General Care and Family Dentistry
Ideally, dentistry is preventative. Tooth Docs Dental’s general and family practice embraces several dental treatments that are aimed at helping your whole family achieve and maintain optimal oral health for a lifetime.
Regular checkups and oral health care and maintenance is important to prevent the development of serious dental problems that can be expensive to treat. If you take care of your teeth and gums, and visit your dentist regularly, you can be sure to enjoy good dental health.
Finding the right family dentist can go a long way towards preventing future problems as well as diagnosing and treating current conditions. Our experienced team of doctors, hygienists and dental technicians can provide comprehensive general and family dental care. If we can’t meet your needs, we work closely with a stellar network of dental professionals who can.
We encourage that you visit us at least once every six months – following the American Dental Association (ADA) recommendation – to ensure good dental health. These routine appointments will provide us with an opportunity to do a thorough dental cleaning and exam to make sure your smile is in good health. PLUS, a healthy mouth is a significant factor in your overall health (be sure to read our blog post about this!).
Tooth Docs Dental is considered one of the best family dental practices in Long Island and NYC, thanks to our ability to provide care for the entire family and offer top notch cosmetic dentistry that many family practices are not equipped to offer.
Family dentists are also known as general dentists who can provide care for your whole family. Having a prosthodontist as your family dentist affords you the highest level of care for your dental needs, including:
Whether you are bringing your child in for a simple dental checkup or you need a more complex procedure, we are here to care for your family’s smiles. To learn more about our services and to schedule your family’s next visit, we welcome you to contact us today.
Forget the dreaded drill! Our air abrasion technique utilizes a thin blast of baking soda or a mixture of aluminum oxide and silica to remove decayed portions of the tooth. This technique is significantly less invasive than the drill, which also means that anesthesia is often not required.
Typically used on teeth that have become worn, chipped, or partially decayed, a dental crown is essentially a cap that is placed on the remaining portion of the healthy tooth to maintain its natural look. Crowns are typically used to repair very large cavities or after root canals. They can also be used to enhance the strength of the tooth for a filling. With state-of-the-art CEREC technology, we can more efficiently design your crown, creating it from porcelain right on the spot, and bond it to your tooth all in one day.
Dental bonding can be used in several ways, the most common of which are the repair of small chips in the tooth, tooth whitening, and in place of metal fillings. While metal amalgam fillings are commonly used after cavities. Composite white fillings are far less noticeable and therefore preferable if the area being filled is towards the front of the mouth.
Used to replace missing teeth, bridges are bonded or cemented to the neighboring teeth to keep your surrounding teeth in place, reduce stress on the jaw, and properly support your facial structure. (See our blog post: Dental Bridges vs. Implants)
If you are missing a tooth, dental implants can be an aesthetically pleasing way of restoring your smile. Typical dental implants consist of titanium root with a porcelain crown. Recent advancements in implant technology have provided us with metal-free options such as Z Systems zirconia implants and CeraRoot ceramic implants as allergen-free tooth replacements systems when combined with a porcelain crown.
Dentures are available in two different types, partial or full. Partial dentures are used to replace one or more teeth that are missing from the mouth while full dentures are used when all the teeth of the mouth have fallen out or been extracted.
Through these state-of-the-art images, we are better able to see your teeth, note areas of concern, as well as diagnose any issues. Digital x-rays are also far safer and time efficient than other, older forms of x-ray imaging.
Extractions can be required for several reasons. Baby teeth that have not fallen out prior to permanent tooth eruption, excess decay, infection, and impacted wisdom teeth are all common issues that require tooth extraction.
Fillings can be used for two primary purposes, (1) to fill in the area that was once occupied by a cavity, or (2) to restore a tooth to its healthy and natural appearance. For the former, we will use what is known as a direct filling. These fillings will be composed of porcelain, dental composites, or gold if they are located on the tooth’s chewing surface. These materials are harder and better able to withstand significant wear. For tooth restoration, indirect fillings are performed. If the area to be filled is located on the front teeth, we will use a more natural looking material such as ceramic or composite resins.
Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss, can be devastating if left untreated. If you notice any signs of the disease, including red and bleeding gums, space between the gums and teeth, and loose teeth, come see us immediately. Depending upon the severity of the issue, there are a few treatment options from simple root planning and scaling to grafts and osseous surgery.
With the use of lasers, we can more quickly and painlessly perform many different dental procedures from cavity detection to gum reshaping. Laser treatments have many advantages such as increased precision, decreased need for anesthesia, as well as a diminished risk of bacterial infections following the procedure.
Able to conceal tooth discoloration and minor chips, Lumineers are easy to apply and require very little reduction in the natural tooth. The procedure is far less invasive than the typical veneer.
Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)
Snoring, which is usually caused by the relaxation of the throat tissue and muscles and the subsequent constriction of the airways, can negatively impact both the quantity and quality of both you and your family’s sleep. Mandibular Advancement Devices act as snore-guards which open the air passage and allow for gentler and easier breathing.
An active and healthy lifestyle full of physical activity can sometimes lead to injuries that can damage your jaw, teeth, and gums. If you enjoy playing sports, we would be happy to talk with you about creating a custom mouth guard just for you.
Our practice offers top of the line Under Armour® Mouthguards which are custom-made to perfectly fit and protect your teeth and smile. Whether you participate in contact or non-contact sports, these mouth guards go a long way towards preventing both facial and dental injury.
Bruxism, or tooth grinding, commonly occurs at night and can lead to painful headaches and jaw discomfort. Extreme bruxism can, if left untreated, result in tooth damage or loss. To correct the problem, we can make custom night-guards to prevent grinding.
When the inside of the tooth becomes diseased or damaged, we will most likely recommend a root canal to save your natural tooth. During the procedure, the endodontist or general dentist will remove the affected tooth pulp, clean and seal the area, and fill the tooth with composite.
Routine Oral Exams and Cleanings
Every six months, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that both children and adults receive a dental cleaning and exam. At each regularly scheduled appointment, we will clean the teeth of plaque and check for decay and signs of gum disease.
The chewing surface of the molars is one of the trickiest places to clean. Between their location in the back of the mouth and the ridges atop these teeth, food often becomes stuck, leading to decay and cavities. This is why we often recommend sealants for these teeth, particularly for our pediatric patients. Sealants are very simple to apply and can last for up to 10 years.
General anesthesia and other forms of sedation are desired by some patients. Local anesthesia is typically used to numb the specific area for most major dental procedures, including cavity filling and root canals. New technologies, such as The Wand® STA and OraVerse, can be used to make the experience more pleasant. Drs. Kauftheil and Diba take great pride in making all dental procedures as gentle and pain-free as possible, and they are both noted for treating previously phobic dental patients.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person stops breathing while sleeping. The condition can be quite serious in and of itself and can also lead to other health conditions including high blood pressure and stroke. Treatments can range from behavioral modifications to surgery if the problem is severe.
For a non-invasive and removable smile, Snap-On-Smile is the solution. This natural looking appliance is custom made to be literally snapped onto the teeth and can be used to cover gaps and discoloration.
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) affects many people and can cause jaw pain, headaches, and problems with bite. The treatments for the condition vary depending upon the severity and can include everything from lifestyle changes to oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Common techniques for whitening your teeth include Zoom, Daywhite, Nitewhite, and Lumibrite. Whitening procedures usually take about half an hour and will leave you with a whiter smile for up to six months.
Able to cover chips, discoloration, and gaps, veneers are often made of porcelain and appear very like your natural teeth. Your typical veneer will require more than one office visit to complete as a model must be taken of your tooth and the veneer made based on these specifications. However, one-hour Cerinate veneers are also available for those looking for a quick and affordable fix in one office visit.
ROUTINE DENTAL CARE – EXAMS AND CLEANINGS
Proper dental hygiene and dental cleanings by your dentist are crucial for a healthy, happy smile. Not only to your current and future oral health, but also to your overall bodily health and self-esteem. Along with daily flossing and brushing, the ADA recommends scheduling a dental appointment once every six months for both an exam as well as a professional cleaning. Frequent dental care and healthy oral hygiene can go a long way towards ensuring that your natural teeth are with you for life.
The first part of your dental visit will be spent on a thorough examination of your gums and teeth. We will be looking for any discoloration or soft areas that might indicate decay, signs of gum disease, or other oral conditions. To obtain a better view of your teeth, we may also choose to use digital x-ray imaging during your routine exam. Sometimes, decay and infection can lie hidden beneath the teeth and gums. X-rays allow us to better see what is going on so that we can provide timely treatment to rectify the problem before it escalates and requires more complex and costly procedures.
The second part of a routine visit will consist of a thorough cleaning of the teeth. Before the actual cleaning begins, we will make sure that your current fillings are still intact and performing as they should. With time, fillings can become worn and may eventually require a touch up. We will also examine your gums for signs of gum disease. Gum disease affects many people and can eventually lead to tooth loss if untreated. The purpose of the periodontal exam is to ensure that the gums are flush with the teeth and that no pockets have formed, which can cause a buildup of bacteria and infection. Next comes the actual cleaning. With a variety of tools, we will remove all tartar buildup, floss your teeth, and then apply a polish. You may then receive a fluoride treatment which serves to strengthen the teeth and prevent cavities.
The cleaning itself is rarely painful but it can be a stressful experience. If you are experiencing some anxiety, let us know and we may be able to offer you some mild sedation to make the process more pleasant for you. Depending upon if we find any signs of gum disease or decay, we may talk with you about ways you can improve your dental hygiene habits.
PREVENTATIVE DENTAL CARE
Good dental hygiene and habits are an investment in your long-term oral health. From infancy, brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are essential to ensuring that your natural teeth remain healthy and strong for the rest of your life. And, with all the advancements being made in both dental and general medicine, you could very well live to 100 and beyond!
There are many forms of preventative care that we use to prevent decay, oral cancer, and dental injuries. These include:
Comprehensive Examinations and Cleaning
Every 6 months, the ADA recommends that you schedule a professional cleaning and dental exam to screen for decay and gum disease. Keeping these biyearly appointments could very well be the difference between keeping and losing your natural teeth.
Tooth decay is not always apparent to the naked eye. Sometimes cavities are located beneath the surface of the tooth and we need a little help to identify these problem areas. DIAGNOdent uses a laser to scan the teeth and identify even the tiniest level of decay.
You should make sure to brush your teeth a minimum of twice per day and floss daily. When brushing, always use a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride, a valuable mineral, has been shown to strengthen the teeth and greatly reduce the risk of cavities.
Fluoride treatments are also a common part of routine dental visits. The treatment is quick and painless and will often be repeated every 3 to 12 months depending upon the condition of your teeth. If you are still not receiving the proper amount of fluoride, we may also recommend a fluoride gel, rinse, or mouthwash.
Oral Cancer Screening
Not only are we interested in preventing decay and keeping your smile beautiful and healthy, our practice is devoted to your general health as well. Therefore, we spend some time during each routine exam to check for indicators of oral cancer.
As with other forms of cancer, the key to a successful treatment is early detection. We will examine your mouth for abnormalities in your throat and mouth tissue as well as look for more apparent symptoms such as lumps and sores. If we do happen to see or feel something of concern, we will perform a simple swab test where we collect some of the cells in the area and check for abnormal cellular activity.
Continued improvements in cancer screening technologies have brought us two very effective oral cancer screening systems, ViziLite® Plus and VELscope. ViziLite® Plus is a quick and painless method and utilizes a special mouthwash that makes abnormal cells more visible under low intensity illumination. The VELscope oral cancer screening system, also painless, uses a white light and special scope to allow us to better visualize the tissues in the mouth. Any abnormal areas will appear significantly darker than the normal tissue.
Remember that abnormal tissue does not necessarily mean that you have oral cancer. If we do find any signs of irregularity, we will likely schedule a follow-up appointment or a biopsy.