PROFESSIONAL TEETH WHITENING
If your teeth are stained, discolored, or simply darker than you like, a professional whitening (bleaching) treatment may be the answer for you. Professional teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to brighten stained, discolored or dull teeth. There are numerous ways to whiten teeth but the most popular method is using custom trays and peroxide products at home. Dr. Dameron also can do an in-office treatment to “jump start” the process. It is important to remember that teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel. Teeth whitening is a simple, non-invasive way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
TMJ- TEMPORO MANDIBULAR JOINT
Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ) is a common condition affecting a wide variety of people. TMJ is characterized by severe headaches, jaw pain of varying degrees, clenching teeth, grinding of teeth, and general pain in the head, jaw, and neck region. The symptoms of TMJ can be debilitating and can interfere with every-day life. Pain relief is the first consideration of Dr. Dameron. She will diagnose and devise an immediate plan to treat the TMJ disorder. The most common treatment is a splint or bite guard appliance to relax the jaw muscles and lessen the pain.
When a tooth is severely decayed, broken, abscessed, or un-restorable, it may need to be removed. The two types of extractions are simple and surgical. Dr. Dameron performs both procedures carefully and painless. However, if a tooth is severely broken below the gum line or if a wisdom tooth is impacted, Dr. Dameron will provide a referral to the oral surgeon.
ROOT CANAL THERAPY
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the nerve inside the tooth), bacteria and any decay are removed and the space is then filled with special medicated rubber material. Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be extracted. Root canal treatment is highly successful, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infection. Depending on the severity of infection, Dr. Dameron may need the help of an endodontist to complete the root canal.
Porcelain veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom made in a dental laboratory. With Porcelain veneers, a thin layer of the front tooth is removed to allow the veneer to be bonded to the tooth without making it any thicker than it is naturally. The veneer covers dark or yellow teeth, fills unsightly gaps, lengthens short teeth, and can straighten crooked teeth. Veneers are permanent and are attached to teeth using the most advanced bonding techniques. Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile and can often be an alternative to crowns and the ideal solution in treating many dental conditions.
DENTURES AND PARTIAL DENTURES
A denture is a removable dental appliance to replace missing teeth and surrounding tissue. Dr. Dameron offers both partial and full dentures, depending on the severity of the patient’s needs. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain and not only fill in missing teeth but prevent other teeth from shifting. Complete dentures are appropriate when all natural teeth are missing. Replacement teeth are attached to plastic and are custom fit for each patient’s mouth.
Dental Implants are the standard of care in general dentistry and provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. If you have lost teeth, implants allow you to eat and speak normally again as well as regaining facial contours that appear natural. Dental implants are artificial roots (usually titanium) that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw bone by either a periodontist or oral surgeon where the teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance as well as restore a patient’s smile. Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
EMERGENCY DENTAL CARE
Dr. Dameron and her staff will make every effort to see you the same day if you have a dental emergency. If our office is closed or if we are unable to see you, we will appropriately refer you so that you can get taken care of as soon as possible.
A bridge is a fixed (non-removable) dental restoration that fills the space where one or more teeth are missing. A “traditional bridge” consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth. The bridge restores your bite and helps to maintain the natural shape of your face. Placing a bridge typically takes more than one visit. On the first visit, Dr. Dameron will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap and take an impression for your bridge to be constructed. A temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks while the bridge is being made in a laboratory. On the second visit your bridge will be placed.
If a cavity is large enough that it is going to compromise the tooth structure or if a large filling needs to be replaced, Dr. Dameron may recommend a crown in order to save your tooth. A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings. Finally, they are made of porcelain so they are beautiful.
NON-METAL COMPOSITE FILLINGS
If a tooth has a cavity, Dr. Dameron places composite fillings to get as close as you can to restoring a tooth to its original strength in the most conservative fashion. Composites are a very hard plastic that bonds to the tooth to hold the tooth together. The advantages of non-metal fillings are that they are much stronger than metal fillings and much less of the tooth needs to be removed. In addition, they are virtually invisible making them more aesthetic than a silver filling.
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is diagnosed by Dr. Dameron during a dental check-up. A periodontal probe is used to measure the space between the tooth and gums. If the probe measures greater than three millimeters, that is the early stages of gum disease. Based on how deep the pockets measure, a deep scaling with anesthesia may be necessary to get rid of disease and begin healing. In addition, medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and healing. Once the periodontal treatment is complete, the patient will be put on a regular maintenance cleaning three to four times a year. If the gum disease is severe, Dr. Dameron will refer you to a periodontist to help with treatment, including any surgical procedures.
PEDIATRIC DENTAL CLEANINGS AND EXAMS
Dr. Dameron loves kids and recommends parents bring their child in at about age 3 for their first visit. Getting your children into the habit of going to the dentist at a very young age will help teach them good oral care habits, ease future dental anxiety, and help prevent future dental problems. She will make their visit comfortable and fun! She will also monitor their tooth development and any abnormalities during their growth spurts and evaluate spacing for future orthodontics if necessary.
PREVENTATIVE CARE VISITS
For many people in Richmond and Glen Allen, they just need to come see Dr. Dameron twice a year to have their teeth professionally cleaned and polished. At these semi-annual appointments, the dental hygienist will remove all plaque and calculus, take appropriate x-rays, and floss and polish your teeth. She will also measure your gums to check for gum disease. Finally, she will give you beneficial oral health care tips and answer any questions you may have. Dr. Dameron will then do a comprehensive exam to check for decay and any abnormalities or problems that may exist in your mouth, as well as perform an oral cancer screening. If problems are found, a treatment plan will be discussed. We recommend these appointments for your overall health and to avoid bigger tooth problems in the future.