Dentist in DeWitt
Michael F. Miller, DMD
4311 E. Genesee Street
DeWitt, NY 13214
New Patients: (315) 947-0928
Existing Patients: (315) 446-8050

Services

Diagnostic and Preventative

Initial Oral Examination

Your first visit to our office is very important in order to provide us with a full understanding of your current dental condition. We carefully reviewing your medical and dental histories and take special note of all of your dental concerns, or problems you may be experiencing. This will be followed by a thorough clinical examination, including an oral cancer screening, a periodontal (gum) evaluation, and a thorough examination of your teeth and their supporting structures. A complete series of dental x-rays will also be taken at this time to help check for any problems that cannot be seen on the clinical examination.

Digital Radiography (X-Rays)

Digital radiography utilizes computer technology and digital sensors for the acquisition, viewing, storage, and sharing of radiographic images. It offers several advantages over the older traditional film based methods of taking x-rays. Most significantly, digital radiography reduces a patient’s exposure to radiation. Other benefits are that images can be viewed immediately after being taken, and can be easily shared with other offices. Digital x-rays also benefit the environment as they do not require chemicals or paper to process.

The Preventive Program

According to recent studies, good oral hygiene and health of the gums is essential not only for your dental health, but to your overall health and well-being. Our comprehensive dental hygiene program is designed to preserve your teeth and the supporting structures by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental disease.

To maintain your optimal oral health we recommend periodic professional dental cleanings. Removing plaque and debris from teeth, especially from places where a toothbrush can't reach, like underneath the gum line and in-between teeth, is extremely important.

It is also important to keep in mind that in conjunction with periodic dental professional cleanings, a good dental home care regimen is necessary. As part of our preventive program , your current home care practices will be reviewed and we will make recommendations for improvement where necessary, and instruct you in the proper methods of brushing and flossing.

Additional preventive services may be indicated for individual patients. An integral part of our preventive program for children includes periodic fluoride treatments and the application of dental sealants.

Night Guards

Chronic jaw clenching and grinding one’s teeth is called bruxism. While it can happen any time of day, it often occurs at night causing an individual to wake up with any number of symptoms including jaw pain, headaches, and sore teeth that may feel loose. Although, stress and anxiety are the most common causes of bruxism there may be other contributing factors such as a sleep disorder, an abnormal bite, as well as teeth that are missing or poorly aligned.

To alleviate the problems caused by bruxism, wearing a night guard while sleeping is frequently recommended. This appliance is designed to fit over the teeth and to keep the teeth from grinding against each other. Wearing a night guard can prevent a number of damaging events including muscle spasms, excessive pressure on the jaw joint (the TMJ), and such chipping or cracking of teeth resulting from the teeth grinding against each other.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of children's back teeth to protect the teeth from decay (cavities). Because the teeth small pits and grooves, these surfaces are rough and uneven. Food and bacteria can get stuck in the pits and grooves and stay there for a long time because toothbrush bristles cannot brush them away. Sealants fill in the grooves and keep the food out.

Children should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as they come in--before decay attacks the teeth. Sealants, like daily brushing and flossing, drinking fluoridated water, and regular dental check-ups are an important part of your child's oral health and the best defense against tooth decay.

Fluoride Treatments

For decades, fluoride has been held in high regard by the dental community as an important mineral that is absorbed into and strengthens tooth enamel, thereby helping to prevent decay of tooth structures.

In nearly every U.S. community, public drinking supplies are supplemented with sodium fluoride as an effecctive public health measure to fight cavities. In addition, some private wells may contain naturally fluoridated water.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Periodontal disease damages the surrounding soft tissues and bone that support the teeth. It is predominantly caused by the failure to remove accumulations of bacteria (plaque and tartar) from between the teeth. Periodontal disease can range in severity from a simple gum inflammation, known as gingivitis, to a more serious infection of the bone and gum surrounding the teeth (periodontitis). Left untreated, periodontal disease can result in bad breath, significant tissue damage, and ultimately bone and tooth loss.

The problem with periodontal disease is that often it is painless. As a result, the affected individual may not be aware of an ongoing disease process.

It is so important to recognize the signs of the earliest stage of periodontal disease, which is gingivitis. The signs of gingivitis typically include red, swollen and bleeding gums. Treatment instituted at this point is often sufficient to reverse the course of the disease and to avoid any permanent damage to the periodontal tissues.

Left untreated, gingivitis can progress into more severe gum disease (periodontitis)., Other factors that can also contribute to the worsening of periodontal disease, include smoking, diabetes, and inherited conditions, . In either case, when periodontal disease has progressed to a more advanced stage there is usually clinical and radiographic evidence of damage to the bone and soft tissues supporting the teeth. Periodontal treatment in this phase is designed to halt the progression of the disease and to restore tooth support. This office emphasizes prevention as the least expensive and most cost effective means to deal with gum disease. Brushing after meals and daily flossing will go a long way to prevent the development of gum disease.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially life threatening disorder involving repeated pauses in breathing while asleep. The most common form of this condition is obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when there is an obstruction of an individual’s airway that interferes with the flow of oxygen through the nose or mouth during sleep. In someone afflicted with obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles of the throat and mouth relax during sleep to the point where they fall back into the upper airway and create a blockage that restricts breathing.

The signs and symptoms of this disorder during sleeping hours may include loud snoring, episodes of breathing cessation, abrupt awakenings, episodes of gasping for air, along with difficulties getting a good night’s sleep. An individual with sleep apnea will often exhibit problems during the day as well. Sleep apnea can lead to a morning headache, excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.

A sleep study is typically conducted to determine the severity of the disorder. The results of this study along with other medical findings will play a role in determining the recommended therapy. The most common form of therapy is a CPAP machine that is worn when sleeping. This device provides a steady stream of pressurized air into the respiratory system through a nasal mask. Where the apnea is mild or moderate,

a dental appliance may be a preferred treatment for some patients. Worn in a similar fashion to a mouthguard or an orthodontic retainer, it is designed to help keep the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat from collapsing, thereby enabling the airway to stay open during sleep. An oral appliance is easy to wear, easy to care for, comfortable, and portable. Oral appliances are individually fabricated, and customized for both maximum effectiveness and comfort.

Snoring Appliances

Getting a full night of sleep is essential to your overall health. Being well rested helps you to feel good and to function at your best. One of the most common problems that can affect the quality of your sleep is snoring. According to statistics about 90 million individuals in the United States snore while they sleep. While for about half of these people the problem is simply snoring, the others may be afflicted with a serious disorder known as sleep apnea. Therefore, before any type of treatment can be prescribed, it must be determined whether the problem is sleep apnea or “simple” snoring.

If it is determined that your problem is simply snoring, and you are what is known as a primary snorer, then an oral appliance can help you as well as any of your roommates enjoy a quieter and more comfortable sleep. A custom fabricated oral appliance to address snoring fits somewhat like a sports mouthguard or orthodontic retainer and is only worn while you sleep. As a removable and non-invasive treatment for snoring, your appliance slightly repositions your jaw to allow for a less restricted airflow to promote a quieter and more restful sleep.

Sports Mouthguards

Every year millions of cases of dental and facial injuries occur as the result of sport-related trauma. While all sports have some risk of oral injury, it is especially prevalent in recreational activities that involve frequent body contact with other players or the ground, as well as the possibility of being struck by other objects such as, balls, bats, or sticks.

One way to significantly reduce the risk of these injuriesis to wear a mouthguard. A mouthguard is a removable appliance made of a sturdy plastic that sits comfortably over your teeth. Typically, mouthguards are designed to cover just the top teeth but may also be fabricated to include the lower teeth as well depending on your particular situation. Individuals who wear braces or have some types of dental work may require a specific type of mouthguard that provides more coverage.

Restorative Care

Mercury Free Fillings

Fillings are the most common type of dental restoration used to replace or restore sections of teeth that are missing, through damage or decay. There is a wide range of materials available to restore teeth; the selection of the appropriate material can vary depending on the extent and type of damage the tooth has sustained. The newer state-of-the-art filling materials, including ceramics and composites, are not only strong and durable, they offer the most aesethetically pleasing and natural looking results.

This office does not use dental amalgam (silver fillings) to restore teeth. This is done for a number of reasons, but primarily as a health concern for our patients, to avoid placing the heavy metal, mercury, in the body when suitable, strong alternatives are available.

Pediatric Dental Care

At our office we take pride in creating and maintaining beautiful and healthy smiles for our younger patients in an environment that is lighthearted and fun. With an emphasis on establishing oral health habits that last a lifetime, our primary tools are education and a comprehensive preventive care program. As part of an effort to guard against childhood dental decay we recommend periodic fluoride treatments and dental sealants placed on the biting surfaces of the back teeth.

Crowns & Caps

The terms crown and cap are synonymous. If dental disease, through decay, cracked fillings, clenching or grinding the teeth has caused extensive damage to the underlying tooth structure, there is often insufficient remaining sound tooth structure to hold a filling. In those circumstances, the way to completely restore the natural appearance and function of this tooth is with a dental crown. A completed dental crown looks, feels, and functions like a normal teeth.

In addition to restoring a single natural tooth, crowns can be used in other situations including being the supporting ends of dental bridge, with dental implants, or for a cracked tooth to prevent further breakdown. A crown may also be indicated when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance. Crowns can be made of either porcelain, or the new ceramic materials that combine natural esthetics with high strength.

Bridges

When a tooth or teeth are missing, a series of changes that can have a negative impact on your overall dental health and your ability to chew may be affected. The adjacent teeth may drift or tilt into the space, and the teeth in the opposing jaw will start to shift toward the area of the missing tooth. To prevent these changes, it is important to replace the single tooth or teeth that have been lost, and one of the best ways to prevent the consequences of shifting teeth and to restore full function is with a dental bridge.

Once fabricated and fitted, a dental bridge will be permanently "fixed", or cemented into place.

Dentures

Whatever the cause, sometimes it is necessary for an individual to have some or all of their teeth extracted. While this can be an emotional decision for the patient, dentures can be fabricated to restore an attractive smile, provide needed support for facial contours and reestablish a normal function.

A denture consists of natural looking artificial teeth set in a custom-fitted plastic base. It may be fabricated to replace either a small group of teeth, or an entire arch.

A complete denture refers to the replacement of all the teeth in a dental arch. It can be made in either of two ways - it can be inserted some weeks after all the teeth have been removed and the gums given sufficient time to heal, or as an "immediate" denture, placed the same day the last remaining teeth are extracted. An immediate denture offers the advantage of not having to go without teeth for any period of time, and is preferred by most patients. It frequently requires more post-operative visits as the tissues remodel and heal following the dental extractions. In situations where some sturdy teeth remain, partial dentures can be fabricated. Partial dentures achieve retention and stability by clasping onto the strong teeth surrounding the edentulous areas.

It also has become frequent to have implants placed for increased retention and stability of the denture.

Extractions

Sometimes it is necessary to have a tooth removed. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Extractions are commonly performed in cases where a deciduous “baby” tooth is reluctant to fall out, a severely broken down tooth has become infected, or a “wisdom tooth” is poorly positioned and unable to fully erupt into place.

Whenever an extraction is necessary, the procedure, post-operative instructions, as well as any follow-up restorative care will be carefully and completely explained.

Dental Implants

Sometimes it is necessary to have a tooth removed. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Extractions are commonly performed in cases where a deciduous “baby” tooth is reluctant to fall out, a severely broken down tooth has become infected, or a “wisdom tooth” is poorly positioned and unable to fully erupt into place.

Whenever an extraction is necessary, the procedure, post-operative instructions, as well as any follow-up restorative care will be carefully and completely explained.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Veneers

If your front teeth have gaps, chips, stains, or discolorations, you may be a candidate for veneers, a highly effective and minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that can achieve beautiful results.

Veneers are thin, custom-made facings of the highest quality ceramic materials that are designed to fit perfectly over the front of your teeth. One of the most conservative cosmetic treatments available, veneers can mask a host of dental imperfections to give you the smile that you have always wanted. Veneers not only enhance and improve the shape of your teeth, they are able to create an overall whiter and brighter smile.

One of the most appealing aspects is that they require minimal tooth preparation and usually can be completed in just 2 visits. Once they are fabricated and fitted, the veneers are permanently bonded to the underlying teeth. The result is a naturally pleasing smile that is both strong and durable.

Tooth Colored Fillings

Dental Fillings are the most common type of dental restoration used to replace sections of teeth that are missing, damaged or decayed. While traditional dental materials like gold, amalgam, porcelain, and composite successfully restore teeth; recent advances in dental technology have made a wider and improved selection of restorative choices available. Some of the newest state-of-the-art filling materials including ceramic and the latest composite materials, are not only strong and durable, they offer the most aesthetically pleasing and natural looking results.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth that have been stained or darkened by food, tobacco use, age, medications or injury can be lightened and brightened by means of a non-invasive process known as teeth whitening.

Teeth whitening or bleaching simply refers to any process that will make the teeth appear whiter. While there are many over the counter options for teeth whitening, the most effective and safest teeth whitening systems are the professional strength ones available at our office. Our whitening system is able to offer a higher concentration of whitening components and deliver them to the teeth in the most efficient manner to achieve optimal results.

At our office we use a professional takehome system, achieving excellent results in the comfort of your own home.

Other Treatments

Root Canals

Endodontics, or root canal therapy, is employed when the nerve supply to a tooth has been irreversibly damaged. It is a means to remove an infection in the nerve of the tooth and save the tooth from extraction.

Root canal therapy involves cleaning and shaping each canal, and then filling them with a special inert material. Once root canal therapy has been completed, the tooth is then restored as necessary.

Emergency Treatment

Dental emergencies can arise from a number of reasons - an injury to the face, a deep cavity affecting the nerve of the tooth, the acute flare-up of a longstanding problem, or the result of an apparently unsuspected problem. Whatever the case may be, urgent dental care is needed to provide you with the relief and to help you return to your normal function as quickly as possible.

There are many reasons to seek emergency dental care, including severe toothaches, chipped or fractured teeth, a dental abscess, impacted teeth, loose or broken fillings, lost or dislodged crowns, broken dentures and more.

Whatever the cause of your dental emergency, our office makes every attempt to see you the same day you call!

TMJ Treatment

Among the most common and irritating and difficult to diagnose problems for patients with head and neck pain are temporal mandibular joint problems, more commonly known as TMJ problems. The TMJ is located near the ear where the top of the lower jaw meets the upper jaw at the base of the skull.

Like all other joints in the body, the TMJ is subject to inflammation and other chronic joint problems. Many of these issues may be caused by destructive bite habits like clenching or grinding. These actions can cause of the muscles and pressure on the joint that can lead to inflammation and general breakdown of the joint itself.

Symptoms can range from a slight clicking in the jaw to severe head and neck pain.

Once diagnosed, treatments range from the placement of a specially designed nightguard, which prevents pressure on the joint, to referral for surgical intervention in the most severe cases.

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