Services


There are a number of therapies that we provide to help you with your oral health needs. Our goal is to give you a healthy and confident smile, and maintain it for years to come. We want you to be comfortable during your care at our office.



Comprehensive

Comprehensive Dentistry


Comprehensive Dentistry
•  "Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination
•  Family Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry
•  Exams & Cleanings
•  Sealants & Fluoride
•  Nightguards

Restorative Dentistry
•  Fillings
•  Crowns & Bridges
•  Extractions
•  Oral Conscious Sedation
•  IV Sedation
Here at Excellent Dental Specialists, we specialize in comprehensive dentistry. We want you to feel comfortable coming to us for all of your dental needs. We can help take care of current issues, and help prevent future ones. We can help take care of your mouth, so that you can better care for your entire body. Come in today and let us help take care of all aspects of your oral care.

What does comprehensive dentistry cover?

While a traditional dentist wants you to come in and see them for routine examinations and cleanings, we here at Excellent Dental Specialists want you to come in and see us for those and so much more. We offer a full line of comprehensive services aimed at detecting issues earlier, and preventing issues before they even begin. Our approach focuses on how optimal oral care can help your entire body. Just like early childhood dental care allows for better adulthood dental health, taking an approach that helps the entire body allows us to better serve our patients.

Comprehensive Services We Offer

We offer services for the entire family here at Excellent Dental Specialists. We understand how much having a dentist you can trust your entire life can benefit your oral health, and we want to be the dentist you and your children turn to, now, and well into the future. There are also preventative services that we can help you with. It is good to have a trusted dentist to turn to when something is wrong, but it is better if you can prevent those problems before they begin. That is our focus. We want to be able to prevent as many issues as possible before they begin to damage your overall oral health.

Should something happen to your teeth, we also have a full line of restorative services available to help. We can help restore the teeth in your mouth from tooth decay and gum disease, and we can even restore your smile if you need help after losing a tooth. Should you be a bit anxious about coming in for dental treatment, we can also help with sedation options to make the process a lot easier on you. That way, you can have a positive experience with us, and you will feel more comfortable coming in to get other services with us.

We also offer something that most other dentists do not, and that is a "Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination. This lets us go through and determine if you are at high risk of losing your teeth prematurely. We do a few tests to give us a solid idea of what type of problems your teeth will be susceptible to in your lifetime. From there, we can work with you to create a plan for preventing problems and treating your teeth comprehensively so you can keep them as long as possible.

To find out more about the comprehensive dental services that we offer, give us a call today at (210) 598-8933!

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"Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination

Teeth for a Lifetime Examination

Older couple smiling after teeth for a lifetime examination at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.
Comprehensive Dentistry
•  "Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination
•  Family Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry
•  Exams & Cleanings
•  Sealants & Fluoride
•  Nightguards

Restorative Dentistry
•  Fillings
•  Crowns & Bridges
•  Extractions
•  Oral Conscious Sedation
•  IV Sedation

Here at Excellent Dental Specialists, we want you to know how long you should be able to keep your teeth. It is likely something you want to know, as well. While we cannot guarantee that by a specific age, you will have all, some, or none of your teeth, we can do an examination that gives us a good idea as to what your teeth are likely to endure during your life, allowing us to help be more comprehensive in our approach to caring for your teeth, and allowing you to have a solid idea of what to expect in the future. If you would like to have our teeth for a lifetime examination, call us today at (210) 598-8933 and schedule an appointment.

What comes with a teeth for a lifetime examination?

During a teeth for a lifetime examination, we perform a lot of different tests. We want to diagnose what your teeth are currently going through, and get a really good idea of what is likely to happen to your teeth as you age. We are going to take some laboratory tests to help aid our prognosticating, so we can do whatever is necessary to help you retain your teeth for as long as possible.

We will do a little bit of salivary and blood testing so that we can get a good idea of what bacteria burden your mouth currently has. We will also be running tests for specific genetic susceptibility traits. This will give us a really good idea of things you may be more susceptible to as you get older.

CariScreen is one of the tests we will also perform. It tells us how at risk you are for developing caries, or tooth decay. It only takes about 60 seconds, and is done while you are in our office. It helps us understand if you are currently experiencing tooth decay, and what bacteria levels you have in your mouth that could be attributing to future tooth decay.

What we want to do is determine what etiology of disease you may have in your mouth. Also, we want to determine which genetic markers you carry, so we can keep an eye out for specific disease that may be coming your way. This can include things like diabetes and CRP/inflammatory diseases.

The Information These Tests Provide Helps Us Help You

We can determine what type of risks you have associated with your teeth when we go over the results from the testing we perform. It will help us have an idea what the long-term prognosis is for you keeping your teeth for the rest of your life. Then, we will be able to make recommendations that will be tailored to your specific risk factors, that can ideally help you keep your teeth.

To find out more about our exclusive teeth for a lifetime examination, call us at (210) 598-8933 and let us tell you how it could help. We are ready for you to come in so we can set up a treatment plan so we can help you keep your teeth for a lifetime!

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Family Dentistry

Family Dentistry

Smiling family after receiving dental care at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX .
Comprehensive Dentistry
•  "Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination
•  Family Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry
•  Exams & Cleanings
•  Sealants & Fluoride
•  Nightguards

Restorative Dentistry
•  Fillings
•  Crowns & Bridges
•  Extractions
•  Oral Conscious Sedation
•  IV Sedation
Excellent Dental Specialists knows how important your family is to you. As much as you want a perfect and flawless smile, you want the same for your kids. We are dedicated to being the most innovative and caring facility and will take any and all possible precautions and strides to make sure that not only is your family well cared for, but they are also comfortable with our staff and offices. For more information on what we can do for you, give us a call today to set up a consultation to meet our amazing team!

What is family dentistry?

While there is a little bit of a difference between family dentistry and general dentistry, the terms are used almost interchangeably more often than not. This also means that a lot of people don’t know what either of them truly is. Never fear, we are here to help! A lot of dentists tend to keep a certain age range on who they treat, whether its sticking to young children, adults, or mature patients. However, a family dentist has a much wider range, usually treating patients from all of these groups!

What do they do?

A family dentist looks at a lot of aspects of oral health. We keep plaque at a minimum at all ages, find and treat cavities, and promote the health of gums in all ages as well. We are often considered the first level of protection and prevention when it comes to issues within the mouth, so it is important that you see us regularly, at least twice a year.

We will do a deep cleaning when you visit and make sure that everything is how it should be. We will take x-rays at your check-up to make sure that there is no budding decay or infection below the gum line or beneath the surface of your teeth, along with a visual inspection of each tooth to check for problems.

If there is an issue, such as a budding cavity, we will have caught it pretty early at that point and would be able to take the best care of it before it causes you a lot of pain and a potentially worse procedure to remedy it. A filling is much less worrisome than a more advanced procedure such as an implant or root canal treatment. If those are necessary, though, you are still in great hands, and there is no need to worry. At times, if we see a need for it, we can provide a fluoride treatment to seal and protect your teeth in a way you cannot quite get at home.

Excellent Dental Specialists are just that, excellent! We are dedicated to your family and ensuring your health and comfortability in our care. Our staff has 65 years of experience that give us the knowledge to be sure that we are giving correct diagnoses and providing only the best treatment. Give us a call today at (210) 598-8933 for more information on what we can do for you!

Preventive Dentistry
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Exams & Cleanings

Exams & Cleanings

Young woman getting dental cleaning at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.
Comprehensive Dentistry
•  "Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination
•  Family Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry
•  Exams & Cleanings
•  Sealants & Fluoride
•  Nightguards

Restorative Dentistry
•  Fillings
•  Crowns & Bridges
•  Extractions
•  Oral Conscious Sedation
•  IV Sedation
When it comes to staying healthy and happy, few things are more important than taking good care of your teeth. Healthy teeth can help you continue to speak, eat, and function as you are used to, whereas teeth that are decaying or infected will be a source of pain and embarrassment. It is always a good idea to spend the time necessary to maintain good oral health. In order to do this, it is vital that you make regular trips to your dentist! At Excellent Dental Specialists, we understand that your life is busy. We provide our patient family with prompt service for dental exams and cleanings as we help you avoid serious dental issues that could lower your quality of life.

What is a dental cleaning?

A dental cleaning is an important part of maintaining good oral health. Even if you brush your teeth regularly and floss every day, you need to see us in order to ensure that your teeth and gums are as healthy and clean as they should be. A dental cleaning is an opportunity for us to take a look at your teeth and any existing fillings to check for visible issues. We will also check your gums and ensure that everything is in order and there are no signs of bone loss or periodontal disease.

Once the above has been completed, the cleaning will begin. Using a variety of different tools, your dental professional will remove tartar, also known as hard mineral buildup, from your teeth. They'll also floss your teeth, apply fluoride, and apply a polishing compound. Cleanings are usually fairly quick and shouldn't cause any significant pain to speak of.

What is a dental exam?

A dental exam is a bit different from a cleaning in that the exam focuses more on closely exploring your teeth and mouth for any signs of trouble. This could be gum disease, tooth decay, or various other health issues. You might even have some x-rays done in order to get a closer look at the inside of your teeth and how healthy they are. A dental exam strives to find the issues that are not visible to the naked eye so that we can catch issues as early as possible and start treating them right away.

Seeing us often for cleanings and exams will help you prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. You'll also save money in the long run by avoiding expensive treatments that are necessary when the aforementioned issues are left to fester for too long. Your teeth will be brighter and smoother than they might be if you didn’t have professional cleanings, and in general, your oral health will simply be better.

If you are due for a cleaning or an exam, please don't hesitate to contact us at (210) 598-8933 today! We are happy to work with you to create an appointment and get you started on the journey to dental health.

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Sealants & Fluoride

Sealants & Fluoride


Comprehensive Dentistry
•  "Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination
•  Family Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry
•  Exams & Cleanings
•  Sealants & Fluoride
•  Nightguards

Restorative Dentistry
•  Fillings
•  Crowns & Bridges
•  Extractions
•  Oral Conscious Sedation
•  IV Sedation
Have you ever heard that prevention is the best medicine? When it comes to your teeth, it turns out that this idea is right on the money. All too often people will let their teeth fall by the wayside and assume that they can simply fix any issues later in life. Do not be that person! The fact is that your natural teeth are vital to your health and your happiness, and it's much better to prevent issues from occurring than it is to salvage things after problems have already set in. Think about a garden, for example, and imagine a few weeds springing up. Would you rather pluck those weeds right away, or let them grow for a few years and then attempt to save whatever flowers have managed to survive?

Sealants and fluoride are great ways to help keep your teeth healthy. They can even help protect your teeth from common issues.

What are sealants?

Dental sealants are a very thin, plastic coating that is painted on the surface of back teeth. This is a common kind of treatment that you might even find in schools or clinics! It's a painless and fast procedure that will quickly create a hard '"shield" over your teeth to help keep them in good shape.

How are sealants applied?

The sealant application procedure is, as mentioned above, an easy and quick one. First, the tooth in question will be cleaned, and then dried. Cotton is often placed around the area to ensure that the tooth remains dry throughout the process, as this helps the sealant adhere. A solution is then applied to the tooth to make it a little rough to promote bonding between the sealant and the tooth surface. The tooth will then be washed and dried again, and the sealant will be painted on its surface. It will harden in just a few seconds, and that’s it! Your tooth is now properly sealed.

Do I need sealants?

Sealants and fluoride work to help prevent tooth decay from occurring. Fluoride in drinking water, toothpaste, and mouthwash works to keep the smooth surface of your teeth clean, but the chewing surfaces of your back teeth need some additional help. This is where sealants come in! They cover your back teeth and save you money by reducing things like cavities.

Young girls smiling after receiving dental sealants at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.

Who should get sealants?

In general, children will get sealants to keep their teeth healthy while they grow and learn to best take care of them. They should receive these sealants as soon as possible. When the teeth come in, you should come in to get them sealed. Look for permanent molars around the ages of five to seven, and then again from eleven to fourteen. Although less common, teenagers or young adults whose teeth are prone to easy decay might also want to receive sealants and ensure that plenty of fluoride is being consumed.

If you are interested in learning more about tooth sealants and fluoride, contact us at (210) 598-8933 today! Our team can help keep your teeth in great shape.

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Nightguards

Nightguards for Bruxism


Comprehensive Dentistry
•  "Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination
•  Family Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry
•  Exams & Cleanings
•  Sealants & Fluoride
•  Nightguards

Restorative Dentistry
•  Fillings
•  Crowns & Bridges
•  Extractions
•  Oral Conscious Sedation
•  IV Sedation
A common, though often temporary dental disorder is bruxism. Patients with bruxism may find that they are clenching or grinding their teeth while they sleep. This can have really dangerous effects on your teeth, even if you are doing it for only short periods of time. There are dental devices that can help. At Excellent Dental Specialists, we can customize a nightguard device to fit comfortably in your mouth while you sleep, protecting your teeth.

What is a nightguard?

A nightguard is a plastic device that we can customize to fit comfortably inside your mouth. It will serve as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, protecting them from the effects of bruxism while you sleep. They fit over your teeth so you will not feel like you have a mouthful of plastic. In most situations, your symptoms of bruxism will subside after a brief time, so it only needs to be worn during those times.

People have periods of stress in their normal daily lives. Some people subconsciously respond to these times of stress by grinding or clenching their teeth while they sleep. In most cases, they are not aware that they are doing this, but the effects are clear.

Clenching Teeth

Patients who clench their teeth can cause fractures and breakage in their teeth. This can be both painful and expensive for the patient. Patients who are clenching their teeth while they sleep may find that they are experiencing some of the following symptoms:
•  Soreness: Patients may be waking up with a sore jaw, or soreness in their face, some patients even report migraines.
•  Tiredness: Your facial muscles may feel tight or tired. You may notice a feeling of a release of pressure in those first moments after waking.
•  Tooth Sensitivity: You may begin to experience tooth sensitivity, this may be due to hairline fractures, or even breakage in your teeth..

An image of a clear nightguard from Excellent Dental Specialists in a light blue container.

What is bruxism?

Grinding Teeth
Patients who grind their teeth can flatten their teeth, losing those divots that assist us in chewing. Wearing down, or grinding our teeth, can be expensive to repair. Patients who grind their teeth while they sleep may find that they are experiencing some of the following symptoms:
•  Noise: Patients often report that the noise of grinding wakes them in the night, they can hear that they are doing it.
•  Visual Changes: You may be able to visually see the flattening wear on your teeth. As the outer layer of enamel is being removed, you may see the yellow of dentin below, giving your overall teeth a yellow appearance.
•  Pain: Teeth grinding often leads to breakage or cracks which can be painful.
•  Loose: Some patients may actually cause teeth to become loosened from grinding while they sleep.

Bruxism is often a passing phase, but the damage that it can cause can give a patient lifelong frustration, and very expensive results. This can be managed with the creation and wearing of a nightguard. If you have painful jaws or teeth, and think you might be clenching or grinding, give us a call at (210) 598-8933 to schedule your consultative appointment.

Restorative Dentistry
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Fillings

Fillings


Comprehensive Dentistry
•  "Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination
•  Family Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry
•  Exams & Cleanings
•  Sealants & Fluoride
•  Nightguards

Restorative Dentistry
•  Fillings
•  Crowns & Bridges
•  Extractions
•  Oral Conscious Sedation
•  IV Sedation
Keeping our teeth healthy and strong is one of the most important things that we can do for our overall health. This is why it is so important to keep up on dental cleanings and maintain the best level of oral health you possibly can. If you fail to do these things, you might find yourself eventually fighting cavities. When this happens—and sometimes it happens even when you are doing the best you can to avoid dental issues—you will most likely to need to get a filling. It's worth noting that sometimes fillings are also used to treat broken or cracked teeth that have been damaged or injured in some fashion.

What is a dental filling?

A dental filling is a dental tool used to help treat teeth that have been damaged by injury or decay. This is done by removing any decayed material from your tooth, cleaning the area in question, and then filling that area in your tooth with some kind of filling material. Closing off these spaces is an important way to restrict the spread of bacteria, which can help avoid infection and even prevent any further decay. There are a number of different types of filling material from which we can select.

What types of filling are available?

In general, fillings are created out of one of the following types of material:
•  Porcelain
•  Gold
•  Composite Resin
•  Amalgam

Each filling type has its pros and cons, and we will be able to advise you as to which kind is best for your specific needs. When you come into Excellent Dental Specialists, for example, we are happy to sit down with you and explain why we think a particular kind of filling is the best option. With that said, there are different things to consider about each of them.

Woman getting dental check up for fillings at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX. Gold fillings are cemented in place, and must be ordered from a laboratory—they are custom made, and will require more than one visit to complete. These kinds of fillings are tolerated well by your gums and are also quite long-lasting. They are also the most expensive choice in many situations.

Amalgam is probably one of the most commonly used filling materials out there. This is the basic silver filling that most people receive when they need a filling in their molars or back teeth. Because of the material's color, however, this is not a prime choice for a filling where it might be seen.

Composite resin fillings are the go-to choice when it comes to filling a tooth that is easily visible. That's because this material can be dyed to match your tooth color, which helps give a natural appearance to your smile.

Finally, porcelain fillings, also called inlays or onlays, are made to order like gold fillings. They can also be color matched to your tooth, however, they are more expensive than composite resin fillings and tend to be used when large areas of a tooth must be covered or restored.

Contact us today at (210) 598-8933 if you are interested in learning more about your filling options.

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Crowns & Bridges

Crowns & Bridges


Comprehensive Dentistry
•  "Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination
•  Family Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry
•  Exams & Cleanings
•  Sealants & Fluoride
•  Nightguards

Restorative Dentistry
•  Fillings
•  Crowns & Bridges
•  Extractions
•  Oral Conscious Sedation
•  IV Sedation
Keeping your smile healthy and bright is no small task, but it's also one of the most important things you can do for your own health and happiness. That means that when issues develop, you should come to see us right away in order to determine how best to fix the problem and repair any damage sustained. At Excellent Dental Specialists, we have the experience necessary to ensure that your teeth look and feel their best, regardless of what issue you're facing. That's why, in order to help preserve even damaged teeth and maintain the structural integrity of your mouth, we offer a variety of restoration and repair options, including crowns and bridges.

Graphic of dental crown.

What is a dental crown?

A crown can be considered a "cap" for your damaged tooth. Note that crowns are made from a variety of materials, and can also be used to restore a damaged tooth to a strengthened and more attractive state. Crowns that are created from porcelain are usually used for front teeth which are easily seen, as the porcelain looks most like a natural tooth. When it comes to molars, or any teeth that experience a great amount of pressure, on the other hand, it is more useful to opt for a gold or composite crown that offers more protection against the stress that your bite can cause.

Graphic of dental bridge.

What is a dental bridge?

A bridge is commonly used when a patient has missing teeth. They work by placing crowns on the teeth immediately beside the gap in question. The replacement tooth is then attached to these new crown-covered teeth, known as abutments, and is cemented into place. Much like the aforementioned crowns, bridges can be created out of a variety of material. Generally, however, both the caps and the replacement tooth itself are created out of porcelain or composite material that can be color matched to your natural teeth.

Why would I need a dental crown or bridge?

Dental crowns and bridges are used in a variety of situations. Let's say that you experience some kind of trauma to your teeth and end up with one that is misshapen and discolored. In order to help protect this damaged tooth, a crown can be placed over it. This not only helps strengthen the tooth, but also allows you maintain the appearance of your smile. If you need to have a tooth extracted for some reason or otherwise lose a natural tooth, a bridge is a cost-effective option to help maintain the structural integrity of your mouth and prevent your remaining teeth from drifting around. Much like crowns, dental bridges can also be used to help maintain the appearance of your smile while also providing dental benefits at the same time.

How long will dental bridges and crowns last?

When properly cared for, your dental bridges and crowns can last for well over a decade.

Are you interested in learning more about how dental bridges and crowns can help your smile? Give us a call today at (210) 598-8933! Our experienced staff is happy to answer your questions.

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Extractions

Extractions


Comprehensive Dentistry
•  "Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination
•  Family Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry
•  Exams & Cleanings
•  Sealants & Fluoride
•  Nightguards

Restorative Dentistry
•  Fillings
•  Crowns & Bridges
•  Extractions
•  Oral Conscious Sedation
•  IV Sedation
Because maintaining excellent oral health tends to coincide with protecting and preserving your natural teeth, we will do everything in our power to keep them firmly in place. Sometimes, due to either injury or disease, a tooth must be removed. When this happens, you will undergo something that is known as a tooth extraction. This is the process of removing a tooth from your mouth. This is a procedure that worries many individuals and one that seems to be somewhat misunderstood. At Excellent Dental Specialists, we believe that you deserve the best, most comfortable care possible. That's why we're going to take the time to explain the extraction process in more depth so that you can face your tooth extraction informed and, hopefully, without fear.

Are tooth extractions difficult procedures?

There are many reasons to remove a tooth. Depending upon why your tooth is being removed, the answer to this question can vary. In general, tooth extraction is a fairly straightforward process. If your tooth is impacted, or there is a lot of decay or infection that will need to be treated along the way, then the process might be a more complicated one. If your tooth cannot be removed in one piece, then it will need to be broken apart and removed in pieces—this is another factor that can increase the amount of time you spend in the chair.

Are tooth extractions painful?

This is where much of the misconception regarding tooth extractions is situated. Many people are worried that the tooth extraction process itself is a painful one—they are worried that they will spend their time in the office in pain. Please keep in mind that today's tooth extractions are handled just like any other form of dental surgery. The area in question will be numbed before the procedure begins, and you will not be able to feel any pain. That means that you don't have anything to worry about during the procedure.

Does it take a long time to recover from a tooth extraction?


Dental extractions at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.The healing process for a tooth extraction is not an overly involved one. You might be given prescription pain relievers to use after surgery, depending upon the complexity of your particular situation. Whether you are given prescription medication or opt for an OTC painkiller, you should make sure to take the medication once the local anesthetic wears off. Keep your mouth clean and drink plenty of water, avoiding hot foods or liquids. You will also need to avoid anything that creates suction in your mouth, like smoking or using a straw, for the first few days after surgery.

The overall healing time for an extraction, from beginning to end, is usually around 30 days. Note that you should only need to restrict your activities for the first 24–48 hours after the procedure, however, and that any stitches placed can typically be removed after about a week. The remaining three weeks shouldn't impact your daily activities.

If you think you might need a tooth extraction, call Excellent Dental Specialists for more information about how we can help!

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Oral Conscious Sedation and IV Sedation

Sedation Dentistry

Oral Conscious Sedation offered at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.
Comprehensive Dentistry
•  "Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination
•  Family Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry
•  Exams & Cleanings
•  Sealants & Fluoride
•  Nightguards

Restorative Dentistry
•  Fillings
•  Crowns & Bridges
•  Extractions
•  Oral Conscious Sedation
•  IV Sedation
Oral Conscious Sedation offered at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.
Comprehensive Dentistry
•  "Teeth for a Lifetime" Examination
•  Family Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry
•  Exams & Cleanings
•  Sealants & Fluoride
•  Nightguards

Restorative Dentistry
•  Fillings
•  Crowns & Bridges
•  Extractions
•  Oral Conscious Sedation
•  IV Sedation
Many people find visiting the dentist to be an incredibly stressful and worrisome time. In fact, the fear that visiting the dentist causes them can result in them forgoing seeing a dentist at all. Unfortunately, this only leads to increased stress in the future when something happens that requires emergency dental treatment. By the time your oral health has deteriorated enough for this to be an issue, you will find yourself spending far more time in a dentist's chair than you would have if you had simply visited them regularly to begin with. With that in mind, we here at Excellent Dental Specialists understand that trips to the dentist can be stressful. That's why we do our best to help you relax via the use of oral conscious sedation.

What is oral conscious sedation?

Because visiting the dentist is an important part of living a healthy life, we do everything we can to help you feel comfortable in our offices. One of the options for those who become anxious at the thought of visiting the dentist is something known as oral conscious sedation. This is a form of sedation that is much easier on the body and is less involved than something like IV sedation. Instead of receiving an IV once you arrive to the dentist's office, oral conscious sedation consists of anti-anxiety medication that you can sometimes take before even arriving at the office. You take the medication, usually in pill form, orally.

What kinds of medications are used with oral conscious sedation?

Common anti-anxiety medications are those known as benzodiazepines. This kind of medication is especially effective at quelling any building anxiety, allowing you to get through your dentist visit without fear. You might recognize this medication by some of the following names:
•  Ativan
•  Xanax
•  Halcion
•  Valium

As you can see, oral conscious sedation refers to a patient who takes a benzodiazepine medication in order to avoid placing excessive stress on their body and mind. This medication works to sedate the mind a bit while also working to combat anxiety and stress, which means that you’ll be fully conscious and able to interact with your dentist, but you will experience relaxation instead of worry.

Is there anything I should keep in mind when it comes to oral conscious sedation?

If you decide to take an anti-anxiety pill before visiting the dentist (or during the visit itself), you should make sure that you have someone to drive you to and from the office. Because the medication induces relaxation, it can be a dangerous combination with driving a vehicle, where your attention needs to be firmly on the road at all times. Avoid any potential issues and ask someone to be your ride. This will help keep you as well as all of the other drivers on the road safe.

Are you interested in learning more about oral conscious sedation and how it can help you visit our offices in peace?
Give us a call at (210) 598-8933 today! Our staff is always happy to answer your questions.

Cosmetic Dentistry
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Bonding

Cosmetic Bonding


Cosmetic Dentistry
•  Bonding
•  Teeth Whitening
•  Porcelain Veneers
•  Implants
When it comes to looking and feeling great, few things are more important than our smiles. Maintaining good oral health is not only important for your overall health, but also for your self-confidence and appearance. Sometimes, however, you can have teeth that are healthy but not necessarily the prettiest to look at. When this happens, you might wonder how you can get the picture-perfect smile that you'd love to have. This is where cosmetic bonding comes in! Cosmetic dental bonding is an affordable and versatile option that can help create the look of white, uniform teeth to enhance your smile. At Excellent Dental Specialists, we are proud to offer a variety of different options.

What is cosmetic bonding?

Cosmetic bonding is the process of applying either a resin or a veneer to your teeth in order to achieve a more uniform smile. Note that you do not have to have anything wrong with your teeth to have this done. While cosmetic bonding is sometimes done after work has been done that has left a tooth uneven or discolored, you can have the procedure done even if you just want to change the appearance of your smile. Dental bonding can help change things like the color, shape, size, length, and even width of your teeth in order to create the look that you are hoping for.

How does cosmetic bonding work?

There are a few different types of bonding to keep in mind. Tooth bonding is the first step and consists of us applying a composite resin to the tooth or teeth that you would like to see altered. This resin is dyed to reach the desired color, and can be minutely altered into the right shape. This kind of resin is moldable at first, and then we will bond it permanently in place after the desired look is achieved.

Another kind of cosmetic bonding is known as veneer bonding. This is a particularly popular form of cosmetic bonding where you have a veneer, usually porcelain, but sometimes composite, bonded to the surfaces of your teeth. Note that this procedure is a little bit more involved than tooth bonding with a composite resin, and can take longer to apply as a result. Veneers can yield an incredible smile that will last for many years to come, however, and the time is almost certainly worth it.

Dental bonding service is offered at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.

How long does cosmetic bonding take?

Cosmetic bonding with resin can often be completed in one office visit. When it comes to porcelain veneers, however, the process will span multiple office visits. We must take a mold of your teeth before the veneers can be created, and the surface of your teeth will need to be prepared before the veneers can actually be bonded into place.

How long does cosmetic bonding last?

If you take care of your cosmetic bonding, whether it be veneer or composite in nature, you should be able to enjoy them for over a decade.

Are you interested in learning more about your cosmetic bonding options? Give us a call at (210) 598-8933 today to discuss our services!

• 
Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening


Cosmetic Dentistry
•  Bonding
•  Teeth Whitening
•  Porcelain Veneers
•  Implants
Whitening your teeth is one of the easiest and fastest ways to make a large impact on the look of your teeth. Whitening your teeth can help you appear healthier, cleaner, and even younger. We can help you have the look you want with either in-office treatments or prescribed take home kits. Our team at Excellent Dental Specialists can answer your questions and help you decide what is the best option for you.

Why do I need to whiten my teeth?

Our teeth are being used multiple times a day, every day. We are constantly subjecting them to the bacteria around us, in addition to foods and drinks that stain. Though we brush multiple times a day, eventually our teeth begin to show their wear. Whitening your teeth shouldn’t be classified as just a cosmetic treatment but as part of your hygiene routine. If patients consider whitening their teeth just once a year, they would see a significant improvement in the look of their teeth.

Some of the most common causes of teeth staining includes:
•  Staining Foods: There are multiple food items that we eat that cause staining on our teeth. Some of the most common staining foods include all berries, foods that are citric or acidic and a variety of sauces including tomato based and soy sauces.
•  Staining Drinks: There are some commonly used drinks that are prime stain causing drinks due to their tannic acid, this includes coffee, tea, soda, and red wines.
•  Normal Wear: With time, our teeth just begin to show their age, looking dingy and used. This is why whiter teeth are associated with appearing younger, and why many patients feel that they look younger after treatment.


An image of a woman's smile with half her mouth with dingy teeth, and the other half after cosmetic whitening

Store Bought Whitening Kits

There are a variety of store bought whitening kits. They range vastly in price, style, and use. All whitening kits, both those used under a dentist's care or from a store-bought kit, use peroxide to whiten your teeth. When bought in a store, the kits are regulated to only allow a small percentage of peroxide, under 5%. So, yes, store bought kits will work, but the effects may take longer to achieve, requiring your attention for longer periods of time, and the end result will be limited.

In-Office Whitening vs. Take Home Kits

At Excellent Dental Specialists, we offer both in-office whitening and prescribed take home kits.

In-Office
In=office, we can complete your teeth whitening procedure in about one hour. Under the care of one of our dentists, we can use a much higher percentage of peroxide, anywhere from 15% to 43% depending on your needs, giving you fast results. Of all of your options, in-office whitening is the most expensive, but with the least amount of hassle and gives instantaneous results.

At-Home Prescribed
At-home kits can be prescribed by one of our dentists at Excellent Dental Specialists. We can customize plastic trays to fit your mouth, and prescribe the correct dosage of peroxide for your needs. With home kits, the peroxide levels tend to be within 3% and 20%. We are happy to discuss this treatment with you.

After Whitening

Following your whitening treatment, we will caution the patient to handle their teeth with care for the next few days. Your teeth are subject to increased staining immediately following treatment. To help, we will caution you to avoid the foods and drinks that are most likely to cause staining.

Your whitening treatment is not permanent, though we have removed current stains, you will receive new ones from regular use. We recommend whitening touch ups yearly.

• 
Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Veneers


Cosmetic Dentistry
•  Bonding
•  Teeth Whitening
•  Porcelain Veneers
•  Implants
Porcelain veneers are a great cosmetic procedure that allows you to get the gorgeous, even smile you always wanted. They cover up imperfections, and last for many years. If you want to find out if you would be a good candidate for porcelain veneers, give us a call at (210) 598-8933. We will set up a consultation with one of our doctors to take a look at your smile.

What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers are super thin sheets of porcelain that are placed on your teeth to cover imperfections in your smile. They are great at hiding all sorts of problems, such as chips, cracks, and discoloration. Teeth that have been worn down over time are also good candidates for dental veneers.

The Procedure

Veneers take a few appointments to be placed. First, you need to have your teeth examined. Then a small bit of your teeth will be shaved off to make room for the veneers. Once the tooth has been prepared, a mold is made that will be used to create the veneers. We send the mold to our dental lab who crafts the veneers.

While you are waiting for the veneers to be made, we will place temporary veneers on your teeth. When we receive your veneers from the lab, it will be time to come back in to see us. We will take the temporary veneers off and place the permanent veneers on your teeth. Any imperfections or uneven spots will be buffed, and your veneers will then be cemented in place.

Porcelain veneers at Excellent Dental Specialists.

Caring for Porcelain Veneers

Your veneers should last you anywhere from 5–15 years, depending on how careful you are with them. The more protective you can be of them, the longer they are going to last. Think of veneers as a piece of glass. If you have thick glass, it can withstand a lot of abuse. However, the thinner the sheet of glass, the less damage it can take before it breaks. The same goes with your veneers.

You need to brush them and floss, same as you would with your natural teeth. Plus, your doctor at Excellent Dental Specialists is going to check on them each time you come in to see us. Porcelain veneers can still stain and chip the same way your natural teeth do, so be careful when wearing your veneers. Avoid drinking coffee and wine on a regular basis, and don't eat a lot of staining foods like curry and beets, without making sure to brush afterward. These simple choices can lead to increased longevity for your veneers.

We can help you get dental veneers to cover up minor imperfections. Give us a call at (210) 598-8933 and let us set up a time for you talk about it. If you are a good candidate for veneers, we can set up a time for you to get the whole process started!

Specialties
Periodontics
• 
Gum Disease

Gum Disease


Periodontics
•  Gum Disease
•  Scaling & Root Planing
•  Soft Tissue Grafts
•  Pinhole Surgical Technique
Keeping your teeth in good condition is an important part of maintaining your overall health. When you fail to do this, you are opening up the door to a whole host of health issues that could require you to undergo rigorous and costly treatment plans. One of the worst things that can happen if you let your oral health fall by the wayside is the development of gum disease. This chronic condition can be incredibly devastating to both the form and function of your mouth, which means that it could affect the way you look as well as the way you feel, speak, eat, and swallow. At Excellent Dental Specialists, we can help diagnose and treat gum disease in order to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is a condition that can develop when the bacteria in our mouths is not cleaned properly. The first stages of gum disease are often known as gingivitis. These particular stages are easily treatable as long as you visit our office routinely, and can usually even be reversed with proper treatment and care. Are you wondering what symptoms might help alert you to the presence of gingivitis? Let’s take a look!

The first thing that you might notice if you are suffering from gingivitis is that your gums are inflamed and bleed easily. They feel swollen, in other words, and you often see blood on your toothbrush or in the sink after brushing and flossing your teeth. Again, this kind of gum disease is usually reversible if you see a dentist and submit to routine treatment.

Graphic showing a healthy tooth and a PeriodontitisThe next stages in gum disease are known as periodontitis, and they are the most serious stages of the disease. If gingivitis is not treated, it can turn into periodontitis, where your gums will pull away from your teeth and form areas that develop infection. As this infection grows beneath the gums of your teeth, your body’s immune system will attempt to fight the bacteria. This can lead to a loss of gum tissue as well as bone. Eventually, your teeth could become loose and need to be removed due to the damaging effects of gum disease.

How does gum disease form?

Gum disease develops when bacteria and detritus in your mouth form plaque that is not removed by brushing or flossing. It turns into tartar, which must be removed by a dental professional. Should you fail to have this tartar removed, then you might end up with gingivitis, the first stages of gum disease, due to the irritating presence of tartar harming your gums.

Risk Factors

There are some health factors that may put you at risk for gum disease. They include the following:
•  Diabetes
•  Smoking
•  Medication Use
•  Hormonal Changes
•  Certain Illnesses and Treatments
•  Genetics

As you can see, there are a variety of risk factors that could play a role in the development of gum disease. The best option is to keep an eye on your teeth and visit us regularly! Give us a call at (210) 598-8933 today to schedule a cleaning!

• 
Scaling & Root Planing

Scaling and Root Planing


Periodontics
•  Gum Disease
•  Scaling & Root Planing
•  Soft Tissue Grafts
•  Pinhole Surgical Technique
Untreated gum disease, which starts as gingivitis, can quickly progress into periodontal disease. Your inflamed gum tissue can pull away from your teeth, leaving crevices for bacteria to fall into. These bacteria can lead to infections in your teeth and jawbone. As a result, your jawbone, teeth, and gums can begin to deteriorate. Bacteria below the gums cannot be reached with regular brushing and flossing—at this point scaling and root planing become necessary. At Excellent Dental Specialists, we are highly trained in this procedure and can help you begin the healing process.

Scaling

Plaque is the sticky white film you often find on your teeth. Brushing can help remove it, but when it is not removed, it hardens and turns into tartar. This tartar pushes on your gums, causing irritation and inflammation. It cannot be removed by brushing and requires our expertise to remove. We use special scaling tools to remove plaque and tartar buildup both on the surface of your teeth and below the gum line, while using an irrigation tool to deliver an antibacterial solution. If your gums are especially sensitive, we can first numb them to help ease any discomfort during the procedure.

Root Planing

Root planing is a procedure that smooths the surface of your roots, removing tartar, bacteria and other dangerous toxins. It allows your gums to heal, and the smooth surface prevents new bacteria from taking hold.

The Procedure

Before scaling and root planing, you will receive a thorough examination. We will take a look at the damage done to your teeth and gums as well as the amount of buildup on your teeth. We will measure the pockets in your gums, where bacteria are likely to be hidden and perform x-rays to check on the condition of your jawbone. These procedures will help us to confirm that scaling and root planing is the correct course of action and then your teeth will be cleaned.

Benefits

Scaling and root planing have several benefits:
•  Plaque and tartar is removed, as is bacteria. This helps to ease inflammation and irritation.
•  The procedure helps to prevent new bacterial growth.
•  No surgery is required. If your gums are particularly sensitive, however, we can administer an anesthetic.
•  It prevents tooth loss, bone deterioration and other severe health issues that could occur if bacteria were to enter your bloodstream.
•  Gum disease can be stopped and the effects reversed.
•  You can get your confidence back. Severe gum disease can not only affect the appearance of your smile (receding gums), it can also have a negative impact on your breath. With your teeth thoroughly cleaned and the bacteria gone, your breath will be fresher. Once your gums begin to heal, you can start smiling again.

Smiling man who received scaling and root planing service at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.

Continued Care at Home

Scaling and root planing is a treatment for periodontal disease, but it is not a permanent solution. You must still take preventative measures. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily and use an antibacterial mouthwash for the best results. We recommend that you come in for cleanings and exams at least twice a year so we can try to detect early signs of gum disease or other oral health issues, thus preventing serious issues before they occur.

If you have been plagued by periodontal disease, scaling and root planing can help you get your oral health back. Call us at (210) 598-8933 today to schedule your appointment.

• 
Soft Tissue Grafts

Soft Tissue Grafts


Periodontics
•  Gum Disease
•  Scaling & Root Planing
•  Soft Tissue Grafts
•  Pinhole Surgical Technique
Periodontal disease is a serious condition that can greatly affect the health of your mouth. Bacteria travel below the gum line and can infect your teeth and your jawbone. As a result, your jawbone weakens and your teeth may become loose and potentially fall out. One of the most common signs of periodontal disease is gum recession. As your gums recede, the roots of your teeth become exposed. This not only causes sensitivity to temperature, acid, spice and salt, it also greatly increases your chances of experiencing tooth decay. After periodontal treatment, a soft tissue graft can cover your exposed roots, and reverse the effects of gum disease. At Excellent Dental Specialists, we have the expertise to perform soft tissue grafts all while providing you a safe and comfortable environment.

What is a soft tissue graft?

A soft tissue graft is a surgical procedure in which tissue from another area of your body, most frequently the roof of your mouth or surrounding gums, is removed and then placed over your affected teeth. There are some instances where tissue from a donor is necessary. The donor tissue, whether it is yours or from another, is stitched in place and allowed to grow into the existing tissue, bringing your gums back to a healthy state.

Types of Soft Tissue Grafts

There are three types of soft tissue grafts:
•  Connective tissue graft. This graft requires a small incision on the roof of your mouth. Tissue from under the flap is removed to be used. The tissue is stitched to your gums and the flap is stitched closed.
•  Free gingival graft. Tissue is taken directly from the roof of your mouth, rather than from under a flap. Again, the donor tissue is stitched in place over your affected teeth and the wound at the roof of your mouth is treated.
•  Pedicle graft. This graft uses surrounding healthy gum tissue. The healthy tissue is split and manipulated to cover the areas of recession.

Benefits

There are three major benefits of a soft tissue graft:
•  The procedure gives you a healthier mouth and prevents new infection from occurring. The grafted tissue grows into the existing tissue and attaches to the teeth. This protects the integrity of your jawbone as well as the roots of your teeth.
•  The roots of your teeth are saved from sensitivity, thus allowing you to enjoy all of your favorite foods once again.
•  You will regain confidence. Gum recession makes your teeth appear longer, and can make you look older, and you may become shy about smiling. A gum graft restores the health of your gums and will allow you smile without worry once again.

Woman smiling after soft tissue graft at Excellent Dental Specialists.

Am I a candidate?

Candidates for a soft tissue gum graft are those who have suffered from receding gums and are experiencing tooth sensitivity. You may be embarrassed by your smile. If your gum recession was due to periodontal disease, you must first have this condition treated. You must be in overall good health. It is also recommended that you be a nonsmoker, or at least be willing to quit both for a time before the procedure and while you heal, as smoking can slow the healing process and lower your chances for a successful graft.

If you have suffered from gum recession, contact us at (210) 598-8933 today for more information about soft tissue grafts or to schedule your appointment.

• 
Pinhole Surgical Technique

Pinhole Surgical Technique

Woman smiling after pinhole surgical service at Excellent Dental Specialists .
Periodontics
•  Gum Disease
•  Scaling & Root Planing
•  Soft Tissue Grafts
•  Pinhole Surgical Technique
A brand new option for treating receding gums is available, and here at Excellent Dental Specialists, we are certified to be able to perform this cutting edge technique. Instead of having to go through and repair receded gums one or two at a time because of the healing time required, we can now help with many, or all, of your receding gums at the same time. In order to find out more, call us today and schedule your first consultation with us.

What to Do When You Have Receding Gums

If you leave gum disease untreated, your gums are going to recede. It often happens slowly at first, but then speeds up the longer your gum disease remains untreated. Once your gums have pulled back, getting them back in place requires either gum grafting or PST, also known as the Pinhole Surgical Technique. Traditional gum grafts are slow to place, and take a lot of time to heal. Since your mouth is typically used as the source for the gum tissue for a graft, you are left with two places in your mouth that need to heal after each gum graft—the gum that was placed, and the portion of your tissue that it was pulled from.

By using PST, we can change all of that. What we do is create a tiny pinhole in the tissue that is being moved around, then we move it into the position it should be in. Once it is there, we use collagen strips to hold that gum tissue in place where it belongs during the healing process. By the end, you have gums that are up in place on your teeth, and only one or two tiny pinholes in your gums that have to heal, instead of larger incisions and sections of your oral tissues needing to heal up after trauma.

Pinhole Surgical Technique for Receding Gums

There are times where traditional gum grafts are a good option, but far more often, PST is what we are going to use because of the decreased recovery time and the benefits that it can offer our patients. It is not a procedure that many other offices are certified to perform just yet, making it beneficial for you to come in and see us if you want this performed. You do not need to have cuts made in your gums to help restore them to their proper places. What you do need, however, is a dental office that can perform the restoration work, and that is precisely what we are.

Call us here at (210) 598-8933 if you need help restoring your gums after getting your gum disease under control. We can help bring your gums back to their proper positions, and we can help restore your smile. It takes far less time for PST to heal, and gives better results in less time. Find out more by calling us today, and schedule a consultation to get your mouth looked at!

Surgical
• 
Oral Pathology

Oral Pathology

Oral pathology service offered at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.
Surgical Services
•  Oral Pathology
•  Sinus Lift
•  Ridge Augmentation
•  Osseous Surgery
Oral pathology is essentially the study of diseases in, on, or around the mouth and their causes as well as their development, processes, and consequences. It's a branch of healthcare concerned with the physical examination and history of diseases, and it is used by oral surgeons and dentists to help determine the most likely possibilities when it comes to a diagnosis. Many examinations will include taking a look at the mucosa, or the soft tissues that line your mouth. This kind of skin has a very specific color and texture, and a difference in either could indicate health problems. You might also be asked to give a biopsy, which will then be used for diagnostic purposes.

What are some diseases that can be identified using oral pathology?

Oral pathology is an important part of medicine that seeks to identify and treat diseases and conditions pertaining to the oral and maxillofacial regions. Perhaps the most well known and most serious issue that could be identified is oral cancer, however, you should understand that not every issue that causes a change in these areas will necessarily be related to cancer. Diabetes, for example, can cause changes that are often identifiable by oral pathologists or dentists. If you are called in to give a biopsy or undergo an examination, do not panic and assume the worst.

How are pathological diseases treated?

In general, pathological occurrences and diseases are not overly painful, life-threatening, or disfiguring when caught early. The prevalence of oral cancer is rising, however, particularly among men. It is vital to catch this disease as early as possible as survival chances are around 80% when the issue is found quickly. The treatment of cancer will largely depend upon the type of cancer as well as its location and severity. When it comes to other issues, however, that are not related to cancer, there are a few different treatment options that might apply.

Sometimes antibiotics can help clear up a bacterial infection or aid in the relief of chronic soreness of the mouth. This can help the mucosa return to its normal state, which will in turn work to relieve any pain or discomfort experienced in the region. Oral rinses are another option that might work well to help clear up any symptoms or processes, for example, particularly reactive issues that will benefit from a wash that rinses away a certain type of bacteria.

Finally, oral surgery is a treatment option for oral pathological diseases in certain cases. For example, if the patient in question has non-cancerous growths or cysts, then the best course of action might be to remove them. This can help restore function to the areas, increase the quality of life and comfort level of the patient, and even prevent more serious issues from developing.

If you need oral pathology work done, please contact us at (210) 598-8933 immediately. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner we can help you recover and get back on your feet.

• 
Sinus Lift

Sinus Lift


Surgical Services
•  Oral Pathology
•  Sinus Lift
•  Ridge Augmentation
•  Osseous Surgery
Dental implants are an exceptional way of helping to keep your jaw intact and healthy after losing a tooth. However, the implants need a strong bone to be able to attach to when they are placed into your jaw. Getting a sinus lift may be required for some patients prior to getting dental implants, if the bone at the bottom of your sinus cavity is not quite strong enough to support the implants at this point in time. To find out if you would need a sinus lift, come in and see us at Excellent Dental Specialists, and let us take a look.

Understanding a Sinus Lift

On top of your upper front teeth is what is known as your maxillary sinuses. These sinuses are full of air, and occasionally, the roots of your upper front teeth. If these teeth have to be removed, that can leave a very thin layer of bone behind separating your maxillary sinuses and your mouth. To replace those missing teeth, you need to have a bone that is strong enough to support implants, but with that bone being as thin as it is, that can occasionally be a problem.

For an implant to take hold and fuse with the bone, the bone needs to be both healthy and strong. If your bone is healthy, but weak, a sinus lift is performed to strengthen the bone. That will provide new bone growth in the area, and give you what you need to hold the implants in place.

What Goes Into a Sinus Lift

What we do for a sinus lift is relatively simple. We go in through the premolar or molar area of your upper jaw, and make an incision. Once we can see the jaw bone, we cut into the bone, and get into the maxillary sinus. We lift the membrane that covers the bottom of this cavity, and we put a bone graft in the created space. We then stitch things back up, and allow the bone graft to heal and create new bone. Once there is new bone in this area, it is often enough for us to put a dental implant into. If the bone is pretty strong, we can occasionally do the implant abutment placing and the bone graft together, but this is only done under special circumstances, and needs to be decided before the oral surgery can begin.

Sinus lift service offered at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.

Who should get a sinus lift?

Good candidates for a sinus lift meet many of these criteria, including:
•  You are missing at least one tooth in the rear of your jaw
•  Your missing teeth come from some medical condition or defect from birth
•  The back of your jaw is missing a large quantity of bone
•  Many of your maxillary teeth are missing and you would need the sinus bone graft to support and anchor dental implants

If you want to find out more about a sinus lift, call us here at (210) 598-8933 today and schedule a consultation with one of our amazing oral surgeons.

• 
Ridge Augmentation

Ridge Augmentation


Surgical Services
•  Oral Pathology
•  Sinus Lift
•  Ridge Augmentation
•  Osseous Surgery
Have you talked to your regular dentist about getting a ridge augmentation prior to getting dental implants? If so, then we can help you here at Excellent Dental Specialists. We know how important aesthetics and proper bone structure are when it comes to the tissues of your mouth, and we can go through and help if you need the socket rebuilt or augmented in order to be able to replace a missing tooth. We can help you rebuild your jaw, so you can have a successful dental implant procedure, and regain the confidence and function your missing tooth may be costing you.

What exactly is a ridge augmentation?

A ridge augmentation happens to be one of the more common procedures that we perform in our offices. Once you have a tooth extracted, the outside of the socket sometimes needs to be reshaped, or augmented, to be able to help heal or remain strong. That way, the tissues are able to still look like they did prior to your tooth coming out.

Normally, following a tooth extraction, the socket's gums and bone tissue begin to deteriorate from lack of use. However, some sockets could also deteriorate for other reasons, including gum disease. A ridge augmentation is performed following an extraction. This extraction could be happening at the same time as the augmentation, so you can avoid having a secondary procedure later, or you can even have a ridge augmentation a few years after your extraction. It all depends on the condition of your jaw and gum tissues at the time.

When a tooth is removed from your mouth, your tooth's former socket is empty inside your alveolar ridge. What normally happens is that the socket refills itself with new bone growth initially, then the bone begins to deteriorate when your body figures out that the bone tissue is not needed. However, sometimes after an extraction, this doesn't happen. The socket may have broken during the extraction from the rocking, or it could be due to other circumstances. This can lead to extra problems with the width and the height that remains around that socket.

Ridge Augmentation service offered at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.

Getting a Ridge Augmentation

While it isn't usually a medical necessity to get a ridge augmentation for anything outside of implants, it can be more pleasing aesthetically. If you do want implants, however, it may be necessary to hold the abutments for your implant. We do a bone graft to add height and width to your tooth's socket. We will cut open the gum tissue, put the bone graft on top of your jaw, then take the gum tissue and pull it back over your jaw and the new bone piece. We then stitch it up, and allow it to heal up and fuse together. Once the healing is complete, your new bone will be able to support a dental implant.

For more information on ridge augmentations, or to find out if you need one to be able to have dental implants, give us a call today at (210) 598-8933.

• 
Osseous Surgery

Osseous Surgery

Woman in dental chair for osseous surgery service at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.
Surgical Services
•  Oral Pathology
•  Sinus Lift
•  Ridge Augmentation
•  Osseous Surgery
Maintaining a high degree of oral hygiene and health is vital to live a healthy and comfortable life. And while many people assume this means preventing problems from developing altogether, the fact is that sometimes issues can develop despite our best efforts to keep them from doing so. In these instances, it is important to seek treatment as quickly as possible to minimize the damage and lasting effects that the health issue can cause. Sometimes osseous surgery is recommended to help remove disease from the mouth and teeth and rebuild a patient’s oral health.

What is osseous surgery?

Osseous surgery is a dental procedure that is used to treat a tooth that is surrounded by a pocket of diseased gum tissue that does not respond to other treatments. The surgery is done as a final attempt to save the affected tooth (or teeth) and create an environment that is more conducive to oral health and good oral hygiene. The area should be easier to clean and maintain after the surgery, which should help prevent infection from forming or spreading to other areas of your mouth.

During osseous surgery, the affected tooth is reshaped and smoothed. A shallow pocket is then created around the tooth that should make it harder for aggressive bacteria to grow and survive. The surgery will also thoroughly clean the surface of the roots of your teeth, which should help promote healing while also serving to create an environment less amenable to the growth and proliferation of bacteria.

How do I know if I need osseous surgery?

Osseous surgery is characterized by a pocket around a tooth that is filled with bacteria and diseased gum tissue. It might also be inflamed, red, swollen, and it might bleed easily. The pocket should measure at least 4mm deep or more. When you have these symptoms and the affected area does not respond to other treatment, then it might be time to consider osseous surgery. This is a usually a final effort on the part of your oral surgeon or dentist to save the tooth in question and help the area heal. We will help you decide when it is time to try osseous surgery.

Is the surgery painful?

As with any surgical procedure, osseous surgery requires some aftercare, and it is common to experience some soreness and pain. Stitches will be placed during the surgery that will either dissolve on their own, or will need to be removed between six and ten days after the surgery. Regardless of whether or not you have to come in to remove the stitches, we’ll need to see you around a month after the surgery in order to inspect the area and ensure that it has healed correctly and is on the mend.

If you are in need of dental aid, contact us at (210) 598-8933 right away. Our specialists are experienced and understand how to help. We can move quickly to get you treated and on the way to feeling better.

Endodontics

Endodontics

When your tooth is infected with bacterial decay, a root canal is an effective treatment to save it. In some instances, the root canal may fail and retreatment becomes necessary. Here at Excellent Dental Specialists, we can provide you with the expert care you need when it comes to root canals and the retreatment of failed root canals.

What is a root canal?

A root canal helps to save your tooth when it has become plagued by infection. Infection usually occurs as the result of bacteria eating away at your teeth. Usually, an infection can be discovered due to a significant amount of pain that may linger after the tooth is agitated. It is possible for you not to notice any symptoms, and the infection will be found during a routine exam.

After an infection has been diagnosed, we will treat your tooth. We will use a local anesthetic to numb the area. We drill into your tooth and remove both the pulp and the nerve. The area is cleaned and disinfected, removing all lingering bacteria. We fill the cavity and fill the hole with the same composite material that we use to fill tooth colored fillings. This allows your tooth to remain in your jawbone, thereby preventing your surrounding teeth from shifting or your jaw from resorbing. Under most circumstances, a root canal provides a permanent solution, however, there are some instances when retreatment is necessary.

What causes root canal failure?

There are several reasons a root canal might fail:
•  Not all of the bacteria was removed from the tooth. The bacteria begin to multiply again and cause a new infection.
•  The restoration was cracked or broken.
•  The tooth itself may have suffered damage.

Root Canal Retreatment

Root canal therapy at Excellent Dental Specialists.A root canal retreatment tends to be a more complex procedure than the root canal itself. When you come in for your retreatment, we will give you a local anesthetic to numb the surrounding area. The tooth is isolated from the rest of your teeth to prevent bacteria from entering. We clean the canals again and reshape them as necessary. Sometimes, this part of the procedure can be complex and may require a second visit. If this is the case, we will pack your tooth with a medicated material until your next appointment.

Upon your next visit, we will thoroughly clean the canals. When we are absolutely certain that all bacteria have been removed, we will pack the canal and finish the procedure with a filling.

If your first root canal has failed, retreatment may be necessary to save your tooth. Call us today at (210) 598-8933 for more information or to schedule your appointment.

Root Canal & Retreatment

Root Canal and Retreatment

When your tooth is infected with bacterial decay, a root canal is an effective treatment to save it. In some instances, the root canal may fail and retreatment becomes necessary. Here at Excellent Dental Specialists, we can provide you with the expert care you need when it comes to root canals and the retreatment of failed root canals.

What is a root canal?

A root canal helps to save your tooth when it has become plagued by infection. Infection usually occurs as the result of bacteria eating away at your teeth. Usually, an infection can be discovered due to a significant amount of pain that may linger after the tooth is agitated. It is possible for you not to notice any symptoms, and the infection will be found during a routine exam.

After an infection has been diagnosed, we will treat your tooth. We will use a local anesthetic to numb the area. We drill into your tooth and remove both the pulp and the nerve. The area is cleaned and disinfected, removing all lingering bacteria. We fill the cavity and fill the hole with the same composite material that we use to fill tooth colored fillings. This allows your tooth to remain in your jawbone, thereby preventing your surrounding teeth from shifting or your jaw from resorbing. Under most circumstances, a root canal provides a permanent solution, however, there are some instances when retreatment is necessary.

What causes root canal failure?

There are several reasons a root canal might fail:
•  Not all of the bacteria was removed from the tooth. The bacteria begin to multiply again and cause a new infection.
•  The restoration was cracked or broken.
•  The tooth itself may have suffered damage.

Root Canal Retreatment

Root canal therapy at Excellent Dental Specialists.A root canal retreatment tends to be a more complex procedure than the root canal itself. When you come in for your retreatment, we will give you a local anesthetic to numb the surrounding area. The tooth is isolated from the rest of your teeth to prevent bacteria from entering. We clean the canals again and reshape them as necessary. Sometimes, this part of the procedure can be complex and may require a second visit. If this is the case, we will pack your tooth with a medicated material until your next appointment.

Upon your next visit, we will thoroughly clean the canals. When we are absolutely certain that all bacteria have been removed, we will pack the canal and finish the procedure with a filling.

If your first root canal has failed, retreatment may be necessary to save your tooth. Call us today at (210) 598-8933 for more information or to schedule your appointment.

Sleep Dentistry

Appliances For Treating Sleep Apnea

Here at Excellent Dental Specialists, we use the latest technology to make your health as outstanding as possible. This includes the latest in sleep medicine. No matter what your ailment is, if there is a way for us to help, we will do everything we can. For some general information, we have provided a synopsis of sleep medicine and the appliances that we can use for treatment, but for more specifics or a consultation, give us a call today!

What do dentists have to do with sleep?

While sleep conditions are diagnosed by a sleep specialist, some treatment options are pioneered by dentists. Obstructive sleep apnea and snoring in adults can be managed using oral appliances that benefit the user while they try to sleep by keeping symptoms at a minimum or erasing them entirely.

What is an oral appliance?

An oral appliance is a mouthpiece that is worn during sleep to minimize symptoms for a more restful night. They are worn like a mouthguard or a retainer and are used to support your jaw. Sometimes, when sleeping, your jaw can shift and collapse your airways. This causes snoring and can lead to worse sleep problems. The mouthpiece supports the jaw and keeps it forward so that airways stay open for a good night’s rest.

Treatment Options

Sleep apnea is slightly different. Sleep apnea is a more severe sleep disorder in which a patient experiences interrupted breathing throughout the night and can stop breathing up to 100 or more times per night. If you have been diagnosed by a certified physician to have sleep apnea, there are other options for you. Those with sleep apnea are given a CPAP machine to wear and use while sleeping. CPAP stands for Continued Positive Airway Pressure and is a machine that pumps air into your airways to stimulate regular breathing throughout the night.

Dental appliance for sleep apnea at Excellent Dental Specialists located in San Antonio, TX.It is at a high enough pressure that obstructions can be worked through to keep your breathing healthy and give you a good night's sleep. A CPAP machine is a face mask, and not everyone can adhere to that system of treatment. If you cannot for whatever reason use a CPAP machine, there are mouthpieces and similar oral appliances available specifically for sleep apnea. If none of those options are feasible or effective enough for you, there are also surgeries that we can perform to open up those passageways to better your health and decrease any risk.

Finding out you have a sleep disorder can be stressful if you are unsure where to turn or what to do. Excellent Dental Specialists will help you find the best possible solution and work with you through any possible hiccups. Your well-being is our number one priority, and our caring staff can assure you that you are in the best hands. If you are looking for a solution to your sleep disorder needs, give us a call today at (210) 598-8933 and we will work with you one on one to find your happy ending and good night's sleep.

TMJ Disorder

TMJ Disorder

Have you been suffering from what you think may be jaw pain? At Excellent Dental Specialists, our team of doctors know all there is to know about your TMJ, from what could be causing you pain to how to treat it so that the pain goes away.

What is your TMJ?

Your TMJ is your temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that fuses the upper portion of your jaw that is connected to your skull, to the lower portion of the jaw. This joint is used for speaking, chewing, and nearly every motion your mouth makes. It is under a great deal of pressure on a daily basis and can become inflamed due to a wide variety of problems. If you end up with a disorder of the TMJ, it can be something you may have to deal with for the rest of your life.

What could be causing your TMJ pain?

Because of how much your TMJ is used, it can become inflamed relatively easily. You could chew your food and it could hurt, or you could even be speaking and feel the problems start. Typically, people with TMJ disorders note a clicking in their jaw when their pain starts up, along with a locking feeling in the joint itself. There are other symptoms that can come along with this type of disorder, including:
•  Migraine headaches
•  Pain in the jaw itself, even radiating down towards the front teeth
•  A popping feeling when the joint is used
•  Severely tender jaw muscles
•  Sudden misalignment of the upper and the lower jaw

This pain could be coming from how you use the joint, or even from how you sleep. However, these symptoms often do not last long. If you get to where you are diagnosed with a TMJ disorder, the symptoms are regular and can even affect your quality of life.

Bruxism can cause this type of pain as well. Grinding and clenching your teeth can put a lot of pressure not only on the teeth but also the jaw joint and muscles themselves. If you notice that you regularly clench your teeth or that you wake up with sore teeth and jaw muscles, this could be the cause and should be talked about when you come in to see us.

Woman with TMJ pain.

How is TMJ pain treated?

There are many treatments that can help pain with your TMJ. The most common include:
•  Wearing an oral appliance to stop your clenching
•  Reducing your stress
•  Meditating to relax your muscles
•  Medications to relax the muscles
•  When all else fails, jaw surgery may be required

Give us a call at (210) 598-8933. We will set up a time for you to be examined and help you find relief. You don’t have to live in pain, but it takes special know-how to treat problems of the TMJ.

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