Dr. Matheson and his staff take the prevention of dental and periodontal diseases very seriously. While fixing our patients dental problems is a top priority, our eventual goal is to see our patients only twice each year in our Queen Creek dental office for a checkup and cleaning and not for cavities.
X-rays, or radiographs, are taken at most examinations so that we can detect small tooth and gum issues before they become big problems. We use digital x-rays which greatly reduce the already minimal radiation exposure patients get from dental x-rays.
At each checkup, we perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, the supporting bone around your teeth, and the temporal mandibular joint (or TMJ) We also screen you for oral and facial cancer. Lastly, a dental prophylaxis (cleaning) is done and, if desired, topical fluoride is placed on your teeth to help prevent cavities in the future.
Periodontal or Gum Disease
Gum disease (periodontitis) is an infection that attacks the attachment between the tooth, and the gums and underlying bone. If left untreated, the bone around your teeth will continue to recede until the teeth become loose and eventually fall out. Surprisingly, many people who have periodontitis do not realize it because it is usually painless. Red, puffy, and bleeding gums are a sign that you may have periodontitis.
Just as it is important to build a solid foundation prior to constructing a building, it is important to ensure the health of the gums prior to any type of dental work. This is why Dr. Matheson and his staff evaluate your gums at the initial exam and every six month check-up. Severe periodontal disease may require scaling and root planning (deep cleaning), more frequent dental cleanings and possibly even surgical intervention.
See our current special offers on scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) and periodontal maintenance cleanings.
For those who have suffered from dental problems for a long, long time and are facing the reality of having to have the rest of their teeth removed, there is hope! Replacing your teeth with traditional dentures, whether complete or partial dentures, can give you a beautiful smile once again. Dr. Matheson will work closely with you to customize your teeth to look and feel the way you’ve always dreamed of. Additionally, by placing dental implants to secure your dentures in place, you can have nearly the same chewing function as when you had all your healthy teeth. Please see our Implant Supported Dentures page for more information about how implants can stabilize your dentures so that they have both the look and function you want.
We offer many options for dentures in Queen Creek and invite you to call our office at 480-888-8123 for a consultation so we can help you find a solution that will best meet your needs.
When a cavity reaches the center of the tooth, known as the pulp, the tissue becomes inflamed and results in a toothache. Besides being very painful, this dental infection can spread to other areas of the body including the heart and brain. In order to save the tooth and prevent the infection from spreading, the infected pulp must be removed and the center of the tooth must be sterilized. This process is known as a root canal.
Sometimes a tooth will hurt for a while and then the pain will stop. It is still important to visit the dentist because this could be a sign the tooth is now dead. A dead tooth may or may not hurt, the infection can still spread to other areas of your body.
Crowns and Bridges
When much of a tooth’s structure has been destroyed by cavities or trauma, a crown (or cap) is needed to restore the tooth to its proper form and function, and to reduce the risk of further destruction.
When a crown is necessary, the tooth is first prepared by the dentist and a very detailed impression is made of the tooth. A temporary crown is then placed on the tooth. The impression is sent to a local laboratory where a skilled technician fabricates the crown. After returning from the lab, the crown is thoroughly inspected by Dr. Matheson to ensure that it will fit properly on the tooth prior to cementing it into place.
A bridge is a treatment used to replace a missing tooth between two existing teeth. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared for crowns, an impression is made, and a temporary bridge is fabricated that you can wear until your permanent bridge is ready. In the lab, a false tooth (to replace your missing tooth) is splinted between the two crowns so that when the crowns are cemented into place, the false tooth takes the place of the missing tooth and is firmly and permanently in place.
Dental implants is another option for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are often recommended instead of a bridge as they replace the missing tooth without requiring that the adjacent healthy teeth be reshaped for a crown.
When a tooth gets a cavity, the decay must be removed or it will progress to the center of the tooth where the infection can spread to other parts of the body. After it is removed a filling material is used to replace the missing tooth structure. The most common filling materials are amalgam (silver), composite (white plastic), gold and porcelain.
Gold fillings are known for their strength and durability. Because they are not tooth colored, they are usually only used on back teeth. A gold filling is done in two appointments.
Amalgam (silver) is another very strong and durable filling option. Over time, amalgam can cause the tooth to become slightly darker so this filling is usually reserved for the back teeth. Although questions have risen about the safety of amalgam, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, and several other health organizations in the U.S. around the world consider amalgam to be a safe, affordable and effective dental filling material. For more information on dental amalgam, please visit www.ada.org and search “amalgam.”
Composite is a tooth colored material that is often used in cosmetic dentistry to make your teeth look like they did before the cavities. It does not darken your tooth over time, however, the bond between the composite and your tooth can break down over time so it is important that you continue to see your dentist every six months to make sure your filling is intact and well bonded to your tooth.
Porcelain fillings are tooth colored like composite but they are much stronger and more resistant to premature wearing down. Like gold, they are done in two appointments.
When giving shots, we use DentalVibe making your visit comfortable and virtually pain free!
TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint) pain can manifest itself as jaw pain, muscle pain in the head and neck and as headaches. There are many reasons why your jaw may be sore. They may include pain from an infected tooth, irregular occlusion (i.e. the way your teeth close together), internal deformation of the temporal mandibular joint, stressed jaw muscles, a lack of posterior teeth, and many other reasons.
There are many options for treating TMJ problems. These include non-surgical methods such as wearing a specially fabricated night guard. The night guard gives good posture to your jaw joint allowing the muscles that you chew with to relax and relieves the pain and inflammation you are experiencing.
Body posture and musculoskelatal issues can also be a factor in TMJ pain. In addition to treating contributing dental issues, consulting with a physical therapist who specializes in TMJ pain can be very helpful to some patients.
Sedation or Sleep Dentistry
Although the friendly and comfortable atmosphere at Matheson Dentistry helps to calm troubled nerves, some patients require medicinal help to reduce stress during a dental appointment. Dental anxiety is real and can have devastating effects on health when needed procedures are put off for years and then become emergencies or require extensive reconstruction. We offer a wide range of safe and effective options to meet your needs for a sedation dentist in Queen Creek.
Nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas), can be used by children and adults and works by decreasing anxiety. Oral sedatives put the patient in a relaxed state which decreases any pain or anxiety that they may have. For those who desire IV sedation or sleep dentistry, our highly trained anesthesia team employs state-of-the-art equipment with a high priority on safety and comfort for you, the patient. We offer both conscious sedation and general anesthesia at our Queen Creek office.
We recognize that much of the anxiety of going to the dentist comes from having shots to numb the area needing dental care. We use topical anesthetic before our injections to minimize discomfort. We also warm our anesthetic to body temperature prior to injections as room temperature anesthetic is part of what makes the injection uncomfortable. In addition, we use the DentalVibe (see www.dentalvibe.com ). Our patients tell us that in many cases it removes the feeling of the needle completely! Your comfort is of great concern to us and we go to great lengths to be your pain free dentist in Queen Creek.
Whether you have a sore tooth a broken tooth, or a broken denture, your urgent dental need is important to us. Call today and we will do our best to provide immediate care.
If you break a tooth or if a tooth is knocked completely out, keep the tooth moist (placing it in a glass of milk or holding it in your mouth is most effective). Call the office (480-888-8123) and tell us the nature of the dental emergency. A tooth that is knocked out needs to be replaced within 30 minutes to have a good chance of survival.
Dr. Matheson highly recommends using custom fit athletic mouth guards for all contact sports. In a classic case of ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’, custom made mouth guards protect the teeth, jaw and soft tissue of the mouth from injury and and the potentially time-consuming dental treatments needed to treat them. In addition, the mouth guards can reduce the incidence of concussions while playing sports. Studies have shown that generic stock or “Boil and Bite” mouth guards found at sports stores do not provide the level of protection that can be achieved by wearing custom-fit athletic mouth guards.
Your athletic mouth guard can also be customized with your name, number, and team logo.