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Pediatric Dentistry
Call Us Today!
(210) 494-4699
Pediatric Dentistry
Call Us Today!
(210) 494-4699

Procedures

We perform a wide variety of services to help you get the smile you deserve. By leveraging today's advanced techniques and technology, Dr. Cynthia Banker and Dr. Brett Mueller can restore your beautiful smile to help you maintain your youthful appearance. Whether you need to get a tooth filled, have crooked teeth, or need a complete smile makeover, we can offer a treatment plan that's right for you. Read below to learn more about some of the procedures we offer.

State of the Art Technology

Laser Restoration
We recently purchased new equipment that no longer required the use of local anesthesia to do routine dental fillings. This laser actually allows fillings to be done pain free! Call the office and ask about Laser Dentistry.
Multi-media Video Glasses

Kids can now enjoy a movie while we take care of their teeth.


General Dental Procedures

Dental Cleanings

Routine dental cleanings are important to maintaining good oral hygiene. Professional cleaning by a hygienist can remove mineralized plaque that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach. It is recommended you go in for a cleaning once every six months.
How it's done
You can expect your dental cleaning to last between 30 minutes and an hour. Typically, a trained hygienist will do the cleaning, and a dentist may come in for an exam at the end. Most people find that dental cleanings are painless, and do not cause any discomfort.
There are two important steps to a dental cleaning. The first step is scaling the teeth, whereby the hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces. This can be performed by hand or with electric scalers depending on the hygienists preference.Typically, the hygienist will also dig into the pockets of the gums to remove any plaque buildup there.

Dental Exams and X-Rays

Routine dental exams are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, they can help to avoid the financial costs associated with large treatment plans later on. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends twice yearly checkups for people of all ages. At this frequency, most problems can be caught while they remain in an early stage.

How it's done
The dentist first examines your mouth visually, using dental equipment such as mouth mirrors, dental picks, and high intensity lights. They will look for cracked and decayed teeth, as well as review other important items such as:

  • Medical history review: The dentist will assess how any new medical conditions or illnesses may affect your dental health.
  • Examination of tooth decay: Your mouth will be checked for cracked or decayed teeth.
  • Oral cancer screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums will be checked for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Your gums and bone around the teeth will be checked for any evidence of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Current fillings, crowns, and other restorations are made sure to be in good order.
Additionally, your dentist will take diagnostic x-rays to reveal any other hidden problems, especially in the areas below the gums. Bitewing x-rays are typically taken every 12 months and a panographic x-ray, which revolves around the head, is taken every 3-5 years.

Composite Fillings

When treating a cavity, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth and fill it with another substance. This procedure is called a filling. There are multiple options for the material to be used in the filling, the most common of which are composite fillings and amalgam fillings.

A composite filling is also known as a tooth colored filling, since the material used in the filling can be closely matched to the color of your teeth. Composite fillings provide good durability for small to medium cavities, and the procedure typically involves removing less of a tooth than you would during an amalgam filling. They are also particularly well suited for treating front or highly visible teeth because of their natural look.

When can a composite filling be used for?

    Decayed tooth (i.e. cavity)
    Chipped or broken teeth
    Decreasing the gap between teeth

How its done
After the dentist numbs the area where the filling is to be placed, he will remove any decayed portions. A substance is then applied to help open up the pores of your teeth for a stronger bond, and hardened and cured with a special light. Once this is complete, the filling is applied in thin layers to slowly form the complete filling. After the composite has hardened, the filling will be smoothened and polished to be comfortable and fit your bite.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings, also known as silver-colored fillings, are made from a combination of metals such as tin, copper, silver and mercury. This combination of metals gives amalgam its renowned strength and durability. These fillings usually last between 10 – 15 years compared to composite fillings which typically last about 5 years. Because of its strength, these fillings are particularly useful for use on the molars in the back of the mouth, where the most chewing occurs. Its silver color is also less visible when placed on molars in the back of the mouth. As an added benefit, amalgam fillings are typically more cost effective than composite “white” fillings.

How it’s done
The procedure is done by first removing the decaying portion of the tooth. Once that is complete, the tooth is shaped in a specific way to accept the filling. The amalgam is then placed into the tooth. A band maybe placed around your tooth during the process to help the amalgam condense. The filling is then adjusted and polished to fit your bite for maximum comfort.

Additional information
After you’ve had your tooth filled with amalgam, you may experience a temporary period of heightened hot and cold tooth sensitivity. Additionally amalgam fillings do not harden instantaneously, and it’s advisable to avoid chewing in that area for a few hours. Make sure to consult your dentist to understand which type of filling is right for you.

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is treatment used to repair and save a tooth that has been infected due to a deep cavity or cracked tooth. The treatment involves removing the pulp and the nerves of the tooth, and cleaning the infected area. A tooth's pulp and nerve is not important to a tooth's health and function after the tooth has fully emerged from the gums. If the treatment is not performed, pus builds up at the root tip and the infection of the pulp can spread to the surrounding bone. The results in pain and swelling, and your tooth would likely have to be removed.

What are the signs that a root canal is needed?

    Severe tooth pain while chewing
    Your tooth pain wakes you up at night
    Teeth that are highly sensitive to hot or cold, with the sensitivity lingering for some time.
    Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
    Swollen gums in the area of the infected tooth

What does the treatment involve?
First, an opening is made into the pump chamber through the crown of the tooth.. Once the pulp is removed, the root canal is thoroughly cleaned. If the dentist decides to complete the root canal therapy in multiple visits, a temporary filling will be placed to protect the tooth. When you return, the dentist will remove the temporary filling, re-clean the root canal and pulp chamber, and place a permanent filling and / or crown over the tooth.

Root canal therapy has a high rate of success any many teeth undergoing the procedure can be saved to last a lifetime. Additionally, the crown or filling placed the completion of the procedure makes it hard to notice by others that you had the treatment.

Tooth Extractions


A dental extraction is the procedure to remove a tooth from your mouth. A dental extraction is most commonly required if one of your teeth is damaged beyond practical repair. The most common reasons for tooth extractions include:


  • Severe tooth decay or infection may make it impossible or too costly to repair a tooth
  • Advanced gum disease may required a tooth to be pulled so it doesn’t affect the supporting tissues and bone structures of your mouth
  • A tooth may be extracted if it is blocking other teeth from coming in
  • During orthodontic work, teeth may need to be extracted to create room for the teeth that are being moved into place
  • Wisdom teeth are often extracted either before or after they come in

What to expect
Your dentist will first administer anesthetic to numb the area and reduce discomfort. During the extraction, you will feel the pressure of the tooth being removed, but will not feel any pain. Typically, the dentist is able to remove your tooth within a matter of minutes.

Immediately after the tooth extraction, a small amount of bleeding is normal and patch of gauze will be placed in the affected area. The area may bleed minimally for the next 24 hours or so and taper off after that. Follow your dentist's instructions on how often to change the gauze, and what other post-procedure steps to follow.
dental-cleanings
Cosmetric Dentistry

Porcelain Crowns

Cosmetic Dentistry

Compared to fillings which just cover a small portion of a tooth, a crown (or cap) encases the entire visible portion of a tooth. In effect, the crown acts as the tooth's new outer surface.A dental crown is used when a tooth is broken or decayed to such an extent that fillings aren't able to repair the problem. The crown is able to provide a protective shell around the damaged or decayed tooth to strengthen it, as well as to improve the appearance of the tooth. They can also help restore a tooth to it's original shape, are used commonly for teeth that have been broken. While crowns come in different materials, the most common crowns typically have some mixture of porcelain in them to give them a look and feel similar to a natural tooth.

How it's done
The first visit to your dentist involves haping the tooth and taking impressions to create the crown. Typically a portion of you tooth will have to be removed for the crown to fit properly. After the dentist reshapes your tooth, he will use a special material to create an impression of it. This impression will be sent to a dental laboratory to be made into a permanent crown. Before sending you home, the dentist will provide you with a temporary crown to cover your tooth in between visits.

When you return to you dentist, he will have received the permanent crown from the laboratory. He will remove the temporary crown and fit the new permanent one. Before cementing the permanent crown in place, he will ensure that it fits comfortably and matches the color of your teeth.

Teeth Whitening

Our teeth can discolor through the years as our enamel wears down. The wearing down of enamel allows dentin, a yellow color substance that makes the core of our teeth, to show through. This is what gives our teeth a yellowish tint. Teeth whitening helps restore teeth to a shiny white color through the use of bleach.

Teeth whitening methods
There are two popular teeth whitening options available through your dentist. The first, in-office teeth whitening, produces a significant color change in your teeth in a short amount of time, usually within an hour. The procedure is done at the dentist's office by applying a high-concentration peroxide gel on the teeth after they have been protected with a special shield.

The second method, involves the use of take home whitening kits. These whitening kits are purchased from your doctor for use at home. The strength of the gel used in these kits is lower than that used for in-office bleaching, and thus the gel can be applied for longer periods of time. Usually the trays are worn a couple hours a day or overnight for a few days or weeks depending on the product.

Its best to consult your dentist to understand which whitening option is best for you.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are thin custom made shells that cover the front surface of your tooth to improve their appearance. They are made of tooth colored materials and can be used to improve the color of teeth that have been worn down or stained. Alternatively, they can be used to improve the shape or size of the tooth.

Types of veneers
There are two types of veneers that are commonly used. Porcelain veneers are more durable, and resist stains better. The properties of the material also helps to create a very natural tooth look. Unlike porcelain veneers, composite resin veneers are not made in a laboratory, but instead directly applied to the teeth. They typically have a shorter life span, and are less expensive.

When should you consider dental veneers?
You talk to you dentist about dental veneers if
  • Your teeth are stained or discolored teeth
  • Your teeth are crooked or misshaped teeth
  • Your teeth have spaces between them
  • Your teeth are broken or chipped

How its done
Two visits to your dentist are typically required for porcelain veneers. At the first visit, three important steps are completed. Firstly, the your teeth is prepared to be fitted with a veneer, which will involve trimming a portion of the tooth so the veneer can be bonded on top. Secondly, an impression is taken of your tooth which will be sent to a laboratory to prepare the veneer. Finally, you may receive a temporary veneer depending on how much of your tooth structure was removed. This temporary veneer will protect your tooth while the permanent veneer is prepared at the laboratory.

At the second visit, the temporary veneer, if you received one, will be removed. Then, the new veneer received from the laboratory will be checked to see if it fits well. It's best not to adjust porcelain veneers after they are bonded to your teeth, so any adjustments will be made beforehand. Once you and the dentist are satisfied with the look and feel of the veneer, it will be bonded to your tooth.

Dental Bonding

Dental Bonding is a restoration procedure in which a tooth-colored resin is bonded to a tooth and cured with ultraviolet light. Bonding is faster and cheaper than veneers or crowns, and can thus be a good option to make small cosmetic improvements to your teeth. Unlike veneers and crowns, bonding can be done within one office visit since nothing has to be custom made by a dental laboratory. Additionally, the procedure typically requires removing less the tooth enamel compared to veneers and crowns. However, since bonding typically doesn’t last as long as other forms of restoration and is less resistant to stains, it is used more often for small cosmetic touchups rather than major restorations.

How its done
he bonding procedure typically requires between 30 to 60 minutes to complete for each tooth. First the dentist determines exactly what color shade your teeth are to select a resin that will blend it naturally. Once this is done, the dentist will prepare the tooth so that the bonding material will adhere easier. This involves roughening the surface of the affected tooth and applying a liquid conditioner. Once this is complete, the dentist will apply the resin to the tooth, and cure it in place using an ultraviolet light. Finally, the dentist will apply the finishing touches by shaping and polishing the resin for a good fit.

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