Common Dental Procedures

Topics on this page

Exams: Periodic Patients |Exams: New Patients | Bonding | Bridges | Crowns | Dentures | Extractions | Fillings | Fluoride | Implant Restoration | Mouthguards | Nightguards | Root Canals | Sealants | Veneers | Wisdom Teeth


exams and cleanings

Exams: New Patients

A new-patient examination is essential for gauging the health of a new patient’s oral health. During your initial new-patient visit, the following procedures are commonly performed:

  • Review of medical and dental histories
  • Reading of appropriate radiographs
  • Hard-tissue charting (a record of your existing restorations, missing teeth, or other conditions unique to your teeth such as a fixed orthodontic retainer)
  • Periodontal charting (measurement of the depths of the crevices between your teeth and gum tissue, gingival recession, loosening of your teeth, and other information used in diagnosis of possible gum disease)
  • Oral cancer screening (which includes examination of all soft tissues in the patient’s mouth and surrounding tissues)
  • Examination of your jaw joints (the temporomandibular joints or TMJs) for proper function
  • Examination of your occlusion (your “bite”)
  • Diagnostic tests as needed to determine if an inflamed or abscessed tooth is present (such as examination with cold, percussion (tapping), palpation, etc.)

NOTE: If a new patient has a specific condition that may require treatment (such as a crown having come loose), please inform one of the assistants at the front desk by phone or e-mail prior to your scheduled preventive visit. Additional time will be allotted if needed. What treatment can be provided in addition to the new-patient exam and cleaning will be considered on a case-by-case basis; there is no guarantee that this can be performed during the preventive care visit.

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Exams: Periodic Patients

A routine periodic oral exam is recommended to ensure optimal health. Dr. Rampi or Dr. Palmer examine for tooth decay, failing restorations, gum disease, and much more. During a periodic oral exam, the following are common procedures performed:

  • Review and update if needed of your medical and dental histories
  • Reading of appropriate radiographs
  • Revision of the existing hard-tissue charting (a record of your existing restorations, missing teeth, or other conditions unique to your teeth such as a fixed orthodontic retainer), if needed
  • Periodontal charting from time to time (measurement of the depths of the crevices between your teeth and gum tissue, gingival recession, loosening of your teeth, and other information used in diagnosis of possible gum disease)
  • Oral cancer screening (which includes examination of all soft tissues in the patient’s mouth and surrounding tissues)
  • Examination of your jaw joints (the temporomandibular joints or TMJs) for proper function
  • Examination of your occlusion (your “bite”)
  • Diagnostic tests as needed to determine if an inflamed or abscessed tooth is present (such as examination with cold, percussion (tapping), palpation, etc.)

NOTE: If a recall patient has a specific condition that may require treatment (such as a crown having come loose), please inform one of the assistants at the front desk by phone or e-mail prior to your scheduled preventive visit. Additional time will be allotted if needed. What treatment can be provided in addition to the periodic oral exam and cleaning will be considered on a case-by-case basis; there is no guarantee that this can be performed during the preventive care visit.

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Bonding

bondingBonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During dental bonding, a white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling “bonds” with your tooth. Because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades, it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.

Tooth bonding can also be used for fillings instead of silver amalgam. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than silver. Bonded fillings can be used on front or back teeth, depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.

Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and can usually be completed during one visit at our office. However, bonding is more likely to stain than other cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, let us know. The bonding can generally be easily patched or repaired in one visit.

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Bridges

bridgesA bridge may be used to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth. This can help maintain the shape of your face, alleviate stress on your bite, or prevent tipping and/or shifting of adjacent and opposing teeth.

A bridge replaces missing teeth with a fixed piece fabricated of various materials. The material most commonly used at Venetian Pointe Dentistry is full-strength zirconia (a synthetic diamond material). The zirconia bridge will bridge the gap where one or more teeth have been missing.

The bridge is expected to look natural, feel comfortable, and provide enhanced function relative to the prior condition with the teeth missing. The bridge is cemented to surrounding teeth for support. The bridges placed at Venetian Pointe Dentistry are fabricated here in Central Florida. For more information related to the use of zirconia in dentistry, click here.

The success of any bridge depends on its foundation: the other teeth, gums, or bone to which it is attached. Therefore, it’s vital to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong.

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Crowns

crownCrowns are a restorative procedure used to improve a tooth’s shape or to strengthen it. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, cracked, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay.

Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength to hold a filling, to fixate a cracked tooth, or to protect a tooth that has had root canal treatment from fracturing or splitting in half. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface and, in essence, replaces the enamel that previously protected the natural crown of the tooth. For more information related to treating a cracked tooth, click here.

Unlike fillings, which are placed directly into the prepared tooth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression, which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is sculpted just for you so your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.

Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, zirconia or a combination of these. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred for front teeth when applicable because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.

At Venetian Pointe Dentistry, zirconia (a synthetic diamond material) is most often used for restoring back teeth but sometimes for the front teeth too. We consider this to be most biocompatible (healthiest for the surrounding gum tissue), stronger than porcelain, always metal-free, and best for an exceptional fit, thanks to the use of a CAD/CAM manufacturing process.

The crowns placed at Venetian Pointe Dentistry are fabricated right here in Central Florida. For more information related to the use of zirconia in dentistry, click here. The need for root canal treatment is a risk inherent whenever a tooth is prepared for a crown.

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Dentures

denturesDentures are natural-looking replacement teeth that are removable. There are two types of dentures: full and partial. Complete dentures are provided for patients when all the natural teeth have been removed.

A partial denture is often attached to a metal frame that is connected to your natural teeth. It is used to fill in where permanent teeth have been removed, yet some natural teeth remain. While metal is a common material used for the frame that supports the teeth, there are alternate materials available, as well as acrylic or a flexible plastic material.

Just like natural teeth, a dental appliance needs to be appropriately cared for. Use a gentle cleanser to brush your appliance. Also, be sure to keep your tongue and gums clean as well.

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Extractions

extractionsThere are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt.

At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth at risk, so we may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.

The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a “tooth socket,” and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, a dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place.

Risks are inherent to the extraction procedure and there is the potential for complications which are unforeseeable. If a complication is anticipated or an unforeseeable complication were to occur, then referral to an endodontist may be required. If so, we will assist with these arrangements.

Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, and cause problems with chewing or your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, our team may recommend that you replace the extracted tooth.

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Fillings

fillingIn the past, fillings for back teeth were most often made of a metallic amalgam material composed of 50% mercury, 33% silver, and 17% zinc, copper, and tin. Today, newer dental fillings are metal-free and include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth.

These fillings, referred to as composite resin restorations, were once primarily used for the front teeth where a natural appearance was important. However, the strength and fit of composite resin restorations have dramatically improved over the years, so they are now commonly used for back teeth as well.

The filling material commonly used to restore teeth (especially for the back teeth) at Venetian Pointe Dentistry is a sound-activated material called SonicFill. The sound activation provides a greater flow of the material and better adaptation to the tooth. Furthermore, this material is touted for having an improved depth of cure when the curing light is applied to the filling. For more information related to SonicFill, click here.

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Fluoride

flourideFluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay. It also prevents plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth’s surface. A fluoride treatment in our office takes just a few minutes.

After the treatment, patients may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or the doctor’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months.

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Implant Restoration

implantsIf you are missing a tooth or several of them, it is crucial to replace them. Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause you discomfort or weakening of these other teeth.

When teeth are missing, your mouth can shift and even cause your face to look older. Implants are a great way to replace your missing teeth. If properly maintained, they can last a lifetime!

An implant is essentially a new root which is fabricated out of titanium (the same metal used in orthopedic surgery) or zirconia (a synthetic diamond material). The presence of the implant allows for the attachment of a crown (the portion of the tooth above the gumline used for chewing and creating the appearance of a natural tooth).

The crown can be made of various materials, Venetian Pointe Dentistry typically uses zirconia or porcelain. The crown is attached to the implant by a post that’s technically called an abutment. The abutment is typically fastened to the implant using a screw with a prescribed amount of exact torque. The abutment can be made of various materials, although titanium (metal), zirconia (synthetic diamond), or a combination are preferred. The crown can be cemented or screwed onto the abutment connected to the implant.

In addition to tooth replacement, implants may be used to anchor dentures, especially lower dentures that tend to shift when a person talks or chews. For patients with removable partial dentures, implants can replace missing teeth so you have a more natural-looking smile.

The implant is typically placed by an oral surgeon or another dental specialist (such as a periodontist) while the restoration of the implant is provided here at Venetian Pointe Dentistry. In the case of a more sophisticated restoration, such as a full-mouth, implant-retained bridge, the patient may be referred to a prosthodontist.

With implant treatment, you can smile and chew with confidence!

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Mouthguards (Athletic)

mouthguardWhether you wear braces or not, protecting your smile while playing sports is essential. Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums from injury. If you participate in any kind of full-contact sport, the American Dental Association recommends that you wear a mouthguard.

Choosing the right mouthguard is essential. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard from a dentist. When you choose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well-fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly.

We can show you how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect your smile.

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Nightguards

nightguardIf you often wake up with jaw pain, earaches, or headaches, or find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, you may have a common condition called “bruxism.” Many people do not even know they grind their teeth, because it often occurs when during sleep. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, or even tooth loss.

There is an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism: nightguards. Nightguards are an easy way to prevent the wear and damage that teeth-grinding causes over time. Custom-made by dentists from soft material to fit your teeth, a nightguard is inserted over your top or bottom arch and prevents contact with the opposing teeth.

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Root Canals

root canalsIn the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you’d probably lose that tooth. Today, your tooth can be saved with root canal treatment.

When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but can also threaten neighboring teeth and be detrimental to your overall health.

Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, a general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems with the nerves of the teeth) removes the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed.

Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. We may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breaking; this is usually the case for a back tooth. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.

Risks are inherent to the root canal procedure, and there is the potential for complications which are unforeseeable. If a complication is anticipated or an unforeseeable complication were to occur, then referral to an endodontist may be necessary. If so, we will assist with these arrangements.

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Sealants

sealantsSometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for your toothbrush to get between the small cracks and grooves on your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.

Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.

Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure against tooth decay after the permanent teeth have erupted. However, adults can also receive sealants on healthy teeth. It is more common to seal “permanent” teeth rather than “baby” teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and Dr. Rampi and Dr. Palmer will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.

Sealants last three to five years, but it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact, so if your sealants come off, let us know, and schedule an appointment for your teeth to be re-sealed.

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Veneers

veneersYou no longer need to hide your smile because of gaps, chips, stains, or misshapen teeth. With veneers, you can easily correct your teeth’s imperfections to help you have a more confident, beautiful smile. Veneers are natural in appearance, and a perfect option for patients who want to make minor adjustments to the look and feel of their smile.

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells made from tooth-colored materials (such as porcelain). They are designed to cover the front side of your teeth. To prepare for veneers, we will create an impression of your teeth. This impression is sent to the dental technician to create your veneers. Before placing your new veneer, Dr. Palmer or Dr. Rampi may need to prepare your tooth conservatively to achieve the desired aesthetic result.

When your veneers are placed, you’ll be pleased to see that they look like your natural teeth. Although they are stain-resistant, we may recommend that you avoid coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco to maintain the beauty of your new smile.

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Wisdom Teeth Removal

wisdom teethWisdom teeth are molars found in the very back of your mouth. They usually appear in the late teens or early twenties, but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry.

When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.

Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier as well as shorten the recovery time.

In order to remove a wisdom tooth, a dentist first needs to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and imbedded in your jaw bone, we will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. In order to minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, Dr. Rampi or Dr. Palmer will often “section” your wisdom tooth so each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.

Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction, healing time varies. We will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process. At Venetian Pointe Family Dentistry, patients are most often referred to an oral surgeon for the removal of wisdom teeth.

Contact Us

Office Hours:
Monday: 8:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am to 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am to 5:00pm
Friday: 8:00am to 5:00pm