Mullally Dental Procedure Library
Dental bonding is the process of adding tooth colored (composite resin) material to your natural teeth in order to repair them or to improve your smile. Bonding is a staple of cosmetic dentistry and can give you the smile of your dreams. If you have chipped, fractured or unsightly shaped teeth, dental bonding is for you. Bonding can also be used to cover small defects or discolored teeth. Dr. Mullally will match the shade of your natural teeth prior to the procedure so that you can be confident that you will have a perfect blend. If you are looking for that Hollywood smile or just trying to make small improvements, dental bonding can help you get there.
A dental bridge is one of the ways that a missing tooth can be replaced. Basically, a dental bridge is several dental crowns fused together into one unit. It consists of both pontics which are false teeth and abutments which fit over you natural teeth and serve as anchors. For example, if you are missing one tooth then the tooth in front of and behind the missing tooth will be reduced so that the bridge will fit on top of them and suspend a false tooth in between. This false tooth replaces the original missing tooth. Dental bridges are made of the same materials as dental crowns and once cemented are permanent. They are a strong and aesthetic option for replacing missing teeth and are much preferred to partial dentures but do have downfalls when compared to dental implants.
Developing healthy and regular oral hygiene habits in children can set them up for a better life. There is a plethora of issues that children face in regards to their oral health including cavities, traumatic injuries from sports or falls, tooth alignment issues, and unhealthy eating/drinking habits. Many parents are unsure of exactly how to manage their children’s dental needs. How much soda or juice is too much? What do I do if my child falls and breaks their tooth? What do I need to know about Fluoride? At what point does my child’s thumb sucking habit become a big problem and how can I prevent damage and malalignment of their teeth? Dr. Mullally enjoys treating children of all ages and educating parents on the best practices to ensure their kids have the best oral hygiene possible. Having four kids of his own Dr. Mullally knows how to care for your child’s needs.
Dr. Mullally recommends that a child should be seen at the dentist by his or her first birthday. This not only allows him to make sure your child’s teeth develop correctly, but also allows your child to get into the habit of going to the dentist. Many issues that develop at a later age are preventable if routine dental visits are accomplished from early on.
Aside from the oral health habits Mullally Family Dentistry makes sure your kids enjoy their visit by providing TVs in every room, prizes after successful visits and even raffles where your child could win a new bike! Let our dental family care for yours by allowing us to treat your entire family.
Cosmetic Fillings (Composite Resins)
A cosmetic filling is completed with a tooth colored material called composite. Composite is the aesthetic and metal free alternative to dental amalgam (silver fillings). This procedure is completed when a tooth has a cavity, fracture, or other defect. After anesthetizing the tooth and removing all decay Dr. Mullally will place the composite material to build up the portion of your tooth that was removed. When he is finished it will be hard for you do differentiate where the filling even is as Dr. Mullally takes great pride in his shade matching and restorative skills.
Some patients may experience sensitivity after the placement of a composite filling which is referred to as composite sensitivity. This often goes away in a matter of days to weeks but if it is severe or persists over a longer period of time your tooth should be reevaluated. Dr. Mullally applies a desensitizing agent to your tooth prior to placing the filling in order to prevent this pesky possible side effect.
A dental crown is a covering or cap that fits over a natural tooth to provide strength, function, and aesthetics. Crowns may be necessary if a natural tooth has decayed, fractured, been reduced, or had root canal treatment. Dental crowns can be made from a myriad of different materials ranging from gold to the more popular ceramics. Dr. Mullally will help you decide which material is right for you. Our metal free ceramic crowns are perfectly shade matched to provide a natural blend with the rest of your teeth. During the procedure your tooth will be anesthetized and then reduced to allow an intimate fit with your future crown. Once a crown is cemented onto your natural tooth, you can enjoy a normal diet and your new smile.
Put simply, a dental implant is the best way for a person who is missing a tooth to regain the form, function, and aesthetics that they lost. A dental implant is an artificial post that is placed into your jaw as a replacement for a missing tooth. The actual implant is shaped similar to the root of a natural tooth and is made of a biocompatible material such as Titanium. After an implant is placed, your jawbone actually grows around and onto the implant in a process called osseointegration. This allows the implant to be a rock solid foundation for an abutment and finally a dental crown.
Think of the abutment as a middle-man, it is a small attachment that functions to connect the implant to the new artificial tooth that is called a dental crown. After the abutment (middle-man) is attached to the implant (artificial root) a dental crown is placed to provide you with a functional, strong, and natural looking artificial tooth.
Your new artificial tooth can be treated similar to your natural teeth. They should be brushed, flossed, and cleaned at the dental office at your regular cleanings. They can chew all of the foods you normally enjoy and soon you will likely forget that it is even there.
The actual procedure of placing an implant is much shorter and more comfortable than one might expect. Often Dr. Mullally can place the implant in the same amount of time as a filling appointment. After the implant is placed, the bone must be allowed adequate time to heal around implant to form the solid foundation. This process varies but can be up to 4 months. After the healing time Dr. Mullally attaches the abutment and a dental lab will create your crown. The color of the crown will match your natural teeth and once it is cemented you are free to enjoy your new smile!
Dental implants are one of the most exciting and useful advancements in the field of dentistry. Never before has there been a more efficient, functional, and beautiful way to replace missing teeth. With the proven effectiveness and long term benefits implants offer, there has never been a better time to improve your health and smile with dental implants.
Dental extractions are the removal of natural teeth. Teeth may require extraction for several reasons including severe decay, fracture, infection, gum disease, or impaction (especially wisdom teeth). The extraction of a tooth should be treated as a last resort but cannot always be avoided. Dr. Mullally will always make every effort to save your natural tooth, but if an extraction is necessary he will help you replace it with variety of options including dental implants.
The removal of a tooth is often a quick process. After your tooth and surrounding gum tissue is completely numb, Dr. Mullally will loosen the ligament that holds your tooth in place. Once this is accomplished the toot his delivered and we clean out any infected tissue from the area and irrigate with an antibacterial rinse.
Healing after an extraction is dependent on several factors but often proceeds quickly and without complication. Dr. Mullally will make sure you have adequate post-operative care including specific care instructions and any required pain medication to make sure you have a comfortable recovery.
Invisalign® is the cosmetic option for patients who want to improve their smiles by moving teeth orthodontically. It can replace the use of traditional metal braces in qualifying patients. Not everyone will qualify for Invisalign® as some tooth movements may still require traditional braces. Dr. Mullally is pleased to offer his patients free consultations for Invisalign® to determine if this treatment is right for you!
Rather than the metal wires and brackets associated with braces, Invisalign® consists of wearing removable, custom fit, clear trays that snap onto your upper and lower teeth. Patients wear these trays for 20-22 hours per day and remove them when they eat or clean their teeth. Every two weeks a new set of trays will be custom made to continue moving the necessary teeth little by little until we achieve the smile you desire. Treatment time is approximately the same as traditional braces but in some cases can be much shorter. Because the trays are removable it is simple to clean your teeth as normal with brushing and flossing. Also, because the trays are clear they are rarely noticed by others when you wear them. Invisalign® can be an excellent option for those looking to improve their bite, smile, and oral health in an aesthetic and efficient manner.
Oral sedation provides you with an intermediate level of sedation in between the milder nitrous oxide and the more intense IV sedation. This is referred to as conscious sedation as you are not “put to sleep” as you are with general anesthesia. Oral sedation uses medication to help you relax during dental procedures. Depending on the amount prescribed, oral sedation can cause minimal to moderate sedation. You will be instructed to take a pill before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you will still be awake. Some people become drowsy enough from oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure, although they can be awoken with a gentle prompt. Patients are constantly monitored throughout the procedure and after completion will likely not remember much of the treatment. You will need a driver to and from the office in this case as the sedation may not have worn off completely when you are ready to leave.
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is a safe and effective sedative agent that is administered along with oxygen and inhaled during a dental procedure to help you relax. This is an excellent option for anyone who is anxious about dental treatment. Nitrous oxide does not put you to sleep but rather relaxes you so that you can receive the care you need in a comfortable state. While some patients may feel a tingling sensation in their arms and legs, ultimately the effects of the gas should leave you feeling calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off almost immediately after the mask is removed. Our staff will then have you breathe oxygen for five minutes to ensure complete recovery back to your normal state. You will not need to have someone drive you as you will be fully back to normal when you leave our office. Dr. Mullally will always complete a detailed medical history to ensure this option is optimal for your health.
Mullally Family Dentistry has the goal to get each patient to a point where they have a healthy, functional, and beautiful smile. At that point we simply need to see you every six months for an update exam and cleaning. The best way to make it to this state of oral health is by utilizing a strong preventative care regimen. We strive to prevent issues before they occur, which saves our patients lots of time and money.
From routine cleanings to sealants to diet guides and oral hygiene care regimens, we have got you covered. Remember the best way to be healthy is to start receiving preventative care from a young age. So be sure to bring your little ones in for routine visits so Dr. Mullally can help them build healthy dental habits for life.
Root Canal (Endodontic Treatment)
A root canal is a procedure that removes diseased tissue from the inside of an injured tooth and seals the tooth so that no bacteria can reenter. Teeth may require root canals for several reasons but most commonly due to large cavities or due to trauma from an injury or sports accident. In either case the nerve of the involved tooth is damaged and begins the process of dying (necrosis). Unfortunately, this process of nerve death is often extremely painful and can cause loss of sleep, inability to eat, and even missed work.
This is where a root canal procedure comes in. By removing the infected or dying nerve tissue Dr. Mullally can almost instantly relive your pain. He then removes and destroys the bacteria that are causing the issue and places a permanent filling to seal the roots of your tooth and prevent the bacteria from returning. The top portion of your tooth that is visible in your mouth is then restored with an aesthetic tooth colored filling or a natural looking dental crown.
Root canals have inherited a negative reputation in some circles due to historically unpleasant experiences. Many of these issues were due to the reduced effectiveness of dental local anesthetic (numbing agent) rather than the procedure itself. With the advanced and successful anesthetics we use in dentistry today, Dr. Mullally can assure you of a comfortable and efficient experience.
Sealants are thin layers of dental material (similar to tooth colored fillings) that are applied to any teeth with large, deep, or irregular grooves to help prevent cavities. No drilling is requiring for sealants to be applied. A bonding agent is applied to the selected teeth and the sealant material is simply flowed into the deep grooves to eliminate a favorite hiding place for bacteria and decay. The grooves on the top of back teeth are one of the most common areas for cavities to start. Thus, these are the most common areas for sealants to be placed. There is no special care that needs to be taken once sealants are applied, they simply will provide additional protection for those teeth. Sealant application will not affect the way your teeth bite together. They are also tooth colored so that they blend in with your natural teeth. Sealants are applied to children’s teeth as this is the time when sugary and acidic foods are prevalent and oral hygiene like brushing and flossing may not be as common as in adult life. The scientific literature strongly supports the efficiency of dental sealants. The amount of money saved for future dental treatment, hours of missed school/work, and less amount of dental pain are just a few reasons to think prevention and utilizing sealants when deemed appropriate by Dr. Mullally.
Special Needs Dentistry
Patients with physical, medical, developmental or cognitive conditions often require special consideration when receiving dental treatment. This can include a broad spectrum of patients such as those with autism, Down syndrome, spinal cord injuries and countless other situations that can make standard dental care more difficult. Often times this can be a large barrier to obtaining necessary dental care and can lead to several health problems.
Caring for special needs patients takes compassion, knowledge, and understanding. While not every dentist accommodates special needs patients, Dr. Mullally focuses on working closely with these individuals. By forming relationships of trust and truly understanding each patient Dr. Mullally can help deliver the dental care they need in an environment that is comfortable for them.
This has always been an area of special interest for Dr. Mullally from coaching in special needs soccer leagues to treating special needs patients in his office. If you, your child or someone you know has special needs, please feel free to call our office to discuss your options with Dr. Mullally.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a broad term that includes pain and other conditions that arise from your temporomandibular joints. TMD can have a profound effect on your everyday life and can cause daily discomfort to affected individuals. Jaw pain, muscle aches, and headaches are just a few of the possible symptoms of TMD. If you hear clicking, popping, or suspect that you are suffering due to an issue with your TMJ please contact our office. Dr. Mullally provides TMJ evaluations as part of every exam and will help you discover any issues and how to correct them. Whether this means fabrication of an oral appliance, correction of a habit or any other issue, Dr. Mullally will help you understand the underlying problem and work to eliminate any pain. Please give us a call with any questions or to schedule a consultation.
Veneers are thin coverings for natural teeth that can be used to improve the color, shape, size, or any small defects of your teeth. Veneers can also be used to close the spaces (diastema) between your front teeth. They are often made of porcelain or composite resin materials. Veneers are responsible for many of Hollywood’s famous smiles. When you chose to improve your smile with veneers, you and Dr. Mullally work together to design exactly how you want them to look. Dr. Mullally has his dental lab create a preview called a wax-up so that you can see what your new smile will look like before it is in your mouth and you can request any adjustments that you prefer! This is how we ensure you are thrilled with your results.
When you come in for your first veneer visit Dr. Mullally will adjust your natural teeth so that they can receive the dental veneers. He will then fabricate temporary veneers that you can wear until the lab completes your permanent restorations. This gives you a few days to make sure you like the size and shape of the veneers. If you are happy with your smile, the second visit will consist of removing the temporary veneers and cementing the permanent ones. Once cemented the veneers are in place permanently and you are free to enjoy your new smile!
Who doesn’t want whiter teeth? White teeth are viewed as a sign of health, youth, and beauty. However, it is important to know which type of whitening procedure will best serve your needs and when is the best time to whiten. At Mullally Family Dentistry we offer both in office and take home whitening solutions.
Our in office Zoom whitening is the quickest and most efficient method to whiten your teeth. Zoom’s research has shown up to eight shades whiter teeth in a 45 minute appointment. This method is great for quick results if you have a wedding or other such event coming up and you want to be camera ready. During your Zoom appointment our staff will isolate your teeth while protecting your gum tissue to prevent sensitivity. Dark eyewear will be provided for your comfort and safety. You will recline in one of our comfortable chairs and have the option to listen to your favorite music while your teeth are being whitened. Our Zoom light will do the rest and you will leave our office with a significantly whiter smile than which you arrived.
Our take home option allows you to whiten more or less depending on your schedule and how often you wear your trays. Our team will take molds of your teeth to create custom fitting whitening trays that snap on to your upper and lower teeth. These trays will hold the whitening gel and when worn, will continue to whiten your teeth with no effort on your part. Another benefit of this method is the trays are yours to keep and can be used at a later date if you wish to whiten again! We will simply ensure proper fitting and order you more whitening gel.
Both options produce amazing results and Dr. Mullally will answer any questions you have so that together we can determine which option is best for you.
Wisdom Tooth Extractions
Wisdom teeth (third molars) may require extraction for a variety of reasons including impaction, decay, gum disease, or for causing damage to adjacent teeth. It is common for teenagers to have wisdom teeth removed around the age of 16. The reason for this is at that age the roots of the wisdom teeth have likely not fully formed which makes for an easier removal. Additionally, patients at this age have more flexible bone and recovery more easily after the procedure. Wisdom teeth are sometimes removed prophylactically (before they cause problems) in order to prevent them from becoming an issue later in life when removal is less optimal. Dr. Mullally will recommend whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed and provide you with a comfortable experience if they do.
Depending on a variety of factors the healing time for wisdom tooth extractions can vary from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. I am sure we all remember a friend or family member who was sporting chipmunk cheeks after having their wisdom teeth removed. This is why Dr. Mullally recommends scheduling the procedure for a school break or another period that allows for some down time to improve healing. He also provides his patients with a thorough and effective care regimen following the procedure to ensure the most efficient and comfortable recovery possible.