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General Dental Services

 

Dental Exam

Missoula dental exam, Missoula dentist, Ronald Rosser DDS

The secret to a bright, healthy smile is actually no secret at all: brush, floss and get a professional dental exam at least once every six months. Professional dental exams are all about prevention – preventing existing problems from getting worse and preventing dental problems from developing in the future. Regular dental exams make it possible to identify and treat a problem in its earliest stage – which is not only good for your oral health but also good for your budget!

There's nothing to fear with a dental exam. Your teeth will be visually examined for signs of plaque, tartar and tooth decay. Your gums will also be examined for puffiness or discoloration, which are signs of gum disease. A full set of dental X-rays may also be taken during your dental exam, to enable Dr. Rosser to see below the surfaces of your teeth. Dental exams typically end with a dental cleaning to remove surface stains and tartar.

 

Digital Dental X-Ray

Dental X-rays have come a long way. Today's dental X-rays are safer, faster, more comfortable and more informative than the X-rays of years past. Digital X-rays, one of the latest and most advanced dental technologies, produce high-quality images of your teeth that can be viewed instantly by you and your dentist on a LCD monitor. Digital X-rays reduce radiation by up to 90% and provide exceptional diagnostic information to ensure that potential problems are caught in their earliest stages. Our office also utilizes intraoral photography. With intraoral photography, problems such as cavities, fractures and discolorations in the teeth are captured through clear and sharp photographic images that are taken with a specially designed intraoral digital camera.

 

Teeth Cleaning

Missoula teeth cleaning, Missoula dentist, Ronald Rosser DDS

No matter how often you brush and floss, plaque and tartar deposits can still build up on your teeth. A professional teeth cleaning with our hygienist is the single most effective way to remove these deposits and prevent them from causing more serious problems in the future. While a traditional tooth cleaning involves manually scraping away these deposits with special dental tools, advances in dental technologies now give you more options for teeth cleaning.

An “Ultrasonic” tooth cleaning is an excellent addition to traditional techniques and had gained popularity for good reasons. An ultrasonic scaler uses high- frequency sound waves to effectively remove deposits, kill harmful microbes and eliminate bacteria around the teeth and gums. Used in conjunction with hand instruments, it’s the most complete cleaning method available. Many patients find the cleaning combination more comfortable and comment that their teeth have never felt cleaner. We recommend having your teeth cleaned at least once a year but preferably every six months for a more thorough maintenance.

If you have been diagnosed with “periodontal disease”; where excessive hardened plaque and tartar deposits have developed below the gum line, a more aggressive deep cleaning will be prescribed. Deep cleaning, also know as “Scaling & Root Planing” involves a two-part process. First the stubborn deposits are carefully removed down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket along the tooth. The tooth’s root surfaces are then smoothed or “planed” to allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. A deep cleaning helps to stop the progression of the disease. Treatment may require one or more visits.

Learn more: Whitening for Life

 

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer affects nearly 35,000 Americans every year. The keys to surviving oral cancer are early detection and early treatment. This starts with regular cancer screening- at least once every 6 months. An oral cancer screening takes just minutes, is pain-free and is performed as part of our dental exams. If you are male, a regular oral cancer screening is especially critical: oral cancer is more than twice as common in men as it is in woman. Other people at high risk include people over the age of 60, tobacco users and heavy alcoholic drinkers.

Dr. Rosser has worked in conjunction with the St. Patrick’s Hospital Cancer Center for the past 25 years helping patients with their related dental issues before, during and post treatment.

 

Dental Fillings

If you’ve been told that you need a dental filling, you’re not alone. Ninety-two percent (92%) of Americans have had at least one cavity. Dental fillings are a tried-and-true treatment for treating cavities and they come in a variety of options to suit every need.

A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth structure, clean the affected area and then fill the cleaned-out cavity preparation with a filling material. A filling helps to prevent further decay by sealing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.

There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, amalgam and composite. Dr. Rosser will work with you to determine which material is best depending upon the extent of the repair, where the filling is needed and the cost of each.

• Composite (plastic) resins are recommended for restoration in the front teeth because they can be matched to the exact color of your natural teeth. Unfortunately, the durability of today's composites is limited and they must be replaced more frequently. Composites can easily become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco and tend to develope cracks and micro leakage when placed in large cavity preparations in the posterior (back) teeth. 

• Amalgam (silver) fillings are a less expensive choice and are most tolerant to the heavy wear of molars.  Amalgam fillings have excellent longevity and are less prone to leakage compared to composite fillings. In restorations where esthetics is a concern, amalgam fillings are not recommended because of their dark appearance.

• Gold fillings are custom made in a laboratory and then cemented into place. While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many dentists consider gold to be the best filling material. Gold inlays are well tolerated by gum tissue and may last more than 20 years. 

If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of a tooth, a crown or “cap” may be recommended. Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated through root canal therapy which is essential to save the natural tooth.

 

Gum Disease Treatment

Red, swollen gums that bleed easily are a “red flag” for gum disease.  If you have these symptoms along with persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth or loose teeth- then you’re not alone.  More than 80% of adults have some form of gum disease.  Fortunately, there are many effective and pain-free gum disease treatments available.  For gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, treatment typically involves a thorough dental cleaning followed by the patients commitment to perform daily brushing and flossing. Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, requires scaling and root planing under local anesthetic to remove stubborn deposits below the gum line.  To monitor the disease and to prevent further damage to the surrounding tooth structure, an individualized periodontal maintenance program and schedule is created to address the needs of each patient.

Treating gum disease is important because, the gum ligaments and bone form the foundation for healthy teeth. When any area of the foundation is negatively affected, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. It’s important to have gum problems checked promptly, as gum disease left alone may eventually need treatment through surgery or extraction. Severe gum disease has also been shown to affect the health of the heart, liver, pancreas and artificial joints in the body.

If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so it can be treated right away!

 

Crown and Bridge

Today’s restorative techniques allow us to not only reconstruct your smile but to improve it. Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged or to take the place of missing teeth. 

A crown (also referred to as a cap) is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. A crown not only strengthens a tooth but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment.

Crowns may be used to:

• Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining

• 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 an ideal method to fill the space created by missing teeth. Comprised of two anchoring teeth and a replacement tooth, dental bridges help to prevent surrounding teeth from drifting out of position, improve chewing, speaking and help keep the natural shape of your face intact. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy or a ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear and esthetics.

If you lose a tooth it’s important that the tooth be replaced as soon as possible. If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap will begin to shift inward. Shifting teeth can affect your bite because of the changes in pressure and can eventually result in problems with the jaw joint or TMJ.

Bridges and crowns are made by first preparing the teeth and taking an impression of them. The impression is sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge will be custom made to fit your mouth and match the natural tooth color. A temporary crown or bridge will be placed into your mouth until your permanent crown or bridge is ready or the finished crown cemented into place.

Bridges and crowns are very durable and can last a lifetime with extra care, good oral hygiene and regular dental visits.

Advancements in Dentistry also make “Dental Implants” and excellent alternative to bridges.

Learn more: Dental Implants

 

Dentures

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues.  There are two types of dentures available, a partial denture and complete dentures.  Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while complete dentures are used to completely replace all of the teeth.  Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change in your appearance.  In fact, dentures may even improve your smile!  Dentures are custom designed to fit your mouth and esthetically made to create the most natural smile possible.  The process of getting dentures usually takes 5 dental visits during a 2-3 week period.

Missoula denturesNew dentures may feel awkward for the first few weeks but keep in mind that you will quickly adjust and enjoy the benefits a full mouth of teeth can provide.

In some cases an “immediate denture” can be fabricated and delivered on the same day that a patient has their extractions.  This particular procedure works best when replacing all the natural teeth on the upper arch.

A removable partial denture is a prosthesis used to replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues when some natural teeth remain.in the upper or lower jaw.  They usually consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base which is clipped or hooked onto a grouping of the remaining natural teeth.  The partial denture will restore your smile and mouth function as if all of your natural teeth were present.

With advancements in dental technology, todays full or partial dentures can also be supported with the aid of “Dental Implants”.  A dental implant can help to secure the dentures by greatly increasing retention and stability.

Learn more: Dental Implants

 

Nightguard Appliances for Teeth Grinding            

Many people are unaware that they are grinding or clenching their teeth because it often happens in their sleep.  They wake with a headache, aching tooth, earache or sore facial muscles and may not realize what the long term consequences could be.  Constant grinding can wear away or fracture tooth enamel and may eventually loosen teeth in the process. Addressing this issue is important and shouldn’t be ignored.

The dental term for “teeth grinding & clenching” is called Bruxism. Although the exact cause of bruxism is not easily defined, several factors may be causing it.  Our stressful lives, problem sleeping or an abnormal physiological bite can all contribute to its cause. Custom nightguards can alleviate the problems and the often painful symptoms associated with bruxism.

A nightguard is a custom-made hard plastic appliance which is designed to fit perfectly and securely over your lower teeth.  Worn while you sleep; the biomechanics of the appliance will significantly lessen the force being generated on your teeth, muscles and jaw joints.  Wearing a nightguard will disrupt the grinding cycle, alleviating muscle and jaw strain as well as protecting your teeth from enamel wear and possible fractures.  Within days of wearing the appliance, the stress on chewing muscles will diminish and any related headache pain is often eliminated completely.

Comfortable and easy to wear, you’ll soon discover that sleeping with a custom nightguard can make an enormous difference in the quality of your life.

Patients tell us that they don’t know how they lived without it!

 

Patient Reviews:

After working as a dental hygienist and being employed in the dental field for the last three years, I can truthfully say that Dr. Rosser’s custom nightguard appliance is one of a kind - one you cannot beat. I have loved my new nightguard and I’m exceptionally pleased with the quality of workmanship received. Being an unintentional grinder, I have consequently caused advanced wear of my teeth and now have alignment issues.  Rather than having my guard fabricated in a dental lab, Dr. Rosser and his dental assistants took the time to specially make it in-office. The entire process was easy and straightforward.  After just two visits, the first to take impressions of my teeth and a second appointment to adjust and ensure my guard fit my bite perfectly; I left with a custom-fit, durable nightguard that provided me with both maximum protection and comfort.  Now I know that I am keeping my teeth nice and healthy. Thank you very much!

- Jacklyn 

I’d always put off getting a nightguard, although I’d been told several times that I needed one.  I’d been suffering from chronic headaches, jaw and muscle pain every day for as long as I could remember.  At its worst, I was regularly taking between eight and sixteen Advil a day.  At my physician’s recommendation I tried an over-the-counter nightguard and experienced some relief but still suffered daily. One year ago, I finally saw Dr. Rosser and had a custom fitted nightguard made and it changed my life. From the first night I noticed a huge difference. The always-present headache was gone, as was the muscle and jaw pain, along with the need to take Advil. Dr. Rosser changed my like and I'm very thankful!

- Brett

 

Athletic Mouthguards

A properly fitted mouthguard is an important piece of athletic gear and is essential in protecting your teeth during an athletic contact sport or any recreational activity that poses a risk or injury to the mouth.  Drugstore guards are available in general sizes but seldom fit properly and are constructed with less than adequate materials to protect the teeth and absorb impact.

The most effective mouth guard is “custom-made”.  Our athletic mouthguards are constructed using the most advanced materials made of 4mm integrated reinforcement segments plus a hard-elastic layer to protect the front teeth.  This 2-layer construction absorbs hard and flat impact powers over the entire mouthguard surface, guaranteeing maximum safety and protection.  Our mouthguard fits exactly over the upper teeth while the lower teeth are indented into the guard assuring true stability.

A custom-made Athletic Mouthguard sits comfortably, allows for unrestricted breathing and stays securely in place during sport activities.  Wearing one can truly make a difference in protecting your smile, unwanted fractures and trauma  to your teeth.