815.786.2146

General Dentistry

At The Waters Dental Group, we provide dental exams and other general dentistry services that keep you smiling, and beyond that, those that keep you healthy. During your comprehensive exam, we will assess your needs and determine a plan that will keep your oral health in check. Call our office today at (815) 786-2146 to schedule an appointment.

Brushing

Brushing is the most effective method for removing harmful plaque from your teeth and gums. Getting the debris off your teeth and gums in a timely manner prevents bacteria in the food you eat from turning into harmful, cavity causing acids. Most dentists agree that brushing three times a day is the minimum; if you use a fluoride toothpaste in the morning and before bed at night, you can get away without using toothpaste during the middle of the day. A simple brushing with plain water or rinsing your mouth with water for 30 seconds after lunch will generally do the job.

Flossing

Many dentists believe that flossing is the single most important weapon against plaque. In any event, daily flossing is an excellent and proven method for complementing your brushing routine and helping to prevent cavities, periodontal disease, and other dental problems later in life. It also increases blood circulation in your gums. Floss removes plaque and debris that stick to your teeth and gums.

Fillings

Advances in modern dental materials and techniques offer new ways to create more natural-looking smiles. Today, you have several choices when it comes to selecting materials used to repair missing, worn, damaged or decayed teeth.

Composite Fillings

  • Produce a tooth-colored restoration
  • Provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure
  • Less tooth structure is removed which may result in a smaller filling
  • Can also be “bonded” or adhesively held in a cavity, allowing us to make a more conservative repair to the tooth
  • Less resistant to wear than silver amalgams, and take longer to place

Ionomers

  • Can release a small amount of fluoride that helps patients who are at high risk for decay
  • Primarily used as small fillings in areas that need not withstand heavy chewing pressure
  • Mimic natural tooth color but lack the natural translucency of enamel
  • Tolerated by patients with only rare occurrences of allergic response

Porcelain/Ceramic Dental Materials

    • Natural, tooth-colored appearance that mimics tooth enamel
    • Used as inlays, onlays, crowns and aesthetic veneers
    • Require a minimum of two visits and possibly more
    • Prone to fracture when placed under tension or on impact
    • Highly resistant to wear but the porcelain can quickly wear opposing teeth if the porcelain surface becomes rough

Sealants

Research has shown that almost everybody has a 95% chance of eventually experiencing cavities in the pits and grooves of their teeth. Sealants act as a barrier to prevent bacteria and food from collecting and sitting on the grooves and pits of teeth. Sealants are best suited for permanent first molars, which erupt around the age of 6, and second molars, which erupt around the age of 12. Sealants are most effective when applied as soon as the tooth has fully come in. Because of this, children derive the greatest benefit from sealants because of the newness of their teeth. Sealants normally last about five years and should always be examined at the child’s regular checkup. Sealants are extremely effective in preventing decay in the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.

X-rays

X-rays allow us to safely and accurately detect hidden abnormalities in your mouth. When you come in for your appointment, we will assess if X-rays are needed, as the frequency depends on each individual patient. Your medical and dental history will be reviewed and your mouth will be examined before a decision is made to take X-rays of your teeth.

Periodontal Exams

Periodontal exams are vital in the maintenance of your oral health as they are used to assess the health of your gums and teeth. They can help us to diagnose gum diseases, gingivitis and periodontitis. These exams can also reveal receding gums, exposed roots, tooth grinding and other problems, making periodontal exams a key aspect to maintaining proper oral health. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease that causes inflammation of the gums. Dental X-rays can determine if the inflammation has spread to the supporting structures on the teeth so treatment can be started to correct the problem.

We will complete a periodontal exam with each visit, emphasizing the importance of regular visits to your dentist’s office.

During your periodontal examination, we will check:

      • For any lumps or abnormal areas in the mouth
      • Whether any of your teeth are missing or loose
      • The color, texture, size and shape of your gums
      • Whether you have fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures or implants
      • How much plaque is on your teeth
      • The depth of the space between your tooth and gum

Grafts

Soft tissue grafts are sometimes performed to treat gum disease, or correct other abnormalities. The procedure involves taking gum tissue from the palate or another donor source to cover an exposed root in order to even the gum line and reduce sensitivity. Periodontal procedures are available to stop further dental problems and gum recession, and to improve the aesthetics of your gum line. For example, an exposed tooth root resulting from gum recession may not be causing you pain or sensitivity, but is causing one or more of your teeth to look longer than the others. In other cases, an exposed tooth root causes severe pain because it is exposed to extremes in temperatures or different kinds of food and liquids. Once contributing factors are controlled, a soft tissue graft procedure will repair the defect and help to prevent additional recession and bone loss.

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