At Hicks Dental Group, your dentist in Prescott, AZ, we offer patients a variety of dental services in a caring and gentle environment. We provide comprehensive exams, treatment of periodontal (gum) disease, hygiene services, fillings, extractions, implant restorations, full and partial dentures, crown and bridgework and teeth whitening in Prescott, AZ. Our full list of services are listed below. You can use the menu on the left to learn more about these services.
The application of tooth colored resin filling material (composite) to the teeth has been a dental technique for many years. Recent advances in technology have increased the strength, durability and longevity of these restorations.
We use bonding material that are molded and sculpted to achieve outstanding natural looking results. Bonding can be used to restore decayed teeth, close spaces between teeth, repair chips, correct discoloration, and straighten misaligned teeth.
Dental bridges are a great way to replace missing teeth. Your existing teeth are used to literally create a bridge to cross the area where your tooth is missing. Bridges are made from gold, metal, alloys, or porcelain to ensure that they are strong and durable.
The existing teeth are recontoured to provide a base for the bridge. A mold is taken of to area, which is sent to a dental lab. The lab is able to use the mold to create a bridge that will fit properly and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible.
We will fit you with a temporary bridge while we wait for the lab to craft your permanent bridge. This will protect the abutments and the exposed gum areas and look more appealing than having a missing tooth. When the permanent bridge has been created, you will have a follow up visit to permanently seat the bridge.
If you are missing a tooth you should strongly consider having it replaced. Besides the aesthetic disadvantage of missing a tooth, it could also cause structural changes to your mouth and jaw, as well as making it difficult to eat or speak properly. Set up an appointment today to restore your smile.
Bruxism Prevention Therapy
Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. When teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise.
If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist. He or she can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth.
In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear their teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.
Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.
If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.
CEREC One Visit Restoration
After removing the unsound tooth structure a 3D image of the tooth with the aid of the CEREC camera.
The restoration is designed on the monitor of the CEREC acquisition unit.
The CEREC milling unit machines the restoration out of a ceramic block.
The milled restorations are customized to match your teeth.
The finished restoration is then bonded directly to your tooth.
Cosmetic Dentistry in Prescott, AZ
"Cosmetic dentistry is a term used to describe the type of dentistry which strives to not only IMPROVE the appearance of patients' teeth, but also make sure they look as natural as can be. All dentistry should strive to be cosmetic dentistry."
The purpose of cosmetic dentistry is to address the needs of our patients who may not feel overly confident in the appearance of their smile. After all, a smile is often one of the first impressions you have to offer when interacting with others in your personal or professional life. Cosmetic dentistry in Prescott, AZ, which strives to correct flaws that are visible when you eat, laugh, smile, or speak, is available to all of our patients with mostly healthy teeth who want that extra edge. The majority of these treatments are non-invasive and can be completed relatively quickly, and some procedures even overlap with other more traditional treatments like dental implants.
It is important to note that cosmetic dentistry is ideal for those who already have overall good oral health. While all dentistry should strive to be cosmetic dentistry, certain purely cosmetic treatments should only be attempted when gums are healthy, functioning and there are not too many prosthetics already in place. Ask Dr. Hicks and our staff which cosmetic treatment would best achieve the results you are looking for.
Cases that can be treated with cosmetic dentistry:
- Teeth that appear too stubby
- Tooth gaps
- Stained teeth
- Oddly Shaped teeth
- Uneven gum tissue
- Knocked out teeth
- Chips & surface cracks
- Updating metal amalgam fillings
A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
Reasons for crowns:
- Broken or fractured teeth.
- Cosmetic enhancement.
- Decayed teeth.
- Fractured fillings.
- Large fillings.
- Tooth has a root canal
What kind of follow up care should I expect?
Fortunately, crowns function almost exactly like normal teeth, so you will only rarely notice that it is even present. The dentist will give you care instructions and the continued practice of brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly will help ensure the proper functioning of your new crown. The high durability of porcelain crowns helps them to last many years, but they may eventually need to be replaced.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth saving than traditional bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support.
Dental implants are so natural looking and feeling; you may forget you ever lost a tooth.
This procedure is a team effort between you, your dentist and your periodontist. Your periodontist and dentist will consult to determine where and how your implants should be placed. Depending on your specific condition and the type of implant chosen, your dentist and periodontist will create a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs.
Dentures and Partial Dentures
If you've lost all of your natural teeth, whether from periodontal disease, tooth decay or injury, complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile. Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag, making a person look older. You'll be able to eat and speak - things that people often take for granted until their natural teeth are lost.
Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases, which are connected by metal framework. Removable partial dentures attach to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments. Precision attachments are generally more esthetic than metal clasps and they are nearly invisible.
Inlays and Onlays
Our dentist use inlays and onlays in certain cases. Inlays and onlays are a conservative alternative to full coverage dental crowns. Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays offer a well-fitting, stronger, longer lasting reparative solution to tooth decay or similar damage. These restorations are beneficial from both an esthetic and functional point of view.
Inlays and onlays can often be used in place of traditional dental fillings to treat tooth decay or similar structural damage. Whereas dental fillings are molded into place within the mouth during a dental visit, inlays and onlays are fabricated indirectly by using CerecX technology or making them out of gold in our in house lab, before being fitted and bonded to the damaged tooth by your dentist.
The restoration is dubbed an "inlay" when the material is bonded within the center of a tooth. Conversely, the restoration is dubbed an "onlay" when the extent of the damage requires inclusion of one or more cusps (points) of the tooth or full coverage of the biting surface.
Invisalign is a revolutionary orthodontic treatment without the use of conventional metal braces. A series of computer generated, clear plastic aligners are used to move teeth. They are removable and comfortable to wear. They do not interfere with speech or everyday activities. This type of treatment does have some limitations and your dentist can evaluate you to see if you are a good candidate for this type of treatment.
How does Invisalign work?
Using the latest advances in 3-D computer technology, Invisalign translates your doctor's instructions into a series of nearly undetectable Aligners. You wear each set of Aligners for about two weeks, moving your teeth gradually until you've achieved the desired results.
Is Invisalign effective?
Invisalign is effective in treating both teens and adults. It works for a wide range of people whose teeth are too crowded or have spaces between them.
How Long does Invisalign take?
The length of treatment depends on the severity of your case.
Non Surgical Gum Treatment
Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing
The objective of scaling and root planing is to remove etiologic agents which cause inflammation to the gingival (gum) tissue and surrounding bone. Common etiologic agents removed by this conventional periodontal therapy include dental plaque and tartar (calculus).
These non-surgical procedures that cleanse the periodontium, work very effectively for individuals suffering from gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) and moderate/severe periodontal disease.
Reasons for scaling and root planing
Scaling and root planning can be used both as a preventative measure and as a stand-alone treatment. These procedures are performed as a preventative measure for a periodontitis sufferer.
Here are some reasons why these dental procedures may be necessary:
Disease prevention - The oral bacteria which cause periodontal infections, can travel via the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Research has shown that lung infections and heart disease have been linked to periodontal bacteria. Scaling and root planing remove bacteria and halts periodontal disease from progressing, thus preventing the bacteria from traveling to other parts of the body.
Tooth protection - When gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth, there is a greater risk of periodontal disease. As pockets deepen, they tend to house more colonies of dangerous bacteria. Eventually, a chronic inflammatory response by the body begins to destroy gingival and bone tissue that may lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the developed world.
Aesthetic effects - Scaling and root planing help remove tartar and plaque from the teeth and below the gumline. As an added bonus, if superficial stains are present on the teeth, they will be removed in the process of the scaling and root planning procedure.
Better breath - One of the most common signs of periodontal disease is halitosis (bad breath). Food particles and bacteria can cause a persistent bad odor in the oral cavity, which is alleviated with cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planing.
What do scaling and root planing treatments involve?
Scaling and root planing treatments are only performed after a thorough examination of the mouth. The dentist will take X-rays, conduct visual examinations and make a diagnosis before recommending or beginning these procedures.
Depending on the current condition of the gums, the amount of calculus (tartar) present, the depth of the pockets and the progression of the periodontitis, local anesthetic may be used.
Scaling - This procedure is usually performed with special dental instruments and may include an ultrasonic scaling tool. The scaling tool removes calculus and plaque from the surface of the crown and root surfaces. In many cases, the scaling tool includes an irrigation process that can also be used to deliver an antimicrobial agent below the gums that can help reduce oral bacteria.
Root Planing - This procedure is a specific treatment that serves to remove cementum and surface dentin that is embedded with unwanted microorganisms, toxins and tartar. The root of the tooth is literally smoothed in order to promote good healing. Having clean, smooth root surfaces helps bacteria from easily colonizing in future.
Following these deep cleaning procedures, the gum pockets may be treated with antibiotics. This will soothe irritation and help the gum tissues to heal quickly.
During the next appointment, the dentist or hygienist will thoroughly examine the gums again to see how well the pockets have healed. If the gum pockets still measure more than 3mm in depth, additional and more intensive treatments may be recommended.
If you have any concerns or questions about scaling and root planing, or periodontal disease, please ask your dentist.
Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom made (for shape and color) by a professional dental laboratory. They are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful and attractive smile.
Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile. They can often be alternatives to crowns and the ideal solution in treating many dental conditions.
As with most dental restorations, veneers are not permanent and may someday need replacement. They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.
Reasons for porcelain veneers:
- Cosmetically, to create a uniform, white, beautiful smile.
- Crooked teeth.
- Misshapen teeth.
- Severely discolored or stained teeth.
- Teeth that are too small or large.
- Unwanted or uneven spaces.
- Worn or chipped teeth.
What does getting porcelain veneers involve?
Getting veneers usually requires two visits to complete the process, with little or no anesthesia required during the procedure. The teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer. A mold or impression of the teeth is taken and a shade (color) will then be chosen by you and the dentist.
On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond. Bonding cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a special light beam is used to harden and set the bond.
You will receive care instructions for veneers. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new veneers
A dental sealant is a bonded resin material that helps shield out decay-causing bacteria from the grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. We base our diagnosis and recommendation for dental sealants on the patient's susceptibility to tooth decay and how the teeth were shaped when they originally formed below the gum. Although there is no specific age at which sealants are indicated; often we will recommend the best time to apply them is when the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear.
Teeth Whitening in Prescott, AZ
Professional tooth whitening gel works using the active ingredient carbamide peroxide. It breaks down into oxygen and water to lighten your teeth. The structure of your teeth is not changed, but they will appear whiter.
There are three basic steps to professional tooth whitening.
First we take an impression of your teeth and fit you with custom-made trays. Then, at home, you will fill the trays with whitening gel and wear them according to your individual treatment plan. In about a week you'll visit us for an assessment of your brighter, whiter smile.