Services and Technologies
Thane L Ostroth DDS has provided personalized dental care to thousands of families. Our patients come from near and far to experience the welcoming 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 with precision, and provide natural-looking, 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.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important 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 greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:
Brush thoroughly twice a day 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
Make sure that your children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area
When the pulp, or tooth nerve, is damage or infected, it is important to remove the nerve by doing a root canal so the tooth can be saved. The nerve can go bad from trauma to the tooth or a deep cavity. Many believe that the root canal procedure hurts, but it really doesn’t. There can be some post-operative tenderness, but this is often not severe. You may be surprised at how easy the procedure really is! If you are experiencing a throbbing, dull ache in a tooth then you likely need a root canal.
Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup. A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.
A dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth as a result of 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. Once in place and bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and generally last 10-20 years. They are also a more favorable 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.
Bonding 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 teeth, 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 teeth fillings instead of amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than the silver amalgam fillings. Bonding fillings can be used on front and back teeth depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.
Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and usually can 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.
Good oral hygiene should always be practiced since the loss of a single tooth can have major impact upon 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 extracted if the following occurs:
Advanced periodontal disease
Infection or abscess
Fractured teeth or roots
After careful examination and treatment, the dentist may advise to have a tooth extracted. Before a tooth is removed, the dentist will take an x-ray in order 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.
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. In addition, 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 as a way to protect their teeth and bite.
If you have decided a guard is right for you, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth which will then be sent to a lab to make a custom fit guard for you. In most cases you can choose from a variety of colors and styles for your guard. On average, guards last between 3 and 10 years.
Sealants are used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn’t brush, but because they’re too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time, and you don’t want that. So the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.
Crowns & Bridges
If you have large metal fillings, broken, chipped or missing teeth, a crown and/or bridge may be the best choice to restore your smile and have you looking your very best. A crown is a permanent “tooth replacement” constructed of porcelain to give you the most pleasing and natural appearance. A bridge is also a permanent “tooth replacement,” spanning more than one tooth space. Both types of restoration are custom designed to give you back optimal function as well as a beautiful smile.
A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. The average appointment is scheduled for 45 to 60 minutes. Cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A 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 best results, both electric and manual scaling methods are combined for dental cleanings.
Root Planing: Root Planing is the scaling of teeth below the gumline to remove or eliminate agents which cause inflammation such as plaque, its products and calculus, thus helping to establish a periodontium that is free of disease.
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 completely replace all teeth. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. In fact, 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 patients mouth to take the place of where the natural teeth used to be. Complete dentures are removable and may require adjustments in order 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 still 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, as well as creates a support for remaining teeth to prevent shifting.
TMJ stands for 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 the area. 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. There is no one solution that 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.
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.
There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best for you, depending on the extent of repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and cost. Each of the filling materials is briefly explained below:
- Gold fillings are custom made in a laboratory and then cemented into place. While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many consider it the best filling material. Gold inlays are well-tolerated by gum tissues and may last more than 20 years.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are a more inexpensive choice and are tolerant to wear. However, due to their dark color they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth.
- Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years. They may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.
- Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are custom created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining, and are about the same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.
The Invisalign™ treatment consists of a series of clear, snap-on, custom fit, removable mouth trays that apply a controlled amount of force to your teeth, forcing them to shift. The system provides the same beautiful results as traditional braces, but since the trays are made of clear plastic, they are virtually invisible. In addition, because Invisalign™ trays are removable, they can be taken out while eating, drinking, brushing and flossing.
The Invisalign™ System works begins by first creating a series of trays that will each move your teeth gradually until the end result is achieved. At the end of each two-week period, you will switch trays. Throughout the process, you will visit your dentist every six weeks to ensure treatment is progressing as planned. Once your treatment is complete, you will likely wear a clear retainer to ensure your new smile stays in place.
As with all orthodontic appliances, the cost of Invisalign™ varies according to the complexity of the case. However, Invisalign™ is generally more expensive than traditional braces. Insurance policies generally cover Invisalign™ to the same extent that they cover traditional braces.
Lumineers™ are a “no prep” veneer which covers a person’s existing tooth with a contact lens thin porcelain covering. This thin veneer can cover dark, stained or poorly shaped teeth. The amazing result is an instantly beautiful smile! “No prep” means little or no drilling and no “numbing” is required to create the desired results. This veneer technique has been available from one small lab and it’s few local dentists for 20 years of “perfecting” and has only recently been made available nationally. Dr. Ostroth has completed the Lumineers™ certification course and is excited to offer this beautiful technique to his patients! Dr. Ostroth also offers highly aesthetic porcelain traditional veneers. His office uses a specialized lab, with the highest of levels of skill and porcelain materials for your perfect aesthetics!
Looking for that celebrity smile? Zoom™ is the professional whitening system that everyone’s talking about.
This fast in-office whitening treatment will have you seeing a new smile that is 6-8 shades whiter in about an hour, while you enjoy watching television or listening to your favorite music. In this process, a protective gel is applied to your gums to protect the soft tissue. A light-activated gel is then applied to your teeth and a special light is used to enhance the action of the whitening agent. Finally, we take impressions of your teeth to create custom trays for at home touch-up, and give you instructions for keeping your smile bright. The home touch up kit will help you maintain the beautiful results.
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 usually 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 aesthetically pleasing.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable.
Tooth whitening is a popular procedure to make teeth whiter and brighter, and therefore more attractive. Bleaching can be used to whiten stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. Either way, tooth whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure ideal for most patients. Our office offers two methods of whitening: in-office whitening and tray whitening.
In-office whitening is an ideal procedure for anyone wanting immediate results. Because the entire procedure takes place in our office in about an hour, it is the perfect choice for busy individuals. In this process, a protective gel is applied to your gums to protect the soft tissue. A special light-activated gel is then applied to your teeth and a special light or laser is used to enhance the action of the agent. Finally, we take impressions of your teeth to create custom trays for at home touch-up, and give you instructions for keeping your smile bright. The result is dramatically whiter teeth that will last for years.
Tray whitening is a less expensive whitening treatment you can use while in the comfort of your own home to gradually whiten teeth. We will first take an impression of your teeth to create a customized clear tray that you will wear to whiten your teeth. Within a few days your trays will be ready to be picked up and we will show you how to apply the special bleaching material to the trays. The whitening gel trays should be worn 20 minutes up to twice a day. At the end of this period, you will see maximum whitening results that are nothing short of dazzling. Occasional treatment can be used at your convenience to maintain your new smile.
Kids think braces are cool! Dr. Ostroth has been doing braces for over 25 years. He received his training through Straight Wire Seminars, a three year program taught at the U of D Dental School. Dr. Ostroth offers traditional options for braces, including the “almost invisible” tooth colored braces. For the adventuresome and fun-loving, try the wide variety of colors for braces enhancement. This allows patients to “pick and choose” and even change colors! Show holiday colors, school loyalty colors, support a sports team or just a favorite color on your teeth during your treatment. Dr. Ostroth has created beautiful smiles on patients from 7 to 70 years old! Dr. Ostroth’s advanced, post-doctorate training can provide the children and adults in your family with high quality treatment at very competitive fees and, of course, the newest options: Invisalign™ and ClearCorrect™.
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for one’s teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium include: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these may be a sign of a problem. With proper gum treatments, however, it may be possible to return gum tissue to a healthy state. If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so we may treat it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to have it treated at the first sign of a problem.
For people with sleep apnea, or for those who sleep near a person who snores, deep restorative sleep can be only a dream. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder caused by pauses in breathing during sleep. Each such episode is called an “apnea”. These short cessations of breath can occur multiple times a minute, creating a pattern of interrupted sleep. The reaction varies from restless sleeping to startling awake to near panic attacks. These interruptions make it nearly impossible for the sleeper to get into a good and vital REM sleep.
Many seeking treatment for these sleep issues have been prescribed a CPAP machine. This therapy is a “breathing machine” that creates positive airway pressure by forcing pounds of air pressure through the nose and into the airways. CPAP comes with a full-face mask or a nasal cannula, both of which are hooked via tubes to a machine that plugs into the wall. A large percentage of people who try these machines claim they are not able to tolerate them. Complaints include running nose, eye pressure, face pain, sore throat, earaches, head pain and brain fog. Filters and hoses must be cleaned, maintained and replaced. At airports, CPAP machines are required to be taken out and presented for inspection, so expect a delay through security lines.
For people with mild to moderate sleep apnea or someone who snores, there is a simpler solution. Dr. Mark Abramson, a sleep apnea and TMJ specialist, developed the O2 OASYS Oral/Nasal Airway System™. It is a dental appliance that is made to fit the patient’s mouth specifications and holds the lower jaw slightly forward. This pulls the tongue forward and also opens the throat, and therefore the airway. Additionally, it opens the nasal airway. Ask Dr. Ostroth if the O2 OASYS appliance can improve your night time breathing.
Dr. Ostroth’s office uses the latest technology in digital x-rays. Your check-up x-rays are done with a small digital sensor which immediately shows what your teeth look like.The images are displayed on the computer monitor mounted on the dental chair. For the benefit of his patients, every room in Dr. Ostroth’s office is equipped with the high tech x-ray system. Dr. Ostroth also has a digital panoramic and ceph machine. These large x-rays are used to detect abnormalities of the jaws and facial structures. The advantage of being digital is the 35-50% reduction in x-ray exposure, not having to wait to see the x-ray image, and not using chemicals which are detrimental to our environment. You are now getting less x-ray exposure when a large x-ray is taken than you would get walking 100 yards on a sunny day.
Our office utilizes electronic claims processing. This means that rather than sending your dental claim through the mail, it is sent electronically to your insurance company with the click of the 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 claims to your insurance company on your behalf.
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.
Soft Tissue Laser
Dr. Ostroth has recently added a soft tissue laser to his office. He can now do many procedures to enhance your dental experience, usually without the need for anesthetic. The laser looks like a large pen and allows treatment to be done with minimal amount of discomfort. There are several advantages to using this technology. Dr. Ostroth may not need to use a drill or administer anesthesia, allowing patients to enjoy a more relaxed dental experience. Laser procedures can be more precise and can reduce symptoms and healing times associated with traditional therapies. Also, lasers can reduce the amount of bacteria in diseased gum tissue and control bleeding during surgery. Patients have been giving it rave reviews!
Dr. Ostroth uses DIAGNOdent® to check for tooth decay. The DIAGNOdent is a laser which scans the grooves of a tooth for the early signs of dental disease. Early detection allows Dr. Ostroth to minimize the size of fillings needed, shorten the length of time a patient sits in the chair with their mouth open and avoids pain and future problems. The DIAGNOdent is the most accurate way to diagnose decay on the chewing surfaces of teeth.
Dr. Ostroth uses a computer program to help with the diagnosis of decay on X-rays. The program is called Logicon and works with his dental software. Computers can produce over 240 shades of gray and the human eye can only detect around 12 shades. The Logicon program uses all 240 shades of gray to analyze the area between your teeth for decay, for a more complete dental examination.