The friendly, caring and knowledgeable Dentists and Staff at Mogollon Family Dentistry are focused on helping you keep your teeth and gums healthy at the lowest possible rate.
Dr. Jeffery D. Andersen is available to provide dental treatment and services to you as described below.
Mogollon Family Dentistry highly recommends that patients see Dr. Andersen at least twice a year for a check-up and cleaning. For the majority of patients who visit us, two visits per year is a workable schedule, but patients with gum disease may require more frequent visits. This would also include patients who have a predisposition or tendency to get cavities or plaque buildup.
When you come to our practice for your routine visit, you will receive a cleaning, tooth polishing, prevention and care instructions. Cleaning will involve removing any plaque buildup from around your teeth, which gathers over time, especially in places that are hard to brush or floss. If not physically removed by a dentist or dental hygienist, plaque can lead to cavities or disease. Regular removal of any build up is the only way to deal with plaque and prevent later problems. While daily brushing and flossing are necessary, they just aren’t enough.
Based on your examination, any needed x-rays and treatment recommendations will be given during your checkup as well. X-rays can help a dentist determine if there are any problem areas that need to be addressed and lets him see below the surface to anticipate issues. Your checkup is also the time to address any pain or problems you have been experiencing. Be honest with your dentist about issues with chewing, swallowing, sleeping, breathing, or other oral irregularities. The sooner these are addressed, the faster it can be taken care of.
It is very important to perform regular check-ups at least twice a year to allow your dentist to look for problems that you might not be able to see or feel yourself. These regular check-ups prevent such problems from becoming a larger issue down the line. Your doctor can also detect the beginnings of tooth decay and provide a treatment plan to resolve it before it is too late, or harder to deal with.
Remember that certain conditions such as stress or even illness can affect the health of your mouth and your overall well-being. In such cases, it might be recommended by your doctor to make more than two visits a year. Talk to your doctor and see what works best for your particular dental state of health.
Tooth-Colored Restorations (Dental Fillings)
If a natural-looking smile is important to you, Dr. Andersen can now repair and restore your teeth with tooth-colored fillings, inlays, onlays, crowns and veneers that when placed look just like your teeth.
You may remember the days when fillings were made with a metal mixture, leaving visible, dark colored spots on your teeth. These have been used for hundreds of years to treat tooth decay and fill in cavities. However, a more modern approach gives you a filling that mirrors your own teeth and feels more natural from day to day.
Also known as dental fillings, tooth colored restorations are a way to help stop tooth decay from causing sufficient damage to warrant a tooth having to be pulled. It’s important that fillings are placed soon after detection of the decay to stop any further damage to the tooth and surrounding gums.
Made of a complex composite of plastic and zirconia/silica, tooth-colored restorations bond to your tooth, helping prevent any filling leaks or chances of any cracking or breaking of the tooth. Many patients feel more comfortable and confident with these tooth-colored restorations because they look and feel like your actual teeth. When you smile or open your mouth wide, you can barely notice the filling, if you can see it at all.
Tooth-colored restorations also function like your natural teeth and are ninety to ninety-five percent as strong as a healthy tooth whereas silver fillings are only forty to forty-five percent as strong. As you chew, talk, or feel the filling with your teeth, you will likely not notice a difference between the tooth with the filling and the surrounding teeth.
When your decayed tooth needs more than a filling but less than a crown to repair it, Dr. Andersen will use either an inlay or an onlay to bring your tooth back to a healthy state. In this case, there will be more of the composite material exposed on the surface of the tooth, making a natural-looking compound even more important.
Composite Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are unique dental restoration processes used to repair damaged teeth and prevent further tooth decay. Although similar, they each serve a particular role in restoring teeth to natural, healthy forms.
Inlays are used when the decay or damage is within the indented top surface (cusp) of a tooth. This is a smaller area to work in and inlays tend to be confined to that small area. Think of the tooth as a small cup and inlays are restorations done “in” the cup.
An onlay, on the other hand, extends beyond the rim of the cup, going over the tooth cusp or involving more than one cusp. Onlays are used when the cavity or damage reaches one or more cusps of the tooth or teeth. This often involves reconstruction of the cusp which has been worn or broken away.
If the cavity or tooth damage is more severe, effecting more than the area within the cusps or just beyond, it may be necessary to have a crown placed. However if it is confined, a less invasive onlay or inlay may be used.
Composite inlays and onlays are made of a combination of plastic and zirconia/silica which is bonded to the tooth. They are tooth-colored in appearance and actually strengthen the structure of the tooth by up to seventy-five percent, and because of the composite materials from which they are made, they can last up to thirty years.
Unlike a traditional filling, inlays and onlays are created outside the mouth. Their shape is formed and hardened. Then it is adhered to the tooth, allowing precise shaping and design. Traditional fillings are placed in the tooth and then allowed to harden there. The other benefit of working outside the mouth first is that dentists can ensure that the composite used to create the inlay or onlay matches the color of your natural teeth. This gives a seamless transition between your teeth and the restoration, giving you a more comfortable, confident smile.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns and bridges are often permanent restoration options for damaged or diseased teeth. Unlike a denture, they often cannot be removed and are anchored to the teeth around them. When teeth are missing or are too far damaged they can not be easily fixed, bridges or crowns are necessary for both oral health and cosmetic purposes.
Crowns and bridges fill in gaps in your mouth. Without them, your teeth may have a tendency to shift and come out of alignment. Crowns and bridges keep your teeth in place and prevent potentially avoidable disease or damage.
Crowns and bridges also encourage brighter, more confident smiles, by filling gaps. Often made of a tooth colored compound, crowns and bridges are made to look like your surrounding teeth and keep your mouth as natural as possible.
A dental crown becomes necessary due to a weakened tooth because of decay or fracture. It can also be used for cosmetic purposes. A dental crown is placed by first grinding away the damaged or diseased tooth so that it is smaller. A crown or cap is then placed over the tooth and secured. This keeps your tooth from becoming further damaged or diseased and functions like a tooth, allowing you to continue with every day activities naturally and comfortably.
If you are missing one or more teeth, Dr. Andersen may suggest the use of a fixed bridge and dental crowns. Since the gap left by a missing tooth can cause the remaining teeth to shift or move, it is important for your oral health to replace the missing tooth or teeth, and fixed bridges are one of the solutions for doing so. Bridges consist of a pontic (artificial tooth) and crowns, which are ‘caps’ that go over the teeth on both sides of the bridge and serve as anchors to stabilize the bridge. Traditional bridges are usually made from porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
Removable Partial Dentures
If several teeth are missing in either your upper or lower jaw, a removable partial denture that is either supported by adjoining teeth or by an implant can be used to replace the missing teeth thus giving you the ability to chew more naturally, keep your remaining teeth from moving into the space left by the missing teeth, ensure proper jaw alignment and support the structure of your face.
Removable partial dentures are secure, healthy option for patients who are missing a series of teeth somewhere in the mouth. Although removable, they are anchored in the mouth, making it easy for you to talk, eat, drink, and go about your every day life, with confidence. You don’t have to worry that they will shift or move while you are trying to do regular activities.
However, because partial dentures are easily removed for brushing and cleaning, you can be sure you are keeping your surrounding teeth, gums, and mouth as healthy as possible. Take out your partial dentures to clean them and brush your teeth, and remove any food particles, then put it back in to maintain your confident smile. Dr. Andersen will be able to recommend best practices for cleaning your dentures and which products will work best. He will also let you know how long you will need to wear the dentures per day.
A removable partial denture is either held in place by clasps that hook on to adjoining teeth or by securing to the abutment of a titanium screw that is implanted in your jawbone. Either option will require some practice on your part as you get used to taking your dentures out of your mouth and putting them back in. Have your dentist practice with you before you leave the office and then give yourself time at home to get used to it.
When all of your permanent teeth need to be extracted from either your upper or lower jaw because of decay, periodontal disease or trauma, complete dentures are created in a dental lab to replace your missing teeth. Simulating your natural teeth, complete dentures allow you to eat, drink, and other activities as you are used to. Apart from small additions to your oral hygiene routine, dentures are a carefree dental option to get back to your regular life.
Dr. Andersen may need to remove some of your teeth to prepare your mouth for complete dentures. After the extraction, you may have to go home and heal before receiving your dentures or Dr. Andersen may choose to give you your dentures right away. Because your gums are likely to move during the healing process, if you receive dentures right away, they may need to be adjusted.
Over time, dentures can loosen because of the loss of gum tissue and jawbone that deteriorate when they no longer have tooth roots to keep them stimulated. Your dentist may recommend the use of dental products to keep them adhered to your gums. This will keep them in place and comfortable while you are eating and other every day activities.
An alternative to the adhering products is to have your dentures secured with implants that are placed in your jawbone and through a process called osseointegration take the place of a tooth root. Although your dentures will not be permanent and will still be removable, this allows you to lock them in, so to speak. Many patients find this to be a more secure, comfortable option, although it does require surgical implantation.
In either case, your dentures are easily removable for cleaning. Dr. Andersen will discuss with you how to best to clean your dentures and when. It’s important that you use the products they prescribe, particularly denture cleaners, rather than toothpaste. Although dentures are made to simulate your teeth, they are not made of the same substance and need to be treated differently.
Periodontal Disease, or gum disease, is a serious infection in your gums that is mainly caused by bacterial plaque that is constantly forming on your teeth. When plaque isn’t removed by brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings, it can turn to tartar—a hard substance that can only be removed by a dentist. When left in your mouth, plaque and tartar can cause inflammation of your gums, which can develop into infections below the gum line causing the gum to separate from your teeth creating pockets that become infected and can even fill with pus.
As the pockets deepen and the disease becomes more pronounced, bone and gum tissue are destroyed which can ultimately result in tooth loss. Periodontal disease is stealthy, usually giving no or very few signs of its existence. Regular dental checkups can detect periodontal disease at even its earliest stages. Since periodontal disease is created by plaque and tartar buildup on your gums, good dental hygiene is a must in preventing gum disease.
Good daily oral hygiene habits are necessary to prevent periodontal disease. Regular brushing and flossing remove plaque before it hardens into tartar. Rinsing with mouthwash can also help. These healthy habits also wash away bacteria, food particles, sugars, and more, which can lead to plaque buildup. Keep a toothbrush at your desk or in your purse to wash away any particles after you eat at work or school.
However, that’s not enough. Regular visits to Mogollon Family Dentistry for checkups and professional cleanings will help keep your gums healthy and free of periodontal disease and infections. Your check ups will involve scaling and root planing to remove plaque or tartar buildup, which can only be done by a dentist or dental hygienist. Daily build up is a reality, which cannot be ignored. The only way to prevent periodontal disease is to remove it through daily brushing and regular cleanings.
Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)
The key to oral health is regular cleaning and removal of plaque and tartar build up. This starts with daily oral hygiene routines, which includes brushing and flossing.
However, even with good daily oral hygiene, some plaque still remains in your mouth and over time it can harden and becomes tartar (also known as calculus). If tartar is left in your mouth, it will cause periodontal disease or gum disease. Tartar can only be removed by Dr. Andersen or the dental hygienist with a process called ‘scaling’ where either ultrasound vibrations or a manual tool called a scaler are used to remove tartar from the portion of your tooth that is below the gum line. When you go in for regular cleanings, usually twice per year, your dentist will scale each tooth on all sides, and between the teeth, to remove tartar build up, especially in the most difficult places to reach. If you are particularly sensitive, your dentist may temporarily numb your teeth and gums so the cleaning process isn’t uncomfortably painful.
Since plaque and calculus love to grab onto rough surfaces of the tooth, once the built-up tartar has been removed from your tooth, the rough or irregular surfaces are smoothed away with a process called ‘root planing.’ This process is used to prevent periodontal disease, reverse any early signs of gum disease and to prevent any existing periodontal disease from spreading.
These common techniques are the first, most basic step in preventing periodontal disease. If you regularly keep your dental check up appointments, where the dentist uses scaling and root planning, you are likely not to need further, more invasive treatments.
Root Canal Therapy
The space within the root of each of your teeth is called a ‘root canal,’ and within that canal there is dental pulp which consists of soft tissue, nerves and blood vessels. Tooth decay or trauma can cause damage to your dental pulp which results in infection that if left untreated, can spread to the bone around your tooth, resulting in the loss of the tooth.
To save the tooth, Dr. Andersen will first remove the dental pulp and then the area that held the pulp is cleaned and shaped to hold a specialized filler material that will protect your tooth from any more infection and reduce any sensitivity of the tooth.
Once the root canal is cleaned, filled and restored, your tooth is capped with a crown that protects the mended root canal and looks and functions like a normal tooth.
A tooth’s pulp and nerve is not important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has fully emerged from the gums. If the treatment is not performed, pus builds up at the root tip and the infection of the pulp can spread to the surrounding bone. The results in pain and swelling, and your tooth would likely have to be removed.
Root canal therapy has a high rate of success any many teeth undergoing the procedure can be saved to last a lifetime. Additionally, the crown or filling placed the completion of the procedure makes it hard to notice by others that you had the treatment.
Most often a prescription of antibiotics is necessary 3-
Neglecting to get a root canal when deep tooth decay is detected can cause serious damage and infection to the nerves and vessels inside the tooth. Without treatment, infection will spread, bone around the tooth will begin to degenerate, and the tooth may fall out. Pain usually worsens until one is forced to seek emergency dental attention. The only alternative is usually extraction of the tooth, which can cause surrounding teeth to shift crookedly, resulting in an irregular bite. Though an extraction is cheaper, the space left behind will require an implant or a bridge, which is more expensive that root canal therapy. Keeping your original teeth is always the best choice, and root canals can make this possible.
What are the signs that a root canal is needed?
- Severe tooth pain while chewing
- Your tooth pain wakes you up at night
- Teeth that are highly sensitive to hot or cold, with the sensitivity lingering for some time.
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
- Swollen gums in the area of the infected tooth
On rare occasions, certain dental anomalies will require a referral to an endodontist specialist.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
At one time in the history of man, wisdom teeth (or third molars) were most likely an important part of our entire tooth structure, but that is no longer true. Because of a lack of adequate space in the jawbone for them, wisdom teeth that usually come in somewhere in our late teen years, often come in sideways pushing at an already established tooth, which causes the wisdom tooth to only partially erupt through the gums, or in some cases, it does not push through the gums at all and stays impacted under the surface.
It becomes necessary to remove some or all of your wisdom teeth when they cause or may cause problems in your mouth. Bacteria can grow around a partially erupted wisdom tooth causing periodontal disease or food can get caught between the wisdom tooth and the adjoining tooth creating tooth decay in both teeth. When wisdom teeth are impacted or pushing against other teeth, they may impede in the health of the teeth around. They may even cause your teeth to shift and become misaligned as they attempt to make room for the wisdom teeth.
When a fully erupted wisdom tooth needs to be extracted, it is pulled like any other tooth. However, if the tooth is partially or fully impacted under the gum line and in the jawbone, an incision has to be made in the gums and the tooth, as well as a portion of the bone that is covering the impacted tooth, has to be removed. Your dental surgeon will use local or general anesthetics to prevent you from feeling any pain.
Recovery from wisdom teeth extraction usually takes a few days, while the area from which the teeth were extracted heals. Plan to spend a few days resting and eating soft foods, while your gums heal.
In a way, you can think of bonding as a simplified version of a veneer or a crown. While dental bonding can’t withstand the kind of abuse that a veneer or crown can, bonding is a versatile solution that works well in a variety of situations. Bonding improves the aesthetics of your teeth, as well as strengthens teeth when damaged or overly exposed.
Bonding is a process where a tooth-colored resin material is used to repair chips and cracks on teeth as well as to change the shape of a tooth or to close gaps between teeth. It can also be used to repair a decayed tooth or to fully restore badly damaged teeth. It’s called bonding because the resin is literally bonded to the surface of the tooth. The resin that is used is matched closely with the color of your teeth so that it looks exactly like your natural teeth when the process is done. In this way, it’s a simple, comfortable solution for minor damage or discoloration to the teeth, restoring individual teeth to a natural look and feel.
The procedure typically takes from thirty to sixty minutes per tooth and begins with slightly roughening the surface of the tooth and applying a conditioning liquid. Then the putty-like resin is put on the tooth surface and molded to create the desired result. Once the tooth repair or correction is done, a special light is used to harden the resin and bond it to your tooth. Bonding materials usually last from three to ten years before needing to be touched up or replaced.
Dentists generally choose dental bonding for places with minor damage, especially on the front teeth. Because front teeth don’t experience as much direct pressure as molars, they are a good option for bonding, which tends to be just a bit weaker than other restoration options. Also, because it’s a minor process, it’s a good option for places of minor concern, where aesthetics are the greatest issue.
Think of enamel shaping as the opposite of dental bonding. In much the same way, it’s a simple, quick, non-invasive option, which improves the look and feel of your teeth, and your overall smile. It doesn’t involve implants or surgery, just a quick reconstruction to bring more confidence to your smile.
Also known as contouring, enamel shaping is a process that can be used to fix minor problems in the shape or texture of your teeth such as small chips or pits in a tooth’s enamel or even irregular or uneven teeth. These small irregularities may bring you discomfort when your tongue, cheeks, or lips rub against them. They may also harbor plaque and tartar build up and be a haven for cavities. If visible from your smile, they may cause you to be less than satisfied with your smile.
During the enamel shaping process, your dentist will use a sanding disk or fine diamond burs to sand your tooth or teeth to remove any roughness or pits or to slightly reshape them. This is similar to the root planing or polishing procedures you are used to at every dental check up. Once your teeth are smoothed and/or reshaped, they will be polished to finish the process.
Because the process is simple and easy to get done, be sure to talk with your dentist about a chip or other irregularity that has been bothering you. You may find that enamel shaping is the quick solution you’ve been waiting for and you can start smiling just a bit wider and brighter.
Teeth Whitening in Heber-Overgaard AZ
Everyone wants a brighter smile. If you’re noticing discoloration or a lack of brilliance that you want to see, bring it up at your next dental check up. Dr. Andersen can help you determine if your teeth and gums are healthy enough and good candidates for teeth whitening. You can also work together to determine which whitening process will give you even, natural looking results.
If Dr. Andersen determines that teeth whitening is a good option for you, in-office whitening will give you almost immediate results. In-office teeth whitening or bleaching usually consists of the dentist applying a layer of protective gel over the gums, where they meet the teeth. A bleaching substance is then applied to the teeth and a light may be directed to shine on the teeth to speed up the process. Depending on the severity of the discoloration, the process may need to be repeated over a series of weeks. Some dentists may prescribe follow up teeth whitening trays and gels. Crafted by your dentist in office, these treatments can be done at home over the span of three days to two weeks.
Depending on the health of your teeth and the reason for the discoloration, teeth whitening or bleaching may not be best option for everyone. If the discoloration or stains on your teeth will not respond well to whitening, your dentist will have other options that will work best for you.