Conscious Sedation Dentistry, Brentwood TN

As long as there have been dentists, there have been those that delay and neglect their oral health due to fear; enduring unnecessary discomfort and pain rather than visit the dentist office. If this sounds familiar, Conscious Sedation Dentistry may be right for you.

Sedation dentistry has been around in one form or another since the mid-1800s when William T.G. Morton administered ether compound to a patient. Sedation dentistry has, luckily, evolved into a relaxing and comfortable option for those that fear dental visits.

Through the use of medication, we pride ourselves on offering our patients state of the art care, in a comfortable and relaxed environment. We tailor the level of Conscious Sedation Dentistry based on each patient’s need and level of anxiety. Best of all, we can perform a wide range of dental procedures in a single visit!

It’s important to discuss your dental fears with Dr. Kussman as we have many options to ensure you get the care you need in as comfortable a manner as possible.

flouride_treatment_kussmanConscious Sedation Dentistry Options

Light Sedation – Relaxing while allowing you to remain awake and alert.

Moderate Sedation – Relaxed and feeling sleepy and less alert, but awake.

Deep Sedation – Relaxed to the point of  ‘sleep’, or barely awake.

After the Procedure

Patients report little to no memory of their procedure after the fact allowing many to address issues they might previously have ignored.

We are dedicated to providing you with best possible care available and Conscious Sedation allows us to complete many procedures in the shortest amount of time. We encourage you to contact our office with any questions and get started on the road to optimum oral health today.

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3 Ways to Improve Your Smile

“A smile is the universal welcome.” Max Eastman

We love to see you smile! Providing you with options to improve the quality of your smile is chiefly what we do. For some, modern cosmetic dentistry provides a true smile transformation while boosting confidence and self-esteem. For others, a few minor changes to routines may be all that’s needed to enhance the quality of their smile.

You can quickly improve your smile by following the 3 suggestions below.

1. Eliminate Stains

If your teeth are stained, consider cutting back on the consumption of caffeine, red wine and other foods that may be the cause of staining. Professional teeth whitening may also be an option. In-Office whitening systems are safe, effective and fast. In just over an hour, your teeth will be dramatically whiter.

2. Brush & Floss Regularly – Even On The Go

Brush regularly and make it a habit to carry floss or dental picks with you. No need to worry about your smiles appearance if you have been maintaining it throughout the day.

3. Visit the Dentist Regularly

This may seem obvious, but regular visits to your dentist’s office give you an opportunity to discuss cosmetic options. Crowns, bridges or braces may all be an option to improve your smile and your dentist can best suggest the correct procedure when they have a complete knowledge of your oral health.

Schedule your checkup, or teeth whitening online by clicking here, or call us at (615) 346-3007.

 

 

 

 

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The 5 Most Popular Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Patients seek cosmetic dentistry for many reasons and not all of them are esthetic. The most common problems patients seek restoration or cosmetic procedures for are decay, chipped teeth, discoloration, uneven teeth, & missing teeth.

The chief benefit of cosmetic dentistry is to your oral health, however, as the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry states:

A skilled, experienced cosmetic dentist can help to improve your appearance, your smile, even your self-esteem, and confidence. Today, cosmetic dentistry has continued to evolve to where cosmetic dentists can address functional and esthetic patient concerns.

 

The following is an overview of  the 5 most popular Cosmetic Dental Procedures and their benefits:

Zoom! Whitening System

The Zoom! In-Office Whitening System is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. It’s safe effective and fast, very fast. In just over an hour, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. Zoom! Whitening is ideal for anyone looking for immediate results. The convenience of Zoom! in comparison to days of wearing trays and gradual whitening makes it the perfect choice for the busy individual. The Zoom! Whitening procedure is simple and painless. It begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. The Zoom! clinician then applies the proprietary Zoom! Whitening Gel, which is activated by a specially designed light. Teeth typically become at least six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more. A five-minute fluoride treatment completes the procedure. You’ll be

The Zoom! Whitening procedure is simple and painless. It begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. The Zoom! clinician then applies the proprietary Zoom! Whitening Gel, which is activated by a specially designed light. Teeth typically become at least six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more. A five-minute fluoride treatment completes the procedure. You’ll be amazed with the results. In most cases, teeth get even whiter the first few days after the procedure.

Crowns

When the structure of an entire tooth is compromised, a crown, which covers all of the surfaces of thetooth, will need to be placed. With the new CEREC Same-Day Crowns, crowns are done in a single visit.

Cerec technology is a computer-aided design (CAD) technology that allows patients to have their crown or caps shaped and fabricated within the same 90-minute visit. No more waiting weeks for lab work. No more second appointments and additional shots! Easy on your schedule and incredibly convenient and fast!

Bridges

When a tooth has been lost and healthy teeth are located on both sides of the newly missing tooth or teeth, then a fixed bridge is a treatment option. The other options are implants or a partial denture.

The procedure for having a fixed bridge made is essentially the same as having a crown made except that a fixed bridge involves at least two supporting teeth. What can cause confusion is the number of teeth needed for a fixed bridge. To replace one missing tooth requires a three tooth bridge. This is because the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth must be part of the bridge to provide support.

Bonding

Bonding is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that enables the restoration of chipped, spotted, discolored or gapped teeth. We use modern materials that match the shade, translucency, and texture of your teeth. Our goal is to have the end result appear as if no treatment was performed. This can do wonders for your self-confidence, since smiling will come naturally to you with the improved appearance of your teeth.

Veneers

If the entire front of the tooth needs to either be repaired or cosmetically improved, one of the options is a porcelain veneer. A veneer, by definition, is an overlay with a thin layer of a fine or decorative material. We can change the color, shape, length, alignment and spacing of your teeth with porcelain veneers.

 

To continue reading about these and other Cosmetic Dentistry options click here. Or, schedule an appointment by calling (615) 346-3007, we will happily answer any questions you may have

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Cerec Same Day Crowns


Introducing CEREC Same Day Crowns – With the exciting new Cerec, crowns are done in a single appointment, start to finish. Cerec technology is a computer aided design (CAD) technology that allows patients to have their crown or caps shaped and fabricated within the same 90 minute visit. No more waiting weeks for lab work. No more second appointments and additional shots! Easy on your schedule and incredibly convenient and fast!

Schedule an appointment, today!

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Fillings

How Teeth Are Restored

After diagnosing the problem and devising a treatment plan, the next step to restore a tooth to health is to make you comfortable. We will give you a local anesthetic so that you do not feel any discomfort. After the decay is removed, the tooth is ready to receive either a direct restoration or an indirect restoration.

A direct restoration means that the tooth can likely be restored in one visit and that there is sufficient tooth structure for the filling to go inside of the tooth. Examples of direct restorations are amalgam, which is silver-colored; and composite, which is tooth-colored. There have been more amalgam fillings placed worldwide than any other kind of filling, but tooth-colored fillings are being placed more frequently in recent years because they match the remaining teeth and look like the natural tooth.

An indirect filling means that the restoration is made outside of your mouth, either by a lab or by a milling machine. An indirect filling also needs to be cemented into place. Examples of indirect restorations are crowns, inlays, and onlays. A crown covers the entire tooth, an inlay fits inside the tooth and can replace a wall of the tooth, and an onlay replaces at least one cusp of the tooth.

Most indirect restorations take two or more appointments to complete, with the exception of restorations that are milled by a machine in the office. Cast gold is the most durable indirect restoration material, but porcelain ceramics are gaining in popularity because of their superior esthetic qualities.

fillings_kussmanComposite Fillings

Composite fillings are also called plastic or tooth colored fillings. Getting this kind of filling depends on where the tooth is in your mouth. There is a lot of force applied to the back teeth when we bite, so size and location is important when deciding to use this type of restoration. To place this filling, we remove all decay and other filling material from your tooth. A bonding material is placed and then the composite resin is put into the prepared tooth in thin layers. Each layer gets hard with the help of a special light that we hold over the tooth to cure the material. When the last layer of the filling is hard, we shape the material so it looks and feels natural.

Advantages

  • Single visit
  • Conservative tooth preparation
  • Does not corrode

Porcelain Restorations

Porcelain is the most natural looking of the choices we have to restore teeth. It is used either by itself in veneers, inlays, onlays, and crowns, as well as combined with metal for crowns. Porcelain restorations require two visits or they can be milled in the office with a milling machine. After the porcelain is cemented to your tooth, it is very difficult to notice that the tooth had any treatment at all.

Advantages

  • Color
  • Resistance to surface wear
  • Long lasting
  • Wears well as it holds up to chewing force
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Crowns

When the structure of an entire tooth is compromised, a crown, which covers all of the surfaces of the tooth, will need to be placed. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth — to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

The example to the left illustrates a fractured front tooth.

A severely chipped front tooth

A severely chipped front tooth

The tooth prepared for a crown

The tooth prepared for a crown

The first step is to prepare the tooth for a crown, which requires reduction of the tooth so that the lab has enough room to produce a life-like crown. We then take an impression, select the proper color for the crown and make a temporary, at which time the first appointment is completed.

The porcelain crown being tried in

The porcelain crown being tried in

The tooth restored to its natural appearance

The tooth restored to its natural appearance

Your case is then sent to the lab to make the crown, which is then tried in and adjusted. Our job is to communicate what your wishes and desires are to the lab technicians so your new crown will be in harmony with the surrounding teeth.

Before your new crown is cemented, we check the fit, the contacts, the bite and the color to make sure it has the same characteristics of your natural teeth.

 

Please see our Crowns Gallery to view the types of results we can achieve with porcelain crowns.

 

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Root Canals

Endodontics (Root Canal Therapy)

Endodontics is a combination of the Greek words “Endo,” which means “inside” and “odont,” which means “tooth.” Endodontic treatment involves treating the inside of the tooth. The other terminology for endodontic treatment is root canal therapy. rootcanal-healthy-toothThis name comes from the fact that the treatment is to the root part of the tooth and, more specifically, in the canal part of the root where the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue of the tooth reside.

To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of a tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissue of the tooth during development.

The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature, it can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissue surrounding it.

rootcanal-decayWhy Endodontic Treatment is Necessary

Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes; deep decay due to bacteria, multiple dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain, and/or lead to an abscess.

Signs of pulp damage include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. Sometimes there are no symptoms.

Treating the Toothrootcanal-treatment

A traditional endodontic procedure involves removing the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleaning and shaping the canals inside of the tooth, then filling and sealing the space inside the canal. Almost all back teeth need a crown since a great amount of tooth structure is lost from the decay, which makes the teeth more susceptible to fracture. A crown serves to hold the tooth together and reduce the likelihood of the tooth fracturing in the future. Front teeth occasionally need crowns and are restored with a crown on a case-by-case basis.

Endodontic Procedure

Endodontic treatment can often be performed in one or two visits depending upon the cause of the root canal and the complexity of the tooth. The first step is to examine, test and x-ray the tooth and then numb the tooth with local anesthetic to eliminate or at least reduce any pain. Next, a rubber dam is placed, which isolates the tooth from the rest of the oral cavity, creating a barrier to prevent bacteria and saliva from entering the tooth during the procedure. We then use a handpiece to open access into the pulp chamber and root canals. Once access is made, very small instruments are used to clean and shape the pulp chamber and root canals to remove the nerve, blood vessels and connective tissue, and prepare the canals for the root canal filling material.

rootcanal-filling

Filling the Canals

After the space is cleaned and shaped, we fill the root canals with a biocompatible material, usually with a rubber-like material called “gutta-percha”. The gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals.

The goal of the filling material is to create a barrier so that no cells, fluids, or other matter enters the tooth at the tip of the root. In some cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening. This temporary prevents anything from entering the tooth from your oral cavity. It is important that this temporary is replaced by a final restoration in a short amount of time.

rootcanal-crownRestoring the Tooth

After the root canal therapy is completed, a core build-up and possibly a post will need to be made inside the tooth if the tooth lacks sufficient structure to hold a restoration in place. This will provide a solid foundation for a crown and fills the hollow space that was created to access the pulp and canals of the tooth. A crown or other restoration is then placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to its full function.

rootcanal-animation

How A Tooth With A Simple Cavity Can Require a Root Canal

The animation on the right depicts the sequence that occurs that causes a tooth to need a root canal when a cavity goes untreated and the subsequent steps that occur to restore the tooth.

The first few images show the tooth with a cavity. If the decay is removed at this point, the tooth would merely need a filling. As the cavity progresses, it breaks through the enamel, which is the hard outer layer of tooth, and it enters the dentin, which is the layer of tooth beneath the enamel. The dentin is much softer and once the decay enters this layer, it spreads much faster as it progresses its way to the pulp.

Once the decay enters the pulp, you now have bacteria from your mouth that inhabit the root canal system and the by-products of that cause destruction of the surrounding bone, which can be a very serious situation and can cause both serious pain and your tooth to throb. At this point, you either need to have a root canal or have the tooth extracted. It is also possible for the infection to cause death due to a condition called bacterial endocarditis. It can, however, take years for the cavity to burrow its way into the pulp but it is best to treat the cavity as soon as it is detected.

The first step in the therapy is to remove the blood vessels, nerve and connective tissue inside the pulp and root canals. The walls of the canal are smoothed with either a hand or rotary file. The canals are then sealed with a filling material and a temporary might be placed if the tooth is not restored at that appointment. The last step is to restore function to the tooth with a core build-up material and possibly a post and either a filling or a crown.

Almost all back teeth will need a crown since teeth that have had a root canal have lost a significant amount of tooth structure and a crown not only restores full function but it also helps prevent a future fracture. Front teeth are crowned on a case-by-case basis depending upon how much healthy tooth structure remains after the endodontic therapy. If a crown is not indicated on a front tooth, it will be restored with a tooth colored filling material.

Questions about root canals? Visit our root canal Q & A.

 

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Zoom! Whitening System

Zoom! In-Office Whitening System

The Zoom! In-Office Whitening System is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. It’s safe effective and fast, very fast. In just over an hour, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. Zoom! Whitening is ideal for anyone looking for immediate results. The convenience of Zoom! in comparison to days of wearing trays and gradual whitening makes it the perfect choice for the busy individual.

Do you want brighter, whiter teeth in one hour? Get ready to Zoom!

root-canal
The Zoom! Whitening procedure is simple and painless. It begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. The Zoom! clinician then applies the proprietary Zoom! Whitening Gel, which is activated by a specially designed light. Teeth typically become at least six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more. A five-minute fluoride treatment completes the procedure. You’ll be amazed with the results. In most cases, teeth get even whiter the first few days after the procedure.

How the Zoom! In-Office System Works!

The Zoom! light activated gel was developed after years of research by Discus Dental, the leaders in professional take-home tooth whitening. The gel is a scientifically formulated, pH balanced Hydrogen Peroxide that, when activated by the Zoom! light, gently penetrates the teeth to remove deep stains and discoloration. With proper care and an occasional touch-up at home, your whiter smile will sparkle for many years.

Zoom! Take Home Whitening System

zoom-homeproductZoom! in One Weekend!

The Zoom! Take-Home Whitening System just might be the fastest way to whiten teeth outside a dentists office. Its safe, fast and effective. Teeth can be dramatically whiter in just three nights. Zoom! Take-Home is perfect for multi-taskers and people on the go.

Zoom! Anywhere!

The Zoom! Take-Home Whitening System gives your patients the power to whiten practically anywhere. This revolutionary patent-pending gel whitens teeth an average of six shades in three nights*. The Zoom! Take-Home Whitening System utilizes custom made whitening trays. The Zoom! take home gel is worn for four to eight hours, either during the day or at night. Most will see satisfying results within three applications, but each Zoom! Weekender Kit will have enough for six.

How the Zoom! Take-Home System Works!

The Zoom! Take-Home Whitening System uses a patent-pending chemistry to whiten your teeth in just three nights. This special formula helps increase whitening in two ways. First, revolutionary surfactant technology helps improve gel penetration. Second, a new activation matrix helps control the release of oxygen into the teeth. As a result, whitening that takes weeks with other products only takes a weekend with Zoom!

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Bridges

When a tooth has been lost and healthy teeth are located on both sides of the newly missing tooth or teeth, then a fixed bridge is a treatment option. The other options are implants or a partial denture.

The procedure for having a fixed bridge made is essentially the same as having a crown made except that a fixed bridge involves at least two supporting teeth. What can cause confusion is the number of teeth needed for a fixed bridge. To replace one missing tooth requires a three tooth bridge. This is because the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth must be part of the bridge to provide support.

bridge-missing-molar

bridge-teeth-preppedFixed bridges are typically made from porcelain with a metal sub-structure and require at least two appointments to complete. The first appointment is used to prepare and temporize the teeth. The second appointment is the delivery appointment to adjust and cement the fixed bridge in place. Occasionally a third appointment is needed if the span of the bridge is long and the supporting framework for the bridge needs to be tried in before the porcelain is applied to the framework.

bridge-triedbridge-cementedEven though all of the teeth of the bridge are physically connected, the final result makes it look like the teeth are individual and natural.

Please see our Smile Gallery which contains some examples of bridges, to see the types of treatment we can provide for you.

Implant Optionbridge-implant

Implants are an option in some cases. There needs to be sufficient bone for this procedure. If there is not enough bone present, we may be able to add more through grafting.

An implant may be an alternative to a fixed bridge in some cases. In the case above, one implant is placed. This means the adjacent teeth do not need to be part of the treatment plan.

bridge-implant-placed

After the implant is placed and the bone around them is allowed to heal, a porcelain tooth is attached to the implant. This stays in the mouth and is only removable by a dental professional if maintenance is necessary.

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Bonding

Bonding is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that enables the restoration of chipped, spotted, discolored or gapped teeth. We use modern materials that match the shade, translucency, and texture of your teeth. Our goal is to have the end result appear as if no treatment was performed. This can do wonders for your self-confidence, since smiling will come naturally to you with the improved appearance of your teeth.

bonding-beforebonding-after

Bonding is the material of choice when it comes to small defects in your teeth. When the defect or end result requires covering the entire front of the tooth, a veneer or crown will probably provide superior aesthetic results.

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