Services and Technologies
Pam Butterfield, DDS has provided personalized dental care to thousands of families. Our patients come from near and far to experience the warm, individualized care we provide. We pride ourselves in utilizing the most modern equipment and methods available.
In order to provide nothing but the best to our patients, our office uses state-of-the-art technologies in all our procedures. These new technologies allow us to detect dental concerns at early stages, treat your dental issues with precision, and provide stunning and customized restorations. Our premium dental software system maximizes your time and our office efficiency. When you visit our office you can be confident that you are receiving the finest and most advanced in dental care.
Click the Services below for more information on each subject.
Gaps, grooves or discoloration can be "bonded" to improve the appearance of your teeth. We can fill in gaps and grooves or repair fractures or broken edges on your teeth with state of the art composite materials. These types of filling materials are color matched to blend or improve the shade of your natural teeth. With direct bonding we can make your smile look better.
We recommend you bring your child in for their first dental visit at around eighteen months of age. This gives us the time to develop a trusting relationship with your child. Some children may just go for a ride in the chair. He or she might play with our special toothbrush or spray water with our squirt gun. FUN is what this appointment is all about. Your child will lead us through the appointment, letting us know what he or she is comfortable with.
As children get older, we are able to obtain dental x-rays, clean their teeth and apply a fluoride treatment. We do keep in mind that all children are different and we don't press for more than they are comfortable with.
We enjoy working with children and want them to develop a life long, positive experience of visiting the dentist.
To to learn more about what to expect on your child's first visit, click on the link below.
CROWNS AND BRIDGES
Many of us have large, old fillings in our teeth. At some point they will wear out and need to be replaced. In some cases there is not enough tooth structure to support a new filling and a crown is needed to minimize the chance of further breakdown or actual breakage of the tooth. In these cases we recommend a crown which can be made with porcelain to match the color of your natural teeth. In the case of a missing tooth, a bridge can be placed to fill the gap of the missing tooth.
DENTAL CLEANING (Prophylaxis)
Prophylaxis or prophy for short is what most people refer to as getting their "teeth cleaned". A prophy is the removal of plaque, tartar, and stain from the teeth at or above the gumline. This is done by scaling and polishing. This treatment is generally performed on children, teenagers, and adults with healthy gum tissue and no signs or symptoms of periodontal disease. It is an important preventive treatment for control of bacteria that can have negative effects on your oral and overall health. A general guideline for the frequency of a prophy is at least every 6 months. Our hygienist will recommend an appropriate interval for you based on your individual treatment needs.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element found in the earth's soil. Its dental benefits were discovered in naturally fluoridated water in Colorado in the 1920's. Our office offers a fluoride varnish treatment to all of our patients. Fluoride varnish is a topical application that is painted onto the teeth.
BENEFITS OF FLOURIDE:
Children get the best benefit of fluoride while their teeth are developing. Fluoride helps to mineralize the enamel, resulting in stronger teeth that are more resistant to decay.
Adults also get benefits from fluoride. Fluoride is effective in remineralizing (strengthening) areas of enamel that have been demineralized (weakened) by acids found in the bacteria of plaque and tartar. Adults that suffer from hot/cold sensitivity as a result of receeding gums can get relief with fluoride treatments. Fluoride can also help to prevent decay on exposed root surfaces.
Although many people do have fluoridated water they will still benefit greatly from the topical application of fluoride.
SILVER AND AMALGAM FILLINGS
Many of us have the traditional silver amalgam fillings that have been used for decades. Dental amalgam is a stable alloy made by combining elemental mercury, silver, tin copper and other metallic elements. Although dental amalgam continues to be a safe, commonly used restorative material, some concern has been raised because of its mercury content. However, the mercury in amalgam combines with other metals to render it stable and safe for use in filling teeth. Because amalgam fillings can withstand high chewing loads, they have remained a useful restoration. For many people they remain the best treatment option.
Periodontal maintenance is a supportive phase of care that is initiated after a patient completes periodontal therapy. This type of treatment is similar to the prophylaxis, however plaque and tartar will be removed from underneath the gum tissue as well as from above the gum tissue. Patients typically have this done every 3 or 4 months depending on their individual needs. This treatment is indicated for persons with periodontal disease.
Should it be determined that you have gingivitis or periodontal disease, periodontal therapy may be treatment planned for you. Periodontal therapy is a form of "dental cleaning". It is called scaling and root planing (SRP) and consists of the removal of tartar, plaque and bacteria from underneath the gum tissue. Depending on your individual condition, you may choose to be numb for this treatment. Dr. Butterfield and our hygienist will discuss this with you and answer all of your questions should you require periodontal therapy.
Nearly 75 percent of American adults suffer from various forms of periodontal disease and don't know it.
Warning signs that you may have periodontal disease:
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
- Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Pus between your teeth and gums when you press on your gums
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way that your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any changes in the fit of your partial dentures
- Bad breath or bad taste
Persons at a higher risk for periodontal disease are:
- Pregnant women
- Post Menopausal women
- People with Osteoporosis
Periodontal disease can have negative effects on your overall health. Many links between periodontal disease and complications with the following conditions have been proven:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Pre-term births
- Renal (kidney) disease
Implants provide the foundation for replacement teeth that look, function and feel like natural teeth. They are an excellent alternative to other restorative options that necessitate reducing natural tooth structure on otherwise healthy teeth. We partner with excellent specialists who have extensive experience in the placement of the implants. We then restore the implant with natural looking; comfortable implant crowns to give you back the function and appearance of real teeth.
NIGHTGUARDS / MOUTHGUARDS
Custom designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may get hit. In addition, these guards protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Nightguards are also recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite.
If you have decided a guard is right for you, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth which will then be sent to a lab to make a custom fit guard for you. In most cases you can choose from a variety of colors and styles for your guard. On average, guards last between 3 and 10 years.
ORAL HYGIENE CARE
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being.
Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop.
In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:
- Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily
- Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
- Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste
- Rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist advises you to
- Make sure that your children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area
A sealant is a resin-based material (plastic like film) applied to the chewing surface of a tooth to seal pits and grooves where food and bacteria can be trapped. Sealants are used to reduce the occurance of dental caries in children and adults.
SOME INDICATIONS FOR SEALANTS ARE:
- Newly erupted teeth
- Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surface
- History of dental caries (cavities)
- Xerostomia (dry mouth)
- Orthodontics (braces)
Discolored, slightly crowded or fractured teeth can be completely changed with veneers. Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are custom shaded and formed to fit your teeth with very little alteration to your natural teeth. They can make your teeth longer and more evenly shaped. Veneers can give you a perfect smile.
Teeth can change color in several ways including staining from foods, smoking, coffee, teas and colas. In some cases injury can result in color changes. Some antibiotic treatments at critical ages can also cause staining. We offer custom made whitening trays which allow you to use bleaching products at home. These treatments usually take about an hour or two daily for two weeks. Many patients also touch up their smile periodically with a few additional treatments.
Click the Technologies below for more information on each subject.
AUTOMATED APPOINTMENT REMINDERS
We use an automated appointment reminder system that will call your home two days prior to your scheduled appointment time to remind you of your appointment. Please listen to the message carefully and press "1" to confirm the appointment and "2" if you wish to cancel. If you do not respond to the message, our office staff will contact you to confirm your scheduled visit. If are not home, a message will be left on your voicemail. Failure to notify our office of a cancellation may result in a charge. See our missed appointment policy for more information.
We use digital imaging software in our office, which allows us to take a digital picture of you and use our imaging system to predict how a particular treatment or cosmetic procedure would change the appearance of your teeth. This software is beneficial for patients who are considering cosmetic procedures but are not sure if they're ready for dramatic changes. Digital imaging also allows us to document your dental case and procedures very well. We take digital images of your face, teeth and smile to provide us with a permanent dental record and to provide a visual documentation of treatment.
Our office utilizes electronic claims processing. This means that rather than sending your dental claim through the mail, it is sent electronically to your insurance company with the click of the button. By filing your claim electronically, information is submitted more efficiently and with fewer errors. This benefits our patients because the turn around time on claims is faster and fewer claims are returned or denied. We are happy to submit your dental claims to your insurance company on your behalf.
We use small cameras about the size of a pen, called intraoral cameras, to help clearly see the condition of your teeth and gums.
With this advanced technology we can zoom in on small diseased areas, cracks, chips and worn metal fillings with extreme precision. The full-color images taken with the intraoral camera are sent to a computer screen so we can clearly see and diagnose dental problems much earlier than with traditional dental technology. Because images are displayed on our screens, patients will also be able to see areas being worked on and are able to gain a better understanding of dental procedures being performed.
X-RAYS AND DIGITAL X-RAYS
X-rays are a focused beam of x-ray particles passed through bone which produce an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This provides the familiar black and white images doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems and disease. Without an x-ray of the whole tooth and supporting bone and gum tissues, there would be no way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.
In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using up to 90% less radiation than conventional film x-rays. Using this technology, we are able to take an x-ray of your mouth by using a small sensor which records the image of your teeth and sends it to a computer. The result is a highly detailed image of your mouth that can easily be enhanced to better diagnose dental concerns and determine the very best treatment for each case.