Services and Technologies
Our New Hampshire Seacoast family, cosmetic & dental implant practice is devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile using conservative, state-of-the-art procedures that will result in beautiful, long lasting smiles!
Utilizing the most up to date equipment and materials and working closely with selected area specialists, the doctors at a Piscataqua Dental Partners accomplish intricate, state-of-the-art dental treatment at the highest possible level. Services include routine maintenance care, cosmetic tooth whitening, fillings, bonding, Invisalign®, crown and bridge services, implant treatment and denture services.
The doctors of Piscataqua Dental Partners advocate for their patients' dental health. After a thorough exam and diagnosis, they will inform, educate and assist you in making wise, and appropriate decisions regarding your oral healthcare needs. With a capable, mature, and experienced staff, this practice is dedicated to living up to its reputation for good service and excellent integrity. Should a dental emergency occur, we make every effort to see and care for you as soon as possible.
Education & Prevention
As a practice, we are true believers that preventative care and education are the keys to optimal dental health. We strive to provide “dental health care” vs. “disease care." That’s why we focus on thorough exams – checking the overall health of your teeth and gums, performing oral cancer exams, and taking x-rays when necessary. We also know that routine cleanings, flossing, sealants, and fluoride are all helpful in preventing dental disease. Not only are we focused on the beauty of your smile, we’re also concerned about your health. A review of your medical history can help us stay informed of your overall health, any new medications, and any illnesses that may impact your dental health.
Infection control in our office is also very important to us. To protect our patients and ourselves, we strictly maintain sterilization and cross contamination processes using standards recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Training & Expertise
As your dental health professionals, we want you to be confident knowing that we are a team of highly-trained and skilled clinicians. We pride ourselves in providing the care you need to keep your smile healthy. To give you the best possible service and results, we are committed to continual education and learning. We attend dental lectures, meetings, and dental conventions to stay informed of new techniques, the latest products, and the newest equipment that a modern dental office can utilize to provide state-of-the-art dental care. Also, being members of various professional dental associations helps us to stay abreast of the changes and recommendations for our profession.
A Positive Experience
Building a foundation of trust by treating our patients as special individuals is vital to our success. We understand how uneasy some patients may feel about their dental visits, and how we can make a difference in providing a relaxing and positive experience. Our entire team is dedicated to providing you with excellent, personalized care and service to make your visits as comfortable and pleasant as possible
Click the Services below for more information on each subject.
Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly-chipped, discolored or crooked teeth, often for cosmetic purposes. The process comprises placing a white filling on your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling "bonds" with your teeth, and because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades, it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.
Bonding can also be used in place of regular amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings, because the white color is much less noticeable than the silver of the amalgam fillings. Bonding fillings can be used on front and back teeth, depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.
Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and can usually be completed in one visit to our office. However, bonding can stain and breaks more easily than other cosmetic treatments like porcelain veneers.
If your bonding does break or chip, please let us know. We can generally patch or repair bonding in one visit.
A bridge is an ideal method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the real teeth on either side for support--hence the name. Bridges are a perfect option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. Bridge materials include gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all-ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.
Crowns are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged, or to replace missing teeth. A crown, also called a cap, is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. A crown not only strengthens the tooth, but it can also dramatically improve the tooth's appearance, shape and alignment.
Crowns may be used to...
- Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly-shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take only 25 to 30 minutes. Cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A routine dental cleaning should include scaling, root planing and polishing.
Scaling and root planing is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces with a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar. Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has led to more modern methods such as electric scalers. This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. Both electric and manual scaling methods can be combined to achieve the best results. Polishing completes the cleaning, making the surface of the teeth smooth and minimizing future plaque build-up.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures available: partial dentures and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain and complete dentures are used to replace all teeth. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth, so there should be no noticeable change to appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve a smile!
Complete Dentures – This restoration method is used to restore smile and mouth function if all teeth have been lost. The dentures are custom created and natural looking. They are fit in the patient's mouth to take the place of the original teeth. Complete dentures are generally removable and may require adjustments in order to create a proper fit with the gums and mouth.
Partial Dentures – A removable partial denture is used when one or more natural teeth still remain in the upper or lower jaw. Made of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, partials help restore better functionality to the mouth. As with complete dentures, it is possible to have more permanent option cemented into place.
Good oral hygiene is a must. The loss of a single tooth can have major impact on overall oral health and appearance. Although dentists will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there are still some occasions when a tooth needs to be extracted. A tooth may need to be extracted if the following occurs:
- Severe decay
- Advanced gum disease
- Infection or abscess
- Orthodontic correction
- Malpositioned teeth
- Fractured teeth or roots
- Impacted teeth
The dentist may suggest an extraction after careful examination and treatment—usually taking x-rays to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone before extracting the tooth. Based on the degree of difficulty, a dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon.
A certain amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected following an extraction, but it can be minimized with pain killers and ice packs applied to the face for 15 minutes at a time. Discomfort should lessen within three days to two weeks.
If you experience prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever, call our office immediately.
A filling is a way to restore a tooth decayed tooth back to its normal shape and function. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, then clean the affected area and fill the cleaned-out cavity with a filling material. This filling will help prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria might enter.
There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. We will work with you to determine which material is best for you, depending on the extent of repair, the location of the filling and the cost. Each of the filling materials is briefly explained below:
Gold fillings are custom-made in a laboratory and then cemented into place. While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many consider gold as the best filling material. Gold inlays are well-tolerated by gum tissues and may last more than 20 years.
Amalgam (silver) fillings are a more inexpensive choice and are also well-tolerated. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth.
Composite (plastic) resin fillings are custom-made to the exact color of the patient's teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While these white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years. They may not be ideal for larger fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.
Porcelain fillings, called inlays or onlays, are created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, they resist staining, and they cost about the same as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.
It's estimated that more than half of U.S. adults have gingivitis. Gingivitis, in some cases, can lead to periodontitis (gum disease) and host of other health problems.
Gum disease can cause bleeding, swelling, bad breath, pain, receding gums and tooth loss. But it doesn't always stop there. You oral health is the beginning point for your whole body's health and wellness. It is imperative that we stop problems before they even start!
Gum disease causes a buildup of bacteria in deep pockets between the teeth and gums. That bacteria can transfer to your bloodstream when gums bleed, putting you at a much higher risk to develop the following health problems:
- Respiratory Disease
- Heart Disease
- Pre-Term Births
Periodontal treatment typically involves containing the infection through deep cleaning like scaling and root planing, clearing buildup at the root of the teeth. The dentist may also suggest specific toothpastes and mouth rinses. We may also prescribe antibiotics to fight infections. Surgery is required for the most severe cases.
We examine you for gum health at every 6-month check-up. If you have been experiencing any symptoms like bad breath, bleeding or tender gums, please let us know. We will decide what is the best form of treatment to restore your gums to optimum health.
A dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth for reasons like injury or periodontal disease. To begin the implant process, a metal post is surgically positioned into the jaw. This post will act as a permanent "root" for the implanted tooth. Once it is in place, the surrounding bone and tissue needs time to heal.
Implant placement requires special training, as it is a surgical procedure. Our team is highly- trained in implant placement to meet your dental needs. Implants require healthy gums and adequate bone. A patient must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits, as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
Please set up a consultation for this comprehensive procedure.
A dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth for reasons like injury or periodontal disease. After a metal post is placed, the restoration is completed with a replacement crown. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and generally last 10-20 years. They are also a more favorable approach than bridgework, because they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.
Implants require healthy gums and adequate bone. A patient must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits, as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
Please let us know if you have any questions about the procedures involved in dental implants.
Invisalign is an attractive alternative to traditional metal braces. It is a series of clear, custom-fit removable mouth trays that apply a controlled amount of force to your teeth to slowly straighten them. The system provides the same beautiful results as traditional braces, but they are virtually invisible. Because Invisalign trays are removable, they can be taken out while eating, drinking, brushing and flossing.
The Invisalign system begins in the dentist or orthodontist's office with taking molds to design a your trays. Patients switch trays every two weeks to gradually shift the teeth. The system requires a visit to the office every six weeks so that treatment can be monitored. Once treatment is complete, a patient will likely be given a retainer to maintain the smile.
The cost of Invisalign varies according to the complexity of the case. Insurance policies generally cover Invisalign to the same extent that they cover traditional braces.
Contact us for an Invisalign consultation.
A variety of forms of dental sedation are used to help patients who suffer from dental anxiety or phobia. There are multiple levels of sedation to ease every level of anxiety, and IV sedation is the perfect option for patients who might otherwise avoid the dentist. IV sedation is commonly referred to as "sleep dentistry--" it will be as if you fell asleep, and you won't remember the procedure. A specific set of drugs are administered via IV for the duration of the procedure or procedures, and you will be carefully monitored to ensure your safety. Often reserved for oral surgery, IV sedation is also available to those with intense dental anxiety and phobia. It makes dentistry easy.
If you feel that IV sedation is the best option for you, set up a consultation today! We are happy to answer any of your questions.
Custom-designed mouth guards and night guards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouth guards are recommended to protect the jaw, tongue, cheek lining and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth might get hit. Night guards are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night to protect their teeth. Guards generally last 3-10 years.
Custom-made oral appliances can also be used as part of treatment for conditions like sleep apnea and TMJ disorders. In general, plastic appliances can be used to correct a variety of problems.
If you are active in athletics or experiencing any concerning experiences with your mouth, teeth, or jaw, please let us know. If any kind of guard or appliance is a good option for you, we will take an impression of your teeth to create a custom-fit product for your specific needs.
NITROUS OXIDE SEDATION
Nitrous oxide sedation, also known as "laughing gas," is commonly used to make treatment more comfortable. The nitrous oxide is inhaled through a mask and produces a state of relaxation. Local anesthetic will be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide to eliminate pain. Nitrous oxide is designed to make procedures easier for nervous patients and has been effective for many years.
Oral sedation is an excellent option for patients who suffer from dental anxiety. It is simply taken in pill or liquid form and ingested at a set time before treatment. The drug produces a calming effect to make the visit to our office a much less stressful experience. Oral sedation is simple, safe and has very few side effects.
Ask us about our sedation options.
Orthodontics is the art of using special appliances to straighten and align the teeth and bite. Braces are the most common orthodontic treatment. In this method, arch wires are threaded through brackets that are bonded to the surface of the teeth. The arch wires act as a track, and guide each tooth to its proper position. There are several types of orthodontic braces available, including the more traditional metal braces, ceramic "tooth colored" braces, as well as clear plastic braces.
Root canal treatment, also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy, is used to save an infected or damaged tooth and avoid having to remove it. A root canal becomes necessary when a neglected cavity reaches all the way to the pulp at the center of the tooth, causing the pulp to become infected. Regular cleanings and checkups detect and prevent problems early on.
Trauma can also cause deep damage to the nerve of a tooth. Once this occurs, the pulp becomes infected, and it begins to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is called an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system, making it very dangerous and painful.
Symptoms of infected pulp may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain with biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms, and you are unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) is filled to prevent any further infection. Crowns are usually recommended to cover and restore a tooth after root canal therapy.
Sealants are a common preventive treatment in dentistry. Some teeth have fine grooves or pits that accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn't brush, but because the grooves are too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. When plaque accumulates, it can lead to cavities and other types of tooth decay. To apply sealants, a plastic material is brushed onto the tooth, filling these narrow grooves and preventing the cavity-causing buildup. Sealants make healthy teeth possible.
SLEEP APNEA TREATMENT
Problems with sleep can quickly and negatively impact overall well-being. High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, brain damage, depression, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, weight gain and more—all of these can be caused by sleep apnea and snoring. Solve your sleeping struggles at the dentist's office? It's definitely possible.
Oral sleep appliance therapy can be a very effective treatment option for patients suffering from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. These custom-fit appliances shift the lower jaw forward and open the bite and airway.
Following are some common symptoms of sleep breathing disorders:
- Daytime drowsiness or fatigue
- Loud, recurring snoring
- Choking or gasping for air in your sleep
- A man with neck size greater than 17 inches
- A woman with neck size greater than 16 inches
- Stop breathing while asleep
- Unexplained weight gain/trouble losing weight
- High blood pressure
- Acid reflux
- History of stroke or heart attack
- Fall asleep during the day when activity is low
- Family history of sleep apnea
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, come into our office for a consultation. We will review the severity of your condition and discuss dental sleep treatment. It is always best to have had a sleep study conducted to determine the severity of your problem. However, this may not be necessary in treatment for simple snoring.
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint and is used to describe dysfunction or disorders related to the joint. "Temporo," refers to the temple area of the skull; "mandibular," refers to the lower jaw; and "joint" is essentially where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a trauma, misalignment of the teeth, or excess muscle tension. The two bones that meet at the jaw are buffered by cartilage and five different muscles, so TMJ can cause a variety of troubles.
Common TMJ symptoms:
- Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Pain in the jaw muscles
- Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face
Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, and more. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If TMJ is left untreated and reaches extremes, surgery may be required to repair the badly damaged joint.
Veneers are a cosmetic dental procedure in which a thin layer of porcelain or composite material is placed over the outside of the tooth. They are used to improve esthetics or help with tooth damage. Veneers are usually only performed on the front part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.
The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. Because of that, the direct technique is usually referred to as bonding.
The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers are fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions are taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. The veneers are back from the laboratory after two or three weeks. The temporaries are removed, and the veneers are bonded to the teeth.The laboratory-fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are esthetically pleasing.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less of the tooth material has to be removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are not recommended for patients who have large fillings or little tooth structure. They are also typically recommended for the restoration of front teeth.
Teeth whitening is a popular procedure to make your teeth whiter and brighter, and therefore more attractive. Learn more about our teeth whitening services and treatments.
WISDOM TOOTH EXTRACTIONS
Wisdom teeth are the last molars, or "third molars" that develop on each side of the jaw. They usually emerge in the back of the mouth between the ages of 16-20.
Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, they cause problems and require removal. When the jaw isn't large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way through the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.
A wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure. The dentist will numb the area in the mouth with a local anesthesia or use IV sedation so that the patient is asleep during the procedure.
After the tooth (or teeth) is removed, the patient is given gauze and bites down softly for a recommended amount of time to limit any bleeding. Some pain and swelling may occur, but it will usually go away after a few days. Please call our office if, after following post-op instructions, you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever.
Click the Technologies below for more information on each subject.
AUTOMATED APPOINTMENT REMINDERS
Society has made so many advances in communication in recent years—why not utilize that for appointment reminders? As dental offices go digital, reminders can go beyond the written cards or personal phone calls that are prone to human error. Systems are becoming computerized and automated, providing patients timely reminders through email and sometimes text messaging too.
Ask our staff at the front desk about the options we provide so that we can set up a reminder system that is most convenient for you.
CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. This high-tech equipment allows us to restore damaged teeth with beautiful custom ceramic crowns in a single visit, completely eliminating the need or multiple appointments over a several week period. The process can create a ceramic dental crown, inlays, onlays or veneers using a variety of technologies including 3D photography and computer-aided design and manufacturing known as CAD/CAM.
Using an intra-oral camera, a photograph is taken of the tooth and the picture is loaded onto the computer. Using Computer Aided Design technology, the dentist is able to design the restoration and transform the image into a three-dimensional model. This valuable program then allows the dentist to easily calculate the appropriate restoration shape and size to create near perfect restoration. When the model is ready, a milling machine then creates the restoration using a high-speed diamond bur and calculated precision. The restoration is then bonded to the tooth using a resin material. The result is a beautiful and custom designed and produced restoration, made entirely to fit your mouth. CEREC crowns are metal-free and have been used for over 20 years.
We use digital imaging software in our office, which allows us to take a digital picture of you and use our imaging system to predict how a particular treatment or cosmetic procedure would change the appearance of your teeth. This software is beneficial for patients who are considering cosmetic procedures but are not sure if they're ready for dramatic changes. Digital imaging also allows us to document your dental case and procedures very well. We take digital images of your face, teeth and smile to provide us with a permanent dental record and to provide a visual documentation of treatment.
Digital radiography uses an estimated 40-90 percent less radiation than conventional film x-rays. Digital x-rays use a digital image capture device in place of traditional film, sending an image immediately to a computer. The result is a highly-detailed image of the mouth, and its contrast and resolution can be enhanced to more easily diagnose dental problems and determine the very best treatment for each case.
This means more safety and better accuracy for you.
Many offices utilize electronic claims processing. This means that rather than being sent through the mail, a dental claim is sent electronically to an insurance company with the click of a button. We can submit information more efficiently and with fewer errors. This benefits patients because the turn-around time on claims is faster, and fewer claims are returned or denied.
We are happy to submit your dental claims to your insurance company on your behalf. Please let us know if you have any questions about the e-claim process.
Intraoral cameras, cameras about the size of a pen, help dentists see the condition of teeth and gums more clearly. This advanced technology allows us to zoom in on small diseased areas, cracks, chips and worn metal fillings to provide a more detailed view. The full-color images are sent to a computer screen, making it easy to see and diagnose dental problems much earlier than with traditional dental technology. Patients are also able to watch the whole process because the images are displayed on screens in treatment rooms.
PATIENT EDUCATION SOFTWARE
You deserve to be in the loop when it comes to your dental care. There are a variety of computer programs available to help patients better understand conditions, procedures and treatment options. Our dental office invests in patient education software because we want you to feel confident in every dental decision you make. This investment helps us clearly communicate--and it helps you learn more.
Popular programs include GURU and DentalMaster, among many others. If you have any questions about the program we use, we're happy to point you to the website. If you have any further questions about your oral health and procedures, don't hesitate to ask us.
Thanks to advances in dental technology, crowns no longer have to be a weeks-long process. CAD/CAM technology makes it possible to create and place a crown in one day.
CAD/CAM stands for computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. This technology allows the dentist to use an intraoral scanner inside the mouth to take a digital scan of a tooth that has been prepared to receive a crown. Using special software, the data from the scan is used to generate a design (CAD) for a custom crown. This program will also generate a custom blueprint and guidelines to manufacture the new crown (CAM) with a milling machine. CAD/CAM enables us to create precise and custom crowns, inlays and onlays in one single visit.