Granite Springs Dentistry proudly provides high quality dental services to the people of Cheyenne, WY. Dr. Merrill Bassett takes great care to make sure each patient’s needs are met by providing the following services.
When teeth develop cavities, the decayed tooth structure needs to be removed. Once the tooth is free of decay, a filling is necessary to restore tooth shape, function, and esthetics. In the past, silver fillings were used. They are unsightly, permanently stain the teeth and gums, and cause teeth to split in half. We offer only white fillings, and believe they will preserve your health and beautiful smile.
When you smile, the world smiles with you. A healthy, happy smile facilitates good family, work, and social relationships! Cosmetic dentistry may involve orthodontics, bonding, bleaching, crowns, veneers, and even implants and dentures. Whatever your cosmetic needs, we will inform you of your options and help you choose what is best for you.
Teeth may become damaged due to trauma, decay, old fillings, or excessive wear from grinding and clenching. Often teeth will develop fractures, even on teeth that have never had any dental work! Fractured teeth continue to crack under stress. When the fracture proceeds into the nerve and down the root, the tooth must be extracted.
Crowns are necessary to prevent fractures from proceeding into the root. Crowns are also necessary when the damage is too large for a filling. Crowns cover the whole tooth, are permanently attached, and look like a natural tooth.
When a single tooth is missing, dental implants are the ideal replacement. Planning is important to ensure adequate bone thickness, height, and density exists to ensure a good prognosis. Dental implant surgery is a generally comfortable procedure. Some implants will need months to heal before a crown is attached. Often a crown can be attached right away.
Implants can also be used under bridges, and to retain dentures. Come see us to determine how implants can restore your smile.
White teeth improve our self esteem. Many bleach products are available, supplied by us or purchased over-the-counter. Over the counter products are not as strong as our "take home kits" or our "in-office bleach".
The active ingredient in dental bleach is either carbamide peroxide, or hydrogen peroxide. Given the same percentage of active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide is about 3 times stronger and more effective than carbamide peroxide. Or as a comparison, 18% carbamide peroxide is as strong as 6% hydrogen peroxide.
Generally speaking, the stronger the % of peroxide, the more sensitive teeth will be. Studies have shown that bleaching causes no harm to the teeth. Most products now contain desensitizers such as potassium nitrate, or stannous fluoride, both work very effectively. You should expect little to no sensitivity when used with desensitizing agents. As teeth will stain progressively over time, re-bleaching teeth is recommended every 4-6 months.
A variety of options exist which fall under the category of "veneers".
No prep veneers generally require minimal to no preparation of the teeth. These are usually only appropriate for patients who have small teeth, or teeth with consistent gaps between them. If these veneers are placed onto already satisfactorily sized teeth, the end result will appear bulky and unnatural.
Composite veneers can also be placed. They generally show breakdown and staining around their edges more quickly than porcelain.
Porcelain veneers will require preparation, or reduction, of the tooth surface. Reduction may be necessary on the front (facial), top (incisal), and in-between (proximal) surfaces of the teeth. The veneers will replace the removed tooth structure with more esthetically pleasing shape, color, and size. Because these veneers are as thin as the amount of tooth structure removed they appear natural, not bulky.
A nightguard is always fabricated to protect the veneers while you sleep.
There are two types of dental cleanings.
A prophy is a "regular cleaning". A recall appointment is recommended every six months for the average dental patient to treat and prevent gingivitis. The teeth are "scaled" with fine dental instruments to remove calculus (calcified plaque). Then they are polished with a gentle rotary cup and paste to ensure plaque removal.
Scaling and root planing is another type of dental cleaning. Sometimes it is referred to as a "deep cleaning". This procedure is necessary when a patient has periodontal disease. During this procedure, the teeth and roots are scaled. Root surfaces, whether exposed or under the gumline, are also planed (smoothed) to limit the ability of bacteria to adhere to the root surface.
By definition, a prophylaxis is a disease preventing procedure. Scaling and root planing is not preventive in nature. It is meant to manage periodontal disease. Periodontal maintenance visits are needed more frequently, every 3-4 months.
Some patients may have experienced anxiety in the past related to dentistry. Our goal is to prevent dental anxiety. We offer television services during procedures to help you relax. The dental chairs are top of the line, and deliver a gentle back massage, if desired. Our team of dental professionals is patient and friendly. Of course, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is available. For patients that require pharmaceutical aid, medication prescriptions such as valium may be prescribed. Let us know how we can make you more comfortable.
Young patients need extra care and patience during dental procedures. We love children and are happy to accommodate and care for their dental needs. Generally, nitrous oxide is recommended for most adolescents.
Sometimes teeth are damaged irreparably and need to be extracted. These teeth may be erupted, or impacted by soft tissue or bone. Teeth that are easily removed are called "simple" extractions. If bone or soft tissue needs to be modified it is referred to as a "surgical" extraction.
When pathology, pain, or conditions likely to cause such are present, wisdom tooth removal is indicated. Otherwise, wisdom teeth may be left alone.
Indications for wisdom teeth removal.
Pericoronitis: Inflammation and pain around wisdom teeth.
Periodontal pocketing: Deep pockets between the wisdom tooth and it's neighbor tooth resulting in bleeding, inflammation, and pain.
Decay: Cavities in either the wisdom tooth itself or in its neighbor.
Cysts etc.: If left untreated, negative consequences may follow.
Pressure from wisdom teeth pushing on adjacent teeth or bone can cause pain. Occasionally this pain may radiate through the head and neck resulting in headaches etc.
Tooth loss can render individuals unable to chew or eat nutritious foods, affecting overall physical health. Complete dentures and partial dentures allow us to replace lost dentition, assisting the restoration of function and aesthetics. Occasionally these appliances have little retention, and implants are recommended to help them stay firmly in place.
New patient exams are required to fully diagnose conditions and treatment plan. Regular four-six month exams enable monitoring and modifying treatment as needed.
Sealants are plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. Children usually need sealants to prevent decay. Medium or high caries risk individuals, including adults, may also require sealants.
Certain individuals need added protection to their teeth. If you clench or grind your teeth day or night an appliance is recommended to prevent damage.
Active individuals often sustain trauma during events such as water skiing, bike riding, basketball, football, and other sports. Teeth can be broken, fractured, or knocked out, possibly resulting in concussion or temporal mandibular joint trauma. Sportsguards are recommended for ALL sporting events.
When teeth have sustained physical or bacterial trauma, the nerve inside the tooth slowly turns necrotic and dies. Once this process has begun it cannot be reversed. Pain may or may not accompany the progression of pathology. The only treatment of choice to save the tooth is to have a root canal performed.
The root canal procedure involves creating a hole in the chewing surface of the tooth to access the nerve chamber. Very fine, sterile files are used to clean and shape the canals. The canals are then filled with a solid material and sealed with a permanent restoration.