Dr. Sterling 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 precisely, 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 and Technologies below for more information on each subject.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that matches the tooth’s color to the front of the tooth. This is done to repair the damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes. First, the surface of the tooth is roughened to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bond agent is used, so the material adheres to the surface. Then the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as a last step.
Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance damaged teeth or take the place of missing teeth. A crown, also referred to as a cap, is used to cover a damaged tooth entirely. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape, and alignment.
Crowns may be used to:
• Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
• Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
• Restore a fractured tooth
• Attach a bridge
• Cover a dental implant
• Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
• Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
A bridge is an ideal method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support, hence the name. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically.
Bridgework is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.
A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take approximately 45 minutes. Cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. Routine dental cleaning should include scaling, root planing, and polishing.
Scaling: This is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces in a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar.
Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has led to more modern methods such as electric scalers. This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. To achieve the best results, both electric and manual scaling methods are combined for dental cleanings.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures available, including partial and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while complete dentures are used to replace all teeth completely. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. Dentures may even improve your smile!
Complete Dentures – This restoration method is used to restore your smile and mouth function if all your teeth have been lost. The dentures are custom created to resemble natural teeth and are positioned into a patient’s mouth to take the place of where the natural teeth used to be. Complete dentures are removable and may require adjustments to create a proper fit with the gums and mouth.
Partial Dentures – A removable partial denture is a device used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. They usually consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base, which is held in place in the mouth. A fixed partial denture acts the same as a removable denture, but it is cemented into place using the adjacent teeth for support. This fills the space created by missing teeth and builds support for remaining teeth to prevent shifting.
Good oral hygiene should always be practiced since the loss of a single tooth can have a significant impact on your oral health and appearance. Although dentists will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there are still some occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted. A tooth may need to be removed if the following occurs:
• Severe decay
• Advanced periodontal disease
• Infection or abscess
• Orthodontic correction
• Malpositioned teeth
• Fractured teeth or roots
• Impacted teeth
After careful examination and treatment, the dentist may advise having a tooth extracted. Before a tooth is removed, the dentist will take an x-ray to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. Based on the degree of difficulty, we may refer you to a specialist called an oral surgeon.
A certain amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected following an extraction, which can be minimized with a pain killer and ice packs applied to the face for 15 minutes at a time. After a routine extraction, discomfort should lessen within three days to two weeks. If you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever, call our office immediately.
Halitosis is the sophisticated word for “bad breath.” Depending on the cause, bad breath may strike on occasion or maybe a more persistent condition. The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria. Because the mouth is moist and warm, it creates perfect conditions for the millions of bacteria that live in the mouth. Approximately 80% of bad breath is caused by something in the mouth.
Bad breath caused by bacteria in the mouth can easily be treated. Brushing your teeth, tongue, and gums after meals, as well as flossing and rinsing with mouthwash will usually take care of the problem. Regular visits to the dentist should be made for dental examinations and professional teeth and gum cleaning.
Some types of bad breath, such as “morning mouth,” are considered relatively normal and are not usually health concerns. However, persistent bad breath may be a sign of more severe problems with the gums and teeth.
Bad breath may be caused by the following:
• Poor dental hygiene – poor oral hygiene can leave food particles to decay in the mouth
• Infections in the mouth such as periodontal (gum) disease
• Respiratory-tract infections such as throat infections, sinus infections, lung infections
• External agents including foods such as garlic, onions, and coffee, as well as cigarettes and chewing tobacco
• Dry mouth caused by salivary gland problems or by breathing through the mouth
• Systemic illnesses such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease, and others
Call our office promptly if you have bad breath with painful, swollen gums that bleed easily or lose teeth. We will perform a physical examination of your mouth to determine the cause. If we discover that systemic problems are the cause, we may refer you to your family physician. In severe cases of gum disease, we may recommend a doctor specialized in treating gum disease called a periodontist.
A dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth due to injury, periodontal disease, or any other reason. A dental implant is a metal post that a periodontist or oral surgeon surgically positions into the jaw. A replacement tooth is attached to the post once in place, and bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. They are also a more promising approach than bridgework since they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.
To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene, and regular dental visits as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
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. Also, 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 to protect their teeth and bites.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth enable you to look and feel good, but they also make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is essential 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 significantly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems. These include:
• Brush twice a day thoroughly 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
• Ensure that your children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area
TMJ stands for the temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it’s where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them, and five muscles are involved in it. If something goes wrong, a good deal of trouble can result.
Problems in this area can cause:
• Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
• Clicking or popping of the jaw
• Pain in the jaw muscles
• Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face
Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. No one solution is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.
The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is typically referred to as bonding.
The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment, the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks, the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed, and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are esthetically pleasing.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.
Of all the dental whitening treatments (laser teeth whitening, whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, whitening gel and trays, and more), nothing whitens better or faster. Sapphire whitening has been clinically proven to be safe and effective, and many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. Almost anyone can benefit from tooth bleaching – schedule a consultation with your dental professional today!
Our office utilizes electronic claims processing. This means that rather than sending your dental request through the mail, it is sent electronically to your insurance company with the click of a 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 requests to your insurance company on your behalf.
We use small cameras about the size of a pen, called intraoral cameras, to help 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 can gain a better understanding of dental procedures being performed.
The dentist performs most of his dental procedures while wearing a pair of funny looking glasses called surgical telescopes. These powerful glasses have magnifiers on them, allowing the dentist to see fine details that would go unnoticed to the naked eye.
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 of doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems and diseases. 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 can take an x-ray of your mouth by using a small sensor that 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 diagnose dental concerns better and determine the very best treatment for each case.