General & Cosmetic Dentistry Services
Family Dentist in Milford, DE
When you come in for dental services at Alban Family Dentistry, you can rest assured knowing you are getting professional care in a caring and innovative environment. Our team will assess your individual dental needs and will work with you to find the best treatments possible for you and your family.
A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take between 50 to 60 minutes for adults, and 30 to 40 minutes for kids. Cleanings should be performed every six months (some patients may require 3 or 4 month intervals) to prevent excessive plaque buildup. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A routine dental cleaning should include scaling, root planing and polishing.
Oral Hygiene Care
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth help you look good, feel good and make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being. Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes. First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bond agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. Then the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. As a last step, the composite resin material is shaped and polished to reveal a lustrous finish.
Sealants are used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque. This is not because the person does not brush, but because they are too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time. The dentist or hygienist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.
There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, composite resin and porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best for you, depending on the extent of repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and cost.
Crowns & Bridges
Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged, or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown, also referred to as a cap, is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment.
A bridge is an ideal method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support, hence the name. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.
Nightguards & Athletic Bite Guards
Custom designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may get hit. In addition, these guards protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Nightguards are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite.
If you have decided a guard is right for you, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth which will then be sent to a lab to make a custom fit guard for you. In most cases, you can choose from a variety of colors and styles for your guard. On average, guards last between three and ten years.
A dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth as a result of injury, periodontal disease, or any other reason. A dental implant is a metal post that a dentist or specialist, such as a Periodontist or Oral Surgeon, surgically positions into the jaw. Once in place and bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and can last many years, sometimes indefinitely.. They are also a more favorable approach than bridgework since they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.
To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone structure to support the implant. You must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures available, including partial and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while complete dentures are used to completely replace all teeth. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve your smile!
Tooth whitening is a popular procedure to make teeth whiter and brighter, and therefore more attractive. Bleaching can be used to whiten stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. Either way, tooth whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure ideal for most patients. Our office offers two methods of whitening: in-office whitening and tray whitening.
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling..
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable.
Our office is a completely digital (paperless) dental office. This means all x-rays and charting are made and recorded with the aid of the computer. This technology allows us to maintain your dental records electronically, and cuts down the unnecessary paperwork used with traditional paper charting. Traditional paper charting is difficult to keep standardized from doctor to hygienist to assistant. Even handwriting differences and coding make the charts look different. The computer eliminates this problem by using consistent charting methods that are accurate and precise, making it easy to read your dental chart and see up-to-date information. Digital charting standardizes the charting process so it is clear, easy to understand, and enables us to provide on the most accurate and precise care to our patients. When needed, this method also allows us to quickly and securely share information with your other health care providers.
X-Rays & Digital X-Rays
X-rays are a focused beam of x-ray particles passed through bone which produce an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This provides the familiar black and white images doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems and disease. Without an x-ray of the whole tooth and supporting bone and gum tissues, there would be no way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.
In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using up to 90% less radiation than conventional film x-rays. Using this technology, we are able to take an x-ray of your mouth by using a small sensor which records the image of your teeth and sends it to a computer. The result is a highly detailed image of your mouth that can easily be enhanced to better diagnosis dental concerns and determine the very best treatment for each case.
The dentist performs most of his dental procedures while wearing a pair of unusual looking glasses called surgical telescopes. These powerful glasses have magnifiers on them, allowing the dentist to see fine details that would go unnoticed to the naked eye.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when injury is made to the pulp of the tooth by a large cavity. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth.
Root Canal Treatment
Good oral hygiene should always be practiced since the loss of a single tooth can have major impact upon your oral health and appearance. Although dentists will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there still sometimes necessary occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted.
After careful examination and treatment, the dentist may advise to have a tooth extracted. Before a tooth is removed, the dentist will take an x-ray in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. Based on the degree of difficulty, we may refer you to a specialist called an Oral Surgeon.
A certain amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected following an extraction, which can be minimized with a pain killer and ice packs applied to the face for 15 minutes at a time. After a routine extraction, discomfort should lessen within three days to two weeks. If you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever, call our office immediately.