Our dentists and hygienists provide routine dental care and comprehensive evaluations of oral health for children and adults. We treat a variety of dental conditions, helping you regain confidence in your smile and restore the function of your teeth. Our general dentists work closely with oral surgeons, endodontists and other dental specialists to offer well-rounded care for all of your dental needs.
Treatments and Services We Offer
Veneers are thin porcelain shells that fit over the front of the teeth. They are about the thickness of your fingernail and correct the shape and color of your natural teeth. They can also help realign the appearance of your teeth. Veneers are an excellent cosmetic option because they are very color stable and will not change shades. Veneer installation requires at least two office visits, but there is minimal preparation to the tooth.
Gum (Gingival) Contouring
Gum contouring is a cosmetic dental procedure to reshape a gum line that is too low, too high or uneven, giving you a better smile.
Teeth whitening can be done in our office or in the comfort of you home, using a custom-made tray that you can wear during the day or while you sleep. Learn more about teeth whitening.
Dental bonding is composite resin restoration. Your dentist will mold and shape a natural tooth shade covering over the front of your teeth to mimic healthy, white enamel.
We place an artificial root implant made of titanium in the jaw and cap it with a permanent crown. Dental implants last longer than crowns and become part of the mouth like any permanent prosthesis. In some cases, the implants can be placed on the same day the tooth is extracted. Learn more about dental implants.
If your jawbone is not strong enough to support the dental implant, a bone graft may be needed.
Dental bridges can replace missing teeth when the adjacent teeth are strong enough to support the missing tooth. Bridges come in three types: conventional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges and resin-bonded bridges.
Our team of dentists has the materials and expertise that can make complete or partial dentures look better than ever before, even better than your natural teeth. With the addition of two implants in your lower jaw, we can anchor your lower denture, so you can chew better and the denture stays in place without “floating”.
Our dentists do not advocate removal of healthy natural teeth, but if you have or need dentures, we can make new dentures a much more pleasant experience than in the past.
Dental cavity restoration is performed when there is tooth decay. Decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth produces acid that erodes tooth enamel, the protective hard covering of the tooth. Tooth- colored (resin) fillings fill in dental cavities. We match the material to your teeth for best cosmetic results.
While we will do everything possible to preserve a natural tooth, sometimes the tooth is damaged beyond repair and the root must be extracted or pulled. And in the case of wisdom teeth, extraction may be necessary due to overcrowding or infection. Whatever the reason, our dentists and oral surgeons will do their best to make this experience as painless as possible.
There are many restorative options after the tooth is extracted, including dentures, dental implants, crowns and bridges.
Root canals are performed by endodontists, root canal specialists. If your tooth or its root is damaged or inflamed, you may need a root canal, which often offers an alternative to pulling the tooth.
If you experience dental pain, your general dentist might take an X-ray and evaluate for any pathology. If there is a suspicion of a fracture or pulpitis (inflammation on the pulpal tissue in a tooth), the general dentist will refer you to an endodontist who will further evaluate your tooth.
After the root canal, you will need a dental crown to protect the tooth (it will be more brittle than a living tooth). Our dentists will fit your tooth with a beautifully made crown that will help balance your bite and prevent future dental problems.
Dental crowns are artificial teeth that are made to resemble a natural tooth. Crowns are usually necessary when a root canal is performed, or trauma weakens the tooth. Crowns reinforce and protect the tooth and root. Your dentist will shape the existing tooth and fit you with a temporary crown. After a few weeks, you will return to have the full coverage crown put in permanently. Modern crowns can last 20 year or longer.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a treatment for periodontal disease. It involves cleaning away tartar to prevent further erosion of the gums and to encourage the natural reattachment of the gum to the tooth. In some patients, periodontal surgery is necessary to treat periodontal disease.
Mouth Guards and Sleep Appliances
Your dentist may recommend a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding together especially at night when you are sleeping and unaware of it. Our team can create a custom guard that fits your teeth and is comfortable during sleep.
Your sleep specialists may recommend a mouth guard or bite split to treat sleep apnea. We can make a special type of upper and lower mouth guard to help reposition your lower jaw at night. This provides a larger airway and alleviates breathing problems during sleep. Our dentists will want to see you one month after you start using your mouth guard to adjust it for fit and comfort. You will have adjustments at three months and then again at six months.
Routine cleanings help maintain your oral health and remove any plaque or unwanted substances.
Oral Cancer Screenings and Biopsies
Oral cancers typically begin on the tongue or bottom of the mouth and are treatable if caught early. Our dentists will examine your mouth and tongue for any sign of oral cancers. If we find a suspicious area of tissue, we will refer you to an oral surgeon for a biopsy. The biopsy will show whether the lesion is cancer and what type of cancer. Learn more about the treatment of head and neck cancer at Johns Hopkins.
Dental Evaluation Before a Surgery or Cancer Therapy
If you are having surgery, such as a heart surgery or organ transplant, or undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, your doctor may ask you to have a dental evaluation. It is similar to a new patient evaluation, and includes a check-up of your oral health, including the stability of your teeth and jaw. The goals of the dental evaluation are to ensure that:
- No teeth are damaged when the breathing tube is inserted or removed during surgery, and that your jaw can remain open for the entire period of the surgery.
- There are no active infections in the oral cavity, such as abscesses or acute periodontal disease.
o Bacteria from the oral cavity can travel to the surgery site and complicate healing. If you are a potential organ recipient, you will need immunosuppressant drugs before surgery. A dental abscess can cause an infection that your immune system will not be able to contain.
o If you are having radiation for head and neck cancer, poor oral health can contribute to tooth decay and jaw damage accelerated by the radiation.
o If you are having chemotherapy, poor oral health can contribute to infections that can arise due to the weakened immune system.
During the evaluation one of our dentists will:
- Examine your teeth and make sure none are loose.
- Examine your mouth and the overall health of your jaw.
- Look for active lesions, periodontal disease, chronic or acute abscesses.
- Review your general medical history.
Our clinic at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center has an oral surgery suite, seven dental treatment rooms and a radiology suite, each equipped to provide quality comprehensive dental care for you and your family.