At the practice of Craig J. Plahn, DDS and Diana L. Plahn, DDS, we offer a variety of services to care for your mouth. If you have any questions or would like more information on how we can care for your teeth and mouth, please contact us today.
Initial Oral Examination
Whenever we have new patients, we start out with a thorough examination and radiographs so that we can evaluate your overall dental health. Then, we will talk you through your options so that we can give you a beautiful smile, as quickly and painlessly as possible.
At our office, we do professional cleanings, fillings, root canals, and much more. We also do cosmetic dental procedures including whitening, implants, bridges, and more to give you a healthy and happy smile!
The Preventive Program
Good dental preventative care is really important to ensure a healthy mouth, including your gums and teeth.
It is important to brush your teeth at least twice daily to help remove plaque and food particles that get stuck to your teeth. It is recommended that you brush your teeth for two minutes (or longer), though most people rush through this time. You need to make sure that you reach every side of each tooth, including the inside and outside. To help keep your breath fresh, you should also brush your tongue. Then, you can begin flossing.
It is recommended by the American Dental Association that you should floss your teeth at least once daily. Flossing is done to remove plaque that gets stuck in between your teeth. It also gets rid of any plaque that your toothbrush missed (or can’t get to)! If you don’t floss, you will have more problems with tartar, cavities, and even gum disease.
Dental fillings are used to fill cavities and repair cracked or broken teeth. Fillings can be done with gold, porcelain, or silver amalgam, but is most commonly done with materials called composite resin fillings that are designed to match the color of your teeth.
Additional steps are required for tooth-colored fillings because it requires multiple layers and a special light to dry and harden the area around the filling.
To fill a tooth, a local anesthetic is applied to numb the area around the tooth. A laser or air abrasion instrument will be used to remove the decayed area and your dentist will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. In some cases, your dentist may apply a liner for your tooth called a glass ionomer to help protect the tooth and nerve before the tooth is filled. After your filling is complete, most dentists will polish the tooth to make it feel smooth and natural.
Crowns & Caps
A tooth can lose its normal shape and size for a variety of reasons. A crown covers your tooth to help restore its original shape and size. Crowns can also be used to make teeth stronger and look better.
Crowns have a variety of uses. In some cases that require a large filling, there isn’t enough tooth remaining to keep the filling in place. A crown can strengthen the tooth and hold the filling. Crowns can also protect teeth that are weak, or help fix ones that are broken. Discolored or misshaped teeth can be covered by a crown, as can dental implants.
Bridges can solve the issue of missing teeth. Similar to dentures, bridges replace gaps in your smile with artificial teeth. Bridges can be made from a variety of materials including porcelain, gold, and alloys.
Bridges can be removable or fixed. Removable bridges can be taken out and cleaned by patients, whereas fixed bridges have to be removed by a dentist. Bridges can be implanted to the jaw or under the gums. With so many options, it is important to consult with your dentist about which type of bridge is best for you.
Removable dental replacements, or dentures, are a common service that we provide for our clients. We provide both complete dentures (for when all teeth are missing) and partial dentures (for when some teeth are missing).
There are both conventional and immediate dentures. Conventional dentures are made after the teeth have been removed and are placed 8 to 12 weeks after removal. Immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed.
Pediatric Dental Care
We are proud to specialize in pediatric dentistry. Our entire staff is very good with children. We know and understand how children think so that we can start them off right. We want them to associate the dentist’s office as a good place, instead of being scared. We take our time with each patient so that they have an enjoyable visit.
Our dentists (and entire staff) understand the importance of good oral health even as young children. They have specialized training with primary teeth. They are here to help protect and restore children’s teeth so that they can speak and eat easily, as well as having a wonderful smile. They understand the growth and development of children’s teeth so that they can start their oral health off correctly.
One of the most common desires patients have is whiter teeth. When considering your options it is important to consult your dentist to make sure you have all the facts and understand how they may affect your teeth and mouth.
Many people think the coloring of teeth is due to plaque or dirt. But a variety of factors can affect the color of your teeth including food, drink, tobacco, age, injury, and medications. Understanding what is causing the discoloration is important to properly whiten your teeth.
Veneers are thin shells intended to cover the front side of teeth to hide stains, chips, decay, or irregularities. A dental technician uses a model created by a dentist to make a custom shell out of specials materials.
Because veneers require removing some enamel, they are usually permanent. Your dentist will typically recommend avoiding food and drink that will stain your veneers. Veneers can chip or crack, but overall the results are worthwhile and many people are thrilled with their new smile.
An extraction is performed to remove a tooth, whether because of disease, crowding, or damage. When extractions are required, the area around the tooth will be numbed and your dentist will remove the tooth. A small amount of bleeding is normal, as your mouth will replace the removed tooth root by forming a blood clot in the area.
Caring for your mouth after an extraction is very important. Your dentist will outline how you should care for the area of the extraction. It is important to allow your mouth time to heal, so avoid activities like smoking, drinking through a straw, or eating foods that may aggravate the area.
We are proud to offer dental implants for our patients. Dental implants are roots placed in your mouth for either permanent teeth to be placed on or ones that you can remove.
Dental implants are done to improve a patient’s smile and usually their self esteem. Having missing or bad teeth can be quite embarrassing. Dental implants also can be done to improve oral health. Many people find it easier to eat with dental implants. Their speech can also be improved. Dental implants are also more comfortable because they are made to become permanent.
It can be beneficial to use a guard, or covering, to protect your teeth from grinding while sleeping. Similar to how a mouthguard protects teeth during sports, this layer prevents damage to the teeth that can occur naturally. There are a wide variety of different types of mouthguards, ranging from pre-formed pieces to ones that are custom fitted to your teeth and jaws. Some of these can even be formed at home through a boil-and-bite process.
Typically these mouthguards cover your upper teeth only, but in certain instances they are used for the lower teeth as well. Grinding of teeth can be a serious problem that does major damage to your teeth, so wearing a nightguard is an effective way to prevent this damage.
A root canal is a procedure used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. Although normal tooth decay can become increasingly worse and eventually lead to a root canal, often times blunt trauma can cause the tooth to die as well.
Your dentist will remove the dead nerve from the tooth and then seal it off to prevent another infection or abscess from forming around the tooth. If the nerve is not removed the infection will continue to climb deeper into your gums, often causing swelling, pain, and discomfort.
People who have sleep apnea never get the rest that they deserve. They have trouble breathing which constantly wakes them up throughout the night. Many people who have sleep apnea have multiple health problems. They are always exhausted. Being tired can affect people at home and at work. They may be miserable and have trouble concentrating. Sleep apnea can also affect their blood pressure, making them more likely to have strokes. There is a big risk with anesthesia since they have trouble breathing.
There are some devices that can be helpful with sleep apnea. They help patients by keeping their airways open at night. There is also a procedure that can be performed if you have extra tissue in your throat. It reshapes your throat so that you can breathe much better.
Laser dentistry is not very common, though there are many benefits to using laser during procedures. Wounds from the surgery heal much faster because there is less damage to the surrounding tissue. Lasers minimize bleeding and post-surgical bacterial infections. Often, anesthesia and sutures are not needed after procedures when a laser is used.
Lasers can be used for many different dental procedures. It is an efficient way to find cavities. It can be used to fill them without the need for anesthesia. It can be used to remold gums that grow up and over a patient’s teeth. Many dentists use a laser for dental surgery, like cutting out extra tissue in the mouth, to remove tumors, and much more.
Periodontal disease is a serious issue that affects many people’s lives. Luckily our experienced periodontists are capable of treating periodontal disease in our patients, a field in which they have rigorous training and education.
The cleaning of calculus, or tartar, is a major component of treating periodontal disease. However, changes in the patient’s behavior are just as important. Making sure your dental hygiene habits are up to par is critical in the treatment of periodontal disease.
Fluoride treatments can be completed at your routine dental appointment. They are painless and quick, taking only a few minutes. When getting treated, your dentist will apply gel, foam, or varnish on your teeth. Treatment works best if it is done one to four times a year.
You may wonder what else you need to do in addition to getting regular fluoride treatments. The American Dental Association recommends drinking fluoridated water and using a toothpaste with fluoride.