Your oral health is our top priority. We are proud to use the most advanced dental technology to give our patients the best experience and most dramatic results possible. We are committed to continuing education, and we make full use of the latest advances in dentistry. When you come to our practice, you can be sure that you are getting the most progressive care with the latest tools of technology
Exam and Cleaning
We believe that preserving proper oral health can allow you to maintain your teeth for a life time. A routine oral exam performed twice each year can go a long way toward keeping your teeth and gums as healthy and as beautiful as possible. Early detection and treatment of gum disease, tooth decay, and other common dental problems is often crucial to preventing small problems from becoming much worse. With regular oral exams, Dr. Shokoufi can identify and treat many irregularities before they can cause serious damage.
With careful attention to your comfort, your teeth are professionally cleaned by one of our skilled hygienists, and given a comprehensive exam by Dr. Shokoufi. Digital X-rays may be taken when necessary. Often scheduled along with routine oral exams, dental cleanings should also be obtained twice each year. Professional teeth cleanings are able to eliminate deep-set tartar and plaque, getting to places where standard brushing and flossing may not be able to reach. These procedures help to maintain good gum health and beautiful, polished teeth.
Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.
Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. We gain topical fluoride by using fluoride containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels. Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that patients have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.
Oral Cancer Screening
The American Cancer Society recommends an oral cancer screening during your routine dental checkups. Factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer include tabacco use, heavy consumption of alcohol and previous diagnosis of oral cancer. If you are at a greater risk of oral cancer, your dentist may recommend an oral cancer screening.
During the screening, your dentist will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks and oral cavity while thoroughly examining the soft tissues in your mouth, specifically looking for any sores or discolored tissues. The goal is to catch oral cancer in its early stages when there is a greater chance for a cure.
Tooth-Colored Fillings (Mercury Free Dentistry)
Years ago, the standard material used for filling cavities left a very noticeable, metallic appearance on patients’ teeth. With advanced tooth-colored fillings, Dr. Shokoufi can treat cavities using material that blends in with your surrounding teeth. Composite, or “white” fillings are composed of a very strong, tooth-colored resin instead of an amalgam(mercury-based material). These fillings are now standard at our practice, giving Dr. Shokoufi the ability to treat cavities with natural-looking, durable results.
Dr. Shokoufi uses no mercury-based materials in any of his dental treatments. That means our fillings are made of composite, tooth-colored material and we are not exposing your body or the environment to mercury in any way.
There are a number of reasons that your dentist might recommend a tooth extraction. Some dental patients suffer from tooth decay or an abscessed tooth is so severe that no other treatment will cure the infection; others need to remove teeth hindering orthodontic treatment, whereas various patients simply need wisdom teeth removal. Removing the tooth will help keep infection from spreading to other areas of your mouth. In either case, Dr. Shokoufi will make sure that you are as comfortable as possible before, during and after the procedure. Upon healing, the extracted tooth can be replaced with a dental implant, denture or bridge. While a tooth extraction can be a serious dental procedure, aftercare is just as critical as the procedure itself. As the dental patient, it is important to understand that pain and the risk of infection can be lessened with proper care.
After your tooth has been extracted, healing will take some time. Within 3 to 14 days, your sutures should fall out or dissolve. For sutures that are non- absorbable, your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to remove the stitches for you. Your tooth’s empty socket will gradually fill in with bone over time and smooth over with adjacent tissues.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment (also called endodontic therapy) is necessary when a cavity is allowed to reach all the way to the nerve inside the tooth. Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged and pain and infection can result. When the nerve is infected, it must be treated; it cannot heal on its own. While symptoms can include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth, sometimes no symptoms are present and the patient is unaware of the problem until the dental exam.
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has root canal therapy.
Sealants are proven to reduce cavities by up to 70% in children and adolescents. Sealants are a clear or white resin material designed to flow into and seal the deep grooves in the chewing surface of children’s teeth. This helps to prevent invasion by bacteria into these hard to clean areas. Sealants are inexpensive, painless, and easily applied without anesthesia.
The term “periodontal” means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis and gum disease) is a common inflammatory condition which affects the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the tooth; also the jawbone itself when in its most advanced stages.
Periodontal disease is most often preceded by gingivitis which is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. A bacterial infection affects the gums when the toxins contained in plaque begin to irritate and inflame the gum tissues. Once this bacterial infection colonizes in the gum pockets between the teeth, it becomes much more difficult to remove and treat. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that eventually leads to the destruction of the connective tissue and jawbone. If left untreated, it can lead to shifting teeth, loose teeth and eventually tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the developed world and should always be promptly treated.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
There are many surgical and nonsurgical treatments that Dr. Shokoufi may recommend, depending upon the exact condition of the teeth, gums and jawbone. A complete periodontal exam of the mouth will be done before any treatment is performed or recommended.
Here are some of the more common treatments for periodontal disease:
Scaling and root planing – In order to preserve the health of the gum tissue, the bacteria and calculus (tartar) which initially caused the infection, must be removed. The gum pockets will be cleaned and treated with antibiotics as necessary to help alleviate the infection. A prescription mouthwash may be incorporated into daily cleaning routines.
Tissue regeneration – When the bone and gum tissues have been destroyed, regrowth can be actively encouraged using grafting procedures. A membrane may be inserted into the affected areas to assist in the regeneration process.
Pocket elimination surgery – Pocket elimination surgery (also known as flap surgery) is a surgical treatment which can be performed to reduce the pocket size between the teeth and gums. Surgery on the jawbone is another option which serves to eliminate indentations in the bone which foster the colonization of bacteria.
Dental implants – When teeth have been lost due to periodontal disease, the aesthetics and functionality of the mouth can be restored by implanting prosthetic teeth into the jawbone. Tissue regeneration procedures may be required prior to the placement of a dental implant in order to strengthen the bone.