ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS
IV Sedation works as a form of conscious sedation to help you feel relaxed during your appointment. This method does not put you fully to sleep, but it does make you less aware of your surroundings, reducing dental anxiety and allowing patients to receive dental work that may not be completed otherwise.
Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is inhaled by the patient through a special mask. The gas helps the patient to relax yet remain awake and cooperative throughout the procedure. Inhalation sedation is extremely safe and effective. The nitrous oxide only affects the patient while the mask is on. Once removed, the effects disappear and the patient is able to continue with their normal routine.
While conventional fixed bridges and dentures remain effective and satisfying ways to replace missing teeth, dental implants come the closest to replicating the look, feel, and function of a natural smile. Because dental implants behave in much the same way as the roots of natural teeth, they provide unrivaled stability for the placement of a broad range of dental prostheses, including crowns and bridges up to a complete set of teeth. For patients who wear full dentures, dental implants provide the added stability and retention required to improve comfort and fit while preventing any embarrassing slippage.
See our Invisalign page for more information!
No gooey mess when taking impressions anymore. We use a digital camera to create a 3D scan of your teeth. It is comfortable, safe, accurate, and fast. These impressions are what we send to dental labs when making a crown, bridge, night guard, retainer, or for processing your Invisalign treatment plan.
The wellness scan portion allow us to track changes in gum tissue, evaluate your bite, and monitor chipping and cracks on the tooth surface.
While we do everything we can to preserve the integrity of your natural smile, it's sometimes necessary to extract a tooth to protect your oral health and overall well-being.
To aid in healing and regeneration after surgery, we use PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) technology. PRF consists of growth factors, stem cells, and the "infection fighting" white blood cells in your blood. We can separate and concentrate the PRF from your red blood cells by spinning your blood in a centrifuge. We then place the PRF back into the surgical site to promote healing and regeneration.
The benefit is less pain, quicker healing, and healthier bone formation at the surgical site, all while using your own body to help heal itself.
Your teeth are much more than just the hard outer biting surfaces and the roots. Inside each one is a central chamber containing connective tissue, a nerve supply, and blood vessels.
Having sensitivity to various stimuli like biting down and eating or drinking hot or cold items is a warning from the nerves inside your tooth that dental decay is present, dental trauma has occurred, or infection is brewing. The degree of pain that you experience depends on the extent of the damage and nerve involvement.
When a tooth needs a root canal, it is because the dental pulp has become irreversibly damaged or has died. However, if enough intact tooth structure remains, and there’s good bone support around the compromised tooth, you do not need to have the tooth extracted. A fully developed tooth does not require the dental pulp to remain functional. You can preserve your natural tooth by having your dentist perform a root canal on the tooth.
Despite the fact that dental enamel is stronger than bone and the hardest substance in your body, your teeth remain vulnerable to cavities and trauma. While dental fillings can provide an excellent way to repair a decayed or damaged tooth, they don’t always provide the right solution for rebuilding a strong, functional one. When too much tooth structure is compromised by dental decay, trauma, root canals, or habitual clenching and grinding, a filling just won’t do. In these situations, a dental crown, more commonly referred to as a cap, provides a better way to restore the involved tooth's integrity, function, and appearance.
Depending on the number of missing teeth, the health of the remaining dentition, and other factors, a dental bridge can replace a single missing tooth or multiple ones. A bridge spans a space where one or more teeth have been lost in the dental arch. The teeth on either end of the span are crowned, and are referred to as abutments. The false teeth in a bridge that join the abutments are referred to as pontics.
One of the most conservative yet highly effective and aesthetically pleasing ways to transform the appearance of imperfect looking teeth is the fabrication of dental veneers. Veneers are ultra-thin facings, seamlessly bonded to the fronts of the involved teeth.
This versatile and minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure conceals a range of imperfections to dramatically improve the look of teeth that are misshapen, exhibit minor chips, enamel defects, or stains. They also provide an excellent solution for closing small gaps as well as addressing other minor alignment issues.
Among the chief benefits offered by veneers are that they require little to no preparation of the underlying tooth and offer a relatively quick way to achieve long-lasting and pleasing results. And because they are ultra-thin, veneers preserve the maximum amount of natural tooth structure and are kind to the tissues along the gumline.
As the work gets performed, your tooth is completely numb, and you should not feel any discomfort. A dental drill, dental laser, or air abrasion technology can be used to remove decay. Once the cavity gets excavated, and healthy tooth structure remains, it's time to place the filling. We use a "tooth colored" composite filling material that is color matched to the rest of your teeth to ensure an appealing cosmetic appearance. We complete any necessary polishing, and meticulously adjust the bite to ensure your optimal comfort and function.
Composite fillings adhere to natural tooth structure through a bonding process, which also serves to seal and strengthen the tooth. Beyond providing a close match to your natural tooth color, a composite filling does not require removing of as much tooth structure for placement, nor are they subject to expansion or contraction with temperature changes as is the case with dental amalgams.
With traditional gum grafting, the dentist must use a scalpel and stitches to solve gum recession. With the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique, Dr. Heppner does not use a scalpel or stitches. A small opening is placed in the mucosa away from the area of gum recession. Special instruments move the existing gum tissue to a new position. Collagen strips are inserted through the small opening to hold the tissue in its new place. The area must not be disturbed for six to eight weeks. A soft diet is required while the site heals. The procedure doesn’t require any sutures, grafts or incisions.
Botox can be used to help relieve painful symptoms of TMD. Botox works by temporarily paralyzing overactive facial muscles that are stimulated from clenching and grinding. Severe clenching and grinding can cause tension in the jaw muscles, which Botox can help alleviate. Routine maintenance may be necessary to keep the muscles from triggering.
All of our doctors are skilled at designing partial, complete and implant-supported dentures, which are made by local labs right here in Western New York.
Establishing an oral health care plan is important to avoid any dental issues. This includes regular visits for professional cleanings, x-rays, and other preventative maintenance procedures completed by our Dental Hygienists' at least every 6 months.
Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, is a set of inflammatory diseases that affect the "periodontium", which are the hard and soft tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth. Just like tooth decay, gum disease is attributed to the harmful bacteria in dental plaque and tartar that accumulate around the teeth and under the gums. Since the progression of periodontal disease is often painless, you may not even be aware of an ongoing disease process.
It’s essential to practice good oral hygiene and schedule regular visits so our providers can evaluate your oral health and determine if you have gum disease and treat accordingly.
Our providers complete a comprehensive oral cancer screening at every dental cleaning appointment. Vizilite technology is the use of a LED blue light that allows us to see changes in the tissue that may not be seen with the naked eye. By incorporating this screening test into your traditional head and neck oral exam, we have the ability to detect abnormalities in the oral cavity that may be cancerous lesions in the early stages, as well as other abnormal tissue formations that may occur.
Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the orofacial complex but is most often found on the tongue, the tonsils and oropharynx, the gums, floor of the mouth, lips, cheek lining or the hard palate.
As part of your child’s dental prevention program, dental sealants are often recommended to protect their permanent back teeth from developing dental decay as soon as they appear in the mouth. The reason for this is that the deeply grooved chewing surfaces of the back permanent teeth can be difficult for a child to keep free of leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria. Moreover, young children do not always brush their teeth, as often or as thoroughly as they should, making them particularly vulnerable to dental decay. Dental sealants are a clear, strong, plastic-like protective coating for the chewing surfaces of a child’s permanent back teeth. The material fills in the pits, fissures and grooves on these teeth to seal out harmful bacteria and food particles.
Teeth whitening or bleaching simply refers to any process that will make the teeth appear whiter.
Today, there's an abundance of choices in teeth whitening products and procedures available to you. Options run the gamut from over-the-counter toothpastes, strips, or gels to professionally supervised in-office treatments and customized take-home kits. Sometimes your dentist may recommend either system or a combination of both, to give you the best results in the least amount of time. Regardless of which type of system you choose, it’s important that you follow the recommendations of your dentist.
Self-treatments (as advertised on television) can be dangerous! Even though many work when healthy teeth and gums are present, they may be ineffective or problematic when sensitive teeth, exposed roots, cavities, broken fillings, cracked teeth, or loose dental work exist.
Nightguards are recommended to prevent the poor side effects of clenching and grinding. Nightguards benefit the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) by stabilizing it to a healthy equilibrium. Like wearing a brace on a twisted ankle, the nightguard will help stabilize the TMJ and reduce inflammation, tenderness, and headaches. Without a nightguard, enamel can be worn down excessively, leading to tooth sensitivity. Teeth may also become chipped or cracked, requiring extensive restorative dental treatments to repair them.
It is important to determine WHY you may be clenching or grinding and treat the underlying cause first. Sleep bruxism (grinding) should be treated accordingly if there are findings of obstructive sleep apnea as a night guard won't cure sleep apnea.
Retainers are recommended for patients who recently completed orthodontic treatment to maintain proper alignment. Also, aging can cause teeth to naturally shift. Retainers can be made for those who wish to maintain the position of their teeth as they are before more shifting occurs.
Athletic mouth guards are flexible, molded guards that we custom fit to your teeth to protect them from impact during contact sports.
Our office uses digital technology to capture x-ray images, which provides clear, easy to read images with the safest, lowest-dose radiation possible. X-rays are integral in diagnosing gum disease, cavities, dental abscesses, and lesions.
We also use 3D cone beam imaging to get a full 3D image of the teeth, bone, and nerves when we need to take a more detailed look. This allows us to diagnose your health and is a key step in planning and performing successful dental implant surgery.
Our office performs all anesthetic injections with a revolutionary system called The Wand.
The Wand helps us provide a more effective anesthetic delivery.