Services

At Oasis Dental Care we offer a wide range of procedures to keep your teeth healthy, and offer solutions that work best for you whether it be a tooth ache, sore gums, a cavity, or other issues. We provide a clean and comfortable environment to help put you at ease.  Trust in our skilled staff and we will give you good reason to smile!

Cleaning And Prevention

Hygienist preparing for cleaning

A typical exam includes the following:

Examination of diagnostic X-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your cleaning appointment will include:

  • Removal of calculus (tartar)- Gently scraped away with dental tools
  • Removal of plaque – This nearly invisible  stickly film will be washed away
  • Teeth polishing – Stains and additional plaque will be polished away
sets of teeth X-rays

Dental radiographs (X-rays) are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam.  Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan.  Without X-rays, problem areas may go undetected.

Dental X-rays may reveal:

  • Abscesses or cysts.
  • Bone loss.
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
  • Decay between the teeth.
  • Developmental abnormalities.
  • Poor tooth and root positions.
  • Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.

Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!

Illustration of tooth before and after sealant

A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth.  More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves.  Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay.  A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.

Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.

Reasons for sealants:

  • Children and teenagers – As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.
  • Adults – Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions.
  • Baby teeth – Occasionally done if teeth have deep grooves or depressions and child is cavity prone.
Poster of big white smile and red lips

Teeth whitening is not permanent.  A touch-up may be needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.

What does teeth whitening involve?
This type of teeth whitening usually requires two visits.  At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear, plastic, trays.

At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary.  The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening.  It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.

Restorations

A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc.  The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today.  Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and look better for front teeth or other visible areas of the mouth.

How are composite fillings placed?

Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment.  While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as needed.  The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed.  If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection.  The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

Dr. Fu and dental assitant with patient

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 or other types of restorations.

Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular.  They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.  Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color of your teeth, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful smile.

What is the process for getting a crown involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown.  A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.  Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

Matching color for a crown on tooth
Making a dental crown

A denture is a removable dental appliance and a replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue.  They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.

There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures.  Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.  A partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.

A complete denture can be either “conventional” or “immediate.”  A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed (usually takes 4 to 6 weeks).  During this time, the patient will go without teeth.  Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process.  Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.

Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.

hands-holding-denture

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.

There are several types of bridges.  You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case.  The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal.  This type of 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.

Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years; however, they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

Reasons for a fixed bridge:

  • Fill space of missing teeth.
  • Maintain facial shape.
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
  • Restore chewing and speaking ability.
  • Restore your smile.
  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance.
hands-fixing-dental-bridge

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 living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

What does root canal therapy involve?

A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).

While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.  An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria.  If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.

At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials.  A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth.  In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed.  This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.

Illustration of root canal treatment

Orthodontics

Orthodontics is one of many dental specialties.  The word “orthodontics” is derived from the Greek words orthos, meaning proper or straight and odons meaning teeth.  Orthodontics is specifically concerned with diagnosing and treating tooth misalignment and irregularity in the jaw area.  Initially, orthodontic treatments were geared toward the treatment of teens and pre-teens, but these days around 30 percent of orthodontic patients are adults.

There are many advantages to well-aligned teeth, including easier cleaning, better oral hygiene, clearer speech and a more pleasant smile.  Though orthodontic treatment can be effective at any age, the American Dental Association suggests that an orthodontic assessment should be performed around the age of seven.  The earlier orthodontic treatment begins, the more quickly the problem can be successfully resolved.

What problems can be treated with orthodontics?
Here are some of the common conditions treated with orthodontics:

  • Anteroposterior deviations – The discrepancy between a pair of closed jaws is known as an anteroposterior discrepancy or deviation.  An example of such a discrepancy would be an overbite (where the upper teeth are further forward than the lower teeth), or an underbite (where the lower teeth are further forward then the upper teeth).
  • Overcrowding – Overcrowding is a common orthodontic problem.  It occurs when there is an insufficient space for the normal growth and development of adult teeth.
  • Aesthetic problems – A beautiful straight smile may be marred by a single misaligned tooth. This tooth can be realigned with ease and accuracy by the orthodontist.  Alternatively, orthodontists can also work to reshape and restructure the lips, jaw or the face.
smiling-girls-one-braces-on-teeth

Some children may be able to benefit from having braces, even partial ones, at an early age. They can be used in treating crossbites and preventing damage to supporting structures.

Palatal Expander. This is used to treat severe crossbite, when the upper teeth are abnormally located on the inside of the lower teeth, in the reverse relationship than normal.

Headgear. This can be used as a treatment for buck teeth or severely protruding front teeth.

Face Mask. This is a treatment that can be used for an underbite, where the upper jaw is trapped inside the lower jaw, in the reverse relationship than normal. Additionally, the orthodontist may perform extractions if there is severe crowding taking place.

All in all, seeing an orthodontist can help to ensure that your child will have crooked teeth straightened, and that erupting teeth will be guided into place. They will also watch to make sure that any bite problems are addressed.

teeth-braces-adjusting-wire

Some adults decide later in life to get braces, and today there are many options as well as health benefits for straightening their teeth.

Correcting the alignment of the teeth and the bite can have significant long term benefits. The cleansibility of the teeth, the long term wear, the function, the periodontal status, and of course, the esthetics can all be improved with orthodontic treatment. In most cases, the treatment is elective, however, in some cases the treatment is necessary before major dental work is started.

woman holding clear retainer in her mouth

The popular brand Invisalign is not actually braces, but a series of clear aligners that sequentially move the teeth. Regular braces are attached to your teeth and cannot be removed. These “fixed” appliances place a constant force on your teeth by placing a wire in the braces.

A system like Invisaling uses aligners, clear plastic shells that are manufactured so that each moves the crooked teeth just a little at a time. Aligners are worn full-time except during eating and brushing. Treatment time depends upon the severity of your condition.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

While dental implants are normally used to address orthodontic or other medical problems, many people are increasingly turning to them for cosmetic reasons as well. In addition to filling any unsightly gaps where teeth are missing, dental implants are also more durable and comfortable than other dental devices, such as dentures.

Installing Cosmetic Dental Implants

To begin the dental implant process, an artificial tooth root is placed in the bone socket. After this, the patient must wait one to three months for this new root to heal and fuse with the jawbone before the procedure can continue. Once the healing process has been completed, dentists will install an abutment—which is used as a connector between the tooth root and new tooth. Finally, the tooth replacement, known as a crown, is bonded to the abutment.

illustration-dental-implant-mental-base

Every patient is unique, but in general, wisdom teeth grow under the gums may become impacted when there are changes in the mouth. When these teeth are removed it is called an extraction.

Some reasons for removal include:

  • pain
  • infection
  • cysts
  • tumors
  • damage to adjacent teeth
  • gum disease
  • tooth decay (if it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth)

Your dentist or specialist may also recommend removal to prevent problems or for others reasons, such as when removal is part of an orthodontic, restorative or periodontal treatment plan.

wisdom-tooth-extraction

Bone grafting is often closely associated with dental restorations such as bridge work and dental implants. In the majority of cases, the success of a restoration procedure can hinge on the height, depth, and width of the jawbone at the implant site. When the jawbone has receded or sustained significant damage, the implant(s) cannot be supported on this unstable foundation and bone grafting is usually recommended for the ensuing restoration.

There are several major factors that affect jaw bone volume:

  • Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease can affect and permanently damage the jaw bone that supports the teeth. Affected areas progressively worsen until the teeth become unstable.
  • Tooth Extraction – Studies have shown that patients who have experienced a tooth extraction subsequently lose 40-60% of the bone surrounding the extraction site during the following three years. Loss of bone results in what is called a “bone defect”.
  • Injuries and Infections – Dental injuries and other physical injuries resulting from a blow to the jaw can cause the bone to recede. Infections can also cause the jaw bone to recede in a similar way.

There are essentially two basic ways in which bone grafting can positively impact the health and stability of the teeth:

Jaw Stabilization – Bone grafting stabilizes and helps restore the jaw foundation for restorative or implant surgery. Deformities can also be corrected and the restructuring of the bone can provide added support.

Preservation – Bone grafting can be used to limit or prevent bone recession following a tooth extraction, periodontal disease, or other invasive processes.

side view of human skull and jaw