Sometimes a general dentistry practice will limit the treatment provided in the office. That doesn’t happen at Drs. Bankhead and Groipen, D.D.S., P.C. Both practice locations are able to provide the majority of treatment our patients need. click here to see our Restoration Gallery!
Routine visits include your twice-yearly cleaning and check-up and your yearly x-rays (as needed). It is important for you to visit us twice a year to ensure your teeth remain healthy. We recommend adults take a full set of x-rays every 5 years. The full set shows any cavities between the teeth, and any potential signs of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease has been directly linked to heart disease, so detection is important. We use digital x-rays, which emit a lower dose of radiation.
Every cleaning and check-up includes an oral cancer screening.
Children should also visit us twice a year for their cleanings and check-ups. The best way to prevent cavities is to pick up good dental habits from an early age. At every six month visit we recommend a fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a natural mineral that prevents tooth decay, lessens sensitivity, and remineralizes areas where decay has begun. Your child’s adult teeth will be treated with sealants. They are a cost effective way of preventing tooth decay by coating the chewing surface of the tooth with a protective resin (no anesthesia necessary). If your children are involved in sports we can make them a custom mouth guard.
Our practice offers nitrous oxide to patients who are anxious about their visit. So many of our patients have negative memories from visiting their childhood dentist. Sometimes even if it is an easy appointment, it may be difficult for a patient’s mouth to stay open for an extended period of time. “Laughing gas” tends to make those irrational fears and pesky distractions disappear.
Restorative treatment refers to the restoration of natural teeth that have been damaged, decayed, or lost. Treatment includes fillings, white (composite) fillings, and CEREC crowns, inlays and onlays. These treatments will last for many years, but sometimes fillings break down. It is not uncommon for older fillings to need replacement. CEREC inlays and onlays do not break down the same way fillings do. There are advantages and disadvantages to each material. You and your dentist will discuss your options in detail and decide on the best course of treatment.
Several oral surgery procedures are performed in-office. We perform extractions (including wisdom teeth), apicoectomies, frenectomies, bone grafting, and dental implants (see below). The extraction of wisdom teeth is usually recommended when the teeth are partially erupted, which can leave room for bacteria to develop and cause an infection. Extraction is also recommended if the teeth are growing sideways in the jaw, as that can lead to damaging adjacent teeth. We also work with your child's orthodontist in accordance with the orthodontist's treatment plan.
We offer Bicon Dental Implants, which are an effective way to replace missing teeth. The treatment occurs over several visits, and includes the implant, abutment, and crown. The first visit involves a minor surgery in which the actual implant is placed in the bone. After about 3 months the bone has grown around the implant and we can proceed with the next step. The abutment (post) is placed onto the implant, and then the crown is cemented onto the abutment. Once completed, most people can’t tell a tooth was ever missing!
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a slow, progressive disease that is often ignored. Initially the patient experiences very minor symptoms, such as bleeding while flossing. If left untreated, it could progress to loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss. Occasionally, a routine 6 month cleaning is not sufficient to pull all the debris from around the tooth; a deeper cleaning must be performed. The deep “scaling” is typically all it takes to prevent the disease from progressing. If it has worsened, some type of surgery may be required.
Dr. Warren Childs works with us three days a week to provide these services to our patients.
Cosmetic procedures include bonding, veneers, whitening, and orthodontics.
Bonding is the composite filling material that is made to match your natural teeth. It’s often used for teeth that show when you smile. The material is sculpted into a tooth-like shape, hardened, and polished. The insurance typically covers a portion of the procedure.
A veneer is a facade that is cemented to the front of your tooth. It’s on the idea of a crown, but it does not cover the entire tooth. It is ceramic, which is considerably more durable than the bonding material. Snap-On Smile is an alternative to veneers; it is reversible and much less invasive. Veneers and Snap-On Smile are good options for front teeth.
We offer two types of whitening. Custom-made whitening trays are specifically for your teeth, so they work quicker than over-the-counter white strips, which are one size fits all. We also offer Zoom! in-office whitening. The appointment takes about two hours. Zoom! and NiteWhite trays do the same amount of work, the only difference is the time it takes to complete the procedure. Most insurance companies do not consider veneers or whitening to be covered procedures. Please ask about our whitening discount when you "Like" our Facebook page.
We offer two options for short-term orthodontics: Invisalign and 6 Month Smiles. Dr. Rick Bankhead, Dr. Stuart MacDonald and Dr. Derek Martin are certified Invisalign providers; Dr. Stuart MacDonald is a certified 6 Month Smiles provider. They can examine your case and recommend the best course of treatment. Once it’s determined you are a candidate, the front desk will review your insurance policy and discuss payment options. Some plans pay a portion of orthodontic services, even for adults, but others do not. We will help you achieve your ideal smile every step of the way.
We offer mouth guards for a variety of reasons. Patients who grind their teeth at night can cause pretty serious damage, such as wearing their teeth down and causing jaw pain. A night guard can prevent such damage. Patients who snore may want to look into a snore guard. We offer sports guards to patients who play contact sports (hockey, lacrosse, basketball, etc). Ask your dentist if you could benefit from wearing a mouth guard.