This is the technical term for “sweet air” or “laughing gas” (nitrous oxide). It makes most patients very happy. Although it doesn’t actually stop discomfort, it relaxes you so that you care a lot less about what is being done. We can use it together with anesthesia. Often, we can avoid numbing you. We love using it for anyone who requests it. Some patients sit down and say “I don’t care what you do… Just give me laughing gas." The gas is 100% safe, because at least 75% is made up of oxygen (the gas that keeps us alive), and there are no after-effects. If you try it and don’t like it, we immediately turn it down or turn it off, and it’s completely gone within a minute. (Don’t believe the comedy scenes that show people spending an evening high on this stuff. They may be funny, but they’re fictitious. It truly disappears a minute after it’s turned off.)
This is a technical term for fixing broken or decaying teeth. We do not use ugly metallic fillings. We only use time-proven, organic tooth-colored materials, which are color-coordinated so that they are virtually invisible.
This is a general term for everything we do to enhance your overall appearance. This can include veneers, which cover and beautify individual or a whole set of teeth, crowns (more about that below), possible orthodontic work (moving teeth into better positions), and even periodontal improvement (that involves the gums).
We do not subscribe to the business practice of recommending crowning a tooth unless it is absolutely necessary or really better for appearance, or if the tooth will eventually fall apart if we just patch it up. Those are valid reasons for cutting up a tooth for a crown. Therefore, we try to preserve tooth structure if doing so is possible. It may be more work, but it is the healthier, less expensive (meaning, for you), morally correct thing to do, and this is what we believe in. We have rebuilt many teeth with filling material that have held up for many, many years, but always with the caveat (carefully laid out to the patient) that eventual failure is always a possibility. This is what a top dentist who cares would do, and we are proud to stick by our high moral code.
Crowns: We Use Precious Materials
These have changed for the better, and radically, over the years. We are now making most crowns with ceramic materials, which is four (e.max, which is lithium disilicate—look it up) times as strong as porcelain, or zirconia (remember zircon diamonds?), which is ten times as strong, but not quite as esthetic as e.max. There is also the warhorse—porcelain bonded to metal. Again, there is a choice here. Some dentists use base metal to save money, but it doesn’t work as well. The metal must be precious.
We work in conjunction with a specialist in this field whom we trust, who does surgical procedures for us to aid in producing superior results. This includes the placing of implants, which require expert knowledge and experience in order to be done properly. After the periodontist places the implants, we take over and build the necessary crown, bridge or denture.
We have many years of experience in this field, which is constantly changing. We take specialty courses regularly to keep up with improvements. Some brands of implants seem to work better than others, and there are tiny, precision-made parts which are integrated into each implant. There are knockoffs made, which are cheaper, but these diminish the probable success of the implant. WE never use anything but the parts made by the manufacturer. There are also choices to be made on the type of material used in the crown. Again, nothing but the best will do, and that is what we use, always.
This is much more than simply a look at your teeth. A dental examination done right includes a thorough exam of all the soft tissues of the oral cavity, including a cancer checkup. It also includes necessary x-rays, which can reveal hidden cavities, bone loss, dead teeth, and a lot more. Abnormalities like crooked bites and a host of other problems would be pointed out, with recommendations on how to deal with them. Dr. Kosarin has saved lives by finding signs of oral cancer early on. It’s rare, but it happens.
This is root canal therapy, which, quite unfortunately, has inspired panic, fear and—oh, yes—loathing. It usually isn’t that bad (honest), and we have done many cases without the patient having to be numb (their choice), and painlessly. When a tooth is dead, there is no feeling in it. Ultimately, it is the patient’s decision if they want to be numb, have laughing gas, use both or neither. These days, many teeth are extracted and replaced with implants instead of keeping them. In this case, only the nerve is removed. Each situation has to be decided by the patient, with advice from the dentist.