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General Treatment

Dental Exam | Routine Teeth Cleaning | Fillings | Tooth Extractions | Digital X-rays | Root Canals | Bonding

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Dental Exam

When you arrive for your first visit, please be prepared to complete all insurance and health information forms that will allow us to begin your dental treatment. We will ask you to fill out several forms that will get you acquainted with our office.

Your initial exam will last approximately one hour. Your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, specifically looking for any potential problems. Depending on the patient, X-rays may be taken. If there are any signs of decay or other problems, your dentist will recommend treatment options and make notes of any conditions that may need future observation. Oral hygiene instructions will also be provided, along with suggestions to help you care for your teeth. In many cases, we will also clean your teeth on this visit.


Routine Teeth Cleanings

Every 6 months, you should schedule a routine dental cleaning. During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque from your teeth, especially from places where your brush can't reach, such as underneath the gum line and in-between teeth. We will then clean your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect your teeth once you leave the office.

Fluoride is a relatively recent but important advancement in dental and oral health. Studies consistently show that a moderate but consistent exposure of teeth to fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, and helps prevent future decay.

If you are due for your dental cleaning, please call our office to schedule an appointment.


Fillings

The concept of a "filling" is replacing and restoring your tooth structure that is damaged due to decay or fracture with a material. We offer both amalgam (metal) and composite (tooth colored) fillings to help restore your tooth. The location, type of cavity and patient expectations will help determine which type of filling would be most suitable for you.

Silver Amalgam Fillings – Metal fillings (also known as mercury fillings) are made from strong and durable materials that can withstand the forces applied to the teeth while chewing. They are not made for aesthetics and can make the surrounding tooth structure appear discolored. Generally, silver amalgam fillings are used for the back teeth as they are more durable for the chewing surfaces of your teeth.

Composite White Fillings – Tooth colored fillings are ideal for patients wishing to maintain the natural beauty of their smile. Composite fillings are closely matched to the natural color of your teeth and bond well to the tooth. While not as strong as metal fillings, tooth colored fillings are durable and should last up to 6-12 years. Composite fillings are usually used on the front teeth, offering optimal aesthetics.

We will work with each patient individually to determine which type of filling would be best for you.


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Tooth Extractions

General Extractions

An extraction is the complete removal of a tooth. Extractions are sometimes necessary if a primary tooth is preventing the normal eruption of a permanent tooth, if the tooth has suffered extensive tooth decay or trauma that cannot be repaired, if the patient has gum disease, or if the tooth is impacted (usually the wisdom teeth). Depending on the complexity of the case, an extraction can be performed surgically or non-surgically. A mild anesthesia is used to ensure you or your child is as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.

Wisdom Teeth

Your third molars are more commonly called "wisdom teeth." Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.

In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.

To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, we have the equipment and training needed to perform such extractions, with an absolute minimum of discomfort. Ask our staff for more information regarding tooth extractions if you feel you may need one.


Digital X-rays

We offer one of the latest technological advances in dentistry with digital radiography, also known as digital X-rays. A sensor is placed in the mouth, and a computer generates an image in seconds as opposed to the general 4-6 minute wait time for images taken on dental film. These X-rays can also be enhanced on the computer and enlarged.

Not only are they friendly to the environment, they are much safer than traditional X-rays. Digital radiographs reduce radiation exposure by 90 percent!


Root Canals

A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth, reshapes the canal and replaces it with strengthening filler.

A cavity is the result of superficial decay of the enamel of the tooth. Left long enough, this decay can burrow into the deeper reaches of the tooth, causing extensive damage to tooth structure. When the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling, dentists can perform a root canal (or endodontics), preserving the tooth and retaining its original integrity; thereby, saving a tooth that in the past would have to have been pulled.

This procedure involves:

  • The patient undergoes anesthesia.
  • A dental dam is used to isolate the tooth.
  • The tooth is opened to allow for removal of infected or dead dental pulp.
  • The tooth is comprehensively cleaned, including any cracks and canals.
  • With special tools, the doctor reshapes the canals.
  • The tooth is filled again with cutting edge biocompatible filling material.
  • A temporary covering is used to cover the access opening.
  • Patients must see their regular dentist quickly for a permanent restoration of the tooth.

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Bonding

Bonding is a common solution for:

  • Fixing or repairing chipped or cracked teeth
  • Reducing unsightly gaps or spaces between teeth
  • Hiding discoloration or faded areas on the tooth's surface

Often, composite bonding is used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.

Composite bonding has many advantages:

  • It is a quick process, which typically lasts less than one hour.
  • It does not reduce the tooth's original structure and is relatively inexpensive.
  • Composite resins come in many different shades and provide better matching of shades to the natural color of your teeth.
  • Composite bonds, however, are not as durable and long-lasting as veneers and crowns and may need to be re-touched or replaced in the future.

Composite bonds stain more easily and therefore require proper care and regular cleaning. In order to ensure the longest possible duration of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily. Common staining elements include coffee, tea, tobacco, foods and candy.

Badlands Dental

  • Badlands Dental - 389 15th St. W., Dickinson, ND 58601 Phone: 701-483-1385

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