Post Oak Dental has provided personalized dental care to thousands of families. Our patients come from near and far to experience the warm, individualized care we provide. We pride ourselves on utilizing the most modern equipment, materials and methods available.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material, which is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This bonding is done to repair the damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes. First, the surface of the tooth is roughened to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro-etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bond agent is applied so that the material adheres to the surface. Then it’s cured and hardened with a special light. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as the last step.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown, which may also be referred to as a cap, is used to cover a damaged tooth entirely. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape, and alignment.
Crowns are used to:
- Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
A bridge is a method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support, hence the name. Bridges are an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or aesthetics. A great alternative to a bridge is an implant. (See Implant Restoration.)
Dental Cleaning (aka prophylaxis)
A dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, is a professional cleaning you receive from a dental hygienist or dentist. Most dental cleanings take about an hour and should be performed at least every six months to prevent excessive plaque build-up. In some individuals, more frequent cleanings may be indicated. Untreated plaque can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. The overall health of our bodies is directly related to our oral health.
Scaling is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces above the gumline. Traditionally, dental hygienists perform scaling by hand or with more modern methods such as an ultrasonic scaler. This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. Both ultrasonic and manual scaling methods may be combined for dental cleanings to achieve best results.
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 in 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 patient’s mouth to take the place of where the natural teeth used to be. Complete dentures are removable and may require adjustments 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 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 (also known as a fixed bridge) acts the same as a removable denture, but it is cemented into place using the adjacent teeth for support. It fills the space created by missing teeth, as well as creating support for remaining teeth to prevent shifting.
DEXIS Digital Imaging
We use digital imaging software in our office, which allows us to take a digital picture of you and use our imaging system to predict how a particular treatment or cosmetic procedure would change the appearance of your teeth. This software is beneficial for patients who are considering cosmetic procedures but are not sure if they’re ready for dramatic changes. Digital imaging also allows us to document your dental case and procedures very well. We take digital images of your face, teeth and smile to provide us with a permanent dental record and to provide visual documentation of treatment.
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:
Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to match the color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last 5 – 10 years or more with normal “wear and tear”. 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.
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 less expensive alternative 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.
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 covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.
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 titanium root-form 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 can be slightly more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants can be as strong as natural teeth and last 10 – 20 years or more.
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 are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
We use small cameras about the size of a pen, called intraoral cameras, to help see the condition of your teeth and gums.
With this advanced technology, we can zoom in on small diseased areas, cracks, chips and worn metal fillings with extreme precision. The full-color images taken with the intraoral camera are sent to a computer screen so we can see and diagnose dental problems much earlier than with traditional dental technology. Because images are displayed on our screens, patients will also be able to see areas being worked on and can gain a better understanding of dental procedures being performed.
Laser dentistry is one of the latest advancements in dental technology, treating a wide range of dental and cosmetic concerns from cavities to gum disease. The lasers we use in laser dentistry at our practice are an alternative to the common hand-held scalpel, drills, or other instruments. These lasers direct an invisible energy beam onto problem areas and allow us to efficiently treat periodontal tissues. The benefit of laser dentistry is that it minimizes the discomfort most often associated with dental procedures, meaning a more comfortable appointment for our patients. Many patients require no anesthesia when lasers are being used during dental treatments. Dental lasers have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are safe for both adults and children.
Soft Tissue Laser
Soft tissue lasers are used to safely remove soft tissue, such as excess gum tissue. The soft tissue laser can also be employed to destroy bacteria in gum pockets, preventing infection and allowing the tissue to return to a healthy state. The soft tissue laser enables the hygienist or dentist to treat our patients with extreme accuracy, precision, and comfort.
Saliva-based oral DNA testing shows the kinds of bacteria present in your mouth. This information tells if you are more susceptible to certain kinds of periodontal disease and tooth decay. If certain dangerous and destructive bacteria are present in your mouth, specific antibiotic therapy can be used to target and destroy these bacteria.
Sometimes patients have a chronic infection, chronic gum disease, or problematic bad breath (halitosis) that they can’t seem to get rid of. DNA testing can be used to find out if there is a bacteria that is the underlying cause of these problems. Also, periodontal disease has a genetic link, and oral DNA testing can tell you if you are genetically susceptible to developing periodontal disease.
These types of procedures are becoming more common in state-of-the-art practices because if your mouth is unhealthy, you are at risk for other life-threatening systemic illnesses (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pre-term labor, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases).
Oral Hygiene & Education
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, but they also 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.
- Brush twice a day thoroughly and floss daily
- Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
- Limit sugary drinks and don’t sip on them all day long. Rinse with water afterwards.
- Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste
- Rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist advises you to
The Perio Tray® by Perio Protect: Non-Invasive Therapy for Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection that is hidden below your gums. Dental cleanings can effectively treat the bacteria, but when you return home the cycle often continues. Bacterial cells grow back in just hours after a cleaning, and toothbrush, rinse and floss can’t reach deep enough to address the infection at home.
The Perio Tray by Perio Protect gently applies medication deep under the gums to fight the infections. You use it at home for just minutes each day. The Tray is comfortable, flexible, and custom-fit precisely for your mouth.
With Perio Tray therapy, you have a new chance against the infections. In additional to healthier gums, patients commonly report whiter teeth and fresher breath. If you’ve been told that you have gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), ask our team if Perio Trays are right for you.
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. Your hygienist or 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.
Soft Tissue Management
Scaling and root planing (SRP) is one of the most effective, non-surgical ways to treat periodontal (gum) disease before it becomes severe. Scaling and root planing cleans between the teeth and on the roots below the gumline.
Scaling is the process of removing dental plaque and calculus (tartar) from the surfaces of the teeth. Root planing is the process of smoothing out the root surfaces and removing any infected tissue. When you have gum disease, the gum tissue separates from the tooth root, allowing calculus to form under the gumline. A detailed cleaning and smoothing of the root surfaces to remove plaque, bacterial toxins and calculus from deep periodontal pockets and smoothing the tooth root, removing bacterial toxins can help ensure that your gums heal and the disease will be controlled.
Scaling and root planing, along with supportive periodontal maintenance, are simple, non-invasive procedures that can work well to treat gum disease. If you maintain proper dental home care after periodontal therapy, your gums can heal, and the progression of your gum disease should be well-controlled.
Teeth 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, teeth 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 and a half, 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 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 30-60 minutes up to twice a day or overnight, depending on the whitening product you are using. At the end of 2 – 3 weeks of daily tray wear, you should see maximum whitening results. Occasional treatment should be used at your convenience to maintain your new smile.
Under Armour Performance Mouthwear™
As an authorized provider of Under Armour Performance Mouthwear™, Post Oak Dental has begun fitting Houston and surrounding area athletes with Under Armour’s innovative new line of custom mouthpieces and mouthguards designed to improve athletic performance.
Powered by ArmourBite™, patented mouthwear technology developed by Bite Tech, Inc., Under Armour Performance Mouthwear™ introduces an entirely new category of sports equipment. Now, athletes in any sport – from football (contact sports) to golf to running (non-contact sports) – can capitalize on innovative technology that makes you stronger, faster, better.
We can equip athletes with the same technology used by hundreds of professional, Olympic and collegiate athletes. This easy and painless custom-fitting process typically takes less than 30 minutes.
Performance Mouthwear has been engineered to unlock your power and potential. It’s all in you. With safe, custom-built Performance Mouthwear, athletes in any sport – from football to golf to hockey – can capitalize on innovation that makes you stronger, faster and better.
Bite Tech has partnered with Under Armour to introduce Under Armour Performance Mouthwear™ powered by ArmourBite® Technology, an innovative new line of custom mouthpieces and mouthguards that provides athletes in any sport the ability to unlock their full potential.
ArmourBite®, the patented technology in UA Performance Mouthwear, was created by Bite Tech, Inc.
The VELscope is a hand-held device that provides the dentist with an adjunctive tissue examination system for the early detection of pre-cancerous and cancerous oral tissue and a wide variety of other oral diseases. It is used in conjunction with the conventional intra-oral and extra-oral head and neck exam and facilitates the detection of tissue abnormalities before they become visible to the naked eye. This exam is painless, non-invasive, emits absolutely no radiation, and can save your life.
The VELscope plays an important role in the fight to reduce oral cancer mortality and morbidity which is on the rise. Oral cancer was once usually detected in middle age patients or older. However, it is now being found in younger patients and has been linked to the Human Papilloma Virus. If found early, oral cancer’s 5-year survival rate is 80%-90%, but if found late the 5-year survival rate is only about 30%.
The VELscope is used on all patients regardless if they have all their teeth or wear full dentures. Please call us to schedule an exam and an oral cancer evaluation.
Veneers are a dental procedure in which the teeth may be given a temporary covering depending on the situation. 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 laboratory-fabricated. 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.
X-rays, Digital and Panoramic
X-rays are a focused beam of x-ray particles passed through bone which produce an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This provides the familiar black-and-white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems and disease. Without an x-ray of the whole tooth and supporting bone and gum tissues, there would be no way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.
In our office, we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using up to 90% less radiation than conventional film x-rays. Using this technology, we can take an x-ray of your mouth by using a small sensor which records the image of your teeth and sends it to a computer. The result is a highly detailed image of your mouth that can easily be enhanced to better diagnose dental concerns and determine the very best treatment for each case.
Patients should not be concerned with over-exposure from dental x-rays. You are expose to more radiation on a sunny day than at the dentist’s office!
Dental Care for The Whole Family
Superior Dental Care
Welcome to Post Oak Dental, offices of J. Chris Gowan, D.D.S., P.A. and Byron J. Hall, Sr., D.D.S., Inc. We are here to provide each and every patient with the best possible dental care in the most supportive and nurturing manner. Whether you are new to our practice or a long-time patient, our professional staff will make you feel welcome and comfortable as we strive to provide the highest standard of personalized dental care in the most gentle and efficient way possible.