Digital radiographs are the newest technique in X-Ray technology. With digital radiographs, film is replaced with a flat electronic pad called a sensor. Up to 60% less radiation is required with this new technology. The X-Rays hit the sensor the same way they hit the film, but instead of developing the film in a dark room, the image is electronically sent to a computer where the image is displayed directly on the computer screen in a matter of seconds. The images can then be stored on the computer indefinitely for later use or printed out on photo paper.
Dr. Beth O'Connor specializes in beautifying smiles, maintaining your dental health, and helping you improve your appearance. Our experienced and friendly staff takes great pride in keeping your smile beautiful. Our promise to you is that the veneers, fillings, crowns, and bridges we create will look as good as or better than the teeth nature gave you. And to make sure we keep that promise, the products we recommend and use are the highest quality and incredibly durable. You can trust your smile with us.
We offer a wide variety of cosmetic options. Some of these options are whitening, smile design, recontouring of the shape of the teeth, veneers, bonding, and all ceramic/porcelain crowns.
We welcome children of all ages! We want to make their visits as positive and educational as possible. We recommend that you have your child's teeth checked by the age of three. Regular visits allow the dentist to become very familiar with your child's oral needs and determine early on whether treatments such as orthodontics will be needed. Our office staff will help you and your little ones learn to brush, floss, and have fun while at the dentist. Our office recommends fluoride to all children who live in the Lakewood and Tacoma area as fluoride is not added to our water.
Our exams include digital X-Rays (up to 60% less radiation), a thorough oral cancer screening, gum evaluation, examination by the doctor and a review of your health history. We ask that you provide us with a list of all your current medications if you have trouble remembering what you take. Also, patients who know that they need to pre-medicate with antibiotics should let us know ahead of time so your appointment goes as smoothly as possible.
Your dental cleaning will be performed by a Dental Hygienist. The hygienist will first clean the tartar from your teeth, which tends to collect at the gum line, using special tools to gently remove these deposits. Next the hygienist will polish your teeth to buff away the plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance that turns hard with time and can cause gum disease and cavities if not removed regularly. Polishing your teeth removes stains and plaque leaving your teeth with that smooth feeling.
Symptoms of periodontal disease are: bleeding at the gum line, gum recession, bad breath, and the loosening of teeth. Our office provides a non-surgical approach to gum disease. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss. In many cases periodontal disease is not painful and quietly destroys the bone holding your teeth in place.
For those who have minor gum irritation and small amounts of plaque and tartar, we usually recommend a regular cleaning. In many cases the amount of inflammation is severe and the bone around the teeth begins to diminish. In these cases the patient may require a series of deep cleanings that extend under the gums to remove the debris and control the bacteria
Having beautiful white teeth is the key to a dazzling smile and a youthful appearance, and we can help! Whitening your teeth is now easier than ever. We offer at-home teeth whitening options. Anyone wishing to whiten their teeth should have a thorough dental exam first to ensure your safety.
Your New Patient Visit
Your first visit will include a comprehensive examination of your teeth and gums starting with:
•A thorough medical and dental history
•Any necessary films or radiographs
•Oral cancer screening
•Detailed inspection of your teeth
•Evaluation of joint and bite
•A periodontal examination of your gums
•A discussion about your immediate concerns as
well as long term goals for your oral health and overall smile!
•Full mouth reconstruction
•Happy Visits – Comfortable, encouraging environments for first visits
Dental restorations (fillings) may last for many years before they need to be replaced. However, constant abrasion from chewing, grinding and clenching may cause a filling to wear, chip, crack, or even fall out. It is important to have regular dental examinations to keep track of your oral health and prevent a minor restoration failure from damaging the surrounding tooth structure. During your annual checkup your dentist can determine whether existing restorations are in good repair, or are in need of replacement. Replacing worn fillings in time prevents decay from corroding the tooth beyond repair.
Crowns are placed when a tooth can no longer support a filling. In some cases extensive tooth decay around an existing filling may leave insufficient tooth structure once the decay is removed and your dentist may need to restore the tooth with a crown instead of a filling. Crowns can be made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or a full gold crown. To maintain a natural look and feel a porcelain finished crown is best, as it can be matched to the shade of your other teeth. This will allow it to blend in and appear just like one of your natural teeth.
One service offered by Dr. O’Connor that sets her practice apart from others is the in-house use of a CEREC machine with suitable candidates. With CEREC, we can take a digital scan of the patient's mouth, and then create the crown restoration during that appointment. This restoration will likely fit better and match the patient's existing teeth better than any laboratory-created crown. This machine allows Dr. O’Connor to schedule one appointment for her instead of two!
One of the newest and best options for tooth replacement, is an implant. Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically inserted into the bone in place of the missing teeth by a specialist and allowed to heal. After the implant has sufficiently healed, Dr. O’Connor can fabricate a custom crown to fit over the post for a natural, healthy looking smile. With implants, missing teeth can be replaced as "stand alone" crowns, eliminating the need for bridges and, in some cases, even eliminating the need for partial dentures or even complete dentures! Used in tandem with complete dentures, implants provide a stable, secure fit and natural look that ultimately creates a confident smile.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is simply a colorless, sweet-smelling, nonirritating gas which you can breathe during a stressful procedure. Discovered in 1772 Nitrous Oxide induces a pleasurable and relaxed feeling. Nitrous oxide is a very safe and effective way to counter anxiety. After five minutes or so of breathing in the gas, you should feel calm and warm feelings spreading throughout your body leaving you relaxed. Due to this relaxed state, people often get 'the giggles', hence the name laughing gas.