Comprehensive General Dentistry
When it comes to preventing and correcting problems related to tooth decay, gum disease, and more, general and restorative dentistry plays an important role. At Radiant Dentistry, our dental team works with every patient to develop good at-home dental routines that complement our in-office dental care.
Our General Dentistry Services
Serving New Port Richey, FL and surrounding communities since 1982, we offer a wide range of general dental services and are committed to building lasting partnerships with our patients. Helping you achieve and maintain exceptional oral health is our number one goal.
ROUTINE DENTAL CLEANINGS & EXAMS
Regularly scheduled dental exams are important for maintaining a healthy smile and optimal dental health. For most patients, cleanings are recommended every six months. This helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. During a bi-annual exam, we will inspect teeth for signs of decay or gum disease, clean and polish your teeth, remove plaque and tartar, screen for oral cancer, and more. Routine visits help us monitor how well our patients’ at-home dental routines are working, and recognize if anything serious is developing.
Fillings are done to remove decay, and replace the affected tooth structure. Nowadays most teeth are treated with bonded tooth-colored composite resin fillings. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated, decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, and the tooth could need root canal treatment or extraction.
Bonding involves adhering tooth-colored composite resin material to the front of the tooth. This repairs damage caused by decay, alters the alignment of the tooth, closes gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes.
First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro-etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bond agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. Then the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as a last step.
Sealants fill in narrow grooves 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. These will develop cavities over time, and you don’t want that. 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.
NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENTS
The gums, ligaments, and jaw bone form the foundation for one’s teeth. All structures are 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 (gum disease) may be as follows:
- Gums that are red and bleed easily
- Persistent bad breath
- Gums that are pulled away from the tooth
- Loose teeth
- Changes in the position or bite of the teeth
Any of these signs may mean something is wrong. With the proper care, however, it may be possible to return them to a healthy state.
If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so we can take care of it right away. Gum treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe, it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to get treated at the first sign of gum disease.
X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and not using them could lead to undiagnosed diseases. Without an x-ray of the whole tooth, and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.
In our office, we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional x-rays. Coupled with computer monitoring, digital x-ray technology allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis of any dental concerns.
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to the pulp. Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy. Once this occurs, the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is 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. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is then 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) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. Temporal, as in the temple area of the skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it’s where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong, a good deal of trouble can result.
Problems in this area can cause:
- 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, etc. 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 untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.
Extracting permanent teeth that are significantly damaged can, in some cases, help return you to optimal health. After discussing various treatment options and deciding on an extraction, you and your doctor will determine the best way to replace the tooth. This prevents problems with the surrounding teeth.
6838 Madison St.
New Port Richey, FL 34652
Monday: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday - Thursday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Emergency and After Office Hours:
If you are a current patient, and have a dental emergency after regular office hours, please call us as soon as possible.