Dallas / Fort Worth / Houston Dental Services
Jefferson Dental provides the following services to help you and your family enjoy a lifetime of good oral health.
- Initial & Regular Exams
- Treatment for Gum Disease/Periodontal Disease
- Professional Cleaning
- Restorative Dentistry
- Pediatric Dental Health
Your initial oral examination includes a visual examination, charting, periodontal probing, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. We will also take x-rays, which includes x-rays for proper diagnosis of the anterior (front) and posterior (back) teeth as well as the bite-wing x-ray series for proper diagnosis of proximal decay of posterior teeth.
Once the examination is complete you will be presented with the complete findings of the exam and any potential diagnoses. You will receive a comprehensive list of your dental problems. At the same time potential and possible solutions will be identified and discussed. The goal of treatment is to produce the most stable and durable results, thus saving you time, money and aggravation, in the long term
What is it?
Periodontal disease (commonly referred to as gum disease) is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. It is a chronic bacterial infection that causes the gums to become inflamed. Periodontal therapy, such as root scaling and planning, treats the disease process by removing bacterial plaque, calculus and toxins
Periodontal disease is comprised of two main categories: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gingiva (gums). It is indicated by swelling, redness and bleeding of the gums when they are brushed or probed. Most people – probably 90% or more have had gingivitis at some time during their lives.
Periodontitis is often the silent destroyer. Gum inflammation spreads so that the bone which supports the teeth deteriorates. In its early stages this deterioration is unknown to the patient. There is no pain and the surface signs are similar to gingivitis. Over time there is deepening of the pockets around the teeth with gum recession, and eventual loosening of the teeth when enough bones is lost.
Both gingivitis and periodontitis are caused by bacterial plaque. It is important to remove the harmful plaque on a daily basis through effective flossing, brushing and maintenance of good dental hygiene. Other factors can contribute to the progression of periodontal disease. Smoking has been shown to have an adverse effect on periodontal health. In women, changes in hormone levels can increase gingival inflammation. Some women experience pregnancy gingivitis – severe inflammation of the gums – due to the overgrowth of certain bacteria which feed on hormones secreted in the fluid from the gingival.
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory reaction to the plaque which collects on your teeth and under your guns. As the plaque collects on your teeth, the mass absorbs the minerals in the saliva. Over time, the soft plaque hardens into dental calculus, or tartar. Calculus provides an environment which enables plaque to thrive. When allowed to grow unimpeded, it will eventually become an irritant to the gum tissues and triggers an inflammatory response. As the inflammatory response continues the destruction spreads from the soft tissue of the gums to the alveolar bone which supports the teeth. As this bone is destroyed the teeth may become loose and change position. When this occurs the periodontitis has progressed to an advanced stage.
You may be able to detect some of the signs of periodontal disease yourself – these are;
- Bleeding gums
- Redness of the gums – which should normally be pink
- Bad breath
- Mobile teeth
The most common being the “pink toothbrush syndrome”. This indicates gums which bleed when you brush your teeth. Many people assume that a little bleeding is natural, usually because their gums have always bled when they cleaned their teeth. Bleeding is a sign of inflammation but it does not signify the extent of the problem. Gum redness and bad breath are also not a measure of the severity but they are significant warning signs. When your teeth start to drift around – you can be certain that the problem is at the severe stage.
If you think you have periodontal disease a visit to your dentist is in order. A thorough examination will include measuring periodontal pockets with a probe. Gingivitis is marked by bleeding with gentle probing. Periodontitis is marked by probing depths of 4 millimeters or more.
First and foremost, the plaque must be thoroughly removed on a daily basis for inflammation to be controlled. Good brushing and flossing technique are important. Scaling and root planning – “Deep cleaning” – scraping your teeth and scraping under the gums – constitutes the basic therapeutic approach to treating periodontal disease. This can be done with a hand tools and an ultrasonic cleaner. Scaling and root planning may require anesthesia due to the potential discomfort. Once the scaling is complete the teeth are polished to remove any stains and loose plaque. Polishing with a rotating rubber cap and a mild abrasive or “Basic cleaning” can be effective in treating mild gingivitis but is not effective in treating periodontitis.
You should have an Adult Prophy or “Basic cleaning” at least twice a year. If it has been over a year since your last cleaning, possible treatment may include either Periodontal Scaling (deeper) or Root Planning and Scaling (requires anesthetic).
Scaling and root planning – “Deep cleaning” – scraping your teeth and scraping under the gums – constitutes the basic therapeutic approach to treating periodontal disease. This can be done with a hand tools and an ultrasonic cleaner. Scaling and root planning require anesthesia due to the potential discomfort. Once the scaling is complete the teeth are polished to remove any stains and loose plaque.
Polishing with a rotating rubber cap and a mild abrasive or “Basic cleaning” can be effective in treating mild gingivitis but is not effective in treating periodontitis.
Sealants are helpful in reducing dental decay and caries especially in children. Sealants are a type of composite resin plastic which is bonded to the chewing surfaces of the molars. The sealant will prevent decay from gaining a foothold in the grooves of the molar chewing teeth. Sealants are recommended for teeth with deep grooves which are difficult to keep clean. Make certain you ask your JDC Dentist if sealants are indicated for your child
- Repair, improve and enhance your teeth and oral health.
In cases where decay has progressed to the point where it is close to reaches the pulp in the center of the tooth – this encroachment may present as a toothache.
If the decay is removed and pulp has not been physically entered with the dentist’s drill, the tooth may be fixed with a conventional restoration (filling). If the decay extends into the pulp, or if there is evidence that the pulp is damaged or dead, endodontic (root canal) therapy is needed to preserve the tooth.
Root canal (endodontic) treatment treats the soft inside tissue of the tooth known as pulp.
During root canal treatment, an opening is made in the top of the tooth and the inflamed or infected pulp is carefully removed. The inside of the root canal is cleaned and shaped and then filled with a bio-compatible material and sealed.
The general rule is that there is one canal for each tooth root – although accessory canals may sometimes exist and also need to be treated.
Over time endodontically treated can become brittle. The standard treatment for an endodontically treated tooth is to have the missing parts of the tooth rebuilt.
Sometimes a post is placed in the canal to aid in retention of the build-up. Often a temporary filling is placed until the dentist can place a full coverage crown on the tooth to prevent breakage and to restore it to full function.
Teeth which have been endodontically treated are not “dead” only pulpless. The periodontal ligament which holds the tooth to the jawbone is still quite alive. While the pulpless tooth will not have pain of pulpal origin, there is possibility that pain from the periodontal ligament. This pain is usually associated with abnormal force on the tooth, or occurs if the root of the tooth fractures.
Crowns can be used to attach a bridge or protect a weak tooth from breaking. Crowns are created from a wide range of materials, which impacts the wearability and longevity of the restoration.
Crowns are used if the decay is so large that an amalgam or composite filling will not suffice.
Crowns cover the cusps of the tooth and hold the remaining tooth surfaces together
A dental crown covers the entire tooth with the crown margins close to under the gingival margin.
Crowns are made by grinding and shaping the tooth. Once the tooth is properly shaped an impression is made. The crown is then constructed in the lab.
It is then fitted, adjusted and cemented into place.
A crown should always feel like it belongs to you. At JDC we aim to get the occlusion right so that it feels comfortable and normal.
Crowns can be (a) made entirely of porcelain – the new generation of porcelain materials have more strength than their predecessors and superb aesthetic properties or (b) are constructed of a substructure of gold or non-precious metal with porcelain baked onto the surface of the metal. The metal provides strength while the porcelain matches the shade and contour for the teeth.
Crowns are often called “permanent” restorations. Permanent does not mean eternal. They are subject to extremes of temperature and chewing forces. Over time materials may wear down or fail and restoration may need to be replaced. The tooth-to-restoration margin is also subject to decay if plaque is allowed to accumulate
With dentures and partials, you can replace missing teeth to benefit your eating and speaking ability and enhance your appearance.
There are two ways to replace teeth as long as other teeth remain in the same arch.
The most stable replacement is the (1) fixed partial denture, or bridge.
- A bridge uses crowns as the anchors on the remaining stable teeth on either side of the space, with the replacement tooth attached to these anchors.
- When properly executed a bridge feels very similar to natural teeth.
- Bridges are generally made of porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns or are all gold or gold alloy.
The second option for tooth replacement when some teeth are remaining is the (2) removeable partial denture. This type of prosthesis uses some of the remaining natural teeth as anchors but is removeable. The removeable partial denture will restore chewing function and stability but not to the degree of a fixed partial denture, or bridge.
- Sometimes the removable partial denture is the only alternative if the there are not enough stable teeth to support a bridge.
- Removable partial dentures must be evaluated periodically. Over time, the residual jawbone may continue to resorb, changing the underlying support for the partial denture. Subsequently, more foce may be placed on the anchor teeth, loosening them.
- Anchor teeth for partials are also more difficult to keep clean, this makes them more susceptible to dental decay or periodontal disease.
The final step in the replacement of teeth occurs when a patient is completely edentulous (toothless) in either of one or both arches. The removeable complete denture is the basic option in either case.
- The replacement teeth are embedded in a pink acrylic denture which is placed against the residual jaw ridge. The stability of the denture is dependent on the amount of ridge remaining, the proper contours of the denture and hydrostatic pressure created.
- A maxillary (upper arch) denture is relatively stable. The mandibular (lower arch) can be much less stable due to the shape of the mandible (jawbone) and the decrease in surface area on which the denture rests.
- Bottom line. If given a choice, it is important to do anything you can to save at least some of your mandibular (lower arch) teeth.
There are many options available today for both children and adults in need of orthodontic treatment for malocclusion of the teeth and jaws. When teeth and the jaws do not properly meet, the problem can become more symptomatic than just appearances! Painful joint problems can arise, tooth and gingival issues can develop with teeth that are too crooked to properly clean, and certain digestive issues often stem from poorly chewed food. Orthodontics treats and prevents all of these issues with small appliances and devices designed to straighten teeth and correctly align the jaws.
At Jefferson Dental Clinics, we encourage parents to consider orthodontic treatment for children in the growing stages of adolescence, between the ages of 11 and 13, when teeth are easier to move. Younger children with specific types of malocclusions may require an initial phase of treatment (usually an appliance or teeth spacers) a few years before braces are placed on the teeth.
Orthodontic therapy is not for children only. Significant numbers of adults are also benefiting from orthodontic treatment. The skilled Orthodontists at JDC effectively communicate with adult patients and discuss their treatment options based on the patients’ individual concerns and needs. Adult patients are thoroughly informed of their treatment plan every step of the way, so they feel truly involved in the metamorphosis of their smile!
At JDC we always put our patients first and constantly strive to deliver the highest quality services in the most affordable way. Our skilled Orthodontists use the GAC In-Ovation-R self-ligating bracket. This high quality bracket may cost us a little more than the appliances offered by many other orthodontists but we believe it has significant advantages – the GAC In-Ovation-R is easy to place with a torque in base design, strong and durable it has superior reliability and provides superb rotational control. This results in a high quality treatment, gentle wires with fewer and easier wire changes for patients and overall reduced treatment times.
The best part for the patient who chooses to have their Orthodontic treatment at JDC is that if you have Medicaid you will get all the advantages of a superior bracket and treatment at no cost to you. If you have Insurance or are a cash paying patient the cost to you will be very affordable compared to other providers who do not use the same bracket. Call or email us to hear about our very affordable rates.
Tooth decay (dental caries) affects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease. Untreated tooth decay causes pain and infections that may lead to problems; such as eating, speaking, playing, and learning.
The good news is that tooth decay and other oral diseases that can affect children are preventable. The combination of dental sealants and fluoride has the potential to nearly eliminate tooth decay in school-age children.
What Parents and Caregivers Can Do
Here are some things you can do to ensure good oral health for your child:
- Encourage your children to eat regular nutritious meals and avoid frequent between-meal snacking.
- Protect your child’s teeth with fluoride.
- Talk to your JDC dentist about dental sealants. They protect teeth from decay.
- If you are pregnant, get prenatal care and eat a healthy diet. The diet should include folic acid to prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord and possibly cleft lip/palate.
Children's Oral Health
- The oral health of children has improved significantly over the past few decades.
- Today most American children enjoy excellent oral health, but a significant subset suffers a high level of oral disease. The most advanced disease is found primarily among children living in poverty, some racial/ethnic minority populations, disabled children, and children with HIV infection.
- We know enough about health promotion and disease prevention measures to improve the oral health and well-being of all children.
- Tooth decay remains one of the most common diseases of childhood – 5 times as common as asthma and 7 times as common as hay fever.
- More than half of children aged 5-9 have had at least one cavity or filling; 78 percent of 17-year-olds have experienced tooth decay.
- By age 17, more than 7 percent of children have lost at least one permanent tooth to decay.
- Each year, 8,000 babies are born with cleft lip and/or cleft palate, making these among the most common birth defects. Cleft lip and cleft palate interfere with normal appearance, eating, and speech.
- Injuries to children, intentional and non-intentional, often involve trauma to the head, neck, and mouth. The leading causes of oral and head injuries are sports, violence, falls, and motor vehicle crashes.
- Tobacco-related oral lesions are common in teenagers who use spit (smokeless) tobacco. The lesions occur in 35 percent of snuff users and 20 percent of chewing tobacco users.
- One in four American children are born into poverty (annual income of ,000 or less for a family of four). Children and adolescents living in poverty suffer twice as much tooth decay as their more affluent peers, and their disease is more likely to go untreated.
- Children from families without medical insurance are 2.5 times less likely than insured children to receive dental care. Children from families without dental insurance are 3 times more likely than insured children to have unmet dental needs.
- For every child without medical insurance, there are 2.6 who lack dental insurance.
- Fewer than one in five Medicaid-covered children had a preventive dental visit during a recent year-long study.
- The daily reality for children with untreated oral disease is often persistent pain, inability to eat comfortably or chew well, embarrassment at discolored and damaged teeth, and distraction from play and learning.
- More than 51 million school hours are lost each year because of dental-related illness.
Contact one of our locations today
to make an appointment at one of the Jefferson Dental Clinics
or call us today at 1-877-801-9943