Common Procedures

Topics on this page

Regular Exams and Cleanings | Bonding | Bridges | Crowns | Dentures | Extractions | Fillings | Fluoride | Implant Restoration | Mouthguards | Nightguards | Root Canals | Sealants | Veneers | Wisdom Teeth


exams and cleanings

Clifton Dental Associates is a patient-centered dental office, where our entire team goes out of their way to educate and provide comfort in a friendly environment. For almost 30 years, Drs. Kayne and Tuckman have helped patients of all ages throughout the Clifton community by listening their needs, desires, and concerns. We want you to consider us your dental home forever.

Dental treatments at Clifton Dental Associates

Your home for a beautiful smile

  • Single-tooth anesthetic: localized and comfortable anesthetic in a pain-free shot
  • Digital radiographs: Less radiation and better imagery for highly accurate diagnosis and treatment planning
  • Restoring implants: Replace missing teeth to restore function and improve aesthetics
  • Crowns: Restoring a tooth aesthetically and functionally
  • Nutritional counseling: Education about how nutrition contributes to teeth, gums, and overall health
  • Phase 1 periodontal treatment: With scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) we can improve the health of teeth gums. We also offer education on home care techniques and proper follow-up maintenance to help our patients maintain healthy gums and better overall health.

During your initial exam at our Clifton, NJ dental office, our doctors and staff will provide you with education about the current state of your oral health, and provide treatment recommendations to help you achieve the ideal dental health you’ve always wanted.

Regular Exams and Cleanings

Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your oral health. During your regular exam, we will:

  • Check for any problems that you may not see or feel
  • Look for cavities or any other signs of tooth decay
  • Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
  • Perform a thorough teeth cleaning

Your regular exam will take about 45 minutes. Each regular exam includes a detailed teeth cleaning, in which we will clean, polish, and rinse your teeth to remove any tartar and plaque that have built up on the tooth's surface.

Visiting our office every six months gives you the chance to talk to the doctor about any questions you may have about your oral health. Regular exams are offered by appointment only, so please contact our practice today to schedule your next dental exam and teeth cleaning.

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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, and 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 tooth fillings instead of silver amalgam. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than silver. Bonding 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 in one visit to our office. However, bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, tell your doctor. The bonding can generally be easily patched or repaired in one visit.

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Bridges

bridgesA bridge may be used to replace missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress on your bite.

A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Your bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.

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

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Crowns

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

A crown is a “cap” cemented onto an existing tooth that usually covers the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.

Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings, which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, 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 then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.

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Dentures

dentures

Dentures

Dentures are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the mouth. Dentures are used when the natural teeth are hopeless (can no longer be saved) and implants are not an option.

Dentures are removable, and there are many different denture design possibilities which, at Clifton Dental Associates, are always customized precisely for each patient. Dentures can replace missing teeth on the mandibular arch (lower) or the maxillary arch (upper).

Types of Dentures

There are two general types of removable dentures that are available at our Clifton, NJ dental office.

Removable partial dentures

Removable partial dentures are for patients who are missing some of their teeth on a particular arch. These dentures usually have clasps that attach to adjacent natural teeth to help to hold them in place. Sometimes, if necessary, some recontouring of your natural adjacent teeth is necessary to assure the best fit possible. These dentures are traditionally made with pink acrylic and a chrome cobalt metal substructure and clasps. They can also be made of acrylic with pink clasps in some cases. Often, when possible, patients who might wear partial dentures switch to fixed bridges, which feel more like your own teeth and stay in place all the time.

Complete dentures

Conversely, complete or full dentures are worn by patients who are missing all of the teeth in a single arch. For uppers, they usually cover the roof of the mouth to the soft palate for support. Lower full dentures have the tongue to contest with and thus, cannot be as supportive. They are typically horseshoe shaped. Typically they are made of pink acrylic and denture teeth. It has become common to use implants placed in strategic areas of the lower arch as a support for full dentures. This offers the patients much more stability.

Dentures vs. Implants

Because dentures are removable, and because of the arrival of time-tested techniques like dental implants that stabilize restorations, dentures have greatly diminished in popularity over the last decade. Most of our patients that have the anatomy and financial ability necessary for fixed restorations, either supported by natural teeth or implants like crowns, bridges, or implant-supported dentures, typically choose them in lieu of the old-fashioned denture. Fixed restorations stay in place and do not have to be taken out at night. They feel more like natural teeth. Dentures, no matter how perfectly they are made, do move when the patient chews and need to be taken out at night.

Denture Care

Your dentures should be removed every night and kept in a denture soak. They should also be cleaned with a denture toothbrush and denture-cleaning paste. If you still have some natural teeth, you will need to remove your partial denture and thoroughly brush and cleanse your remaining teeth. Visits to our Clifton dental office are recommended so Dr. Tuckman can monitor the fit and function of your dentures, and your overall oral health.

 

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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 of decay, so your doctor 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.

When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, your dentist may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or may request another visit for this procedure. 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, your dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with your doctor any concerns or preferences for sedation.

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

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Fillings

crownsTraditional dental restoratives, or fillings, may include gold, porcelain, or composite. Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are typically used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important. There are two different kinds of fillings: direct and indirect. Direct fillings are fillings placed into a prepared cavity in a single visit. Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits. These fillings include inlays, and veneers fabricated with ceramics or composites.

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Fluoride

flourideFluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay and in preventing plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth’s surface. A fluoride treatment in your dentist’s 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 your 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 teeth, it is crucial to replace them. Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause you discomfort. 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, and if properly maintained, can last a lifetime!

An implant is a new tooth made of metal and porcelain that looks just like your natural tooth. It’s composed of two main parts: one part is the titanium implant body that takes the place of the missing root, and the second part is the tooth-colored crown that is cemented on top of the implant. With implant treatment, you can smile confidently knowing no one will ever suspect you have a replacement tooth.

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

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Mouthguards

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 your 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. Your dentist 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 if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, you may have a common condition called “bruxism.” Many people do not even know that they grind their teeth, as it often occurs when one is sleeping. 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 your dentist 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, with a special dental procedure called “root canal treatment,” your tooth can be saved. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. 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 it is also detrimental to your overall health.

Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your 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. If your tooth has extensive decay, your doctor may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breaking. 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.

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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 in-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 your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.

Sealants last from 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 your dentist know, and schedule an appointment for your teeth to be re-sealed.

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Veneers

veneers

Do cracks, chips, or discolored teeth have you hiding your smile? Maybe you have gaps between your teeth, or teeth that aren’t uniform in shape and color. Regardless of why you don’t like your teeth, veneers from Clifton Dental Associates can give you a beautiful smile, increase your self-confidence, and improve your outlook on life!

Veneers are porcelain shells that cover the front sides of your teeth. Available from your Clifton cosmetic dentists Dr. Kayne and Dr. Tuckman, veneers can give you a brand new smile in just a few visits to Clifton Dental Associates.

To prepare for your veneer treatment, Dr. Kayne or Dr. Tuckman will take an impression of your teeth, from which a model will be created. This model is sent to our dental lab where your veneers are made. In order to place your new veneers, we may need to conservatively prepare your tooth by removing a small amount of tooth structure in order to achieve the desired aesthetic result. Once your veneers are placed, you’ll have a new smile that will last for years!

Our doctors have provided veneers in the Clifton community for decades, creating thousands of beautiful smiles and happy patients. Their expertise comes from years of advanced training at world-renowned continuing education institutes.  

If you have questions about veneers or any other cosmetic dental procedure, please contact our Clifton dental office and a member of our team will be more than happy to help!

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Wisdom Teeth

wisdom teethWisdom teeth are types of 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 teeth's 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, your 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, your dentist 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, your dentist will often “section” your wisdom tooth so that 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. Your dentist will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.

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