Dr. Sylvan and his longtime staffers are proud to use the best, most modern technology, methods and equipment to provide state-of-the-art dental care. These new technologies allow him to diagnose dental problems at early stages, treat your dental issues with precision, and provide stunning, customized restorations.
When you visit, you can be confident that you are receiving the finest and most advanced dental care served up with old-fashioned courtesy and individual attention.
Click the Services below for more information on each subject.
ORAL HYGIENE CARE
Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only look great and feel good, they make it possible for you to eat well and speak properly. Our practice is fully aware of its responsibility to teach good oral health in the service of your overall well being. To help you stop problems before they develop, we teach and advocate daily preventative care, including proper brushing and flossing.
In between your regular visits to our office, you can take some simple steps to decrease your risk of tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems, including:
- Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily.
- Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals.
- Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste.
- Rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse (if Dr. Sylvan says so – it’s not for everyone).
- Make sure that children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if you live in a non-fluoridated area.
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
We recommend regular cleanings and checkups to prevent and detect problems early. One of the dangers of neglecting a cavity is that it can reach all the way to the pulp inside the tooth, making a root canal treatment necessary.
This treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is also called for when deep restorations or trauma to a tooth damage the nerve so badly that the pulp becomes infected. This infection can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is called an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected, the tooth must have root canal treatment. It cannot heal on its own, and this infection can even weaken a person’s entire immune system. This condition is dangerous and very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include swelling, sensitivity to hot or cold or sweetness, pain in the location, pain when with biting and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, symptoms do not become apparent and the patient doesn’t know there’s a problem until it is detected during his or her regular checkup. Once the tooth pulp is infected, the only treatment other than a root canal is to extract the tooth, which we always try to avoid.
In a root canal procedure, the doctor cleans out the infected tooth pulp and disinfects the canals of the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a tooth that has had root canal therapy requires core build-up and a crown.
A dental implant is the ideal tooth restoration procedure for people who are missing or losing one or more teeth as a result of an injury, a periodontal disease, or any other reason.
Once Dr. Sylvan determines that this is the right treatment for you, he’ll refer you to a periodontist or an oral surgeon to perform the implant, which means surgically positioning a metal post into the jaw. (If you have lost bone, the surgeon can augment it in a preliminary procedure.) Once the post is in place and the bone surrounding it has had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post. You’ll wear a temporary while you heal. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and generally last 10 to 20 years. They are also a more favorable approach than bridgework since they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.
To receive an implant, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits which are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During dental bonding, Dr. Sylvan places a naturally colored filling on your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling “bonds” with your tooth. Bonding comes in a variety of tooth-hued shades, so it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.
Our office can use tooth bonding to fill cavities instead of using amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer white-shaded bonded fillings because they are much less noticeable than silver amalgam fillings. Dr. Sylvan can use bonding fillings on both front and back teeth depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.
Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and we can usually complete it during a single office visit. However, bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, Dr. Sylvan can easily patch or repair it in one visit.
We urge patients to practice good oral hygiene all the time since the loss of even a single tooth can harm your oral health and your appearance. Although Dr. Sylvan will use every measure available to prevent tooth loss, under some circumstances there is no alternative to extracting a tooth. A tooth may need to be extracted if the following occurs:
- Severe decay
- Advanced periodontal disease
- Infection or abscess
- Orthodontic correction
- Malpositioned teeth
- Fractured teeth or roots
- Impacted teeth
Only after careful examination and treatment would Dr. Sylvan advise you to have a tooth extracted. Before that happens, he will take an x-ray to study the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. Based on the degree of complexity of the extraction, our office may refer you to an oral surgeon for the procedure.
Unfortunately, you should expect a certain amount of pain and discomfort following an extraction. We can minimize that by prescribing pain medication for you, and you can apply ice packs to your face for 15 minutes at a time. After a routine extraction, discomfort should lessen within just a couple of days. It is important to call Dr. Sylvan immediately if the pain becomes severe or prolonged, or if you have swelling, bleeding or fever.
NIGHTGUARDS / MOUTHGUARDS
Dr. Sylvan recommends mouthguards to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity, particularly during sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may get hit. In addition, these guards protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. We also provide nightguards for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite.
Once you and Dr. Sylvan decide that a guard is right for you, he will take an impression of your teeth. Then, the dental lab will make a custom-designed mouthguard or nightguard out of flexible plastic molded to fit the shape of your teeth. In most cases you can choose from a variety of colors and styles. On average, guards last 3 to 10 years.
Dr . Sylvan also was the first dentist in atlanta to use the NTI device. This is a much smaller biteguard that fits over the front two teeth. The NTI is also a recognized treatment for many types of migraine headaches
If your teeth have narrow grooves or pits, Dr. Sylvan will recommend coating them with sealant because you can’t clean them adequately with brushing. These fine grooves or pits accumulate plaque, not because you don’t brush, but because these indents are too narrow for even one bristle to penetrate. Pits and grooves can develop cavities over time, but using a sealant fills them, creates a smooth surface and enables your toothbrush to remove all the plaque from your teeth and prevents decay. We guarantee our sealants when recommended maintainance is observed.
A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist.. For your health, you should have a cleaning every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A routine dental cleaning should include some minor scaling and polishing.
Scaling is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces using a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar. Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new, advanced technology has led to more modern methods, including the use of gentle electric scalers. This sophisticated tool allows us to perform more efficient, effective dental cleanings in less time. To achieve best results and healthiest smiles, we combine electric and manual scaling to give you the best possible cleaning.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and the surrounding tissue. Depending on what you need, you can get a partial denture or a complete denture.
We recommend a partial denture when some natural teeth still remain in the upper or lower jaw. A partial denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base that is anchored in the mouth in either a fixed or removable placement. A removable partial attaches to nearby teeth and can be taken out, while a fixed partial denture can be cemented into place using the adjacent teeth for support. This fills the space created by missing teeth and provides a support for remaining teeth to prevent shifting.
We recommend complete dentures when you must replace all of your teeth. Complete dentures are custom-created to be positioned in a patient’s mouth to take the place of the natural teeth. Achieving a proper fit within the mouth and around the gums may require some adjustments. We have your dentures fabricated in the lab to resemble your natural teeth as closely as possible so there should be no noticeable change in your appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve your smile.
The TMJ is the temporal-mandibular joint: Temporal, as in the temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible or lower jaw; joint as in the place where the head and jaw meet. Misaligned teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension can create problems in this area where two bones meet buffered by cartilage and controlled by five different muscles. If something goes wrong with your TMJ, a good deal of trouble can result. Problems in this area can cause:
Problems in this area can cause:
- Soreness or difficulty in opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Pain in the jaw muscles
- Soreness in the area, sometimes extending into the face
As with even simple matters, Dr. Sylvan will discuss customized treatment for you with this condition. TMJ can be complex and no one solution is right for all cases. Dental treatments for TMJ can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, or more. Sometimes we fit you with a plastic mouthpiece or nightguard to prevent the clenching or grinding that can contribute to this problem. If TMJ isn’t treated – and it goes to an extreme – the joint can be badly damaged and may even require surgery.
A filling is a way to restore a decay-damaged tooth to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, Dr. Sylvan will remove the decayed material, clean the affected area, and fill the cleaned out cavity. A filling helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.
You can chose among a variety of filling materials, including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. Dr. Sylvan will work with you to determine which material is best for your particular case, depending on cost, the extent of repair and the location in your mouth where you need the filling. Here’s a rundown on each of the available filling materials:
- Gold fillings re custom made in a laboratory and cemented into place. While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many consider it the best filling material. Gum tissues tolerate gold inlays very well and the inlays can last more than 20 years.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are less expensive choice and people tolerate them well. However, because they are dark, they’re more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations, so we don’t recommended them for fillings in very visible places, such as your front teeth.
- Composite (plastic) resins are custom-made to match the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they are not as durable, usually lasting between 3 and 10 years. They may not be ideal for large fillings since they can chip or wear over time. If you are a coffee or tea drinker, or a smoker, beware that composites can become stained.
- Porcelain fillings called inlays or onlays, are custom created in a lab and then bonded to your tooth. We can match them to the color of the tooth. Porcelain resists staining and costs about the same as a gold filling. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly invisible.
A veneer is a covering placed over the visible outside area of a tooth. Generally, Dr. Sylvan will suggest applying veneers only on teeth that show when you talk or smile.
Veneers can be applied directly or indirectly. The direct technique is usually called “bonding.” In it, Dr. Sylvan places a composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding material.
Having a tooth treated with the indirect technique usually involves making two appointments. At the first appointment, Dr. Sylvan will prepare your teeth, take impressions and give the teeth a temporary cover. Then, we’ll have a laboratory fabricate porcelain or pressed ceramic veneers to fit you precisely. The lab’s specialization in this kind of work helps us assure that you will end up with esthetically pleasing results. When we receive your veneers from the lab – usually in one week – you’ll come back to our office so Dr. Sylvan can remove the temporary coverings and bond the veneers to your teeth.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that we have to remove much less tooth material and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Dr. Sylvan recommends veneers, also, for teeth with large fillings or little tooth structure.
CROWNS AND BRIDGES
We use crowns and bridges to restore and enhance damaged teeth or to replace missing teeth. A crown, also called a cap, covers an entire damaged tooth. A crown strengthens a tooth, and can dramatically improve its appearance, shape and alignment. To meet your dental needs, Dr. Sylvan may use a crown to:
- Replace a large filling when little tooth structure remains
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
A bridge is the ideal way to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is made up of one or more artificial teeth cemented into place and supported by the teeth on either side of the ones that are missing. A bridge replaces missing teeth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much of an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may include gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material constituted to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on your requirements for strength, wear, and esthetics.
WHITENING INCLUDING ZOOM!
Tooth whitening is a popular procedure that makes teeth your whiter and brighter. We can use bleaching to whiten stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a smile that has become dull. Tooth whitening is a safe, relatively painless procedure for most patients. Our office offers two methods: in-office whitening and tray whitening.
In-office whitening is ideal if you want immediate results. The entire procedure takes place in our office in about an hour, so it’s perfect for busy people. First, we apply a protective gel to your gums to shield the soft tissue. Then we put a special light-activated gel on your teeth and shine a special light or laser on them to enhance the action of the whitening agent. Finally, we take impressions of your teeth to create custom trays for you to use for at-home touch-ups, and we provide instructions for keeping your smile bright. The treatment is long lasting and the result is dramatically whiter teeth.
Tray whitening is less expensive and you can use it to whiten your teeth gradually in the comfort of your home. We take an impression of your teeth to create a customized clear tray that you can pick up within a few days. Then, we teach you how to apply the special bleaching material to the trays, which you will wear for 30 to 60 minutes twice a day. By the end of the treatment period, you will achieve dazzling results. Then you can return to using the treatment occasionally at your convenience to maintain your new smile.
PERIODONTAL PROBLEMS (GUMS AND BONE)
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth are the foundation for your teeth. These structures, called the “periodontium,” have to be kept healthy. An ailing periodontium jeopardizes the soundness of your teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house.
Signs of unhealthy periodontium include: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from your teeth, loose teeth, and changes in the position of your teeth or your bite. With proper gum treatments, in time, it’s possible for us to restore your gum tissue to a healthy state. If you’re having a problem, for your own sake, please don’t delay. Come in and see us so we can treat it promptly.
The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing under local anesthetic, and treatment with local antibiotic agents. It’s crucial to get gum disease treated at the first sign of a problem to avoid surgery or extraction.
Dr. Sylvan uses dental sedation when a patient suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia, or must undergo a procedure that could be uncomfortable. We are happy to offer a number of solutions for our patients to make their dental visit as comfortable as possible. Sedation dentistry techniques enable patients who might otherwise avoid the dentist out of fear to receive the dental treatment necessary to maintain a healthy mouth and an attractive smile.
Depending on the situation, Dr. Sylvan can use varying degrees of dental sedation.
One common alternative is nitrous oxide sedation, also known as “laughing gas,” which patients inhale through a small, light mask over the nose. The patient breathes in the medication, which induces a state of relaxation. To eliminate pain, Dr. Sylvan administers local anesthetic in conjunction with nitrous oxide.
Click the Technologies below for more information on each subject.
Our office utilizes electronic claims processing. This means that rather than sending your dental insurance claim through the mail, we sent it electronically to your insurance company with the click of the button. By filing your claim electronically, we submit your information more efficiently and with fewer errors. Our patients benefit from this approach because the turnaround time on claims is faster and fewer claims are returned or denied. Submitting your dental claims to your insurance company on your behalf is a service we are glad to provide.
We use small cameras about the size of a pen, called intraoral cameras, to help clearly see the condition of your teeth and gums.
With this advanced technology we can zoom in on small diseased areas, cracks, chips and worn metal fillings with extreme precision. The full-color images taken with the intraoral camera are sent to a computer screen so we can clearly see and diagnose dental problems much earlier than with traditional dental technology. Because images are displayed on our screens, patients will also be able to see areas being worked on and are able to gain a better understanding of dental procedures being performed.
Providing the absolute best service to our patients is of the highest importance to our office. To aid in achieving this goal, we use a new high-tech device called the DIAGNOdent. This small tool is a portable laser that allows us to detect cavities on the chewing surface of the back teeth that would have otherwise gone undetected by previous methods. Diagnosing cavities in the back of the mouth using traditional methods is difficult; studies even show that 50% of cavities are left undetected in these areas. However, the new DIAGNOdent enables us to locate and treat these cavities, putting a stop to further decay. The laser is easy to use, harmless, and will alert us with an audible signal if it detects a cavity. It will even calculate the approximate size of the cavity so we can better plan treatment. By using this device, you can rest assured that cavities will be accurately detected and treated in their infancy.
X-rays are a focused beam of x-ray particles passed through bone which produce an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This provides the familiar black and white images doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems and disease. Without an x-ray of the whole tooth and supporting bone and gum tissues, there would be no way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.
In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using up to 90% less radiation than conventional film x-rays. Using this technology, we are able to take an x-ray of your mouth by using a small sensor which records the image of your teeth and sends it to a computer. The result is a highly detailed image of your mouth that can easily be enhanced to better diagnosis dental concerns and determine the very best treatment for each case.