Dental Services

Cleaning

A general cleaning is a procedure that is recommended every six months. Even though visiting the dentist twice a year may seem like a lot, two short visits a year will potentially prevent a life time of dental problems and worry.

Quick At Home Cleaning Tips from the American Dental Association:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft bristle brush and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
  • Use dental floss to remove food from areas between the teeth or under the gum line that a toothbrush cannot reach. Bacteria that cause decay linger in areas where a toothbrush cannot reach. Therefore, it is very important to floss between your teeth daily.
  • Consume a healthy diet each day. Eat a limited amount of foods high in sugar.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Our practices provide a wide range of cosmetic dental services at affordable fees that Herring Family Dental patients have come to expect. We have the ability to provide nearly every type of dental service without having to refer you to specialist. Our services include fillings, crowns, bridges, teeth whitening, bonding and more.

Herring Family Dental also provides Restorative dental care for mouths that have fallen victim to dental disease or injury. By not needing a referral, you save time and money, as well as being able to stay within the Herring Family Dental family of practices. Our goal at Herring Family Dental is to provide total preventative care and educate patients on its importance. Complete oral care begins with regular cleanings, checkups, and an at home oral care routine.

Composite Bonding

Bonding is a common solution for:
• Repairing chipped or cracked teeth
• Reducing unsightly gaps or spaces between teeth
• Hiding discoloration or faded areas on the tooth's surface.

Bonding is achieved by applying a composite material to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth. Composite bonding is a quick process, usually taking less than an hour.

Crowns & Bridges

Crowns

A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.

The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:

  1. Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
  2. Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
  3. Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
  4. Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the permanent custom-made crown is being created.
  5. Applying the permanent crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the permanent one onto the tooth.
  6. After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.  This process generally consists of a minimum of 2-3 visits over a three to four week period.

Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.

Bridges

A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent:

  • Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
  • Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.


There are three main types of bridges, namely:

  • Fixed bridge- this is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
  • The “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.
  • The Cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.

Emergencies

Tooth Ache

Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen is recommended. See a dentist as soon as possible.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.

Broken Tooth

Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Get immediate dental attention.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water. Because time is essential, see a dentist immediately.

Other Emergency Conditions:

Possible Broken Jaw

In the event of jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief. Go immediately to an emergency room.

Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out

Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes; if bleeding continues, see a dentist.

Cold or Canker Sores

Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If sores persist, visit your dentist.

Fillings

Dentists and patients today have several choices when it comes to selecting materials to repair missing, worn, damaged or decayed teeth. Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity and cost of dental restorations. These factors include:

  • Patient’s oral and general health
  • Components used in the filling material
  • Where and how the filling is placed
  • Chewing load that the tooth will have to bear
  • The length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth.

The ultimate decision about what to use is best determined by the patient in consultation with the dentist. Before your treatment begins, discuss the options with your dentist.

Amalgam Fillings

Used by dentists for more than a century, dental amalgam is the most thoroughly researched and tested restorative material among all those in use. It is durable, easy to use, highly resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive in comparison to other materials. For those reasons, it remains a valued treatment option for dentists and their patients.

Dental amalgam is a stable alloy made by combining elemental mercury, silver, tin, copper and possibly other metallic elements. While questions have arisen about the safety of dental amalgam relating to its mercury content, the major U.S. and international scientific and health bodies, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization, among others have been satisfied that dental amalgam is a safe, reliable and effective restorative material.

Because amalgam fillings can withstand very high chewing loads, they are particularly useful for restoring molars in the back of the mouth where chewing load is greatest. They are also useful in areas where a cavity preparation is difficult to keep dry during the filling replacement, such as in deep fillings below the gum line.

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored filling. They are sometimes referred to as composites or filled resins. Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Less tooth structure is removed when the dentist prepares the tooth, and this may result in a smaller filling than that of an amalgam. Composites can also be "bonded" or adhesively held in a cavity, often allowing the dentist to make a more conservative repair to the tooth.

The cost is moderate and depends on the size of the filling and the technique used by the dentist to place it in the prepared tooth. It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than what is required for an amalgam filling. Composite fillings require a cavity that can be kept clean and dry during filling and they are subject to stain and discoloration over time.

Gum Treatment

Periodontal simply means “the tissue around the teeth.” Periodontists specialize in the treatment and surgery of this area, which is often characterized by gum disease. Plaque is the most common element causing gum disease.

Unfortunately, periodontal-related problems are often discovered after they have persisted for an extended period of time. Proper oral hygiene, daily dental care and regular dental checkups will minimize the risk of gum disease. Gum disease ranges from mild (gingivitis) to moderate (periodintitis) to the severe (periodontitis). Treatments are available for every case of gum disease.

Common problems associated with gum disease:

  • “Long” teeth (receding gum lines expose the root portions of your teeth)
  • Discolored or deteriorating tooth structure
  • Gum depressions (holes in between the teeth in the gum tissue)
  • Infected gum line (discoloration or inflammation of the gum tissue)
  • Tooth loss or tooth movement

The effects of gum disease can be damaging to your dental health. However, through proper preventive care and oral hygiene, you can avoid problems associated with gum disease.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health and unique needs of young people. After completing a four-year dental school curriculum, two to three additional years of rigorous training is required to become a pediatric dentist. This specialized program of study and hands-on experience prepares pediatric dentists to meet the unique needs of your infants, children and adolescents, including persons with special health care needs.

Establishing a “Dental Home” for your child provides the opportunity to implement preventive dental health habits that keep a child free from dental/oral disease. Pediatric dentistry focuses on prevention, early detection and treatment of dental diseases.

Young People With Special Needs

An integral part of pediatric dentistry training is concerned with the medical and dental health of the special needs patient. People with significant medical, physical, or mental disabilities often present unique challenges to dentists. Specialized training allows pediatric dentists to address their special needs and provide the best care possible.

Whitening

Pre-Fab Trays

Pre-Fab trays, involve a mouth guard-like tray with a gel whitening solution -- which contains a peroxide-bleaching agent -- and wearing the tray for a period of time, generally from a couple hours a day for up to four weeks and even longer depending on the degree of discoloration and desired level of whitening.

Custom Trays

With dentist-supervised at-home bleaching products, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and make a mouthpiece tray that is customized to exactly fit your teeth. This customization allows for maximum contact between the whitening gel, which is applied to the mouthpiece tray, and the teeth. A custom-made tray also minimizes the gel's contact with gum tissue. Over-the-counter whitening products also contain a mouthpiece tray, but the "one-size-fits-all" approach means that the fit will not be exact. Ill-fitting trays can irritate the gum and soft tissue by allowing more bleaching gel to seep onto these tissues.

Your teeth will darken over time. Beverages such as coffee, tea, and soda and factors such as childhood medications or illnesses, tobacco use or improper oral hygiene can have an affect on the color of your teeth.