We are pleased to offer the following services and technologies to our patients:


Oral Hygiene Care                         Custom Esthetic Dentures                 
Dental Cleaning                             Mouthguards
Halitosis                                       TMJ Treatment
Sealants                                       Tooth Whitening
Bonding                                        Veneers
Cosmetic Fillings                            2nd Opinion Consultation
Sedation Dentistry                         Digital x-rays
Gum Treatments                           Electronic Records
Porcelain Crowns & Bridges            Intraoral Imaging
Tooth Extractions                          Magnification for Treatment
Dental Implants
Minor Tooth Movement
Full Mouth Rehabilitation
 








 
 
ORAL HYGIENE CARE
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums.  Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly.  Good oral health is important to your overall well-being. Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop.

In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental disease. These include:

  • Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss dailyHygiene
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
  • Use dental products which contain fluoride, including toothpaste
  • Use a fluoride rinse or home treatment if advised
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months

The following are indications of good oral hygiene:

  • Your teeth are clean and free of debris
  • Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath is not a constant problem
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DENTAL CLEANING

A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. A routine dental cleaning takes approximately 30 minutes.  Cleanings should be performed every six months, or more often in many cases, to prevent excessive plaque buildup.  Plaque left untreated can lead to bacteria induced gum and tooth diseases.  During your routine cleaning we will remove excess plaque and polish your teeth.  Back to top


HALITOSIS
Halitosis is sophisticated word for “bad breath”.  Depending on the cause, bad breath may strike on occasion or be a persistent condition. The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria.  Because the mouth is moist and warm, it creates perfect conditions for the millions of bacteria that live in the mouth.  In fact, approximately 80% of bad breath is caused by something in the mouth.

Some types of bad breath, such as "morning mouth," are considered fairly normal and are not usually health concerns. However, persistent bad breath may be a sign of more serious problems with the gums and teeth.

Bad breath may be caused by the following:

            • Poor dental hygiene – poor oral hygiene can leave food particles to decay in the mouth
            • Infections in the mouth such as periodontal (gum) disease
            • Respiratory-tract infections such as throat infections, sinus infections, lung infections
            • External agents including foods such as garlic, onions, and coffee, as well as cigarettes and chewing tobacco
            • Dry mouth caused by salivary gland problems or by breathing through the mouth
            • Systemic illnesses such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others

Call our office if you have bad breath with painful, swollen gums that bleed easily or loose teeth.  We will perform a physical examination of your mouth to determine the cause.  If we discover that systematic problems are the cause, we may refer you to your family physician.  In severe cases of gum disease, we may recommend a specialized periodontist.  Back to top


SEALANTS
Sealants are used to fill narrow grooves and pits in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing.  In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn't brush, but because they're too narrow to allow even one bristle into them.  To avoid cavities developing over time, the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.  Back to top

 

BONDING
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth. This is performed to repair damage caused by decay, chips, fractures and other defects in the tooth enamal, or for other cosmetic purposes. 
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COSMETIC FILLINGS
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape.  If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.  A filling helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.  Fillings are best used in smaller cavities and have a limited life of service.

There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, silver, composite resin and porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best, depending on the extent of repair, where in the filling is needed, and cost.  Each filling material is briefly explained below:

· Gold fillings, known as inlays and onlays, are custom made in a laboratory and then cemented into place.  While gold fillings are often a more expensive choice, many consider it the best filling material and are the standard to which all others are compared.  Gold inlays are well-tolerated by gum tissues and may last longer than any other material.

· Amalgam (silver) fillings are the most common fillings and have been used well over a hundred years.  There are several problems with these fillings, and we do not normally place these fillings.

· Composite resins are custom made to match the color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 5 and 10 years and are not ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time.  They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.

· Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are custom created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth.  They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining, and are about the same cost as gold fillings.  A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.

If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown (or "cap") may be recommended.  Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated through root canal therapy or through a procedure called pulp capping.  Back to top


SEDATION DENTISTRY/DENTAL ANXIETY
Dental sedation is a technique that can be used when a patient suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia.  We are happy to offer a number of solutions for our patients to make their dental visit as comfortable as possible.  Sedation dentistry techniques enable patients who might otherwise avoid the dentist, to receive dental treatment necessary for a healthy smile. Depending on the extent of the anxiety or phobia, varying degrees of dental sedation can be utilized as described below.

AssistantNitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide sedation, also known as “laughing gas” is commonly used to make treatment more comfortable.  This sedation is inhaled through a mask that allows you to breathe in the medication and induces a state of relaxation.  Local anesthetic will be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide to eliminate pain.

Oral Sedatives
This medication can be given to a patient the night before a dentistry procedure or 30 minutes to an hour prior to the dental appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety. Oral sedatives do not provide pain relief, so an injection of local anesthetic will also be administered.

Intravenous (IV) Sedation
IV Sedation provides relaxation medication through a small needle inserted in your hand or arm.  Like oral sedatives, IV sedation does not provide pain relief, so a local anesthetic will also be administered. Intravenous sedation allows patients to be awake but in an extreme state of relaxation with little or no pain. An anestheologist can be scheduled so the patient is safely monitored during the appointment.  This technique is used for the most apprehensive patients. Back to top


NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENT
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for  teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house.  Signs of unhealthy periodontium include: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth.  With proper gum treatments,  it may be possible to return gum tissue to a healthy state.  If you're having a problem, come in and see us so we may treat it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents.  It is important to have gum problems checked promptly, as gum disease left alone may eventually need treatment through surgery or extraction.  Back to top


PORCELAIN CROWN AND BRIDGES
Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown (also referred to as a cap) is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth.  A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but it can dramatically improve a 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 bridge is an ideal method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth.  Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science since it replaces a missing tooth both functionally and cosmetically. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to gold alloy, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color.  The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and aesthetics.

It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible.  If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward. Since teeth use their neighbors for support, if one is missing they begin to "fall” and shift into the open spaces. This starts a breakdown in the bite and proper function, increases the risk of periodontal disease and leads to future additional tooth loss.

Bridges and crowns are made by first taking an impression of your mouth.  The impression is sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge will be custom made to fit your mouth and match your natural tooth color.  A temporary crown or bridge will be placed into your mouth until your permanent crown or bridge is ready and cemented into place. 

Bridges and crowns are very durable and can last a lifetime with extra care and good oral hygiene. Back to top


TOOTH EXTRACTIONS
Good oral hygiene should always be practiced since the loss of a single tooth can have major impact upon your oral health and appearance.  Although dentists will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there still are necessary occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted.  A tooth may need to be extracted for the following reasons:

                • Severe decay
                • Advanced periodontal disease
                • Infection or abcess
                • Orthodontic correction
                • Malpositioned teeth
                • Fractured teeth or roots
                • Impacted teeth

After careful examination and treatment, the dentist may advise to have a tooth extracted.  Before a tooth is removed, the dentist will take an x-ray in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone.  Based on the degree of difficulty, we may refer you to a specialized oral surgeon.

For a simple extraction, we will first apply a local anesthetic to prevent pain and discomfort. The tooth will be loosened with a tool called an elevator and then removed with dental forceps. Once the procedure is complete, the area may be closed with one or two stitches.  We will then provide you with care instructions to alleviate discomfort and ensure proper healing.  Back to top


DENTAL IMPLANTS
A dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth as a result of injury, periodontal disease, or any other reason.  A dental implant is a metal post that a periodontist or oral surgeon surgically positions into the jaw.  Once in place and bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post.  While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits.  Implants are stronger than natural teeth and are also a more favorable approach than bridgework since they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.

To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant.  You must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.  Back to top

MINOR TOOTH MOVEMENT
In many cases we can help straighten mildly crowded and misaligned teeth without using traditional braces.  The limited procedure is easy and gentle but does take some time.  we do not do more advanced orthodonticc treatment, but we can help you know when you should see an orthodontic specialist.
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FULL MOUTH REHABILITATION
The total restoring or rebuilding of all the teeth and returning the mouth to proper function and appearance involves many aspects of desntal care. The planning and coordination of the necessary procedures, and the execution of the planned treatment requires thoughtful assessment of the patient's needs and desires.  We strive to be thorough and comprehsneive in this demanding area of dentistry, because we enjoy the challenge and the satisfaction in achievenment.
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CUSTOM ESTHETIC DENTURES
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues.  There are two types of dentures available, including partial and complete dentures.  Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while complete dentures are used to completely replace all teeth.  Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve your smile!

This restoration method is used to restore your smile and mouth function if all your teeth have been lost.  The dentures are custom created to resemble natural teeth and are positioned to take the place of natural teeth.  Complete dentures can never be considered as good as sound, health natural teeth.  However, we can place implants to secure the dentures to solid bone which can hold them tightly in place and increase the function tremendously.

A removable partial denture is a device used when one or more natural teeth still remain in the upper or lower jaw.  They usually consist of replacement teeth attached go a gum-colored plastic base which is held in place in the mouth. 

New dentures may feel awkward for the first few weeks until the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place and you are comfortable eating and speaking.  Back to top


NIGHTGUARDS AND MOUTHGUARDS
Custom designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may be hit.  Guards also protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.  Nightguards are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite. Clenching and grinding is very often associated with TMJ or TMD.

If you have decided a guard is right for you, we will take an impression of your teeth which will then be sent to a lab to make a custom fit guard.  In most cases you can choose from a variety of colors and styles. On average, guards last between 3 and 10 years.  Back to top


TMJ-TMD TREATMENTS
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint.  Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in where the head and jaw meet.  Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. The TMJ disc, made of very dense connective tissue, buffers the two bones and five muscles that meet in this area.  Any problems in this area can create quite a bit of pain and biting difficulties and can lead to irreversable damage.

Symptoms of TMJ include:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • 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 and filling gaps between teeth. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Occasionally a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and in severe cases, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint. Back to top


WHITENING
Tooth whitening is a popular procedure to make teeth whiter and brighter, and therefore more attractive. Bleaching can be used to whitening stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile.  Either way, tooth whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure ideal for most patients to help achieve a dazzling smile.

 

There are so many methods of whitening teeth that it can be very confusing.  We can help you bleach your teeth using one of serveral methods that we have found to be effective and lasting.  Once completed your teeth can be easily and conveniently touched up at almost any time.  Back to top

 

VENEERS
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only applied to the part of the tooth that is visible when talking or smiling.

The technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory.  At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, 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 very aesthetic and long lasting.

The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are not recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure, are very crowded or overlapped. 
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2ND OPINION / CONSULTATION
We offer consultation and second opinions regarding dental conditions and treatments by appointment.  We will need some information such as medical and dental history, recently x-rays if available, a short exam and other pertinent information.  You may call and describe what you want to accomplish at your consultation so we can schedule appropriate time. Back to top

 
 
DIGITAL X-RAYS
X-rays are a focused beam of x-ray particles passed through bone, teeth and soft tissue,  which produce an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed.  This provides the familiar black and white images physicians and dentists use to diagnose problems and disease.  Without an x-ray of the whole tooth and supporting bone and gum tissues, there would be no way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention. 

In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using up to 90% less radiation than conventional film x-rays.  Using this technology, we are able to take an x-ray of your mouth by using a small sensor which records the image of your teeth and sends it to a computer.  The result is a highly detailed image of your mouth that can easily be enhanced to better diagnosis dental concerns and determine the very best treatment for each case. Back to top


ELECTRONIC RECORDS
Our office uses digital (paperless) records. This means all x-rays and charting are made and recorded with the aid of the computer. This technology allows us to maintain your dental records electronically, and cuts down the unnecessary paperwork used with traditional paper charting.  Traditional paper charting is difficult to keep standardized from doctor to hygienist to assistant.  Even handwriting differences and coding make the charts look different. The computer eliminates this problem by using consistent charting methods that are accurate and precise, making it easy to read your dental chart and see up-to-date information.  Digital charting standardizes the charting process so it is clear, easy to understand, and enables us to provide on the most accurate and precise care to our patients. When needed, this method also allows us to quickly and securely share information with your other health care providers. Back to top

 

INTRAORAL IMAGING
We use small cameras about the size of a pen, called intraoral cameras, to help clearly see the condition of your teeth and gums.  With this advanced technology we can zoom in on small diseased areas, cracks, chips and worn metal fillings with extreme precision. The full-color images taken with the intraoral camera are sent to a computer screen so we can clearly see and diagnose dental problems much earlier than with traditional dental technology. Because images are displayed on our screens, patients will also be able to see areas being worked on and are able to gain a better understanding of dental procedures being performed.  Back to top


MAGNIFICATION FOR TREATMENT
The dentist performs most of his dental procedures while using high magnification glasses called surgical telescopes. These powerful glasses have magnifiers on them, allowing the dentist to see fine details that would go unnoticed to the naked eye.
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8222 Douglas Avenue, Suite 930  •  Dallas, TX 75225  
tel 214-369-6216
  •  fax 214-369-6244  •  office@drcude.com

 
 

© 2008 John H. Cude, DDS, PC