Other Dental Services

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Other Dental Services

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants can offer mayor protection against cavities.

A sealant is a plastic material that is placed into the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. When the back teeth are developing, pits and fissures form in the chewing surfaces of the enamel. Plaque and bits of food get caught in these areas. They are impossible to keep clean. Bristles of toothbrushes cannot reach them. Most cavities form in these grooves and these teeth are extremely susceptible to this form of decay. The placement of dental sealants help to decrease the risk of decay. Properly applied and maintained sealants can result in savings in both dollars and discomfort.

Direct Restorations (Fillings)

Dr. McGary is dedicated to protecting and improving oral health while providing safe dental treatment. She encourages patients to ask questions regarding the benefits and drawbacks of available dental restorative (filling) materials in order to choose the best option for you and your family.

Dental amalgam is considered a safe, affordable, and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans for over 100 years. It contains a mixture of metals, such as silver, copper, and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable, and safe substance. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness. Depending on treatment needs, it is one material available to dentists and patients when considering restorative options.

Light-hardening composite resins made from glass powder particles and acrylic resin form a solid tooth colored restoration. These restorations have very little tolerance to the presence of moisture during placement and therefore cannot be used in all situations. These restorations are used most frequently in front teeth where a natural appearance is important, but can be used on the back teeth in some circumstances. Composite resins tend to cost more than fillings made from the older materials.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease or "gum disease" is the single most common cause of tooth loss in adults. The word periodontal means "around the tooth". Healthy gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. In a healthy mouth, this space usually measures 2-3 millimeters.

The cause of "gum disease" is a colorless film of bacteria called plaque. Plaque forms on teeth and can damage the tissues and the supporting bone. As tissues are damaged, the space around the tooth deepens into a "pocket" greater than 3 mm. At this point, it becomes impossible to keep the area clean without the help of a dental professional. Left untreated, periodontal disease may lead to eventual tooth loss.

What are the signs of periodontal disease?

  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss

  • Red, swollen or tender gums

  • Persistent bad breath

  • Pus between the teeth and gums

  • Gums that have receded or pulled away from your teeth

  • Calculus or tartar buildup (hardened plaque)

  • A change in the way your teeth fit together

  • Loose Teeth

Tooth loss is not the only problem posed by periodontal disease. Research suggests there may be link between periodontal disease and diabetes, heart disease, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, and an increase of risks during a pregnancy.

A thorough oral examination, including x-rays and periodontal probing (the measurement of pockets) is necessary to diagnose periodontal disease. Treatment depends upon the severity of the disease.

Treatment options may include:

  • More frequent cleanings

  • Scaling and root planing (a deeper cleaning that includes the cleaning of exposed root surfaces), followed by periodontal maintenance cleanings.

  • Referral to a local periodontist (a specialist in periodontal disease.)

Each of us is different, and so is our ability to resist disease. In particular, people who smoke, use alcohol, or have systemic health problems can be more susceptible than others to the development of periodontal disease.

You do not have to lose your teeth due to gum disease. Good oral health starts with you. Practice daily, thorough care and see your dentist on a regular basis.

Dental X-rays/Digital Images

Like any other aspect of your dental treatment, dental x-rays/digital images are scheduled on an individual basis. If you are a new patient, a full-mouth series of films/images to determine the status of the hidden areas of your mouth and to help analyze changes that may occur later might be recommended. The schedule for x-rays/images varies according to age, risk for disease, and signs and symptoms of disease. New films/images may be needed to identify whether there is any decay present, assess the severity of gum disease, or evaluate the status of growth and development.

Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when your dentist examines your mouth. An x-ray/image examination may reveal: small areas of decay between teeth, infections in the bone, abscesses or cysts, developmental abnormalities, and some types of tumors. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money, and unnecessary discomfort. It can detect damage to oral structures not visible during a regular exam. If you have a hidden tumor, x-rays/images may even help save your life.

Dental Emergency Procedures

Knowing what to do can make mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Reviewing these tips before an accident occurs can help you remain calm and handle an emergency effectively.


Hold the tooth by the crown, and gently rinse off the root of the tooth in water if it is dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, gently reinsert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk. The sooner you can do any of these things the better, because it helps keep the small attachment fibers on the root of the tooth alive. Get to a dentist as quickly as possible.

Broken Tooth:

Rinse the mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. Put cold compresses on the face to reduce swelling. Go to the dentist immediately.

Possible Broken Jaw:

Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Go to your dentist, or a hospital emergency room immediately. Depending on the situation, your general dentist may also refer you to an oral surgeon.

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Cedar Family Dentistry: Julia McGary, RDH, DDS