Your family deserves the highest quality of life, a smile that promotes confidence, and exceptional oral health. Studies link the health of our mouths to overall health, so our staff at Smiles West wants to help you maximize your oral health. With a wealth of dental specialists on staff, we can cater to all of your dental care needs in one convenient, comfortable location.
We are passionate about preventive dental care when it comes to your oral health, so you'll be less likely to need emergency care or suffer from toothaches. Our team supports the American Dental Association recommendation that patients should attend six-month checkups and cleanings.
Following your exam and cleaning, your dentist will review our findings and recommend treatment options. We welcome your questions and will always provide easy-to-understand explanations of conditions and treatment. We believe informed patients make wise decisions!
Our office regularly cares for the dental needs of children as young as three years old. However, if you notice that your child has a problem with his or her teeth or gums prior to this age, please schedule an appointment immediately!
Teaching Dental Health
Let us help your children learn the importance of optimal oral health from a young age. In some cases, we refer children to our staff pediatric dentist, a specialist in children's dentistry. We will help you make the best choices for your child's unique and precious personality.
We recommend that you bring your child to your dental checkup when he or she is about two so that your child can become familiar with the sights, sounds, and friendly helpers in our dental office. We call this a Happy Visit. Your child's independent checkup at age three will involve a tooth-by-tooth inspection and periodontal exam. The dentist will check for proper development, as well as tooth decay and other areas of concern.
Regular Dental Visits For A Healthy Smile!
As your child grows, he or she will need regular checkups and hygiene visits to ensure optimal oral health. Our team will also teach oral homecare techniques so that your child can learn how to effectively brush and floss, with your help at first, then on his or her own.
Endodontics / Root Canals
Your teeth contain several layers: the outer protective enamel, a secondary layer of sensitive dentin and an inner pulp that contains components commonly referred to as the "nerve" of the tooth. Each pulp chamber branches off, forming canals that lead toward the tooth root tip. These infamous root canals provide a means for the tooth to absorb what it needs from the blood and get rid of toxins or other unnecessary materials via the bloodstream.
Root Canal Damage
A deep cavity, traumatic injury, or tooth fracture can make the canal susceptible to bacterial infection, which can kill the pulp, stimulate increased blood flow and create pressure within the tooth. This can cause severe tooth pain and may initiate bone degeneration, tooth loss, and even more acute pain. If you see a dentist in the earliest stages of this condition, the tooth may be saved with a root canal. Otherwise, it should be extracted and replaced with a prosthetic.
Root Canal Therapy
Will root canal therapy hurt? Not with today's advanced analgesics and technology. In fact, the entire process can be so comfortable that many patients doze off. Oftentimes, root canal therapy can be completed in a single appointment by our staff endodontist. We simply clean out the diseased canal, fill it with a biologically-inert substance, seal it from further infection, and you're on your way. While some patients experience post-procedural soreness or slight tissue inflammation, these are controllable with over-the-counter analgesics. Follow-up care involves thorough home hygiene and regular dental visits for cleanings and checkups.
Oral Surgery & Dental Implants
We believe in correcting underlying problems to ensure lasting dental work and optimal long-term oral health. Our oral surgeon performs many procedures that improve dental health, function, and appearance. For instance, we place and restore dental implants onsite. Implants offer the most lasting and lifelike option for tooth replacement and denture stabilization.
Other oral surgery procedures include:
- Bone Grafting
- Implant-Retained Dentures
- Maxillofacial Surgery
- Mini Dental Implants
- Traditional Dental Implants
- Full-Mouth Reconstruction
- Sinus Lifts
- Extractions, Wisdom Teeth
In some cases, patients need more than one oral surgery procedure. We approach complex restorative cases with a team of staff specialists and the patient's general dentist. Our personalized dental reconstruction plan will restore optimal health, beauty, and function to your smile.
Periodontics / Gum Disease Therapy
Disease is discussed in the news quite a bit. We talk about being heart healthy and work to raise money for cancer, which are both great causes. What is frequently missed is the largest, most common disease in the United States, periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Gum disease is currently affecting more adults in the US than heart disease, Alzheimer's, stroke and cancer combined. In fact, about 50% of adults under 40 and 80% of adults under 60 has some form of gum disease, also known by one of many different names, periodontal disease, advanced periodontitis, or the more mild gingivitis.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is the infection of your periodontitis, which is the gums and bone that support your teeth. This has possibly been a problem for a very long time, we have learned more about it as dentistry has advanced, and the lifespan of our patients has extended significantly the last century or so. There is also the addition of much more sugar in our diets than we were accustomed to in years past. Sugar is an active contributor to gum disease.
Gum disease starts when plaque, mixed with food debris, settles at the base of our teeth and then hardens into tartar or calculus. Plaque is filled with bacteria and it thrives there. With calculus sitting at the base of our teeth, it begins to extend below the gum line. Your soft tissues immediately react to this bacteria and infection grows and spreads quickly. Symptoms are mild initially, sometimes patients are unaware or ignore the signs indicating a problem. Signs include:
- your normally pink gums appear more red
- your gums are tender to the touch
- there is pain at the gumline around a tooth
- brushing or flossing causes bleeding
Gum disease, left untreated, is serious.
Oral Health: As the infection rages, the condition progresses. The gums will try to protect itself and recede away, meaning they also pull away from your teeth as pockets of bacteria form. The bacteria can destroy both your gum tissue and bone. As your gums pull away, so does the strength of your teeth, their base is not holding on to them as tightly, leading to tooth and bone loss.
Overall Health: Doctors have found links between gum disease and the overall health of patients. Everything that enters the mouth, including bacteria and infection, has access to the whole body. Our mouths are a portal to our entire body. Regular dental checkups are not only important to our oral health, but also our overall health.
Is Gum Disease Curable?
We do not consider gum disease cured, but maintained. We maintain it with dental cleanings and education about home care. Occasionally, we may prescribe a medicated rinse as needed.
Gum disease can be made significantly improved with a dental cleaning or a more thorough deep cleaning as a non-surgical therapy. This treatment involves:
- Scaling: to remove hardened calculus.
- Root Planing: to smooth the rough areas on the roots, this helps limit bacteria from gathering.
- Antibiotic Therapy: a medicated rinse to reduce infection.Surgery may be necessary in extreme circumstances.
Orthodontics & Invisalign Clear Braces
In an effort to provide our patients with comprehensive, full-service dentistry for your entire family, Smiles West maintains respected orthodontists on staff. Orthodontics is the treatment of any irregularities in the positioning of your teeth.
Braces for Children & Teens
Frequently, orthodontics is discussed with the parents of our younger patients. We are able to help young children if we note need of interceptive orthodontics, this is a phase-one approach to a more long-term orthodontic plan. This plan allows us to guide teeth properly while they are developing, creating sufficient space and optimal alignment for pre-teen patients. With their teeth fully developed, the child will then move on to the second phase of treatment which may involve braces and/or retainers.
Inconspicuous Braces for Adults & Older Teens
If you have a need for orthodontics but would rather not have the obvious statement of braces, we have options available for you. We can discuss with you:
- Clear or porcelain brackets
- Invisalign clear aligners
Invisalign Clear Braces
Invisalign is a system of clear aligners used to correct the positioning of your teeth. Using 3D imaging, our orthodontist creates a treatment plan that will reposition your teeth through the use of a series of clear, removable aligners. You'll receive a series of the aligners, each one to be worn for about two weeks before you move to the next. Patients love that this system is generally faster than traditional braces, and with far less office visits. Invisalign will straighten teeth and give you the gorgeous smile you've always wanted. Ask about Invisalign at your next visit!
As a standard, our dentists consider all dentistry "cosmetic" in nature. Whether you need fillings, crowns, replacement teeth or elective procedures, your dentist will preserve the integrity of your white, beautiful smile. Our elective cosmetic dental procedures can improve your appearance by lightening, straightening and perfecting teeth that show when you smile.
At your consultation, a cosmetic dentist will talk with you about your smile's flaws, as well as your ideal smile. A smile makeover plan may include one or more of these elective procedures, in addition to restorative dentistry:
- Home Teeth Whitening
- Invisalign Clear Braces
- Porcelain Veneers
- Tooth-Colored Braces
- Zoom! Teeth Whitening