As I see it, we dentists have four goals (in order if importance):

1- Get rid of dental disease, namely tooth decay and gum disease.  The best way to do this is through prevention, so we spend a good portion of our time and energy telling and showing people how to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.  Decay can be treated with fillings, onlays, crowns, root canals and extractions.  Gum disease cannot be cured, but we can help keep it from getting worse by professional cleanings, scaling and root planing and gum surgery.  (Of course, flossing and brushing are the most effective ways to keep gum disease from getting worse.)  And if gum diseases gets too bad, we need to extract.

2- Replace what’s missing.  We can replace missing teeth with bridges, implants, partial dentures and full dentures.  This must be done hand-in-hand with our third goal…

3- Preserve what’s left.  We never want to put something in your mouth if it will hasten the loss of remaining teeth.  Splints (or nightguards) and retainers also fall under this category.

4- Make the teeth look good! Cosmetics is our fourth, and last, goal.  Our philosophy on cosmetic dentistry is very simple- it’s always a “want to”, never a “have to”.  Only two people’s opinions count (and ours is not one of them!)- yours and your partner’s.  Whitening (or bleaching) and veneers are the two most common ways to improve a smile.  We use home bleaching trays because that is the most effective, most long-lasting and least expensive method of whitening teeth.  And we’ve been doing veneers since 1987.

I hope this gives you a good idea of our approach to dentistry.  If you have any questions, please contact me.

Dr. Steve

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