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Procedures

Click on the procedure below to view information and useful websites pertaining to the procedure.  

     
  Anesthesia Infection Control
  Bonding Invisalign
Braces Mini-dental Implants
  Bridges Mouth Guards
  Cleaning/Prophylaxis Partials
  Contouring Enamel Post and Core
Crowns Root Canal Therapy
  Crown Lengthening Scaling/Root Planing
  Dentures Sealants
  Extractions Snap-On Smile
  Fillings Snore Prevention
  Fluoride TMJ/TMD
  Gum Treatment Veneers
  Implants Whitening
     
  Useful Links:
ADA Patient Information
  ADA en español  
     

 

                                     Procedure Details

 
Anesthesia

The majority of anesthesia offered at our office is local anesthetic.  This means the anesthesia is given as an injection in the area of the mouth where work is being done.  Prior to administering local anesthetic, we apply a topical anesthetic to the gum to numb the area where the injection will be given.  This is standard procedure at our office.  We also offer Nitrous Oxide anesthesia, also known as "laughing gas."  This anesthesia is very useful in relaxing the patient.  The patient can elect to choose Nitrous Oxide, but there is an additional fee.




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Bonding

Bonding is adding tooth-colored material to a tooth in order to fill in spaces between front teeth or fix chipped teeth.  It is a popular cosmetic dentistry procedure which takes little time.  It is a less expensive alternative to veneers or crowns in some cases.  



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  Braces

Braces are bonded brackets, arch wires and elastic bands that move teeth into a normal position.  We offer metal or clear brackets and colored or clear rubber bands.  We also do "invisible braces" - Invisalign.  Please visit our special "Orthodontics" page.



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  Bridges 

A bridge is a permanent dental restoration.  This means it is cemented into place and cannot be removed.  It is used to replace a missing tooth/teeth.  A bridge involves preparing healthy teeth on either side of the area of the missing tooth/teeth.  These prepared teeth serve as anchors for the permanent bridge.  Most bridges are made of a base metal covered by a tooth colored porcelain made to look like natural teeth.  In order to properly maintain a bridge, a special type of flossing apparatus is required known as a floss-threader.  It is very easy to use and the dentist or hygienist will go over it with you.



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Cleaning/Prophylaxis

A dental cleaning is often referred to as a prophylaxis.  This procedure is usually performed by the dental hygienist or in many cases, by the dentist himself.   A cleaning at our office generally consists of a gentle scaling of the teeth above the gum line, flossing between all teeth and polishing the surfaces of the teeth in order to remove stains.  For younger patients, at or below the age of 17, we also administer fluoride.  



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  Contouring Enamel



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  Crowns

Crowns are sometimes referred to as "caps".  Crowns are placed on teeth for a number of reasons.  On our back teeth or molars, crowns are indicated for teeth that are brittle or broken down, teeth that have very large fillings, and teeth that have previously been treated with root canal therapy.  Crowns are used for the same reasons on our front teeth and in addition may be used for cosmetic reasons like covering intrinsic staining (i.e. tetracycline), closing large gaps and covering teeth that may be misaligned.  On our back teeth the crowns are almost always made of a metal substructure covered by  tooth colored porcelain and made to look like a natural tooth.  In some cases, on our front teeth all- porcelain crowns may be indicated.  These all -porcelain crowns are more translucent and therefore give a more natural looking appearance.

 



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  Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure which adjusts the position of the gum around the affected tooth. It provides a more solid tooth on which to anchor the restoration of choice, usually a crown. 



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  Dentures

 

A Complete Denture takes the place of all the patient's natural teeth.  
 
An Overdenture attaches to the roots. The roots serve as an anchor for it. 

 

 
A Partial Denture replaces only a few missing teeth and remaining teeth anchor it. 

Valpast Photo



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  Extractions

An extraction is the term used for the removal of a tooth from the mouth.  Extractions are only indicated as a "last resort" for teeth that have no other remedy.  In our office patients are given detailed instructions after the actual extraction is performed.  These instructions are listed below.

 

Rinsing & Gargling:  

No! Do not rinse or gargle. This will damage the blood clot that has formed in the tooth socket. The clot is nature's bandage and protects everything below itself. But, for the first three days the blood clot is like a very weak piece of jelly. It can be easily lost by rinsing or gargling. The danger with this, is when the clot is lost, another will not form. Therefore, there is no protection from food, germs, and saliva getting down into the socket and causing a jaw infection. If the blood clot is protected this will not happen.

Smoking:

No! Do not smoke for three days. The smoke is not the problem. But taking the "drag" causes suction on the clot and the clot can be lost as a result. Again, this means no protection for the socket and jaw.

Activity:

Rest and relax today. No running up and down stairs, no bowling, dancing, etc. or other physical activity. Tomorrow you can start to get gradually back into your normal activities.

Eating:

Your regular diet is okay. But eat smaller bites and eat on the opposite side. Only one caution — No hot liquids for three days. No coffee, tea, soup or cocoa. Hot liquids can dissolve the clot. You should go on a soft food diet only if you find that your regular food is difficult to handle.

Cleaning:

Gently clean the tongue, lips, cheeks and other teeth to keep the mouth fresh. Use a toothbrush and a mouthwash. No Toothpaste! Toothpaste thickens the saliva. Your natural reaction is to rinse, but remember—rinsing can damage the blood clot. So use Mouthwash, and not toothpaste.

Sensitivity:

Mild pain may be experienced after the anesthetic wears off. Tylenol handles this sensitivity well. Do not use Aspirin. Aspirin promotes bleeding. If you need any stronger medication, we will give you a prescription.

Bleeding:

Bite on the gauze for one and a half hours. A small amount of post-op bleeding can be expected. This is seepage. An extraction creates an open wound and seepage from it is common. Seepage is very different than hemorrhage. A hemorrhage is gross uncontrolled blood flow and it is extremely rare.

Swelling:

Swelling is not uncommon and need not cause alarm. To limit any swelling apply an ice bag or zip-lock baggie filled with cracked ice over the affected area on and off every ten minutes for five hours only.

NOTE:

Often, patients do not want to disturb us at home for their needs. Please do not feel this way. Call for any need. This office does not give medals to heroes.

If you have any questions or concerns outside office hours, please call us at home. A one or two minute phone conversation can save hours of unnecessary worry.

 



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  Fillings

Fillings are one of the most common procedures done at a dental office.  A filling is necessary once decay (a cavity) is present in a tooth.  The procedure consists of the dentist gently removing the decay or an old filling with decay around it, then placing a new filling.  This is usually done with the help of a dental assistant.  The majority of fillings done today are composed of tooth colored resin composite.  In addition to looking natural, these resin fillings are bonded to the tooth which provides better retention.  

 



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  Fluoride

Fluoride treatment is necessary and essential for children and adolescents with developing adult dentition.  This treatment is usually administered by the dental hygienist or dentist and consists of gently biting into a soft foam tray, lined with a flavored fluoride solution, for just one minute.  The patient is instructed not to eat or drink for thirty minutes following the treatment.  It is recommended that everyone at or below the age of seventeen have a fluoride treatment every six months.  Fluoride is the only element known to man that actually prevents tooth decay.  



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Gum Treatment

 


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  Implants

The dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jaw. Most dental implants require a period of approximtely 3 months to osseointegrate with the patient's bone.  After this period, an artificial tooth(crown) or teeth is then affixed to the post.  Implants are used either as an artificial root or as an anchor for a fixed or removable denture.  Dr. Anderson has received specialized training for the surgical placement and restoration of dental implants.

There are many benefits of Implants.  They are used as a substitute for bridges or dentures. Implants replace single or multiple teeth without having to use other teeth for support.  Implants help preserve a patient's alveolar bone. Implants don't decay.

Visit the sites below for more information on Dental Implants:

 


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Infection Control

Our office is equipped with state of the art sterilization equipment.  We thoroughly disinfect each operatory before and after each patient is seated.  All of our staff wear the proper infection control attire when dealing first hand with the patients.  

 



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Invisalign

The official site states: Invisalign® can give you the beautiful straight teeth you've always wanted. It works through a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you're wearing. So you can smile more during treatment as well as after.  Dr. Anderson is a leading local provider of Invisalign.

 



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  Mini-dental Implants

According to the IMTEC website,  the mini-dental implant system consists of a miniature titanium implant that acts like the root of your tooth. The head of the implant is shaped like a ball and holds the denture in place.  When seated, the denture gently rests on the gum tissue.  Dr. Anderson is one of the few IMTEC certified dentists in the New Orleans area. 

 


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  Mouth Guards

Night Guard - worn at night to prevent damage caused to teeth by "bruxism" or grinding and clenching.  

Sport Mouth Guard - worn to prevent tooth damage during physical activity.  Dr. Anderson is a member of the Academy of Sports Dentistry. 

 



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Partials

A partial denture is a removable appliance that is indicated when a patient is missing one or more teeth.  A partial is able to stay in the mouth by attaching to other anchor teeth in the same arch.  These anchor teeth have to be healthy because they provide the majority of the support for the partial.  A traditional partial denture is made of a metal substructure covered by acrylic made to look like natural gums with the teeth set in place.  In our office, the majority of the partials are made of a light, translucent, flexible material known as Valplast (pictured on the right).  Valplast partials have no metal, therefore, they look more natural when seated in the mouth.  A partial denture is the least expensive procedure to replace a missing tooth or teeth.  

 

 

Photo by Valplast.com.  

 

 

Snap-On Smile is a less invasive alternative to a partial. 
CLICK HERE to read more about it.  Dr. Anderson is a leading local provider of Snap-On Smile.

 



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  Post and Core

A post, in some cases, is a necessary support for a tooth that has had root canal treatment and requires a crown.  When there is not enough natural tooth structure available above the gum line, a core build up will serve as the central support on which a crown will rest.  


 


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  Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is performed on teeth where the nerve has become infected.  There are a number of things that may lead to the infection of the nerve of a tooth.  Some of them are: a deep cavity, a deep existing filling, a cracked tooth and direct trauma to the tooth.

Root canal treatment consists of removing the nerve tissue from the root(s), cleaning and disinfecting the root(s), and then filling and sealing off the root preventing it from becoming infected again.  In most cases, a crown is recommended on a tooth that has had root canal treatment.  

 

 



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  Scaling/Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is also referred to as a "deep cleaning".  This procedure is necessary to remove calcified plaque and build up below the gum line, known as calculus. In most cases, local anesthesia is administered before scaling and root planing is preformed.  Patients who require this procedure are recommended to return to the dentist every three months for a periodontal maintenance appointment.  

 



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  Sealants



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  Snore Prevention

This device is worn during sleep.  It helps bring the lower jaw forward, which in turn, opens the soft palate.  This allows air to flow freely in the pharynx without vibrating the soft palate (snoring).

Useful links:

Silent Nite® - graphic is a "Silent Nite" mouth piece from Glidewell labs.

 

 

 

 

 



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  TMJ/TMD

TMJ is temporomandibular joint - the jaw joint.  

TMD is temporomandibular disorder.

In our office we provide a thorough examination to determine if you have TMJ problems.  Most of these problems can be treated without having to see a specialist.  Many times a simple appliance like a splint or a jaw repositioning appliance can relieve great stress and sometimes pain placed on the tissues surrounding the temporomandibular joint.  In more complicated cases, these appliances are used in conjunction with warm compresses, medication and physical therapy.


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  Veneers

Veneers are a very popular and rather conservative cosmetic procedure in dentistry today.  A veneer is a thin veil of porcelain which is cemented to the front surface of front teeth.  This procedure is conservative because it requires minimal preparation of the teeth by the dentist.  Veneers are used to mask teeth that are misaligned, hide gaps between front teeth, and/or cover teeth that have intrinsic stain. 

 


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Whitening/Bleaching

Whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure available to the public today.  In our office we use the one-hour, in-office Sapphire/Lumibrite Whitening System.  Our team is highly trained in assisting with the procedure as well as giving pre and post operative instructions so that patients may achieve the best results. 

The Sapphire/Lumibrite system differs from ZOOM Whitening in that a plasma arch curing light is used instead of a UV curing light.  This light is much safer to patients' extra-oral areas, mainly the skin and lips.

 

 


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