Procedures

Dr. Williams performs a wide variety of services to help you get the smile you deserve. By leveraging today's advanced techniques and technology, Overland Park dentist Dr. Jarrod Williams 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:

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.

The second step is polishing to remove any final plaque and buff the teeth. Polishers generally have several different sized heads to clean hard to reach places.

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.

What can a composite filling be used for?

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:

  • 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.

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.

Porcelain Crowns

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 reshaping 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 Bridges

A dental bridge is a false tooth that is used to fill the gap created by missing tooth or teeth. A gap between your teeth can be potentially dangerous to your dental health, as it can cause your teeth to shift resulting in a change in your bite that could be painful. Dental bridges help alleviate this problem by using the two surrounding teeth as anchors to hold a false tooth in the place where the gap is. Typically, porcelain crowns are placed over the surrounding teeth, and the false tooth, known as a pontic, is fused between them.

Types of dental bridges

There are three types of dental bridges that are commonly used today:

  1. Traditional fixed bridge - This is the most common type of dental bridge, in which porcelain crowns are placed over the two surrounding teeth and used as anchors to hold the fale tooth in place. The false tooth is usually made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
  2. Cantilever bridge – A cantilever bridge is used when teeth are present on only one side of the gap. These are used typically in areas of your mouth that doesn’t experience an intense chewing load, such as your front teeth.
  3. Resin-bonded bridge - In a resin-bonded bridge, metal bands are bonded to the surrounding teeth with resin and used to hold a plastic false tooth in place. This type of bridge is typically used in areas of the mouth that undergo less stress, such as the front teeth.

How it's done

A minimum of two visits are required for placing a dental bridge. At the first visit, three important steps are completed. Firstly, the surrounding teeth are prepared to be fitted with a crown. This may including filing down the tooth so that the crown can fit over it. Secondly, an impression is taken of your teeth which will be sent to a laboratory to prepare the bridge and crown. Finally, the dentist fits your teeth with a temporary bridge to protect them while the bridge is prepared at the laboratory.

At the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the new bridge received from the laboratory is fitted and adjusted. Multiple visits may be necessary to check and adjust the fit.

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 should talk to your 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 it's 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 it's done

The 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.

Dental Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays are a more conservative approach to tooth restoration than full crowns. The are used to repair rear teeth that have mild to moderate tooth decay, or for cracked teeth where the damage does not warrant a dental crown. Porcelain, composite resin and sometimes gold are used to create inlays and onlays. Inlays refer to those procedures where the bonded material limited to the center of the tooth, while onlays refer to those procedures where the bonded material can extend further to one or more cusps of the tooth.

What are the benefits of inlays and onlays?

Natural look: Inlays and onlays have a natural tooth color that makes them virtually invisible compared to metal fillings.

Great fit: Inlays and onlys will not expand or contract based on temperature like metal fillings.

Longevity: Inlays and onlays can last up to thirty years, longer than any other type of filling. Minimal tooth structure removed: Inlays and onlays require the minimal removal of a tooth’s surface, helping to preserve the maximum amount of healthy tooth structure while restoring decayed or damaged areas.

How it's done

Typically, two visits are required for the placements of inlays and onlays. In the first visit, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth, which will be sent to a lab to create the permanent inlay or onlay. Before you leave, he will fit your tooth with a temporary inlay / onlay to keep the tooth protected between visits. During your second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary protective material and fit your tooth with the permanent inlay or onlay received from the lab.

Dentures

Denture Basics: Information for First-Time Denture Wearers We all hope our natural teeth will last a lifetime. But when this isn’t possible, dental professionals can offer a number of options to restore oral function and appearance. Thanks to advances in polymer science, the vast majority of dentures are now made with extremely high-quality, durable plastic, and are stronger, more comfortable, and more natural looking than ever before. In short, these are not your grandmother’s dentures!

Denture Basics

A wide variety of dentures is available for individuals who are missing some or all of their teeth. Complete dentures replace all of the teeth on the upper and/or lower jaw and rest on the gums that cover the jawbone. These dentures can be made more secure when attached to one or more tooth roots (overdenture) or to dental implants (implant overdenture). Some implant overdentures can be removed by the wearer and others can be removed only by a dental practitioner.

Partial dentures replace only some of the teeth and attach to the remaining natural teeth with clasps or mechanical components known as attachments (precision and semi-precision partial dentures, also called attachment partial dentures.) Your dentist or prosthodontist (a dentist who specializes in restoring and replacing teeth) will help you decide what type of denture and treatment plan are best for you.

Denture Types Denfined

Conventional dentures: Replace all missing teeth in a jaw and rest on the gum tissue Conventional overdentures: Replace all missing teeth, rest on the gum tissue, and are also supported with attachment to one or more tooth roots Implant overdentures: Replace all missing teeth in a jaw and connect to surgically placed dental implants Conventional partial dentures: Replace some missing teeth and are held in place with clasps that wrap around adjacent teeth Precision and semi-precision partial dentures (also called attachment partial dentures): Replace some missing teeth and are held in place with mechanical components called attachments

Getting your Dentures: The Process

The types of treatments needed before dentures can be placed and the amount of time those treatments take will vary depending upon a person’s overall oral health, the number and location of missing teeth, and the type of denture selected to replace those teeth. These treatments can include:

  • Impressions or molds of the contour of the mouth, used as a model for the denture
  • Extractions to remove any unhealthy teeth
  • Implant surgery for those receiving implant overdentures
  • Adjustments to achieve the best fit and level of comfort once dentures are placed.

Individuals who require extractions or implant surgery will need to wait several weeks for the mouth to heal before dentures can be placed. For some people, a temporary or “immediate” denture can be placed in the mouth on the same day extractions are performed, and worn until the permanent denture is fitted.

What to Expect: Getting Used to Your Dentures

It takes some time to get used to the feeling of dentures in your mouth, after which you should be able to comfortably eat, speak, and smile. The following is normal when complete dentures are initially placed in the mouth:

  • A feeling of fullness in the mouth, face, lips, and/or cheeks, which will subside quickly.
  • Temporary minor changes in speech sounds, which will be more apparent to you than to others.
  • Tip: Speaking slowly and enunciating precisely helps the tongue and facial muscles adapt more quickly.
  • Changes in chewing patterns while getting used to the jaw movements required for chewing with dentures, which may take several weeks.
  • Tip: Start with small pieces of soft food, gradually increasing the food’s firmness, and chew food on both sides of the mouth simultaneously with only your back teeth. A small amount of denture adhesive may help to stabilize your dentures.