General Dentistry

Smiles Forever of Gardendale

At Smiles Forever of Gardendale, we provide every patient with a Comprehensive Oral Evaluation. This starts with the necessary X-Rays to properly detect decay, bone loss, tumors, cavities, cysts, and numerous other dental situations. Our office is equipped with the highest quality digital x-ray equipment as well as high quality intraoral cameras and digital Carivu (a non x-ray alternative to detecting cavities).

Also included in our Comp Exam is a full Periodontal and Oral Cancer Screening. Dr. Barakat will evulate all existing work and discuss any new work or concerns. We strive to keep you informed and apart of all treatment options.

General Dentistry

Routine Prophylaxis

Routine Prophylaxis (cleaning) is a series of procedures whereby calculus, stain, and other accretions are removed from the teeth and the surfaces are polished. This is usually done every 6 months on healthy patients, free of Ginigivitis and Periodontal Disease.

Ginigival Debridement

Ginigival Debridement is a procedure performed using an special ultrasonic instrument to clean and irrigate the gums. A ginigival debridement is needed when moderate-severe ginigivitis is present. It is usually followed by a 2 week re-evaluation of the gums.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing (SRP) is a series of procedures used to remove plaque, calculus, and bacteria are removed from the root surfaces of the tooth. This is done cases where Periodontal Disease is present and active. This is followed up by a 1 month re-evaluation, and a 3-4 month re-care program.

Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal Maintenance is series of procedures used to clean and maintain gingival health following SRP treatments. Patients are usually placed on a 3-4 month Maintenance depending on their oral health care needs.

Diode Laser Procedures

With the use of a diode laser soft tissue surgeries such as frenectomies, gingivectomies, biopsies, exposure of unerupted teeth, Implant recovery, and abscess incision & drainage are almost painless with little to no post-operative issues. Also used for rapid palliative treatment of canker sores, herpetic and aphthous ulcers of the oral mucosa.

Fillings

Fillings are done to remove decay, and replace the affected tooth structure. Now days 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 would need root canal treatment or extraction.

Sealants

Sealants are used to fill in narrow grooves on the biting surface of a tooth. This is done to prevent decay or stop decay that is just starting to form.

Crowns

Crowns or Caps are full coverage restorations that are used to cover and protect a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile.

Bridges

Bridges are an option for filling the spaces created by missing teeth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. The process for a bridge is about the same as for crown but with bridges impressions may be taken before your start for diagnostic cast and study models.

It is important to replace missing teeth to keep existing teeth from shifting. This can eventually lead to problems with the entire jaw, TMJ, and treating Periodontal Disease if present.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a surgical component that interfaces with the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, facial prosthesis or to act as an orthodontic anchor.

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is necessary when a cavity is allowed to reach all the way to the nerve. Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected and can even extend though the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone. This is very dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, 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 performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth. A core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth once treated with root canal therapy.

Extractions

Extractions are a last result to treating an infected tooth. Before pulling the tooth, your dentist will give you an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. If the tooth is impacted, the dentist will cut away gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth and then, using forceps, grasp the tooth and gently rock it back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and ligaments that hold it in place. Sometimes, a hard-to-pull tooth must be removed in pieces. Once the tooth has been pulled, a blood clot usually forms in the socket. The dentist will pack a gauze pad into the socket and have you bite down on it to help stop the bleeding. Sometimes the dentist will place a few stitches -- usually self-dissolving -- to close the gum edges over the extraction site.

Sometimes, the blood clot in the socket breaks loose, exposing the bone in the socket. This is a painful condition called dry socket. If this happens, your dentist will likely place a sedative dressing over the socket for a few days to protect it as a new clot forms.

Dentures and Partials

Dentures and Partials are removable appliances used to replace missing teeth. There are several different types of dentures and partials available. There is an adjustment period after dentures or partials are placed and it takes some getting used to but onces adjusted to them function returns to normal. Often implants can be used to further stabilize dentures.


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