State of the Art Technology, Highest Sterilization Standards
Digital X-rays: We use digital radiography (film-less pictures) which allows us to reduce radiation exposure by up to 90% compared to traditional x-rays. Dr. Crowley receives instant retrieval of the images on her computer, which can be can be enhanced for better and quicker diagnosis.
Intra Oral Digital Photography: Patient education & communication is a cornerstone of our practice. Our intra oral camera allows you to see what Dr. Crowley sees through her magnifying loupes.
Diagnodent Laser: We believe in early intervention to protect and preserve your teeth. Our diagnodent laser helps diagnose decay and demineralization at an early stage. It is accurate, reliable and painless.
Brush Biopsies: For oral cancer detection, we offer a simple and painless brush biopsy test foratypical lesions. The quick test is analyzed by computer and reviewed by pathologist, providing exceptionally high levels of accuracy.
Safety: We are committed to your health and safety. Our stringent sterilization protocols are beyond what is required. For example, we only use distilled water in our water lines.
GENERAL & PREVENTIVE CARE
Check up & Cleanings
A typical first visit at Pacific Coast Dentist will consist of a complete set of x-rays, comprehensive exam, and general cleaning. In case you are up to date with x-rays, we can request them from your current dentist. During a patient’s comprehensive exam, Dr. Crowley not only checks the health of the teeth, she also checks the health of the gums and oral tissues as well. A simple oral cancer screening is performed.
It is important to Dr. Crowley and her staff that the patients are aware of the importance of an overall healthy mouth. Therefore, we normally recommend a minimal general cleaning of the teeth and gums at least every six months for people with healthy gum support. All patients are checked for signs of gum disease. Gum disease is a silent disease of the mouth that can go undiagnosed until it is too late resulting ultimately in the loss of teeth. It is important to realize gum disease not only affects the gums, it also deteriorates the bone, which supports the teeth. Some signs to look for if you think you may have gum disease area bleeding of the gums, bad breath, and roughness of the surfaces of the teeth. There are different treatments available to combat gum disease. Dr. Crowley also works closely with periodontists in the area, who specialize in treating the problems associated with the gums.
If you are experiencing dental and/or facial pain, please contact our office immediately and we will make our best effort to have you seen the same day. Dr. Crowley specifically opened the practice in her neighborhood to make it convenient for patients to be seen when and if an emergency should arise.
Cavities are infections of the teeth caused by bacteria. The majority of cavities are completely painless because the outer tooth enamel has no nerves. It is only when the cavity enters the inner layer (dentine) that one may be aware of its existence. The most common symptom is an increased sensitivity to cold and/or sweet foods or beverages. The cavity weakens the tooth and can cause a fracture when biting down.
It is better to treat a small cavity than to wait until you feel pain. By this time the cavity may have infected the dental pulp, requiring a root canal or an extraction. Regular dental examinations will reduce the probability that a dental cavity goes undetected and spreads..
Patients take comfort in knowing that Dr. Crowley does not use silver/amalgam fillings as a restorative material. All filling materials used are tooth colored composites. Composites have been around for years. As the material has advanced in quality over the past few years, it has been recommended as an alternative material vs. silver/amalgam fillings. Composites come in a variety of shades to match the color of the natural teeth and generally exhibit good support and adaptability to the tooth structure. They are placed inside the tooth, and a curing light is used to make the filling hard. Once the filling is hardened using the curing light, the patients can chew on the tooth.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are an alternative way to achieve a desired smile or to strengthen otherwise compromised teeth. Patients who are candidates for crowns generally have a large amount of decay, large fillings, or fractures lines caused by stresses on these teeth. Compromised teeth are weak and susceptible to fractures or breaking. To avoid this from occurring, crowns cover the entire tooth. Crowns are made by removing all the old restoration, any caries and fractures from the teeth, and shaping approximately 2 mm of the perimeter of the teeth. An impression is made from the tooth/teeth, which is sent to a laboratory where they use highly standardized techniques to fabricate the crown. Crowns are generally made with a metal substructure for strength with porcelain over coating for aesthetics.- gold or porcelain crowns are also available. During the time their crown is being fabricated, the patient wears a temporary crown used to protect the teeth, which is generally very comfortable.
For patients who have missing teeth, a bridge may be the treatment of choice. A bridge is a non-removable fixed restoration that replaces missing teeth. The technique used in making the bridge is very similar to the one used for making a crown, with the exception that a bridge involves preparation of the teeth in front and back of the missing tooth. The laboratory fabricates the teeth using high-quality techniques and products, and the restoration is cemented in place.
An alternative way to restore a missing tooth is an implant. Implants are a screw like device made of titanium, which is surgically placed in the bone. The procedure is usually performed by an oral surgeon or a periodontist. Once the implant is placed, it is left alone for a period of 3-6 months for healing to occur and for the implant to integrate with the bone in the area. After the healing period, the implant is again uncovered and a healing head is placed on top. At this time, the patient will see Dr. Crowley, who will take the healing cap off and fabricate a crown to fit over the implant. Once fabricated, the crown is cemented on to the head of the implant. Once the crown is placed, it feels just like a natural tooth to the patient. The major advantage of an implant is the fact that a tooth is restored back to original health, without disturbing the adjacent teeth.
Root canal treatment is the removal of infected nerve tissue of the tooth followed by the cleaning and sealing of the canals to prevent further bacteria from re-entering the tooth. Root canal treatments may be needed if a dental cavity has been neglected or a tooth has sustained injury.
A tooth extraction is the appropriate course of action if repairing a damaged tooth is not practical . Broken, cracked, or extensively decayed teeth can be extraction candidates. Teeth that are unsuitable candidates for root canal treatment should be extracted. Teeth associated with advanced periodontal disease (gum disease) may need to be pulled. Mal-positioned or nonfunctional teeth may need to be extracted. In addition, tooth extractions may be required in preparation for orthodontic treatment (braces).
Nightguard/TMJ Nightguard: A night guard is a thin piece of hard plastic made from impressions of your teeth placed on the upper or lower teeth. They are recommended for bruxism (grinding and/or clenching of teeth). Bruxism is a common problem, which can be detected by worn enamel and/or painful jaw symptoms. This nighttime clenching and grinding may result in cracking and fracturing of teeth.
Sports Mouthguard: According to the American Dental Association, more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented annually in this country by sports mouthguards. While this is an impressive preventative figure, it is unfortunately estimated by the National Youth Sports Foundation that more than 5 million teeth will be knocked out in sporting activities this year. These oral traumas will happen primarily to children, as well as high school and college athletes. A pressure-formed, multi-laminated mouthguard can help protect your teeth.