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Our General Dentistry Services
Our office provides various preventive and general oral care options to keep your family’s smiles healthy and shining brightly. Our devoted dentists and staff at Merrell and Nichols Dentistry provide thorough examinations, expert cleanings, digital x-rays, and more to support you and your loved ones in maintaining healthy enamel and gum tissues. Call us immediately if you require the best dentist in Lubbock TX.
What is General Dentistry?
General dentistry is the branch of dentistry that focuses on the available care and treatment of the teeth and gums. A general dentist is a dental professional who has completed an accredited dental program and has passed all state licensure exams. General dentists, such as Dr. Merrell typically provide preventive care, such as regular teeth cleanings and fluoride treatments, as well as available dental procedures, such as fillings, extractions, and crowns. General dentists may also offer specialized services, such as gum disease treatment, orthodontics, or dental implants.
Why See a General Dentist in Lubbock?
Why see a general dentist? Regular dental visits are essential for maintaining good oral health. During a dental visit, your dentist will check for tooth decay or other problems and can provide treatment to help prevent serious dental problems. So, if you are due for a dental check-up, schedule an appointment with your general dentist today!
Dental Cleanings and Exams
At Merrell & Nichols DDS, we believe the first step in keeping your smile beautiful is ensuring your teeth and gums are healthy. We offer comprehensive new patient exams and routine exams at cleaning appointments.
We recommend having your teeth cleaned at least every six months. Your initial oral examination includes a visual inspection, charting, periodontal probing, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations. We will also take x-rays, including the panoramic x-ray for proper diagnosis of the anterior (front) and posterior (back) teeth and the bite-wing x-ray series for accurate diagnosis of proximal decay of posterior teeth.
Dental cavities (also known as tooth decay) frequently occur when germs attack tooth enamel and leave behind a hole. Our experienced general dentists provide tooth-colored composite fillings consisting of a composite resin to fill cavities and fix chipped teeth or other minor tooth damage. Composite resin offers a pleasing visual effect and is colored to match your tooth. Today’s fillings are more robust, long-lasting, and realistic-looking than ever before.
Dental sealants are applied to the grooved chewing surfaces of the back teeth to help protect these higher-risk areas from developing tooth decay. These teeth contain natural grooves and fissures that could collect food particles, germs, and plaque, increasing their susceptibility to tooth decay. Sealants consist of a thin, tooth-colored, or invisible substance that we apply onto the chewing surfaces to help guard the molars or premolars against corrosion.
Fluoride is a substance that occurs naturally strengthens teeth and lowers the risk of tooth decay. We apply fluoride treatments to your teeth as a preventive dentistry procedure to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the risk of cavities.
We may need to extract your tooth if tooth decay has damaged enough of your tooth’s structure to make repair difficult. Additionally, we may need to remove teeth to prepare for the insertion of dental implants or to extract a wisdom tooth that is threatening to crowd nearby teeth or is not correctly emerging from the gums. We will always try to save your natural tooth first and foremost.
Best General Dentist in Lubbock, TX
Regarding general dentistry, there are many reasons to choose Merrell and Nichols Dentistry. First and foremost, we are general dentists dedicated to providing the highest quality of care possible. We use state-of-the-art equipment and techniques and continually update our knowledge and skills to ensure they provide the most up-to-date care.
In addition, we are committed to making sure that our patients are comfortable and relaxed during their visits. We offer various services, including teeth cleanings, fillings, crowns, bridges, and more. Whether you need primary general dentistry or more specialized care, Merrell and Nichols Dentistry is here to help. Call today!
Do you have a cavity? A dental filling is an excellent way to restore cavities. The procedure is fast and effective. You can have your tooth filled in one visit and get back to your life. We are a top-rated Lubbock dentist.
What are Composite Dental Fillings, and What Do They Do?
We use dental fillings to restore cavities. We place the filling material in the cavity and then seal it. This process prevents further decay and keeps your tooth healthy. A filling with a small cavity can help prevent it from getting worse.
What is the Process?
The process of getting a filling is quick and easy. Dr. Merrell will ensure you are comfortable and that we have answered your questions about the process. Once you are ready, we will use specialized dental instruments to clean the cavity and place the filling material. Once the filling is in place, we will seal it using a specialized light.
We may have you come for a follow-up appointment after some time has passed. This way, we can ensure the fillings are doing their job as expected.
What are the Benefits of Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings have many benefits. They include:
-A quick and easy way to restore cavities: fillings are often the best approach to cavities. Suppose you allow a cavity to go for too long without addressing it. In that case, you may at some point need treatment that is far more uncomfortable, invasive, and expensive than a simple filling—for example, a root canal or even a tooth extraction. But a filling takes just a short time during one dental visit, and you’re done!
-A way to prevent further decay: once we fill a cavity, the decay halts. The filling also eliminates toothache and precludes the need for more extensive dental work.
-A way to keep your tooth healthy: when you have a filling, your tooth can function as expected. The packing helps keep your smile healthy and looking its best.
How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?
Most dental fillings last for many years. The better you take care of them, the longer they can stay. With proper care, they can last a lifetime.
How to Take Care of Your Composite Dental Fillings
Taking care of your dental fillings is essential to ensure they last. Be sure to brush, floss regularly, and see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Be careful when biting into hard candies or foods, as this can damage your fillings and teeth!
If you have a filling that we need to replace, Dr. Merrell can help. We will assess the condition of your packing and recommend the best course of action.
What is the Cost of a Dental Filling?
The cost of a dental filling will vary depending on different factors, including the filling material used. At Merrell and Nichols Dentistry, we use only the highest quality materials. We will work with you to find a material that fits your budget and needs. We can provide accurate cost estimates before beginning any work, and we have financing options to help you pay for our quality dental services.
Top-Rated Lubbock Dentist
We use high-quality materials to restore your tooth with the best possible care. Our fillings are durable, long-lasting, and will look great in your teeth so you can feel confident about your smile.
Dental fillings are just one of the many top-quality dental services we offer in Lubbock, Texas. We are here for you if you are interested in dental fillings or a consultation on our cosmetic dentistry, family dentistry, preventative dentistry, or any of your other dental needs.
A happy smile starts with healthy teeth, and that’s why we offer dental crowns. We can help restore your smile with our comfortable and safe dental crowns if you have cavities or other dental problems. They look great, and the placement procedure is comfortable. So if you need dental crowns from the best dentist in Lubbock TX come to Merrell and Nichols.
What are Dental Crowns, and Why Do I Need Them?
Dental crowns are also called “caps.” They are placed over the top of a tooth to protect it. Crowns contain different materials, including metals, porcelain, and composites. They are often used to:
– Cover a tooth treated with a root canal
– Protect a weak tooth from breaking
– Hold together parts of a cracked tooth
– Cover a misshapen or severely discolored tooth
– Cover a tooth that has had too much of the enamel worn away
The Placement Procedure for Dental Crowns
The placement procedure for dental crowns is usually pretty simple at our Lubbock dental office. First, we will numb the area around the tooth so you won’t feel any pain. Then, we will gently file down the tooth so the crown can fit over it. Once the tooth is the right size, we will take an impression of it so the crown can be custom-made. It usually takes about two weeks for the crown to be ready. In the meantime, you will wear a temporary crown.
Once the permanent crown is ready, we will numb the area around the tooth again and then carefully place the crown over the tooth. We will ensure it fits correctly and then cements it into place.
How to Care for Dental Crowns After Placement
You need to take good care of your dental crown to last. Here are some tips:
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss once a day.
- Visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
- Avoid chewing hard foods, ice, or candy.
- Don’t open bottles or packages with your teeth.
The Benefits of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns offer many benefits, including:
- Improved Appearance: Dental crowns can cover misshapen, discolored, or damaged teeth.
- Improved Dental Health: Dental crowns can protect weak or damaged teeth from further decay or injury.
- Improved Function: Dental crowns can help teeth work better when chewing or biting.
Sedation Dentistry Options in Lubbock
Some patients may feel anxious or nervous about undergoing specific procedures regarding dental care—especially children. At Merrell and Nichols Dentistry, we make your comfort our priority. Our dentists can treat children and adults and help you feel at ease in the dental chair. We also love helping our patients and are great at making their experience with us as enjoyable as possible.
Another way we can help you feel relaxed during treatment is through sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry can be an effective option for a procedure such as a dental crown placement.
Different types of sedation can be used, depending on the procedure and the patient’s level of anxiety. Laughing gas is a common form of sedation that can help you relax and minimize discomfort.
The goal is to help you, the patient, feel calm and comfortable throughout the dental crown placement so we can get through the procedure and you can get on with your life.
Sedation dentistry is safe and commonly used for all patients, children included. If you have any questions about sedation dentistry, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Best Dentist in Lubbock TX
Dr. Merrell wants your experience at our Lubbock, Texas, dental office to be as positive as possible. We use the latest technology and offer various services, from routine checkups to dental crowns. We’re here to help you achieve optimal oral health.
Please schedule an appointment with us today. We look forward to helping you or your child bring those beautiful smiles.
Are you missing a tooth? You’re not alone. Missing teeth can be embarrassing and make it difficult to eat and speak. Dental bridges are an excellent way to replace missing teeth. They’re functional, they feel great, and they look natural. You’ll be able to smile with confidence once your dental bridge is in place. If you need a dental bridge, come to the top-rated Lubbock dentist.
What are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are prosthetics that we use to fill in the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge holds the prosthetic in place on both sides with dental crowns. Dental bridges contain various materials, including gold, silver, and porcelain.
How Are Dental Bridges Made?
Dental bridges are custom-made to fit your mouth. Dr. Merrell will take impressions of your teeth and create a mouth model. We will carefully craft the dental bridge to match the shape and color of your natural teeth.
What are the Benefits of Dental Bridges?
There are many benefits of dental bridges, including:
- Improved Appearance – Dental bridges can give you a natural-looking smile.
- Improved Oral Health – Dental bridges can help improve your oral health by preventing your remaining teeth from shifting.
- Improved Speech – Dental bridges can help improve your speech by filling in the gaps in your teeth.
- Improved Chewing – Dental bridges can help improve your chewing by filling in the gaps in your teeth.
How Long do Dental Bridges Last?
Dental bridges can last for many years with proper care. However, they may need to be replaced or adjusted over time. Like anything, the better you care for them, the better they can last.
How to Take Care of Dental Bridges
Taking the best care of your dental bridges includes brushing and flossing daily. You can’t floss between the prosthetic tooth row of your bridge, but you can floss the rest of your teeth. Flossing will keep your teeth in the best possible health, and a dental bridge can last longer in a healthy mouth because it relies on healthy teeth for support. And you can brush your bridge the same way you touch the rest of your teeth to keep it clean and in great shape.
Being careful when biting into hard foods or candies would be best. Your dental bridge can break or become loose. And be sure to visit the dentist for regular checkups. During the checkups, your dentist can ensure your bridge is functioning properly.
What is the Cost of a Dental Bridge?
The cost of dental bridges can vary depending on the materials used and the complexity of the procedure. We can provide accurate estimates of your costs during your consultation. We also offer payment options to help you manage costs.
What is the Dental Bridge Process?
During your initial consultation, Dr. Merrell will examine your mouth and discuss your treatment options. If you decide to get a dental bridge, the next step is to take impressions of your teeth. These impressions will help create a model of your mouth and a bridge that will fit perfectly.
Once the dental bridge is ready, you will come back to our office to have it placed. The bridge will be fitted over your natural teeth and bonded. You may need to return for a follow-up appointment to ensure the dental bridge works correctly.
Your Top-Rated Lubbock Dentist
We want to help you restore your smile and your confidence. We offer various services, including dental bridges, so that you can find the perfect solution for your needs. Merrell and Nichols Dentistry is here in Lubbock, Texas, to help you get the smile you’ve always wanted.
Schedule a free consultation today, and we’ll help you find the best dental bridge for your needs.
Root Canal Therapy
You may have an infection or decay in the tooth pulp or nerve if you have dental pain and irregular sensitivity. Everywhere you go, dentists emphasize how crucial it is to take care of these problems as soon as they arise and frequently suggest root canal therapy. Modern methods have made root canal therapy less unpleasant and drawn-out than it once was. We try our utmost to ensure that our patients are at ease. If you need root canal therapy, come to the best dentist in Lubbock TX – Merrell and Nichols Dentistry.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy, also known as root canal treatment, is a dental procedure we use to save a tooth damaged by decay. The process involves removing the damaged tissue inside the tooth, cleaning the area, and then filling it with a particular material.
We can use root canal therapy to treat various conditions, including infections, root fractures, and root Gallagher.
Root canal therapy aims to save the tooth so it can continue functioning properly. Root canal therapy is successful in most cases, and we can keep the tooth. However, some risks are associated with the procedure, including developing an infection. In addition, root canal therapy helps prevent infection spread to other teeth or parts of the body. A root canal is an effective way to restore a damaged tooth and protect your overall oral health.
How do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?
A tooth may sustain damage due to an accident or develop an infection from bacteria that enter the inner pulp through severe tooth decay or a significant break. Suppose a root canal or similar procedure is necessary to repair your tooth and restore its health in certain situations. In that case, our dentists may take an x-ray and perform an oral examination. Common indications that you could require a root canal include:
- A severe or excruciating toothache
- Discomfort when chewing
- Cold or hot temperature sensitivity
- Swelling in the gums or jaw
- A gum-related sore like a pimple
- After an accident, a tooth’s color changes
- Effusion in the jaw
- An abscessed tooth
What is the Root Canal Process?
A root canal is a procedure that Dr. Merrell may recommend if the pulp of your tooth becomes infected. The infection can happen due to decay, injury, or other causes. During a root canal, your dentist removes the damaged pulp. Then the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Cleaning helps to save the tooth and prevent further infection.
During a root canal procedure, we remove the nerve and blood supply from the tooth, and we clean and seal the inside of the tooth.
The root canal process usually involves two or three visits to the dentist. During the first visit, Dr. Merrell will numb your tooth and clean out the inside of it. We will place a temporary filling and give you antibiotics to help clear the infection.
At your second visit, Dr. Merrell will remove the temporary filling and clean your root canal again. They will then put a permanent filling or crown to protect your tooth.
Root canals are usually successful in saving teeth and preventing further infection. However, your dentist may need to extract your tooth even after a root canal. If you have questions about root canals or if you think you might need one, Dr. Merrell will be happy to discuss your options.
Best Dentist in Lubbock TX
When a root canal becomes necessary, you want to be sure you’re in good hands. You should consider Dr. Merrell for your root canal needs. Both our doctors are highly experienced and qualified in root canal procedures. We will take the time to ensure that the system is correct and that you’re comfortable throughout the process. In addition, we offer various payment options to ensure you can afford the treatment you need.
Root canals can be a stressful experience, but with Dr. Merrell, you can be confident that you’re in good hands. Come to the best dentist in Lubbock TX!
Missing teeth? You’re not alone. Dentures are a standard solution for missing teeth, and they offer a variety of benefits over other treatments. We can help develop the perfect denture set. They’re made from durable materials, so you can wear them all day without worrying about them falling out or breaking. If you need dentures, see us, the top-rated Lubbock dentist.
What are Dentures, and what are They Used For?
Dentures are prosthetic teeth used to replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of porcelain or plastic and are held in place by suction or a small amount of adhesive. We can use them to improve the function and appearance of your smile.
How do Dentures Work?
Dentures work by filling in the gaps left by missing teeth. They can be taken out and put back in as needed, making them easy to clean and manage.
The Benefits of Dentures Over Other Tooth Replacement Methods
Dentures offer several benefits over other tooth-replacement methods, such as implants or bridges. Dentures are typically more affordable than other options, and we can complete them in a shorter amount of time. They can also involve a less invasive option than alternative solutions and don’t require special care.
Types of Dentures Available
There are three main types of dentures available: complete dentures, partial dentures, and immediate dentures. We use complete dentures to replace all teeth in an arch and partial dentures to replace some. Immediate dentures are placed immediately after removing natural teeth and are a temporary solution until the permanent dentures are ready.
What is the Process for Dentures in Lubbock?
The process for dentures typically takes place over a few weeks. We will take impressions of your teeth and gums during the first visit. These impressions create models of your mouth and carefully craft the dentures as a perfect match for your smile.
We will fit the dentures into your mouth on the second visit and make any necessary adjustments. We will also provide you with instructions on caring for your new dentures.
How to Care for Your Dentures
Caring for your dentures is essential to keep them looking and feeling their best. Be sure to brush your dentures daily with a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. It would help if you soaked them in a denture-soaking solution at least once daily to remove any plaque or food particles.
How Much Do Dentures Cost?
Complete dentures can be more expensive than partial dentures, but the cost will depend on various factors, including the nature of your unique dental situation. Dental insurance may also cover part or all of the cost of dentures. Call today for a consultation to get an estimate of how much your dentures will cost.
High-Quality Restorative Dentures
Missing teeth can be embarrassing and make eating the foods you love difficult. Dentures are a great way to replace missing teeth and regain your smile.
With dentures from Dr. Merrell, you can have few restrictions on the kinds of food you can take, minimal social awkwardness brought about by missing teeth and restored facial appearance, including a beautiful smile. Dentures also protect any remaining teeth, and you can remove them for proper cleaning.
Top-Rated Lubbock Dentist
Schedule an appointment today with Merrell and Nichols Dentistry. We would be happy to discuss your options with you and help you find the best solution for your needs.
You may need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are decayed, others may have advanced periodontal disease or may have broken in a fashion which cannot be repaired. Other teeth may have to be removed because they are poorly positioned in the mouth, such as impacted wisdom teeth. Teeth that are malpositioned or crowded may have to be extracted in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
Should I Replace An Extracted Tooth?
When a tooth is missing its neighboring teeth tend to shift, sometimes significantly, which in turn can have a major impact on your dental health. Even the removal of a single tooth can lead to problems. To avoid these complications, we recommend that you replace the tooth that has been extracted. There are a number of options available to replace missing teeth including dental implants and dental bridges.
The nonsurgical laser is a visible light laser that is used to help detect decay in the pits and grooves common in back teeth where it can be difficult to discover. This technology allows us to detect the decay at a very early stage and determine if it needs to be filled or just cleaned out and sealed. In both cases, the tooth is made healthy with minimal loss of tooth structure and no filling is visible. These laser dentistry procedures can most often be performed without the need for any anesthesia.
What Are Soft Tissue Lasers?
Soft tissue lasers are used exclusively for cutting or removal of soft tissue from the gum or other parts of the mouth. They are also used for killing bacteria in periodontal pockets and to stimulate the cells in the area for more rapid and complete healing.
What Are Hard Tissue Lasers?
The hard tissue laser is used primarily for the removal of diseased tooth structure. It has the benefit of leaving a clean, sterile surface that kills all bacteria prior to placing the filling.
A frenectomy is the repositioning or clipping of one of the muscle attachments either between the gums and the lip or at the base of the tongue. This procedure is used to remove a muscle attachment that interferes with normal movement or speech. Additionally, often times these muscle attachments, when positioned closer to the margins of the gum tissue, can cause excessive loss and recession of the gum tissue around the teeth. Removing or lowering this attachment can help to prevent further gum recession and root exposure. While six of the main frenum attachments (muscle attachments) are between the inner part of the lips and the gum tissue, the other main frenum attachment is located at the base of the tongue and can restrict its movement. In more extreme cases, the individual would not be able to extend their tongue all the way, and the attachment would force the tongue to curl up. By relieving this muscle attachment, it enables full extension of the tongue and proper speech, which may have been hindered before.
What Is A Laser Frenectomy Treatment?
Conventional treatment for releasing the frenum involved a procedure where the frenum was cut with a blade or scissors, with or without sutures to reposition its attachment. Today, there is a procedure called “laser frenectomy” in which the Waterlase is used to zap the frenum with laser pulses without even touching it, gently severing it from its attachment. Healing time for laser frenectomy is reduced drastically, as the Waterlase does not create tissue trauma or charring, as some older lasers did. The actual procedure takes 3-5 minutes, and full healing with new skin is evident within 10 days. The new frenum attachment is at least 5 mm higher up, clearing the gums and releasing the tongue or the lip respectively. There is minimal post-operative discomfort involved with laser frenectomy. The area feels sore for 2-3 days.
Restore A Smile That Lasts
Merrell & Nichols Dentistry enjoys helping their patients keep their smiles healthy and beautiful. Their specialized expertise in smile design and restoring teeth, creates beautiful and long-lasting solutions for their patients.
A beautiful, healthy smile can transform your life. Modern cosmetic dentistry can change your image by brightening, straightening, or reshaping your teeth. If you have teeth that are worn, shifted, missing, or broken, then a smile makeover may be the answer for you. Smile Makeover involves careful consideration of your facial appearance, skin tone, hair color, tooth shape, gum tissue, and lips position in order to develop a plan to create Your Best Smile Ever!
Am I A Candidate For A Smile Makeover?
You could be a candidate for a smile makeover if you have any number of common dental problems such as…
- My teeth are crooked.
- Too much of my gums show.
- I am unhappy with the appearance of my smile.
- My teeth are uneven.
- My teeth are chipped or broken.
- I have missing teeth.
- My teeth are stained & discolored.
- I am embarrassed to smile.
Smile Makeovers can change your life. If you believe you can benefit from a smile makeover, please contact us.
Having a beautiful smile may be even easier than you think. Many people achieve the look they?ve been dreaming of with our simple whitening procedure. Whitening can dramatically improve the appearance of those stains resulting in a brighter, more attractive smile! Dental bleaching can be used to correct tooth discoloration. Discolorations can be caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. We have different options available to create the dazzling smile you have always wanted. We offer the take-home method of bleaching in which custom trays are fabricated and bleaching gel is placed in the trays at home over a period of time until the desired result is achieved. If you want instantly brighter teeth we offer in-office teeth whitening treatments which can lighten your teeth as much as eight shades in about an hour! In cases of extreme tooth discoloration, crowns or veneers may be the only choice.
Professional Teeth Whitening Vs. Over-The-Counter
Over the counter whitening products are different than professional whitening products in their concentration. Custom made whitening trays made at our dental office offer superior fit and less leakage of the whitening gel that can harm your root surfaces and gums, and possibly the nerves of your teeth if used improperly on a consistent basis. Though over the counter whitening products are easily accessible, it is often best to use professional teeth whitening to ensure the safety and efficacy of the whitening process.
Dental bonding is a process that can fix minor imperfections of the teeth. This is a great solution if you have spaces, cracks, or stains in your teeth. It is excellent for small defects in the teeth. Bonding involves adhering composite resin material to the front of the tooth. This material has been matched to the color of the tooth, so that it looks like part of your natural tooth.
How Does Dental Bonding Work?
First, the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it in place. A gel is then applied to micro-etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bonding agent is applied so that the bonding material adheres to the surface. Then, the bonding material is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. It is then shaped and polished to a lustrous finish.
Porcelain veneers are thin shells of ceramic that bond directly to the front surfaces of the teeth. They can be used to whiten teeth, reduce or eliminate spaces between teeth, repair broken or chipped teeth, or correct misshapen or crooked teeth. Veneers are a fantastic way to repair or enhance the appearance of front teeth.
Do Veneers look like normal teeth?
When bonded to the teeth, the ultra-thin porcelain veneers are virtually undetectable and highly resistant to coffee, tea, or even cigarette stains. For strength and appearance, their resemblance to healthy, white tooth enamel is comparable to normal teeth.
Our Implant Dentistry Services
A dental implant is an option that can be used to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone. The bone grows around it, forming a tight connection which slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist works to attach a replacement tooth onto the top of the titanium shaft. Dental implants are a permanent solution that do not place stress on surrounding teeth for support, the way that a bridge does. In the event that the replacement tooth wears out, another can simply be placed on the shaft. Dental implants can also be used as support anchors for an “implant bridge”. An implant bridge is an alternative to partial dentures, and it has several advantages. First, there is no adjustment period for the patient after the bridge is placed on the titanium shaft(s). Second, it slows the bone loss that accompanies missing teeth. Third, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating. Fourth, and best of all, they don’t have to be taken out like dentures.
Implant Supported Denture
Implant Supported Denture is a technique for total rehabilitation of the edentulous. This surgical and prosthetic medical procedure was developed, institutionalized and systematically analyzed in the 1990s through studies funded by Nobel Biocare in collaboration with Portuguese dentist, Paulo Mal?. It consists of the rehabilitation of the edentulous maxilla and mandible with fixed prosthesis by placing four implants in the anterior maxilla, where bone density is higher, allowing the highest success rate. The procedure is best for patients with significant tooth loss or decay and for people whose bone loss in the jaw area prevents them from getting dental implants.
How Is The Implant Supported Denture Different From Dentures?
This Implant Supported Denture solution is a procedure that only requires four dental implants per jaw to support a fully customized set of replacement teeth. Implant Supported Denture is attractive to patients wanting to get rid of their dentures, and to people with failing teeth in need of a full upper and/or lower restoration. The Implant Supported Denture procedure provides patients with new teeth that are firmly fixed in place, and look and function as close to natural teeth as possible. Unlike dentures which are removable, Implant Supported Dentures provide the patient with a set of teeth that are connected to the implants and are solidly fixed in place (what we call an implant-supported fixed bridge). They may only be removed by the dentist, are bushed and cleaned like normal teeth (though flossing is different), and are the closest thing possible to natural teeth in terms of look, feel and function. The Implant Supported Denture Bridge also allows the patient to bite with much more force than dentures since the stresses are transferred directly to the bone rather than to gum tissue as with dentures. This means that patients can eat almost any of their favorite foods without worrying about their teeth.
What Are The Benefits f Implant Supported Denture?
The Implant Supported Denture treatment concept offers clinicians and their patients’ various clear benefits:
- Stability even in minimum bone volume
- Good clinical results
- Planning with NobelGuide treatment concept
- Prosthetic flexibility
- Increased efficiency
At Merrell & Nichols Dentistry, we strongly believe in preventive dentistry as the best possible means of maintaining optimum oral health. Preventive dental care can help maintain a beautiful, healthy smile by safeguarding against oral diseases like dental decay, gum disease, or periodontal disease. Our approach to preventive dental care includes routine, gentle dental cleanings and checkups as well as education and advice that can help you practice good oral hygiene at home.
Oral Cancer Screening
Dr. Merrell & Dr. Nichols perform an Oral Cancer Screening as an integral part of your thorough annual examination. You will be screened for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth. The goal of oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer early when there is a greater chance for treatment.
Saliva testing serves as a baseline to find hidden oral conditions that can be a threat to your oral and systemic health. There are common bacteria that directly cause gum disease, diabetes, strokes, and even birth complications. Salivary diagnostics provide the necessary information to personalize therapy if you already have periodontal disease and in some cases prevent disease.
Benefits of saliva testing:
- Early warning of oral pathogens
- Simple and noninvasive
- Viruses, bacterial, fungal infections and genetic risk factors can be detected
- Results allow us to individualize a treatment plan specific to the patient
MyPerioPath is the saliva test that allows us to find out which specific type of bacteria is involved in the cause of periodontal disease. It provides semi-quantitative levels of 11 periodontal pathogens.
In our office, we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using 90% less radiation than conventional x-rays. This digital technique also allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis of any dental concerns.
At the office of Merrell & Nichols DDS, we take pride in using the latest technologies to ensure our patients get their best care ever. In our office, we use an intraoral camera to take actual photos of teeth for patient education.
In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn’t brush, but because they are too narrow or small to allow even one bristle of a toothbrush into them. These areas will develop decay if they are not cleaned. Sealants are used to prevent decay by filling in these pits and grooves. This coating seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.
Saliva Testing For Periodontal Disease
Saliva testing provides information on 11 different species of bacteria known to trigger periodontal disease. In addition to identifying the bacterial pathogens, the test provides a bacterial-related risk of disease progression and suggestions for suitable antibiotic and periodontal therapy protocols. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and other structures supporting the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. Besides helping with tooth retention, successful periodontal treatment can help patients with diabetes to better control their disease. (1,2) About 50% of Americans have gingival bleeding, the more common but less severe form of periodontal disease. (3) Several research studies have associated gum disease with other chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. References: 1) Swedish (Sweden) Koromantzos PA, Makrilakis K, Dereka X, et al. A randomized, controlled trial on the effect of non-surgical periodontal therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes. Part I: effect on periodontal status and glycaemic control. J Clin Periodontol. 2011;38:142-147. 2) Simpson TC, Needleman I, Wild SH, et al. Treatment of periodontal disease for glycaemic control in people with diabetes (Review). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(5):CD004714. 3) Albandar JM, Kingman A. Gingival recession, gingival bleeding, and dental calculus in adults 30 years of age and older in the United States, 1988-1994. J Periodontol. 1999;70:30-43.
Gum disease (Periodontal Disease) is responsible for about 70% of adult tooth loss. It is characterized by swollen, inflamed gums surrounding the teeth. Plaque, a sticky substance that forms in the mouth from food, saliva, and bacteria, gets inside the space between the gum line and the tooth. If not removed, plaque hardens into a substance called calculus, or tarter, that is very difficult to remove. Eventually, the bacteria in the plaque and tartar eat away at the fibers that hold the gums to the teeth, creating deep pockets. As bacteria spreads, the pockets become deeper until the bacteria finally eat away the bone that holds the tooth in place.
How Is Gum Disease Diagnosed?
Gum disease is diagnosed through a process that measures the depth of the pockets around each tooth. Pockets that are greater than 3 millimeters in depth are considered hazardous and will generally require treatment. The early detection and prevention of gum disease is another reason to see your dentist regularly.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Gum disease is treated by carefully removing the bacteria and substances that form in the pockets around the teeth. The removal of this material occurs on a microscopic level and requires great skill. Our dental team has had advanced training regarding how to effectively remove all of the bacteria. This process of removing the bacteria usually requires several visits to our office. Once the bacteria has been removed, the pockets must be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis by a registered hygienist. Otherwise, the bacteria will return.
Night Guards And Sports Guards
Grinding and clenching your teeth, known as bruxism, can lead to cracked teeth, pain, and even tooth loss. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD) can develop from bruxism and are extremely uncomfortable disorders of the jaw. Night guards and splints help to treat both these conditions. Bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD) are two painful conditions that can affect your quality of life. If you are suffering from either of these conditions, give us a call. We can create a treatment plan for you to help your condition and make your life more comfortable.
Bruxism is the medical name for teeth grinding or clenching. Some people who suffer from bruxism are not even aware of the exact problem. You might have dental problems, an aching jaw, or even a cracked tooth and not realize that the problem is that you have been grinding your teeth. While some teeth grinding and clenching is caused by stress or anxiety, most teeth grinding occurs at night. If left untreated, the results can be quite problematic including:
- Jaw Pain
- Loose Teeth
- Fractured teeth
- Worn teeth
- Hearing loss
Many people with bruxism use a night guard while they are sleeping. This is a custom-fitted appliance that will help protect your teeth from the grinding.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
Temporomandibular joint disorders occur when the temporomandibular joint of the jaw, the place where your lower jaw is hinged to your skull, becomes injured or inflamed. This condition may be referred to as either TMJ or TMD. TMJ/TMD can have multiple causes. Some of the most common are:
- Dislocation of the cushioning disc within the joint
- Injury to the jaw including blunt trauma and whiplash
This condition is quite painful. If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms, you should be evaluated for TMJ/TMD:
- Pain in your face, jaw, neck, or shoulders, especially when chewing, speaking, or yawning
- Clicking and popping in the jaw joint
- ?Locking? of the jaw
- Fatigue in the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
Like bruxism, night guards are helpful for people with TMJ/TMD. The guard keeps your teeth slightly separated and prevents them from clenching, which can exacerbate the condition. If your condition is more severe, you may require a splint to hold your jaw in place so that the joint can heal. As the name implies, night guards are worn while you are sleeping. Splints are worn all day. Just like any other protective sports gear, a mouth guard is essential for protecting your teeth from injuries in and around the mouth. It is often over looked but, mouth guards are available for athletes of all ages.
Importance of Mouth Guards
A mouth guard acts as a shield not only your teeth, but also for the soft tissues and gums. It doesn?t matter if the sport involves rough contact, light contact, or no contact at all, there is always the potential for athletes to be at risk for broken teeth and/or oral injuries. According to the American Dental Association reports that athletes who play sports with a mouth guard are 60 times less likely to damage their teeth than those who chose to play without one. If you think you or your child might be a candidate for a Sports Guard, visit with us at your next visit about protecting your teeth while you play sports.
Merrell & Nichols Dentistry pays very strict attention to infection control in their office. We follow strict infection control guidelines set by OSHA. We sterilize all instruments. The routine protocol for the operators consist of spraying and wiping with an antibacterial solution of all surfaces that come in contact with the staff and each patient. Use of disposable barriers on all handles and points of frequent contact, which are changed between patients. Hand washing stations are equipped with hand sanitizers. Personal protection items worn by the staff is either disposable or changed every day.
To give you the best smile, we use the latest technology that is proven to give great results. Our staff is trained in all of our instruments so that you leave with the best service available. We stay up-to-date by working with companies like Spear, that work to inform us innovative dental technology.
What Is i-CAT 3D Imaging?
The i-CAT? is an imaging system allowing our dentists to get highly detailed, 3D images of your dental anatomy. Like 2D digital x-rays, this system enables our office to efficiently and effectively plan:
- Dental implant placement
- Tooth extractions
- TMJ treatments
- Airway/Sinus assessments and sleep apnea
- Orthodontic assessments
The clear, detailed digital images produced provide optimal visualization of your facial structures. It also lets Dr. Nichols see the image from any angle and at any distance, so a complete and in-depth plan can be created to determine the course of treatment.
What Are The Benefits Of i-CAT Imaging Vs. Traditional CT Scans?
Patients can take advantage of a more complete dental treatment with i-CAT imaging. Special features for patients include:
- One, 10-second scan that provides enough data for a complete diagnosis.
- A safer diagnosis with less radiation than traditional CT scanners.
- Increased comfort – patients are seated in an open environment with plenty of space.
- A more cost effective imaging system.
- Dr. Nichols can easily share the data with patients, so that patients stay informed and are able to make educated decisions on their course of treatment.