Bleaching and Whitening
Whitening restores natural tooth color, and bleaching whitens teeth beyond the natural color. We often use these terms interchangeably in dentistry. Both are achieved using peroxide to remove intrinsic strains, and will provide a lighter shade. We offer at-home whitening with our custom trays.
Composite Resin fillings
Composite resin is the tooth-colored filling material most dentists use today. New technology allows dentists to bond the filling material to the tooth allowing for conservative fillings. It comes in any shade imaginable and is able to fill cavities, repair fractures, and can be layered to provide new contours to front teeth.
Chip and fracture repair
Composite resin is an excellent material for fracture and chip repair. If you have minor enamel fractures, we can restore your smile. We have all colors and shades to match your teeth. The image above shows an example of how anterior teeth can be restored to ideal contours.
Complete Dentures are the most affordable way to restore a complete loss of dentition. Dentures restore chewing surfaces and improve speaking sounds, esthetics, lip contour, and comfort. Implants can help with the retention of the lower denture, but the upper denture often has good retention.
Crown and Bridge
Crown and bridge restores full teeth. If you have had major trauma, a large cavity, tooth fracture, or a root canal, then a crown is recommended. Bridges, like the one pictured above, replace lost teeth as well restores the adjacent teeth. These are custom fabricated crowns that will have the ideal fit and polish once they are cemented.
Porcelain crowns are the most esthetic crown option we have. The translucency, shade, and polish can match that of natural teeth. We will often recommend these crowns for the front 6 teeth which are in the esthetic zone. They also have the added advantage of being able to bond to natural tooth structure, allowing for extra retention on teeth with short height.
Gold crowns are recommended in our office for molars. Gold is still the restorative material of choice due to its biocompatability, strength, and resistance to corrosion. Its wear is very similar to natural teeth, so it preserves opposing teeth and provides ideal occlusion. They are known to be the longest lasting and the most conservative of crowns.
Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, still have many uses in dentistry. Mercury levels are minimal, and the filling material itself is unmatched. We do recommend amalgam fillings in the back teeth ( molars) due to their superior strength and resistance to recurrent decay. They will last longer than composite resin fillings and are cheaper. Amalgam has served dental patients for nearly a century and has treated one of the most common diseases (dental decay) effectively in that time.
Lower dentures are notorious for being loose and falling out. Implants are a reliable way to improve the retention of complete dentures. 2 implants are placed by an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist in the lower arch, in a similar location to where the canines would have existed. Once the implants are integrated, special attachments are added to the implants which act to lock the denture into place. Your denture will be guaranteed to have improved retention and stability, allowing you to eat and talk better!
Porcelain veneers are an excellent option for improving the esthetics of a smile. A small amount of enamel is removed from the front surface of the anterior 6 teeth and replaced with bio-compatible porcelain restorations, custom made by a dental lab. The shape, texture and color of the teeth can be altered. If you are unsatisfied with your smile, then please ask us about this treatment option. It is conservative and provides reliable changes that will make you want to smile
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and Root planing ( SRP ) is a procedure used to treat active periodontal disease ( bone loss from bacterial invasion in your gums). Deep pockets form around your teeth as bone is resorbed; when they get deep enough, it becomes impossible to clean with a simple cleaning. The dentist or hygienist will use a fine-tipped ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments to remove bacterial plaque and calculus from your tooth and the root. This prevents further bacterial invasion and can stop bone loss!
Our practice name is named Whittaker Family Dentistry for a reason. We see all ages in our practice and take pride in doing so. It is very important in the Spokane area for kids to come see us as soon as their first tooth erupts due to lack of water flouridation. Baby teeth are very important to keep healthy and strong since they influence the development of the permanent teeth. Baby teeth are easily decayed and so regular check-ups are recommended. We have the management skills to see most children regardless of behavior or attitude and will be able to take care of their dental needs.
When a deep cavity reaches the nerve (pulp) of a tooth, it can cause extreme pain, and the only way to relieve this pain is with a root canal. Root canals, under the branch of dentistry called endodontics, are performed to remove the dental pulp. The tooth is restored with a crown after instrumentation and the tooth is saved! Contrary to belief, root canals are painless with proper anesthesia. Most patients have a positive experience with the process.
Gold inlays and onlays
In some instances, when a filling gets too big, we may recommend an inlay or an onlay. The advantage to these restorations is that they have ideal margins, superior strength, and protect the integrity of the tooth more than other filling materials. They often last 20-30 years, much longer than your typical composite filling, and preserve more natural tooth structure compared to a crown. Please ask us for more information about these restorations, as they may be ideal for you in certain situations.
Emergency Dental Care
Dr. Whittaker prides himself on availability. He has spent countless weekends helping patients experiencing a dental emergency. Dental tooth aches can be severe, and can prevent one from going on with his or her normal day. Fortunately, we have all of the tools available to get you out of pain and on with your day. Dr. Whittaker provides his personal cell phone for patients to use in emergencies.
.Unfortunately, teeth can sometimes be the source of a lot of pain if left untreated. They can also become fractured to the point where they are no longer restorable. It is very important to get teeth like this evaluated for extraction, as they can become infected and lead to systemic infections. Tooth infections can lead to bone loss, fevers, high blood pressure, and cellulitis. It is very important to come see us if you have badly broken or decayed teeth. We do extractions of all types in our office.
Tissue grafting is a procedure done to halt recession ( loss of gum tissue) and to cover exposed roots. Tissue is taken either from your palate, or your gums by your molars, and placed at a recipient site elsewhere that requires the grafting. This can cover exposed root surfaces, which can be sensitive, and is also used to halt further recession. If you are worried about your gums receding down your tooth, please ask us for a consultation and we can evaluate whether or not you are a candidate.
Immediate dentures are used to replace all of your teeth, much like complete dentures, but are fabricated and ready to be placed at the time of tooth extraction. With Immediate Dentures, you do not have to go through a period of time without teeth. If you currently have teeth, but think you may want or need dentures, please contact us for a consultation prior to having tooth extractions.
Dental implants are the standard of care for tooth replacement. We work with a great team of surgeons who will surgically place the implant. After a period of healing, we will then fabricate a custom-made crown that connects to the implant, leaving you with a brand new tooth. Implants have the ability to stabilize dentures, make bridges, and completely restore lost dentition.
Porcelain Inlays and Onlays
These restorations are indicated for the same reasons that gold inlays and onlays are. They have the same benefits with the added esthetic improvements. They provide perfect shade selection and are ideal for the premolar teeth. The only draw back is that they are more brittle than gold, so they do have a higher chance of fracture. With ideal placement, they will provide a long lasting restoration.
Exams and Dental Radiographs
-Our dental radiographs ( also called x-rays) provide the lowest radiation possible. F speed film is minimally invasive and provides great diagnostic imaging. Our exams and x-rays are offered at an affordable price. We purposefully keep our prices low to encourage people to come to regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Preventative dental appointments are very valuable and we advocate strongly for bi-annual visits. Oral cancer screening and head and neck exams are also an important reason to see your dentist regularly, so any abnormal changes can be detected early.
Occlusal guard is a broad term in dentistry. At our office, we make a variety of guards used for many situations including athletics, grinding, and TMJ pain. Different materials of plastic liners can be custom made for your dental arch to prevent tooth wear and damage to your TMJ. If you have sensitive teeth, TMJ pain, or just want an athletic guard, we will have options for you.
Clinical Crown Lengthening
Clinical Crown Lengthening (CCL) is a periodontal surgery that allows dentists to lengthen teeth that are fractured and increase the tooth structure above the bone level, so a crown or a filling can be done. A small amount of bone is removed from around the tooth. There is then more tooth structure available to fully restore the tooth. CCL may be an option to save a badly fractured tooth or decayed tooth. Ask us for more details!
Partial dentures are made to replace lost teeth while using your remaining teeth as anchors. They have great retention in the right clinical situation, and can look natural as well. When teeth are lost, much more force is exerted on the remaining teeth, which is why we recommend always replacing lost teeth to prevent damage to healthy teeth. This is a great option that is very affordable for patients.
Many options are available for these types of prosthesis. Resin based RPD’s are esthetic and very affordable. We also can make longer lasting and more functional partials which are metal based, called cast frame RPD’s. These are more expensive, but also have better retention, and improved chewing capacity.