that children eat cause cavities, so children should only receive healthy foods like vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, which promote strong teeth.
Infant tooth eruption
A child’s teeth actually start forming before birth. As early as 4 months of age, the primary or “baby” teeth push through the gums—the lower central incisors are first, then the upper central incisors. The remainder of the 20 primary teeth typically erupt by age 3, but the place and order varies.
Permanent teeth begin eruption around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until around age 21. Adults have 28 secondary (permanent) teeth—32 including the third molars (wisdom teeth).
Preventing baby bottle tooth decay
Tooth decay in infants can be minimized or totally prevented by not allowing sleeping infants to breast or bottle-feed. Infants that need a bottle to comfortably fall asleep should be given a water-filled bottle or a pacifier. Our office is dedicated to fighting baby bottle tooth decay. Let us know if you notice any signs of decay or anything unusual in your child’s mouth.
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.
Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Your teeth will darken over time. Changes in the color of your teeth can be caused by such factors as the food and beverages consumed (like coffee, tea and soda). Other known factors for discoloration may include childhood medications or illnesses, tobacco use or improper oral hygiene. Restoring your natural white smile is a priority for our dental whitening team. We can provide a variety of options for whitening your smile.
Tooth whitening services are growing in popularity, and it’s one of the most requested services offered by our practice. Everyone sees the growing consumer market focused on whiter teeth. The reality is that over-the-counter, “too good to be true” solutions typically don’t work.
We are trained professionals using industry-approved methods. Our goal is to meet the needs of every patient, and every patient’s needs are different.
Nothing improves your appearance more than a bright, white smile!
Veneers are thin, semi-translucent “shells” typically attached to your front teeth. Veneers are customized from porcelain material that is bonded to your teeth. Veneers are a great alternative to otherwise painful dental procedures to improve the appearance of your smile.
Common problems that veneers are used for:
- Spaces between the teeth
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Unsightly, stained or discolored teeth
- Permanently stained or discolored teeth
- Crooked or misshapen teeth
Veneers are a great aesthetic solution to your smile that may even help you avoid orthodontic treatment. Subtle changes to your smile can be achieved with veneers, and in most cases, veneer application is completed in only two office visits.
Please contact our office if you have any further questions on veneers.
Gentle Dental Care likes to pamper its special patients. We offer many accommodating amenities to help set patients at ease while at each dental visit. While at an appointment, you can enjoy:
- TVs for entertainment
- Relaxing music
- Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) to sooth anxious patients’ fears
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas,” is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for 5-10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation. Dr. Stumpos will provide you with pre-and post-sedation instructions.
Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark. Implants arose from the patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures. Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant’s usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:
- Single Tooth Replacement
- Anterior Replacement
- Posterior Replacement
- Full Upper Replacement
Dental implants FAQ
Q. What is a dental implant?
A. Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements. A metal post is surgically implanted into the patient’s jawbone, and a prosthetic tooth is attached to this post.
Q. What are the advantages of dental implants?
A. Dental implants are a more permanent way of replacing teeth. Dentures, on the other hand, can slide around in the mouth and be uncomfortable. On occasion, you may also forget your dentures. Dental implants are permanent, so you will never forget them! Also, dental implants are designed to look, feel and function like your natural teeth.
Q. WHO IS QUALIFIED TO PLACE MY DENTAL IMPLANTS? A. An implantologist, a periodontist or an oral surgeon can place implants for you. After the implant is in place, a restorative dentist, like Dr. Stumpos, can affix your prosthetic tooth to your implant.
Q. Will getting my dental implants be painful?
A. No, the procedure is not painful because you will be under local anesthesia. After the procedure, the implant site will be sore, but you will receive post-operations instructions to help alleviate the discomfort.
TRADITIONAL BRACES & INVISALIGN
Traditional metal braces
Our traditional metal braces use state-of-the-art metal alloy wires that were designed based off the space program. The alloy wires are more effective than traditional arch-wires, so teeth move faster, allowing for shorter treatment times. The brackets are smaller in shape, which provide more patient comfort.
Invisalign® takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements your dentist or orthodontist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You’ll achieve a great smile with little interference in your daily life. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you’re straightening your teeth.
Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material, so they blend in with your teeth. They have cosmetic appeal because you will not see a silver bracket on each of your teeth. Ceramic brackets have now been fabricated so they won’t stain when you eat certain foods or drink certain beverages.
Root canal therapy
We are proud to offer our patients the latest in root canal therapy. A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth, reshapes the canal and replaces it with strengthened filler.
A common misconception is that a root canal is a painful procedure. Actually, root canals are similar to having a cavity filled, producing minimal pain.
There are a number of reasons a root canal may be necessary, including:
- Inflamed/infected tooth pulp
- Severe sensitivity to hot and cold elements
- Tooth decay
- Chipped or broken tooth
- Blow to the tooth
- Swelling or tenderness near the infected tooth
- Repeated dental procedures on a tooth
When left untreated, these problems can lead to severe tooth decay reaching the root of the tooth, causing extensive damage to the tooth structure. When the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling, we can perform a root canal to preserve the tooth and retain its original integrity.
The root canal procedure involves the following steps:
- The patient undergoes anesthesia.
- A dental dam is used to isolate the tooth.
- The tooth is opened to allow for removal of infected or dead dental pulp.
- The tooth is comprehensively cleaned, including any cracks and canals.
- With special tools, the doctor reshapes the canals.
- The tooth is filled again with cutting edge biocompatible filling material.
- A temporary covering is used to cover the access opening
- Following a recovery period, the patient will return for the placement of a permanent restoration.
We will work with each patient individually to discuss the details of your treatment and any possible alternatives. Our top priority is to provide you with the highest standard of care.
Apicoectomy (root canal surgery)
Also known as a root-end resection, an apicoectomy literally means the removal of the apex of the root of the tooth. This procedure, done following a root canal, treats the bony area surrounding the end of your tooth, which has become inflamed or infected. By folding back the gum near the tooth, the doctor can access the underlying bone and extract the inflamed tissue. At the same time, the very tip of the root is removed and usually replaced with a small plug or filling. At this time, the doctor may treat the area with antibiotics and will then close the area with a small suture. Eventually, the jaw surrounding the tooth will fill in with bone, supporting the tooth as before. This procedure helps ensure the lasting result of your root canal treatment.
Root canal retreatment
Teeth with root canal therapy can last as long as natural teeth as long as you brush and floss daily, have routine check-ups and eat a healthy diet. However, if a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy and does not heal, or even if treatment is successful, sometimes pain resumes, and the tooth becomes diseased. Under these circumstances, root canal retreatment may save your tooth.
Reasons for retreatment
Damage to the root: Root damage can occur as a result of a root fracture or because of the formation of a cyst or infection around the tip of the root.
New decay develops: When the root canal filling is exposed to bacteria as a result of decay, the treatment area may become infected again. A broken, loose or cracked crown or filling can yield the same result.
Root canals are not thoroughly cleaned and sealed: For treatment to be effective, the root canals must be thoroughly cleaned and sealed as close to the root as possible. In some cases, the canals may be so tiny, curved or hardened that they may be difficult to clean thoroughly.
Good oral hygiene is an important factor in achieving a healthier lifestyle, especially in adults. Research has indicated possible links between the bacteria causing gum disease and systemic diseases like cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and pre-term birth; therefore, visiting your dentist regularly is imperative. Arestin is a major advance in the treatment of gum disease. It is an antibiotic powder that is placed gently into your gum pockets – where bacteria thrive – after the dental hygienist finishes the scaling and root planing. This treatment only takes a few minutes to administer and is a comfortable treatment that does not require anesthesia. The benefits you’ll receive from one simple treatment can help you achieve better gum health.
A biopsy is a medical procedure where a small piece of tissue is removed and examined to determine if a disease or infection is present. Dr. Stumpos will sometimes request a biopsy of your teeth or gums to check for oral cancer. If you have sores in your mouth, a biopsy can tell you if it is oral cancer or simply canker sores. Please contact us if you have unexplained oral lesions.
Much in the same way that gum tissue can be restored with soft tissue grafts, the same can be said for patients who suffer from bone loss. Bone grafting is used to restore a large amount of bone tissue that has deteriorated whereas bone augmentation is used to replace a small amount of bone tissue.
First, Dr. Stumpos and his staff will administer local anesthesia to make your procedure more comfortable. You may also receive IV sedation so you will not be awake for the procedure. This ensures that patients are less anxious and calmer during the surgery. During a bone graft, Dr. Stumpos will lift the gum tissue above the bone-deficient area. A large block of grafted bone is put into place using fixation screws. Augmentation material is placed over the block, and a special membrane will cover the entire area to facilitate growth. The gum tissue is then stitched back into position to cover and protect the surgical area. The stitches are small and should dissolve within two weeks.
During a bone augmentation, Dr. Stumpos will lift the gum tissue above the bone-deficient area. Since the area of bone loss is small, only the augmentation material is placed, and a special membrane covers the area to facilitate growth. The gum tissue is then stitched back into position to cover and protect the surgical area. The stitches are small and should dissolve within two weeks.
Crown lengthening is a procedure that reshapes the gum and supporting tissues to expose more of the tooth. This procedure can be used for aesthetic reasons to repair teeth that appear too short or “gummy smiles” and uneven gum lines.
It is also commonly performed on patients to repair a tooth that is fractured or decayed below the gum line. By reshaping the gum and supporting tissue, the fractured or decayed area becomes more accessible and gives us the needed space to establish the restoration.
With crown lengthening, patients reap the benefits of both enhanced function and aesthetics. Their overall gum health improves along with letting the natural beauty of their smile shine through.
Aggressive tooth brushing or gum disease, gingival, can lead to gum recession which ultimately results in exposed tooth roots. When tooth roots are exposed, teeth appear too long and can become sensitive to hot and cold liquids and foods. Also, the exposed roots are in danger of decay.
Soft tissue grafts are available to repair this problem as well as prevent further recession, bone loss or decay. The procedure covers the roots where excessive gum recession is present. Gum tissue is taken from your palate or from another donor source to cover the exposed root, thus, evening your gum line and reducing sensitivity levels.
When left untreated, gum disease can inevitably lead to tooth loss. Gum disease affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.
The infection starts when the gums become inflamed due to bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth. While this is often the main cause of gum disease, other factors can also be attributed to affecting the health of the gums and bone, including:
- Smoking or Tobacco Use
- Poor Nutrition
Gum disease comes in many forms. The mildest form of gum disease is called gingivitis. While the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily, there is very little to no discomfort associated at this stage of the disease. Through a good oral hygiene regimen and treatment from your dentist, the results of gingivitis can be reversed.
If gingivitis is left untreated, a more advanced or chronic form of gum disease can develop. Advanced gum disease displays rapid bone destruction and attachment loss in clinically healthy patients. Chronic gum disease is one of the most common forms of gum disease and is frequently seen in adults. The stages progress slowly and can be recognized by gum recession and pocket formation.
Soft tissue graft
A soft tissue graft may be needed in areas where gum tissue is missing. A surgical procedure, soft tissue grafting replaces missing tissues in the mouth and aids in the protection against bacterial penetration..
An occlusal adjustment treats and corrects the abnormal alignment of the bite, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. Occlusal adjustments correct these problems and will improve the overall appearance of the facial profile.
The adjustment is made by using the latest dental drill which uses a filing stone. After the procedure, we will likely suggest using a mouthguard to prevent teeth grinding and to keep the jaw joint muscles relaxed. The mouthguard will help alleviate discomfort.
People whose teeth shift, dental midlines do not line up, grind their teeth, clench their jaws, have an uneven bite and have uneven pressure distribution will benefit from an occlusal adjustment.
If you think you need an occlusal adjustment, please call us for a consultation. Dr. Stumpos will determine if an occlusal adjustment is the correct treatment option for you.
Splinting (weak teeth)
Gum disease, injury or receding gums can cause teeth to become loose. Dr. Stumpos can fix your loose teeth by a new procedure called splinting. During this procedure, he will connect loose teeth together, by composite bonding, to form one stronger unit. This procedure is usually performed on front teeth.
Osseous surgery/pocket reduction
Gum disease destroys supporting tissue and bone around the teeth, forming deep pockets for bacteria to potentially live in. As bacteria develops around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. Once under the gum tissue, these bacteria can further bone and tissue loss. If too much bone is lost, teeth may need to be extracted.
Used to treat moderate to severe gum disease, osseous surgery is an effective procedure to reduce pockets and control infection. During osseous surgery, the gum tissue is folded back and the disease-causing bacteria is removed before the gum tissue is put back into place. In addition to bacteria removal, damaged bone may be smoothed to limit areas where bacteria can hide – allowing gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone.
Osseous surgery is typically performed in the office under a local anesthetic. In most cases, patients are able to return to normal activity the following day.
Cosmetic gum surgery
If you’re not happy with the appearance of your smile, Dr. Stumpos can suggest a number of options to correct the aesthetics of your teeth and gums. Cosmetic surgery has become more popular than ever before, and now cosmetic gum surgery has also jumped on this upward trend.
Are you unhappy with your smile? Many procedures now exist that can give you the smile you’ve always dreamed about. For patients with teeth that look too short or have the “gummy smile,” crown lengthening might be your solution. Excess gum tissue is removed, exposing more of the tooth. The gum line is then evenly sculpted to develop your new, broad smile.
Another problem patients want to repair is gum recession, which causes the tooth root to be exposed. Gum disease is one cause for receding gums, which make your teeth look long. Left untreated, your exposed roots are prone to bacteria and at risk for developing cavities. Root coverage procedures, including soft tissue grafts, are performed to cover the exposed tooth roots to protect them from decay and further recession.
Other popular cosmetic procedures include implants to restore missing teeth and ridge augmentation to repair indentations in the jawbone and gums.
Ask today about the different cosmetic procedures that we can offer you.
Osseous grafting/guided tissue regeneration
Much in the same way that gum tissue can be restored with soft tissue grafts, the same can be said for those patients who suffer from bone loss due to advanced gum disease. Bone in the jaw is kept strong and healthy when a healthy tooth is in its socket. However, when bone loss occurs, the tooth has less support, can become loose and eventually be lost.
Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR) attempts to regenerate lost oral structures, such as bone, ligaments and connective tissue attachments, that support the teeth. Biocompatible membranes are used conjunctively with bone grafts for the regeneration to be successful.
If a tooth is lost, a patient may seek dental implants to restore his/her smile. However, even dental implants need a healthy jawbone before they can be placed. Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR) or Ridge Augmentation restores the bone before the placement of implants. Biocompatible membranes and bone grafts keep the tissue out, thus allowing the bone to grow.
The recent advances in technology have led to a higher success rate with this procedure, leading to bone formation and resolving the defect.
Extractions & others
Your third molars are more commonly called “wisdom teeth.” Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.
In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.
To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, we have the equipment and training needed to perform such extractions, with an absolute minimum of discomfort. Ask our staff for more information regarding tooth extractions if you feel you may need one..
A bone graft may be needed in areas where bone is missing. A surgical procedure, bone grafting replaces missing bone and aids in the re-growth of new bone by placing material from the patient’s own body or an artificial, synthetic or natural substitute into the area where bone existed. The new bone growth strengthens the grafted area by forming a bridge between the existing bone and the graft material. Over time, new bone growth will replace much of the grafted material.Bone grafts are most commonly used to restore or regenerate bone as needed prior to the placement of bridges or implants.
The dental specialty of diagnosing and treating oral diseases is called oral pathology. Dr. Stumpos uses digital X-rays, microscopes and biopsies to determine if his patients have any number of oral diseases, such as oral cancers, mumps, gland disorders, ulcers, canker sores, etc.
Snoring affects millions of people of all ages, both male and female. Oral appliance therapy is the most common treatment for the most severe snoring problems. Treatment procedures range from changing your sleep patterns to utilizing orthodontic-related appliances that help open the airways during sleep.
Loud snorers may have a more serious case of blocked air passages, known as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). In these cases, the blockage of air is so great that no air can get through, causing repeated awakenings throughout the night. Obstructive sleep apnea can contribute or lead to many other conditions, such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and depression, so it is important to be diagnosed by a medical professional if you experience any sleep-related symptoms.
After a wisdom tooth extraction, a blood clot usually forms in the extracted tooth’s socket to stop bleeding and to protect the exposed jaw bone. If the clot becomes dislodged or does not form, the site is called a dry socket, which is usually painful. If you have a dry socket, please call our office immediately. Usually, a medicated dressing will be placed on the dry socket by Dr. Stumpos until the healing process can begin.
To stop bleeding after an extraction, place a piece of gauze over the socket and apply firm biting pressure for 45 minutes to an hour. Applying pressure for this extended period of time should stop the bleeding. If not, contact our office immediately.
Once the bleeding has stopped and a clot has formed, do not suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush the teeth next to the socket for up to 72 hours afterward, as these actions will disturb the blood clot. Also, do not vigorously exercise for the next 24 hours after the extraction.
To alleviate the pain and reduce swelling, we recommend applying an ice pack. You may also take ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin as directed on the bottle.
After 24 hours, it is important to resume your normal brushing and flossing routine.
Important: As with any procedure, if your pain or sensitivity persists or if you have any questions, please call our office.
A Panorex X-ray is used to look at your entire mouth. The Panorex X-ray will give Dr. Stumpos a panoramic view of your mouth, teeth and jaws. Dr. Stumpos can use this comprehensive X-ray to identify a number of different problems, including teeth or jaw fractures, TMJ problems, bone or gum diseases, tumors, osteoporosis etc.
We offer one of the latest technological advances in dentistry with digital radiography, also known as digital X-rays. A wireless sensor is placed in the mouth, and a computer generates an image in 30 seconds as opposed to the general 4-6 minute wait time for images taken on dental film. These X-rays can also be enhanced on the computer and enlarged.
Not only are they friendly to the environment, they are much safer than traditional X-rays. Digital radiographs reduce a patient’s radiation exposure by 90 percent!
Oral cancer screenings
Oral cancer is one of the most under-discussed but prevalent forms of cancer. In fact, the American Cancer Society has recently released information showing that, while incidents of cancers overall have reduced in the United States, the occurrences of oral cancers are actually increasing, as is its mortality rate.
With proper screening and early diagnosis, the severity of oral cancer drops significantly. But as with most forms of cancer, being able to detect the cancer in an early stage is crucial. We recommend an annual oral cancer screening for our patients, particularly if you:
- Are above the age of 30
- Use tobacco products, or have used them in the past 10 years
- Consume an average of 1 alcoholic drink or more per day
- Have been previously diagnosed with any form of cancer
Don’t become a statistic – talk to us today about the dangers and warning signs of oral cancer, and schedule a screening with your next appointment!
The standard X-ray is essential in determining any dental problems you may have, but unfortunately, it may not reveal everything happening inside your mouth. We are proud to utilize an intraoral camera in our office.
An intraoral camera can project an image of your tooth onto a monitor, so you can see the problem in a magnified version and how we can correct the issue. It can also identify problems that may not be detected by the general means of examination, including cracks in your fillings or fractured teeth. Similar to the size and design of a dental mirror, an intraoral camera allows you to make better decisions regarding your treatment as you can see the same things we see.
A rotary endodontic treatment is a root canal in which Dr. Stumpos uses an electric handpiece to clean out the tooth’s canal. The handpiece is much faster to use since it is electric, versus a hand file.