Benefits of Becoming a Patient

Discussing all your dental concerns with your Lunn Dentistry’ family will enable us to develop a personalized dental strategy. From treating dental anxiety, evaluating oral health for periodontal disease, cosmetic procedures and restorative reconstruction, to assessing patient symptoms for TMJ/TMD and SRBD (Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders) enables us to provide a full compliment of dental services to effectively address your dental needs and diagnose any dental concerns.

Diagnosis Options

1dental-issues
Lets face it, going to the dentist can be a scary thought, especially for those who have had a bad experience in the past. We encourage you to talk to us about your dental distress, so that we can discuss ways to make each visit more pleasant. We want you to feel in control and encourage you to take part in decisions about your treatment, which can help you to feel less anxious. You may elect to have several procedures done at one time or have a series of shorter appointments. Please ask us about the different types of pain control available. Then decide which you feel will work best for you.
2fear-of-treatment
Let’s face it, going to the dentist can be a scary thought. Especially for those who have had a bad experience in the past. We encourage you to talk to us about your dental distress, so that we can discuss ways to make each visit more pleasant. You can feel more in control if you take part in decisions about your treatment, which can help you to feel less anxious. You may elect to have several procedures done at one time or have a series of shorter appointments. Please ask us about the different types of pain control offered which include Nitrous oxide, oral medication, and sedation. Then decide which you feel will work best for you.
3tooth-decay
Bacteria and Food can cause tooth decay. A clear, sticky substance called plaque is always forming on your teeth and gums. Plaque contains bacteria that feed on the sugars in the food you eat. As the bacteria feed, they create acids. The acids attack the teeth up to 20 minutes or longer after you eat. Over time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, causing tooth decay. Things that make you more likely to have tooth decay include:

  • Not brushing & flossing your teeth regularly, and not seeing your dentist for checkups and cleanings.
  • Eating foods that are high in sugars and other carbohydrates, which feed the bacteria in your mouth.
  • Not getting enough Fluoride. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acids produced by plaque.
  • Not having enough saliva. Saliva washes away food and harmful sugars, so it helps protect your teeth from decay. A Dry mouth can be caused by a condition known as Xerostomia, or Sjögrens syndrome, by taking certain medicines, or by breathing through your mouth.
  • Having Diabetes
  • Smoking, Tobacco use, or breathing second hand smoke

Gum disease can establish itself when the gums detach from the teeth as a result from an inflammatory response to plaque. Gum disease is mainly caused by bacteria from plaque and tarter build up. Other factors that may have potential to cause gum disease may include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Certain medications
  • Genetics

Types of Gum disease include:

  • Gingivitis – Beginning stage of gum disease, which usually goes undetected. This stage of the disease is reversible.
  • Periodontitis – Untreated Gingivitis can result in this next stage of disease. The common outcome is chronic inflammatory response, a condition when the body breaks down the bone and tissue in the infected area of the mouth, ultimately resulting in tooth and bone loss.

Signs of Gum disease include:

  • Red/Bleeding or swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Mobility of the teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity caused by receding gums
  • Abscessed teeth
  • Tooth loss
4bruxing
Occasional teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise. Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw when you wake up is a telltale symptom of bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night. In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implant, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed. We can talk with you about having a mouth guard made to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep. If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, please ask our doctors about options to reduce your stress. Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, cause or worsen TMJ/TMD, and even change the appearance of your face.
5oral-cancer-screening
Oral Cancer screening consists of a thorough exam specifically looking for lesions, including areas of Leukoplakia (an abnormal white patch of cells), and Erythroplakia (an abnormal red patch of cells). These lesions may become cancerous. If lesions are seen in the mouth, the following procedures may be used to find abnormal tissue that might develop into oral cancer:

  • Toluidine blue stain: A procedure in which lesions in the mouth are coated with a blue dye. Areas that stain darker are more likely to be cancer or become cancer.
  • Fluorescence staining: A procedure in which lesions in the mouth are viewed using a special light. After the patient uses a fluorescent mouth rinse, normal tissue looks different from abnormal tissue when seen under the light.
  • Exfoliative cytology: A procedure to collect cells from the lip or oral cavity. A piece of cotton, a brush, or a small wooden stick is used to gently scrape cells from the lips, tongue, mouth, or throat. The cells are viewed under a microscope to find out if they are abnormal.
  • Brush biopsy: The removal of cells using a brush that is designed to collect cells from all layers of a lesion. The cells are viewed under a microscope to find out if they are abnormal.

More than half of oral cancers have already spread to lymph nodes or other areas by the time they are found.

6sleep
Snoring is caused by vibrations caused by obstruction in movement of air or breathing when asleep. Most often, the obstruction is caused by the uvula, tonsils, or soft palate. Snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, OSA, which presents as continual pauses or cessation of breathing during sleep. Both snoring and sleep apnea can cause a reduction in adequate sleep, irritability and drowsiness. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults occurs when a person’s airway becomes partially or completely blocked many times during sleep. The result of this interrupted breathing pattern is severely fragmented sleep, as the individual must wake up enough to regain muscle control in the throat and to reopen the airway. This constant awakening means that people with apnea do not get sufficient or good quality sleep. But, because OSA sufferers typically do not gain full consciousness when they wake after apnea episodes, they often do not know the cause of their sleepiness and/or fatigue. Along with sleepiness and/or fatigue, OSA can cause significant physiological and psychological distress. OSA is a treatable disorder and, with proper diagnosis and treatment, many people have complete resolution of their symptoms. Our Doctors at Lunn Dentistry will conduct necessary testing to determine the severity of your OSA, and what plan of action(s) is needed for treatment.
7tmj
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome or TMJ joint disorders are medical problems related to the jaw joint. The TMJ connects the lower jaw to the skull (temporal bone) under your ear. Certain facial muscles control chewing. Problems in this area can cause head and neck pain, a jaw that is locked in position or difficult to open, problems biting, and popping sounds when you bite. Treatment for TMJ syndrome is most successful when the symptoms are recognized early and treatment is sought quickly. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the longer it will take to resolve the problem. A thorough examination and mini-exam with Dr. Riley Lunn will consist of the following:

  • A comprehensive clinical examination includes identification of bite and posture patterns: careful observations of signs and symptoms of your TMJ/TMD disorder and how it affects your posture, muscle tenderness, jaw joint function, and wear & tear on your teeth and gum tissues. A digital CT-Scan of your jaws will be taken as well to observe possible jaw joint pathologies or nasopharyngeal airway insufficiencies.

The goal of TMJ/TMD treatment is to achieve maximum improvement with comfort and normal function. For some patients, the ideal can be achieved, while for others, depending on the nature and stage of the illness, effective management is the maximum goal. Depending on the nature and severity of an individual patient’s condition, the appropriate therapy is determined. For some, simple treatment designed to relax muscles and reduce inflammation is used. For others, more comprehensive diagnostics and treatments are used. Using the information obtained from the computerized recordings of jaw movement and muscle function, Dr. Riley will discuss constructing of orthotic appliance(s). Each orthotic is prepared with detailed tooth anatomy to provide a stable biting position. The appliance, commonly called a “splint,” comfortably fits over either the lower or upper teeth or both, where it can remain invisibly for several months. Worn 24 hours a day, this precise appliance is removed only for cleaning the teeth and the splint. The orthotic permits the jaws to come together in a muscularly healthy position, retraining the muscles to move along a more natural, muscularly oriented pathway into the new occlusion. Patients often report experiencing a significant symptom improvement within a month, while wearing this comfortable appliance. Following three months of full-time use of the splint, patients return for a second computerized study of their jaw and associated muscle function. Based on test data, together with the patient’s symptom improvement, the outcome of the initial treatment is evaluated and options for additional therapy discussed.

 

Treatment Options

1emergency
Any dental emergency like an injury to the teeth or gums can be potentially serious and should not be ignored. Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive treatment later on.
Here are some common dental emergencies:

  • Toothache
  • Broken teeth
  • Loose or Broken Crown
  • Abscess
  • Lost filling
2general
General dentistry covers a wide range of procedures. This includes the initial mini-exam and diagnostics such as x-rays, CAT scans and impressions for stone models for teeth replacement if needed. Dr. Angela and Dr. Riley Lunn will use a variety of methods to determine what is wrong with your teeth before treatment.

In terms of treatments, below are the most common forms of treatment that may be offered.

  • Fillings – teeth can be filled with a variety of materials which include amalgam, mercury, porcelain and composite resin.
  • Crowns – these are artificial teeth or ‘caps’ which can be fitted over broken or damaged teeth. These will maintain their structure and protect them from further damage.
  • Bridge – this is a structure which contains an artificial tooth or ‘pontic’ which is anchored to a couple of crowns. These crowns fit over the natural teeth on either side of a space which help to secure the false tooth in place and so ensure a natural looking appearance.
  • Root canals – this procedure is needed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. When nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down, and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of a tooth’s root. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck or head. Bone loss can also occur at the root of the tooth itself. During a Root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
  • Dentures – these are basically a set of false teeth. If you have quite a few teeth missing, as a result of an accident or disease then dentures can help. They are removable false teeth which look and behave in much the same way as natural teeth.
  • Dental cleaning – this can take the form of a ‘scale & polish’ or advice on brushing and flossing.
3cosmetic
Today, cosmetic dentistry is more popular than ever, from whitening and shaping to closing spaces and replacing teeth. We offer a wide array of tools and techniques for improving the look of your smile. Listed are just a few options we offer to enhance ones smile:

  • Teeth whitening – for those individuals who just want a slight enhancement to their smile. Whitening can improve attractiveness and is associated with a healthier smile, not to mention, can take years off ones smile.
  • Bonding – this may improve the way your teeth look if they have excess space between them, or if they are chipped, broken, stained or cracked. Bonding materials are also used to fill cavities or to protect the exposed root of a tooth.
  • Veneers – These custom shells, typically made of porcelain, cover the front sides of the teeth to change their color and/or shape. Veneers last longer than bonding and provide a superior appearance. Veneers can improve teeth that have spaces between them, have become chipped and worn, are poorly shaped, or are permanently stained.
  • Crowns – Sometimes called caps, crowns completely cover a tooth, restoring a normal shape and appearance. You may need a crown to cover a misshapen or discolored tooth, protect a weak tooth, restore a broken or worn tooth, or to cover a tooth with an already large filling.
4occlusal
Is a destructive process that can result from teeth not being in proper alignment. Forces are applied to the teeth every time they meet. When the teeth are properly aligned, teeth and muscles, which work the jaw and the jaw joint, are designed to withstand these forces.

Symptoms of occlusal disease include the following:

  • Wear on the biting/chewing surface of teeth.
    Teeth are covered with enamel, which is the hardest surface of the tooth. Once the enamel is worn through the dentin, which is the next tooth layer and softer than enamel, it is exposed and wears away faster. This can often be seen when the front teeth look smaller in appearance or back teeth have become flat due to excessive wear.
  • Teeth can become loose and move.
  • Teeth can become sensitive to thermal changes, such as hot and cold.
  • Teeth can become sore when biting/chewing.
  • Teeth are more susceptible to fracture.
  • The muscles, which work the jaws, can become sore and painful. Headaches are a common complaint.
  • The jaw joints themselves can become symptomatic. Noise, such as popping and clicking during eating or jaw movement is common, and in some cases, pain in the joint is observed.

If occlusal disease is not treated, the problems may slowly get worse over time. Ultimately, the teeth wear out prematurely and may be lost. Muscle and jaw problems can continue to cause discomfort. The complexity and cost of treatment increases. Treating occlusal disease can lead to a long, healthy life of the dentition, as well as, to restorative success.

5anti-aging
In this day and age, we have a wide array of options to enhance our features and preserve our youth such as Botox, fillers and plastic surgery. Certain features can make us look older “way to soon” such as wrinkles around the mouth and indented cheeks. While all these things can delay and improve the signs of aging, Anti-Aging dentistry has become the practical alternative. As we age, our teeth may move, especially where there are missing teeth. Additionally, gums may recede, teeth generally turn yellow, and the supporting bone structure of the jaw can shift. We also lose collagen and elasticity from our skin, which can make you look and feel older. Years of natural use can cause teeth to wear down and chip. This can actually affect how your jaw closes and how the teeth come together, causing discomfort. Anti-Aging dentistry can address all these issues with minimally invasive procedures to employ the size, shape, color, and closing of the jaw to construct a more youthful smile and facial appearance. Anti-Aging dentistry provides dramatic results than can be obtained through teeth whitening, veneers and crowns, replacement of older fillings, and dental implants to replace cracked, crooked, worn down teeth.
6pap
With the advancements in design and treatment of oral sleep appliances — and in combination with the high rejection rate of the CPAP — dentistry has moved to the head of the line in providing the most widely accepted treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. This phenomenon occurs nightly when the tongue falls back and blocks the airway. This means that every hour of every night there are multiple periods of no O2 to every cell in the body. With insufficient oxygen, cellular regeneration is unable to transpire nightly during sleep. Poor cellular regeneration results in an individual being more susceptible to numerous pathologies anywhere in the body. This nightly cellular breakdown has a destructive effect on the patients health.

Dental sleep oral appliances is the No. 1 nonsurgical alternative for the CPAP intolerant. We offer appliances that gain success by opening the vertical dimension (placing teeth apart) and advancing the mandible (helping it to move forward). The further the lower jaw is able to be moved to a forward position, the tongue is then in a more forward position causing the air way to be opened more resulting in a better nights sleep as oxygen intake has been increased. End result, no more snoring or restless nights.

7nutrition
Patients can decrease risk of cavities through behavior modifications such as, minimizing the frequency of sugary foods, decreasing the consumption of those with sticky consistencies or fine particles. Additionally, denture patients have significantly lower intakes of dietary fiber, protein, vegetables, calcium, iron, and other essential vitamins than dentate individuals, so we as dental care professionals want to provide nutritional counseling based on each patients unique oral health needs. Personalized and tailored nutritional counseling will be altered based on age, socio-cultural background and current health.
8financial
If you’re worried about the costs of dental care, please don’t assume that you are left to choose between a hefty bill at the dentist’s office or unhealthy, unattractive teeth. There are financing options to help people just like you, along with other creative strategies and solutions. Please ask our Patient Advocates about our financing options, so we may determine which solution work best for you.

Amazing family dentistry.

“This is indeed a family dentistry; you are treated like part of that family. I highly recommend to any one who wants to visit a dentist, go to Lunn Dentistry!” — Gibbs R.

© 2017 Lunn Dentistry

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