Our Dental Services
You can trust that when you enter our Fairfield Smiles By Design office, you will receive the best care possible. This is because we never settle. We constantly strive to learn more and to keep abreast of the advancements in our field. Our entire staff is committed to offering the best oral and dental care, with the latest advancements and best techniques. Whether you’re missing parts of your smile , or just want it to shine brighter, we provide comprehensive, thorough care for all of your dental needs.
If you’ve been avoiding the dentist or just don’t feel comfortable in the chair, Fairfield Smiles by Design is the place you want to go. We offer sedation dentistry – including nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation and IV sedation. We work with you to determine your personal qualms and anxieties, and offer solutions that will have you smiling in no time.
We believe that the best smile is a healthy smile. In additional to prosthodontics, we offer preventative measures – such as dental exams and hygiene. We also offer services to address gum disease, snoring, sleep apnea, bruxism and TMJ. We provide thorough examinations to stay ahead of potential problems and keep your smile as healthy as possible.
Call us today at (203) 254-0545 to find out how we can give you the smile of your dreams.
It is highly recommended by our practice that patients see the dentist 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. Based on your examination, any needed x-rays and treatment recommendations will be given.
It is very important to perform regular check-ups at least twice a year to allow your dentist to look for 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 more difficult 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
If a natural-looking smile is important to you, your dentist can now repair and restore your teeth with tooth-colored fillings, inlays, onlays, crowns and veneers that when placed, look just like your teeth.
Also known as dental fillings, tooth colored restorations are a way to help stop tooth decay from causing sufficient damage to warrant having a tooth pulled.
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.
They also feel, look and 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.
When your decayed tooth needs more than a filling, but less than a crown to repair it, your dentist will use either an inlay or an onlay to bring your tooth back to a healthy state.
Inlays are used when the decay is within the indented top surface (cusp) of a tooth, and an onlay is used when the cavity involves one or more cusps.
If the cavity or tooth damage is more severe, it may be necessary to have a crown placed.
Here you can see the difference between amalgam fillings and tooth-colored fillings that match the surrounding color of your tooth.
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.
Crowns and Bridges
A dental crown becomes necessary when a tooth has become weakened by decay or fracture. It can also be used for cosmetic purposes. A dental crown is placed by first grinding away the tooth so that it is smaller. A crown or cap is then placed over the tooth and secured.
If you are missing one or more teeth, your dentist 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 a fixed bridge is 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.
These wafer-thin shells, that are most often made from porcelain or ceramic, are bonded to the front surface of a tooth to cover teeth that are discolored, stained, chipped, cracked or even misaligned or have gaps between them. Your dentist makes impressions of your teeth and then a mold of the way your teeth will look once the veneers are placed. The mold is sent to a dental lab where the veneers are created. Once they are returned to your dentist’s office (typically in five to ten business days), your dentist uses a special cement to apply the veneer to your tooth or teeth.
Once the veneer is placed, and both you and your dentist are happy with the way it looks, a special light is used to harden the cement and permanently attach the veneer to your tooth.
Veneers are made in a tone and translucency that either matches your teeth or whitens and improves the look of your teeth. Veneers typically last for five to ten years and do not require any special care – just brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist.
Your dentist can help you determine if your teeth and gums are healthy and good candidates for teeth whitening, and which whitening process will give you even, natural looking results. 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. If teeth whitening is a good option for you, in-office whitening will give almost immediate results; and teeth whitening trays and gels created by your dentist can be done at home over the span of three days to two weeks.
If you are missing one or more teeth, or wear partial or full dentures, dental implants can be the perfect solution.
An implant is a titanium screw that is placed in your jaw, where it functions like a tooth root and stimulates the bone and tissue to keep them from disintegrating.
An abutment is fastened to the implanted screw, and an artificial tooth is attached to the abutment that protrudes from the gum. Once the artificial tooth is placed on the abutment, it looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth.
Dental implants can also be used to secure partial or full dentures; and instead of attaching an artificial tooth to the abutment, the dental plate or partial is fitted with an O-ring that snaps on to the abutment.
For a partial denture, as few as one implant may be needed; and for full dentures, it will take four or more implants to securely hold the prosthesis in place. Implant-supported partials or dentures function just like normal teeth, allowing you to bite and chew just as you did with your permanent teeth; but the dentures can still be removed for cleaning.
Periodontal Disease, or gum disease, is a serious infection in your gums that is mainly caused by bacterial plaque 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 be removed only 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 and 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.
Along with good daily oral hygiene habits, regular visits to your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings (involving scaling and root planing to remove plaque or tartar buildup) will help keep your gums healthy and free of periodontal disease and infections.
Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)
Even with good daily oral hygiene, some plaque still remains in your mouth; and over time it can harden and become tartar (also known as calculus), which, if left in your mouth, causes periodontal disease. Tartar can be removed only by a dentist or dental hygienist with a process called “scaling”, in which 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.
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.
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, your dentist will first remove the dental pulp. 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.
In a way, bonding is like a simplified version of a veneer or a crown. While it can’t withstand the kind of abuse that those solutions can, bonding works well in a variety of situations.
This is a process in which 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.
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.
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.
Enamel shaping is the opposite of dental bonding. Also known as contouring, this 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.
During the 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. Once your teeth are smoothed and/or reshaped, they will be polished to finish the process.
Invisalign® is essentially an invisible way to straighten your teeth without the use of traditional braces.
The Invisalign® system employs a series of clear, removable aligners that move your teeth, over time, to give you the smile you always dreamed of.
Invisalign® is very versatile, helping to correct a wide range of dental and orthodontic issues – such as over-crowded teeth, widely spaced teeth, overbite and underbite.
These situations can contribute to gum disease and wearing of teeth, as well as painful jaw and joint problems.
Advances in technology have allowed the field of dentistry to continually improve the quality of care for patients and increase comfort as well as time and efficiency. With the advent of computers and digital equipment in the field of medicine, it has now become possible to take digital impressions where dentists once used mouth trays to take an impression.
This modern technology allows for rapid results and cuts down on transit time between doctor and laboratory, processing time and more. Your doctor can now use a digital scanner to take a quick, highly accurate digital impression of your teeth in order to create precision fitting crowns, bridges, dentures and more.