Preventative Care

The best way to protect your oral health is to stop any potential problems before they start. That is why we offer a comprehensive array of preventive care services, designed to maintain excellent oral health, while also providing early diagnosis and treatment of any issues, as they arise.

Our office does not revolve around the standard cookie-cutter “cleaning” that is the same for every patient every time. Rather, we take the time to tailor a hygiene program specific to your needs, to keep you as healthy as possible.

 

Gum Therapy

Plaque and oral bacteria are the building blocks for tooth decay. The examinations that take place as part of a check-up are just as important as removing the plaque and bacteria because they allow us to maintain a thorough record of your oral health and monitor any changes. We follow up-to-date guidelines regarding taking X-rays, using our digital X-ray technology as part of our documentation process. X-rays at regular intervals allow us to pick up on any abnormalities between the teeth, under the gum tissue, and involving the jaw joints or bone. These include:

  • Arestin: antibiotic microspheres that can be inserted into the gum pockets around your teeth for bacterial reduction in adult patients with gum disease.
  • Perio Protect: non-invasive, custom-fit trays that fit over your teeth and are specifically designed to deliver a special gel to the gums that combats inflammation and bleeding.
  • Fluoride: fluoride has been long proven to help strengthen and remineralize teeth and rid them of sensitivity
  • MI Paste: a special prescription toothpaste that uses calcium and phosphate to replenish minerals in your teeth and strengthen them

Ozone Therapy

What is dental ozone therapy, and how does it work?

Ozone, administered either as a gas or as a liquid, kills bad bacteria, fungi, and viruses through the process of oxidation, while having no effect on healthy tissue. Luckily, we are one of only five dental offices in Texas that is certified to offer this game-changing health technology. No reason to have to drive to Dallas or Oklahoma City for the best of care; it’s right here in the panhandle.

Ozone therapy has the following applications in dentistry:

  • For patients with gum inflammation, it kills bacteria in the gums instantly, even in areas that are impossible to reach when brushing and flossing at home. It can be administered as a gas, permeating the tissue and destroying bacteria in the deepest areas where your gums wrap around your teeth.
  • We use ozone to sterilize the tooth before placing all permanent fillings, providing a truly 100% bacteria-free seal for your new filling.
  • Ozone therapy can be used to treat very small cavities, sometimes eliminating the need for a filling altogether, since bacteria boring their way into the tooth are what causes the decay in the first place.
  • Ozone also can be administered as a gas to kill bacteria before it develops into cavities.
  • Ozone gas diffused through plastic trays in your mouth at regular intervals can help keep the balance of bacteria in your gums in check, thus making it possible for you to go longer between hygiene visits and still keep the same ideal results.
  • Even the water used in our ultrasonic hygiene instruments during your cleaning has been infused with ozone to ensure maximum bacterial reduction.

Ozone therapy is considered to be a holistic dental treatment. Many dentists who only apply standard training and education from dental school may not consider offering such holistic procedures, or even know that they exist. Rather than treat the symptoms of an issue, holistic dentistry seeks to address the root cause of the problem. To learn more about ozone therapy, its applications, and its many benefits, request an appointment.

Sealants

When are sealants recommended?

Sealants are made of a flowable liquid plastic material and are applied directly into the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, and then hardened with a special blue light. Sealants provide protection against the accumulation of bacteria and plaque in the grooves of the teeth, where most cavities develop.

We recommend applying sealants to back teeth, which can be the most difficult to reach when brushing and are more vulnerable to tooth decay because of their deep grooves. Sealants are most effective when applied to a child’s permanent molars once they fully erupt.

How long do sealants last?

Typically, sealants offer protection for 3-5 years. During your child’s routine dental checkups, we check each sealant to make sure they are still performing optimally and will recommend replacement if necessary. Patients can extend the lifespan of sealants by refraining from chewing on ice cubes, popcorn kernels or other extremely hard foods.

If your child is around the age of 6 or 12 (the ages when first and second permanent molars erupt), then it is most likely time to have sealants placed. Protecting teeth from cavities during childhood and teenage years (the years that most cavities form), will set up your child for a lifetime of excellent dental health.

Night guards for grinding

Do you notice having sore jaws or headaches after waking up? Have you noticed that your teeth look flat or worn down on the edges? If so, you are most likely grinding or clenching your teeth. This behavior, called bruxism, is very common and can cause serious damage to your teeth and mouth if it is not treated. Untreated clenching and grinding can lead to destructive results long-term.

What causes grinding?

Generally, anxiety and daily stress are the most common causes of isolated teeth grinding. Chronic tooth grinding is a neuromuscular condition that necessitates further evaluation. Tooth grinding, TMJ dysfunction, and sleep apnea are highly correlated. This is why we recommend a home sleep study and a bite screening for any patient we examine that has significantly worn down teeth, to determine what is causing your grinding and how we can stop it permanently.

How can we stop your tooth grinding?

In cases of worn teeth, after the cause of the wear has been isolated, we often recommend one of three types of oral appliances: a traditional night guard, a neuromuscular night guard, or the M2 Sleep/Snore appliance. Each type of guard is custom designed to fit your teeth precisely, and with a secure fit that you can comfortably sleep in. If you grind your teeth, let us help you stop this behavior now to prevent even more serious tooth problems down the road.

Athletic Mouthguards

Anyone who participates in any contact sport benefits from a custom athletic mouthguard. All athletic guards are not created equal. A custom guard made by your dentist fits better, is more comfortable during play, and if done in the neuromuscular position, can increase performance by maximizing your airway and relieving unnecessary tension from your jaw and neck muscles so you can focus solely on the game!

Why is a sports guard important?

Injuries to the face and mouth while taking part in a sport without a guard often occur, and result in the following:

  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Damage to previous dental treatment
  • Injuries to lips and cheeks
  • Injuries to the tongue
  • Jaw or facial bone fractures

Don’t let the game you love lead to a loss of a tooth and an emergency visit to the dentist!

Why choose our sports guards?

You can find a wide assortment of “semi-custom” mouthguards in sporting goods stores, etc. Though readily available, these guards are not on the same level of a guard made from custom-impressions of your mouth by a dental professional, and are certainly not fabricated in your ideal athletic neuromuscular position. All parents want to make sure their children are protected. If your child is an athlete, it’s a great idea to invest in a custom athletic mouthguard from Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo. Contact us before the season starts.

Sleep Apnea Screening

What is a sleep breathing disorder?

‘Sleep breathing disorder’ refers to any problem with maintaining a wide-open, fully functioning airway during sleep. One of the most serious sleep breathing disorders is Sleep Apnea, which occurs when the airway collapses, restricting the flow of oxygen to the body and brain. This problem can happen from a momentary collapse of soft tissue near the back of the tongue, which blocks the airway during sleep. Whatever the cause, the result is the restriction of airflow. Sensors in your brain go off when oxygen level decreases, and cause you to wake up to move and get oxygen. This can happen many times during the night without you even being aware, and this is why you may wake up with residual tiredness.

What are the symptons of sleep apnea?

Snoring is the most common symptom of a sleep breathing disorder. If you or your bed partner snore, this is NOT normal and should be evaluated. Other symptoms of sleep apnea can include weight gain and loss of libido. Left untreated, a sleep apnea patient has a much higher risk of developing certain chronic ailments, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, a stroke, depression, diabetes, and cognitive decline.

How can my dentist relieve sleep apnea symptoms?

We can alleviate the symptoms of a sleep breathing disorder by prescribing a custom made oral sleep/snore appliance. When worn at night, the appliance keeps the lower jaw in its ideal forward resting position and maintains an open airway. Many dentists prescribe sleep appliances that arbitrarily move the lower jaw forward a certain number of millimeters to gain space for the tongue. The difference here at Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo, is that we prescribe sleep/snore appliances in the neuromuscular position. This means that you will not develop muscle soreness or tooth movement with our appliance, as is common with traditional dental sleep appliances.

General Dentistry

When you do not receive dental care at regular intervals, your gums can become inflamed and bleed upon touching them. Healthy gums will not bleed at all upon stimulation, and will maintain a firm, healthy texture.

Individuals with gum disease have almost twice the risk of developing heart disease, as the plaque and bacteria from the mouth enter the bloodstream and accumulate in the arteries. Research also has linked oral bacteria to chronic ailments such as kidney disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Take care of your body by maintaining a thorough regimen of oral hygiene, and encouraging these same good habits in your children. Consider it just as much of a commitment as going to the gym, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep. To learn more about our advanced hygiene department and preventive examinations, let us guide you to your optimal health plan.

 

Tooth-colored fillings

Even with the best brushing and flossing techniques, most people will still develop a cavity at some point in their lives. If it is time for a filling to repair a cavity, our team at Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo will repair restore your tooth with a beautiful and natural tooth-colored filling. Also known as white fillings or composite fillings, we can match the color of these restorations to look indistinguishable from the natural, healthy part of your teeth.

Why choose a white filling?

A composite filling is made of strong filler particles suspended in a resin medium. New modern dental filling materials are far superior to the traditional mercury-containing silver metal fillings that have been used in dentistry since back in the Civil War. A white composite filling is bonded directly to your tooth, and therefore less likely to break or flex and cause any damage to the surrounding tooth structure over time. Composite fillings also adapt well to the natural temperature changes that occur in the mouth every time you eat ice cream or drink hot coffee. By contrast, old metal fillings shrink and expand with temperature changes, much like the mercury found in an old thermometer, which often leads to the filling actually causing fractures in the tooth structure around it. Lastly, our dentists can preserve a greater quantity of your natural tooth structure with modern filling techniques, leaving you with a healthier smile for years to come.

What can you expect from a filling procedure?

First, the area that will be treated will be made numb for your comfort. Then, Dr. Miller or Dr. Esler will remove all areas of decay or weak tooth structure. The tooth is cleaned and sterilized with our multi-step protocol, a dental bonding agent is applied, and then the filling is artfully crafted to blend with your natural tooth. While each patient has different oral health needs, fillings are generally quick procedures, and we regularly complete several in just one appointment for patients.

Porcelain Inlays and Onlays

What is a porcelain inlay/onlay?

If your tooth has a cavity or crack in it that extends to only a certain portion of your tooth, we can likely restore the damage without having to replace the entire exterior of your tooth with a conservative porcelain inlay or onlay. This procedure is very similar to getting a new crown, but with 50% less drilling, and a large amount of your natural tooth structure preserved. Often people call us who have been told they need a crown elsewhere, and we are able to tell them about this more conservative restoration!

Why choose a porcelain inlay/onlay?

All the inlays and onlays used at Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo are made of the same top-grade dental porcelain used to make many of our other dental restorations, including crowns and veneers. This porcelain is matched to your tooth to be indistinguishable when permanently bonded in.

What to expect when getting a new porcelain inlay/onlay?

An inlay/onlay requires two visits. During the first visit, we numb the area, carefully and conservatively prepare the damaged tooth, take a precise impression, and send this to our top-quality laboratory for porcelain fabrication. A temporary restoration is custom made for your tooth to protect it while the lab makes your permanent restoration. During the second visit, the temporary is removed, and the final restoration is bonded in permanently.

Dental crowns

A crown can be used to repair any of the following issues:

  • Broken or fractured tooth
  • Misshapen, short, brittle, or weak tooth
  • Large area of decay in a tooth
  • A weak tooth following a root canal procedure

What to expect when getting a new crown:

When we place a new crown, it replaces and wraps around the entire exterior of a tooth. This protects the interior structure of the tooth, which includes the nerve and the root. Delivering the highest quality crown requires two visits, because we want our excellent lab to be involved in fabricating your restoration with the highest standards. At the first visit, the weak part of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is cleaned and sterilized. An impression of the tooth will be carefully taken and sent to our lab. A well-fitting and comfortable temporary crown will be fabricated over your tooth immediately after the impression to protect it while your permanent crown is being made at our lab. At the second visit, we will precisely bond in your permanent crown.

Types of Crowns

High Grade Esthetic All Porcelain Crowns

These crowns are typically used in highly visible areas of the mouth such as the front teeth. They can be bonded in with a high strength bond and typically last 10+ years.

Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia is a newer dental material with incredibly high flexural strength. This means that these new crowns perform exceptionally well on back teeth, or teeth that hit with heavy force upon biting. They are more opaque than all-porcelain crowns, but advances in the science of zirconia have rendered these crowns very natural looking as well.

Dental bridges

At Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo, Dr. Miller and Dr. Esler can replace missing teeth by designing and placing a fixed/permanent dental bridge. A bridge fills the gap where lost teeth used to be, and stabilizes the teeth next to the space. The replacement teeth (pontics) will look just like your other teeth, and will attach to the teeth next to the space (abutment teeth). As an alternative to dentures, a bridge even can be used to replace all of the upper or lower teeth in your mouth if combined with implants for support.

The impact of living with missing teeth can go far beyond just affecting your ability to chew and making you feel self-conscious about smiling. Long term, living with a lost tooth can cause a variety of major problems, including:

  • TMJ disorder (jaw joint discomfort)
  • Bite misalignment (malocclusion)
  • Teeth that drift out of alignment
  • Damage to current dental work
  • Loss of supporting jawbone
  • Loose teeth
  • Additional lost teeth

We offer three types of bridges:

  • PFM (Porcelain Fused to Metal) Bridges add a metal substructure underneath top-quality dental porcelain. This fabrication allows the porcelain to show when you smile, while the metal is hidden but absorbs the forces in areas where the teeth hit together. This type of bridge is recommended for patients who have a destructive bite (they have worn down or chipped their old teeth).
  • Metal-free Bridges are made entirely of esthetic dental porcelain. This makes it an ideal choice for replacing front teeth, as dental porcelain has the same light-reflecting characteristics as the enamel on your natural teeth. A metal-free bridge also is a great treatment option for a patient who has a metal allergy.
  • Zirconia Bridges, also referred to as dental implant bridges, are placed in the mouth attached to dental implants that are inserted into the jawbone. Made from zirconia, a material known for its high strength, these bridges are the strongest and most comfortable option for replacing all of the upper or lower teeth in your mouth.

Advantages of Bridges

  • Durable. Bridges are one of the longest-lasting restorative treatment options available and typically last for 10+ years.
  • Stable. Bridges are bonded directly into the mouth, as opposed to dentures, which often slip and must be removed to be cleaned. Maintaining a bridge is easy, because you can brush the area as normal to clean it.

Dental bonding

Looking for a fast, convenient, and cost-effective way to improve the look of your teeth? Then ask us about our esthetic composite resin dental bonding techniques.

Bonding with esthetic composite resin can correct any of the following issues in your teeth:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Small fractures
  • Tooth discoloration that does not respond to teeth whitening
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Minor tooth crookedness
  • Repair front tooth decay
  • Close gaps between teeth
  • Reduce sensitivity from exposed root surfaces

Who should consider dental bonding?

Having a dental bonding procedure is easy, and can be completed in just one appointment with no need for our laboratory to be involved in your case. In most cases, the patient will not need any anesthetic. The dentist will slightly roughen and prepare the surface of the tooth, apply a special liquid bonding agent, and then apply the tooth-colored esthetic composite resin to the tooth being treated. The resin is then hardened under a special form of ultraviolet light. Once completed, you may eat, brush, and otherwise treat your tooth normally!

How long does dental bonding last?

Dental bonding unfortunately does not last forever. Generally, bonded resin performs well for 3-5 years, but can last much longer with proper patient care at home. Practicing excellent oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing, in conjunction with visiting our hygienist at your customized regular interval to keep your gums (foundation) healthy around the teeth treated.

Dental implants

When a tooth must be extracted, replacing it is important because supporting bone that previously surrounded the tooth will resorb away. This occurs because the tooth root is no longer there to provide stimulation to the jaw bone. The reason that we recommend implants more frequently than other replacement options, such as dentures or a bridge is because with an implant the jaw bone can still receive stimulating forces, and will not resorb away! A dental implant replaces the tooth root with the implant fixture, a biologic screw made of biocompatible materials like titanium or zirconia, which is inserted into the jawbone. On top of the implant a new crown can be either screwed or cemented on permanently. This means that a new implant tooth will be indistinguishable from the other teeth in your mouth.

Why choose a dental implant?

  • Easy maintenance - you can brush and floss as usual around the implant tooth
  • Permanent - will not slip around or move out of place, which can happen with a partial denture
  • Stabilizes bite - keeps surrounding teeth from drifting around over time
  • Aids in nutrition - eat all the foods you love with no limitations

Any patient who has any gum disease or inflammation cannot receive a dental implant. If you have a missing tooth and also suffer from bleeding gums, then we will need to use Gum Therapy to rid your gums of any inflammation before considering an implant.

What to expect from a dental implant procedure?

During the first implant appointment, Dr. Miller or Dr. Esler will place the implant where your tooth used to be. Once the implant is placed, we wait 3-6 months for total integration; then, it will be time to cover the implant with the new crown, which has been custom-made to look just like your other existing teeth.

If you are missing teeth, an implant is likely the best option for replacement. Come in for a consultation with us to get your questions answered and to improve your overall health by replacing missing teeth!

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is a rapidly evolving mix of art and science. Advances in technology and treatment protocols now mean that every individual can have the beautiful smile they have always wanted.

Our cosmetic dentists Dr. Trey Miller and Dr. Clinton Esler regularly perform comprehensive smile makeovers to achieve smiles worthy of Hollywood. In fact, the dental laboratory we are networked with in California for porcelain veneers is the same one that several Beverly Hills celebrity dentists use.

 

Smile Makeover

From your first appointment in the Smile Makeovers process, you will see that our protocol takes into account your facial appearance, skin tone, hair color, and lip characteristics, as well as your muscles and jaw joints to come up with your own “Perfect Smile” built into your ideal bite. Everything ends up working in harmony just like a beautiful piece of artwork!

Who should consider a smile makeover?

The key component of a Smile Makeover is the treatment plan that we construct together. We create an individualized roadmap and plan for each guest, meaning that you will not undergo any unnecessary or repetitive treatments while in pursuit of your desired smile. When tried and true protocols are followed within the framework of meticulous planning, the result is a beautiful, functional, and life-changing experience that you will be glad you did for decades to come.

A smile makeover can improve

  • Teeth that are chipped
  • Cracked, uneven, or worn down
  • Discolored teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Lost teeth

What procedures can you expect during a smile makeover?

A smile makeover usually involves a combination of the following cosmetic treatments:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Veneers
  • Crowns
  • Tooth colored composite binding
  • Bridges
  • Dental implants

Porcelain Veneers

Do you want to be in love with your own smile? We can make that happen! Here at Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo, we create dazzling smiles using the latest techniques with veneers. Placed over just the front surface of your teeth in a very thin layer, veneers can transform your smile and your overall appearance! We use high-grade aesthetic porcelain to create attractive beautiful smiles every day! Receiving new veneers involves a consultation & records appointment, followed by two procedure appointments at our office. After all records are obtained, both Doctors will study your models and your bite, and then work together to design a prototype of your new smile.

At the first veneer procedure appointment, we will prepare the teeth by removing a minute fraction of tooth structure, and then a detailed impression of the teeth that will receive the veneers is captured. Temporary restorations will then be placed on the teeth to protect the surfaces and let you “test-drive” your new smile. After the permanent veneers have been precisely fabricated using that impression as the model, they are permanently bonded to the teeth during the second appointment. You will leave with an amazing feeling of confidence and ready to smile at everyone you see!

Some of the benefits of porcelain veneers include the following:

  • Extremely durable A porcelain veneer is longer lasting than its composite resin (dental bonding) counterpart and will not be stained by consuming substances like coffee, soda, or wine.
  • Look just like natural teeth At our office, we make sure our veneers look just like an improved version of your natural teeth, not fake or artificial looking. The highest grade dental porcelain, which we always use, reflects light the exact same way as natural tooth enamel does.
  • Non-invasive Placing a porcelain veneer requires removal of just a fraction of a millimeter of tooth structure in most cases.

Dr. Miller or Dr. Esler will conduct a thorough evaluation of your overall oral health before recommending any cosmetic dental procedure. To learn more about veneers or to schedule your cosmetic consultation, request an appointment.

Teeth whitening

We believe in simplicity and convenience. We have found that these options provide the best results in the most convenient way possible for patients. You can finally have the white, bright smile you always wanted. Our whitening procedures produce fantastic, long-lasting results often without any associated teeth sensitivity. Read more about our teeth whitening procedures and to determine which option is best for your individual goals.

We offer professional KöR teeth whitening, which is widely recognized as the world’s most effective teeth whitening system, and is only available through dental professionals. Amazing results can be accomplished with custom whitening trays at home, either with or without an in-office whitening session.

At Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo, we offer two different professional whitening options:

At-Home Professional Whitening:

These treatments use the same professional-grade materials as our in-office whitening treatments, but the patient administers the treatments at home, which makes it an ideal whitening method for busy people who prioritize convenience.

Nighttime Treatment: 2 weeks of at-home nighttime whitening with KöR-Night 16% carbamide peroxide; and periodic at-home maintenance. Daytime Treatment: 2 or more weeks of at-home daytime whitening once or twice a day with KöR-Day 9% hydrogen peroxide; and periodic at-home maintenance.

“MAX” Professional Whitening:

Our most versatile and most effective whitening system that combines at-home whitening with a single in-office whitening visit. This option provides the very best possible whitening result for the typical patient.

Treatment: 2 weeks of at-home nighttime whitening with KöR-Night 16% carbamide peroxide; a single in-office whitening visit utilizing KöR 34% Dual-Activated, Tri-Barrel Hydremide Peroxide gel, and periodic at-home maintenance.

Partial dentures

Living with a any lost tooth will compromise your oral health. If you have multiple missing teeth, the problems magnify. A removable partial denture is the most economical way to replace lost teeth and restore your smile.

What is a partial denture?

A partial denture is a removable oral appliance that can replace multiple lost teeth on either the upper or lower. They have to be removed to be cleaned, and also during sleep. Once created, a partial denture allows a patient to regain the ability to chew and eat properly, while also restoring part of the smile.

Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo offers two types of partial dentures: Both types of partials will have replacement teeth that have been custom fabricated to look like your existing teeth.

Metal

This partial has a metal framework that is covered by acrylic, with replacement teeth bonded to it. The framework includes a series of metal clasps, which attach and wrap around your existing teeth to provide a secure fit of the appliance.

Metal-free

This type of partial denture is recommended for patients suffering from a metal allergy. Metal-free partials also are ideal for patients who are especially concerned about aesthetics; the absence of the metal framework and clasps makes this partial more indistinguishable from your real teeth. They are not as strong as metal partials, but they do come with other benefits, such as being more lightweight, flexible, and comfortable.

"New You" Dentures

Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo offers New You Dentures™, a revolutionary treatment option that represents the cutting edge of current denture technology. Dr. Trey Miller and Dr. Clinton Esler can have you smiling more confidently than ever before! Any dental professional must receive specialized training at the renowned Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry (LVI) before providing New You Dentures™ to patients. Both dentists have studied continuously at LVI and are familiar with every aspect of this exciting and relatively new option for dentures.

The New You Dentures™ Difference

New You Dentures™ are the result of the most advanced denture techniques and technologies, which are applied while taking both cosmetic and neuromuscular principles into consideration. These dentures are designed completely differently than traditional dentures.
Whenever a person loses a tooth, bone loss in the area of missing teeth is an eventual consequence. This is because the supporting bone structure no longer receives healthy stimulation forces from the tooth root. This bone loss will alter your facial structure and overall appearance, causing the sunken-in look that often occurs in people who have experienced tooth loss.

New You Dentures™ combat bone loss by using the jawbone as the anchor to distribute healthy forces throughout the face. New You Dentures™ are handcrafted to look and perform just like natural teeth. They also are designed with your neuromuscular ideal bite taken into account, thus guaranteeing that they will be comfortable and stable long-term. After receiving their New You Dentures™, patients often tell us that they have received compliments from friends and family saying they look healthier and younger! That’s why these dentures are sometimes referred to as “facelift dentures.”

Dental implants

When a tooth must be extracted, replacing it is important because supporting bone that previously surrounded the tooth will resorb away. This occurs because the tooth root is no longer there to provide stimulation to the jaw bone. The reason that we recommend implants more frequently that other replacement options, such as dentures or a bridge, is because with an implant the jaw bone can still receive stimulating forces, and will not resorb away! A dental implant replaces the tooth root with the implant fixture, a biologic screw made of biocompatible materials like titanium or zirconia, which is inserted into the jawbone. On top of the implant a new crown can be either screwed or cemented on permanently. This means that a new implant tooth will be indistinguishable from the other teeth in your mouth.

Why choose a dental implant?

Easy maintenance - you can brush and floss as usual around the implant tooth
Permanent - will not slip around or move out of place, which can happen with a partial denture
Stabilizes bite - keeps surrounding teeth from drifting around over time
Aids in nutrition - eat all the foods you love with no limitations

Any patient who has any gum disease or inflammation cannot receive a dental implant. If you have a missing tooth and also suffer from bleeding gums, then we will need to use Gum Therapy to rid your gums of any inflammation before considering an implant.

What to expect from a dental implant procedure

The first implant appointment, Dr. Miller or Dr. Esler will place the implant where your tooth used to be. Once the implant is placed, we wait 3-6 months for total integration; then, it will be time to cover the implant with the new crown, which has been custom-made to look just like your other existing teeth.

If you are missing teeth, an implant is likely the best option for replacement. Come in for a consultation with us to get your questions answered and to improve your overall health by replacing missing teeth!

Dental crowns

A dental crown can be used to repair any of the following issues:

  • Broken or fractured tooth
  • Misshapen, short, brittle, or weak tooth
  • Large area of decay in a tooth
  • A weak tooth following a root canal procedure

What to expect when getting a new crown

When we place a new crown, it replaces and wraps around the entire exterior of a tooth. This protects the interior structure of the tooth, which includes the nerve and the root. Delivering the highest quality crown requires two visits, because we want our excellent lab to be involved in fabricating your restoration with the highest standards. At the first visit, the weak part of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is cleaned and sterilized. An impression of the tooth will be carefully taken and sent to our lab. A well-fitting and comfortable temporary crown will be fabricated over your tooth immediately after the impression to protect it while your permanent crown is being made at our lab. At the second visit, we will precisely bond in your permanent crown.

Types of Crowns

  • High-grade esthetic all-porcelain crowns. These crowns are typically used in highly visible areas of the mouth such as the front teeth. They can be bonded in with a high strength bond and typically last 10+ years. *Zirconia crowns. Zirconia is a newer dental material with incredibly high flexural strength. This means that these new crowns perform exceptionally well on back teeth, or teeth that hit with heavy force upon biting. They are more opaque than all-porcelain crowns, but advances in the science of zirconia have rendered these crowns very natural looking as well.

Dental bonding

Looking for a fast, convenient, and cost-effective way to improve the look of your teeth? Then ask us about our esthetic composite resin dental bonding techniques.

Bonding with esthetic composite resin can correct any of the following issues in your teeth:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Small fractures
  • Tooth discoloration that does not respond to teeth whitening
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Minor tooth crookedness
  • Repair front tooth decay
  • Close gaps between teeth
  • Reduce sensitivity from exposed root surfaces

Who should consider dental bonding?

Having a dental bonding procedure is easy, an can be completed in just one appointment with no need for our laboratory to be involved in your case.
In most cases, the patient will not need any anesthetic. The dentist will slightly roughen and prepare the surface of the tooth, apply a special liquid bonding agent, and then apply the tooth-colored esthetic composite resin to the tooth being treated. The resin is then hardened under a special form of ultraviolet light. Once completed, you may eat, brush, and otherwise treat your tooth normally! The benefits of dental bonding include the following:

How long does dental bonding last?

Dental bonding unfortunately does not last forever. Generally, bonded resin performs well for 3-5 years, but can last much longer with proper patient care at home. Practicing excellent oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing, in conjunction with visiting our hygienist at your customized regular intervals to keep your gums (foundation) healthy around the teeth treated.

Neuromuscular Dentistry

Neuromuscular dentistry resolves or improves TMJ dysfunction, tooth grinding, and sleep/airway issues, all by reducing stress on the jaw joint itself. The majority of TMJ symptoms originate from stress and tension in the surrounding muscles which are caused by their relationship to the body’s bone structures.

The goal is to reduce stress on the surrounding muscles by modifying the rest position of the jaw to an ideal location, called a physiologic/neuromuscular rest position. Neuromuscular dentists use non-surgical methods to relieve jaw, head, and neck pain, without the need for ongoing use of prescription drugs.

 

Neuromuscular Dentistry

How do Neuromuscular Dentists Diagnose TMJ Dysfunction:

Initial evaluation will allow the neuromuscular dentist insight into the exact causes and symptoms of each case of TMD. Since there are many reasons for jaw pain, migraines, a popping jaw joint, or lockjaw, looking for each cause by thorough evaluation the best place to begin. The doctor will feel around the TMJ joint itself and different muscles around the TMJ to understand how they are interacting and if there may be specific areas of tension leading to symptoms.

Assessment of Jaw Alignment:

Since an estimated 85% of TMD cases are caused by a poorly aligned jaw position, a neuromuscular dentist investigates current resting location and motion of the jaw. It is important to understand how TMD sufferers’ teeth bite together, and if there may be an issue with worn teeth caused by symptoms of neuromuscular tension like night grinding. The jaw path during opening and closing will be analyzed as well.
If it is determined that more thorough diagnostic information is needed, a Bite Test including Sonography, 3D Advanced Imaging, 3D Computerized Jaw Tracking, MLS Cold Laser Therapy, TENS, EMG (Electromyography), and Computerized Bite Analysis is recommended so that the ideal neuromuscular position can be captured. In this position, patients’ symptoms often resolve. With this positional information, the best permanent treatment for each individual patient can be determined and presented.

The next step that a neuromuscular dentist may take to resolve TMD symptoms is to fit a patient for a customized “orthotic,” a device resembling an athlete’s mouthguard. These mouth guards hold the patients resting bite in the ideal neuromuscular position while symptoms are resolving. Many jaw pain patients report near-immediate relief of symptoms they have had for years, as soon as the orthotic is placed.

In order to prevent the jaw from returning to the previous bad jaw position that was causing all the painful symptoms, orthodontics or restorative dentistry (crowns/porcelain onlays) may be recommended. This is done to ensure that the teeth and jaw work together and allow the jaw muscles to permanently work in the correct position, leading to a lifetime of pain-free living.

Neuromuscular Night Guards

Do you notice having sore jaws or headaches after waking up? Have you noticed that your teeth look flat or worn down on the edges? If so, you are most likely grinding or clenching your teeth. This behavior, called bruxism, is very common and can cause serious damage to your teeth and mouth if it is not treated. Untreated clenching and grinding can lead to destructive results long-term.

What causes grinding?

Generally, anxiety and daily stress are the most common causes of isolated teeth grinding. Chronic tooth grinding is a neuromuscular condition that necessitates further evaluation. Tooth grinding, TMJ dysfunction, and sleep apnea are highly correlated. This is why we recommend a home sleep study and a bite screening for any patient we examine that has significantly worn down teeth, to determine what is causing your grinding and how we can stop it permanently.

How can we stop your tooth grinding?

In cases of worn teeth, after the cause of the wear has been isolated, we often recommend one of three types of oral appliances: a traditional night guard, a neuromuscular night guard, or the M2 Sleep/Snore appliance. Each type of guard is custom designed to fit your teeth precisely, and with a secure fit that you can comfortably sleep in. If you grind your teeth, let us help you stop this behavior now to prevent even more serious tooth problems down the road.

Neuromuscular Orthodontics

Orthodontics is about more than just straight teeth! New advances in orthodontic science mean that the whole facial appearance is treated and improved, not just the teeth. Ideal esthetic jaw and facial development can be triggered and controlled by stimulation in the correct areas. Read more here.

Jaw Surgery for Overbites/Underbites May Not be Necessary

Jaw surgery may be an excellent treatment method in complex cases to achieve a very positive outcome. In more mild situations jaw surgery is offered as an option along with orthodontics and patients can choose if they want to have just orthodontics and not proceed to surgery. Some cases can be treated well non-surgically with remodeling strategies Dr. Buck uses. We are happy to provide a consultation to review options for non-surgical jaw development orthodontics.

Extraction of Teeth is Not Necessary for Successful Orthodontics

Often, traditional orthodontists will recommend extracting two to four bicuspids (premolars) to create space for orthodontic straightening purposes. The reason why traditional orthodontists recommend extractions in certain cases is because they see that there is currently not enough room in the dental “arch” to move the teeth into straight alignment without overlapping. At Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo, we use specialized techniques and appliances to create space for teeth alignment without extractions, by actually growing the arches instead of just working with what is there to begin with. Extraction of teeth and then moving the other teeth into their place does not solve the problems that can occur as a result of small dental “arches,” including airway issues and future TMJ joint problems. By utilizing orthodontics as a tool, we can accomplish a wider facial appearance, a broader smile, a fuller appearance of the entire smile line, better lip posture, better chin definition, and a more well-defined neck and jawline.

Orthodontics

Having straight teeth improves the appearance of your smile and reduces your likelihood of serious oral health problems later in life. Many patients, especially adults, are hesitant to seek orthodontic treatment, because of the extended amount of time they may have to wear traditional metal braces.

But, orthodontics is about more than just straight teeth! New advances in orthodontic science mean that the whole facial appearance is treated and improved, not just the teeth. Ideal esthetic jaw and facial development can be triggered and controlled by stimulation in the correct areas. Read more below about short-term and neuromuscular orthodontics and the different types of patients that benefit from each.

 

Short-term Orthodontics

At Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo, Dr. Miller and Dr. Esler offer clear braces through the revolutionary system known as Six Month Smiles, which yields a successful orthodontic outcome of straighter teeth in a fraction of the time. Clear braces, such as Six Month Smiles, employ low-force straightening techniques. This state-of-the-art orthodontic technology uses transparent brackets and tooth-colored wires.

Why should I choose Six Month Smiles?

Our clear braces produce beautiful, straighter-looking teeth in a fraction of the time it takes for traditional metal braces or Invisalign to accomplish the same aesthetic goal.

Benefits of Six Month Smiles include:

  • Enhanced Comfort – Metal braces are known for causing irritation of the lips, gums, cheeks, and tongue. The brackets used in Six Month Smiles are more comfortable because of their low-force construction, as compared to traditional metal brackets.
  • Safer – Other orthodontic treatment methods have a higher risk of root damage or tooth decay. Patients with clear braces also have a significantly reduced risk of having teeth extracted.
  • Less Expensive – Six Month Smiles is less expensive than other clear treatment systems for orthodontic needs, such as Invisalign or ClearCorrect.
  • Great Results – While every patient is different, straighter teeth can be achieved in an average of six months using clear braces.

Are clear braces right for me?

We only recommend Six Month Smiles for patients who are at least 16 years of age and are dissatisfied with the appearance of their smile because of crooked teeth. This form of orthodontic treatment may not be ideal for patients that require realignment all of their teeth to fix a non-ideal bite.
Six Month Smiles is only available from a dental practice that has met the criteria to be a licensed provider of the treatment system. We are proud to offer this state-of-the-art treatment method as part of our commitment to excellence in cosmetic and comprehensive care.
If you are interested in learning more about clear orthodontic systems such as Six Month Smiles, the first step is scheduling a consultation. At this consultation, Dr. Miller or Dr. Esler will evaluate your oral health, discuss your aesthetic goals, and answer any questions you may have about clear braces.

Neuromuscular Orthodontics

Orthodontics is about more than just straight teeth! New advances in orthodontic science mean that the whole facial appearance is treated and improved, not just the teeth. Ideal esthetic jaw and facial development can be triggered and controlled by stimulation in the correct areas. Read more here.

Jaw Surgery for Overbites/Underbites May Not be Necessary

Jaw surgery may be an excellent treatment method in complex cases to achieve a very positive outcome. In more mild situations jaw surgery is offered as an option along with orthodontics and patients can choose if they want to have just orthodontics and not proceed to surgery. Some cases can be treated well non-surgically with remodeling strategies Dr. Buck uses. We are happy to provide a consultation to review options for non-surgical jaw development orthodontics.

Extraction of Teeth is Not Necessary for Successful Orthodontics

Often, traditional orthodontists will recommend extracting two to four bicuspids (premolars) to create space for orthodontic straightening purposes. The reason why traditional orthodontists recommend extractions in certain cases is because they see that there is currently not enough room in the dental “arch” to move the teeth into straight alignment without overlapping. At Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo, we use specialized techniques and appliances to create space for teeth alignment without extractions, by actually growing the arches instead of just working with what is there to begin with. Extraction of teeth and then moving the other teeth into their place does not solve the problems that can occur as a result of small dental “arches,” including airway issues and future TMJ joint problems. By utilizing orthodontics as a tool, we can accomplish a wider facial appearance, a broader smile, a fuller appearance of the entire smile line, better lip posture, better chin definition, and a more well-defined neck and jawline.

TMJ Treatment

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction, or TMD, includes chronic pain, clicking, popping, or locking that affects one or both jaw joints’ ability to function correctly. TMD can cause excessive wearing down of the teeth, severe facial pain, and relentless headaches. Dr. Miller and Dr. Esler both have advanced training in this specialized area of dentistry, and help patients regain an active lifestyle free from the annoying and debilitating symptoms of TMD. Dr. Esler holds Fellowship status with the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry (LVI), the finest postgraduate dental institution in the world. Dr. Miller has completed many  advanced courses at LVI as well, and anticipates earning his Fellowship status this year.

 

Diagnostic Evaluation

What makes a dentist a “TMJ Dentist,” or “Neuromuscular Dentist”?

Neuromuscular dentistry resolves or improves TMJ dysfunction, tooth grinding, and sleep/airway issues, all by reducing stress on the jaw joint itself. The majority of TMJ symptoms originate from stress and tension in the surrounding muscles which are caused by their relationship to the body’s bone structures. The goal is to reduce stress on the surrounding muscles by modifying the rest position of the jaw to an ideal location, called a physiologic/neuromuscular rest position. Neuromuscular dentists use non-surgical methods to relieve jaw, head, and neck pain, without the need for ongoing use of prescription drugs.

How do Neuromuscular Dentists Diagnose TMJ Dysfunction?

Initial evaluation will allow the neuromuscular dentist insight into the exact causes and symptoms of each case of TMD. Since there are many reasons for jaw pain, migraines, a popping jaw joint, or lockjaw, looking for each cause by thorough evaluation the best place to begin. The doctor will feel around the TMJ joint itself and different muscles around the TMJ to understand how they are interacting and if there may be specific areas of tension leading to symptoms.

Assessment of Jaw Alignment:

Since an estimated 85% of TMD cases are caused by a poorly aligned jaw position, a neuromuscular dentist investigates current resting location and motion of the jaw. It is important to understand how TMD sufferers’ teeth bite together, and if there may be an issue with worn teeth caused by symptoms of neuromuscular tension like night grinding. The jaw path during opening and closing will be analyzed as well. If it is determined that more thorough diagnostic information is needed, a Bite Test including Sonography, 3-D Advanced Imaging, 3-D Computerized Jaw Tracking, MLS Cold Laser Therapy, TENS, EMG (Electromyography), and Computerized Bite Analysis is recommended so that the ideal neuromuscular position can be captured. In this position, patients’ symptoms often resolve. With this positional information, the best permanent treatment for each individual patient can be determined and presented.

TMJ Treatment Options

Healing Orthotic Appliance

Following the diagnostic evaluation, a possible next step our dentists may take to resolve TMD symptoms is to fit a patient for a customized “orthotic,” a device resembling an athlete’s mouthguard. These mouth guards hold the patients resting bite in the ideal neuromuscular position while symptoms are resolving. Many jaw pain patients report near-immediate relief of symptoms they have had for years, as soon as the orthotic is placed.

MLS Laser Therapy

MLS Laser Therapy, sometimes called Cold Laser Therapy, is an advanced, non-invasive treatment for pain management. “MLS” stands for Multi-wave Locked System, meaning multiple light wavelengths are used within the same laser. Because of these multiple wavelengths, this laser is able to simultaneously block multiple sources of pain in one area, as well as initiate cellular repair and growth in the area.

MLS Laser Therapy works because the laser boosts cellular energy, allowing your tissue to absorb nutrients more quickly while also increasing blood circulation, which means bodily nutrients are delivered to the painful area more quickly as well. It’s these processes that help promote fast healing and recovery in patients.

MLS Laser Therapy treats sports injuries to muscles and joints, nerve pain, arthritis, and on a more dental-specific level - tooth pain, shoulder/neck pain related to a bad bite, and TMJ joint pain. We also use it during our TMJ/Smile Makeover treatment protocols to help relax and reset sore, damaged muscles before taking the bite we will restore your mouth to. We have been getting incredible results using this!

Treatment with the MLS Laser takes only 10 minutes, with the number of treatments needed customized to your level of pain and discomfort.

If you have any of the types of pain mentioned above and would like to learn more about this treatment option for you, please contact us and we will happily answer any questions!

Orthodontics and Restorative Treatment

In order to prevent the jaw from returning to the previous bad jaw position that was causing all the painful symptoms, orthodontics or restorative dentistry (crowns/porcelain onlays) may be recommended. This is done to ensure that the teeth and jaw work together and allow the jaw muscles to permanently work in the correct position, leading to a lifetime of pain-free living.

Stabilizing Nighttime Neuromuscular Appliance

Some patients find that they are comfortable after completion of initial diagnostic appliance (orthotic) therapy and are feeling great, but for whatever reason do not wish to continue treatment and make the healthy bite changes permanent. In cases like this, we will recommend a Stabilizing Nighttime Neuromuscular Appliance. This appliance is only worn at night, but at least for the nighttime hours, the jaw is held in the physiologic position, thus letting the joints and muscles relax and decompress. For patients with mild TMJ problems, this solution might be enough to keep them acceptably comfortable all the time, but since this solution allows the jaw to return to the “bad bite” during the day, patients with moderate to severe TMJ problems might regress and see symptoms return.

Bio Dentistry

Both Dr. Miller and Dr. Esler are highly trained in the science of dental materials, giving them the perspective to offer the best options for tooth restoration to each patient. After all, our commitment is “excellence in cosmetic and comprehensive care,” and we stand by that promise with each recommendation we make.

 

Mercury-free Dentistry

These days, more than ever before, people do not want mercury fillings in their mouth. Who can blame them? These types of dental fillings have been placed dating back to the Civil War. The only reason they are still used at all is because they are cheap and they are easy to place. Even dentists who place and remove metal mercury fillings are required to have high-grade mercury separators in our water lines so that mercury doesn’t accidentally get spilled into our sewage and water treatment systems. As of today, is illegal to place metal mercury fillings in 28 countries around the world.

So even though there are a number of American studies that show that these fillings are acceptably safe, we do not recommend them to our patients because we know that there are much better options available. Whether patients are concerned about health issues, toxicity, or simply don’t want dark grey fillings in their teeth, new advances in technology for placing beautiful, white, esthetic restorations mean that patients have the option to choose something better.

At Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo, we believe that bonded adhesive composite fillings are far superior to older metal mercury fillings. This is why we only recommend the two best types of restorations: porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain is beautiful, translucent, and highly durable when created by a top-notch dental laboratory technician. There is much less removal of tooth structure with porcelain restorations (inlays and onlays). The porcelain has equal strength as the original tooth and is actually bonded in, rendering it just as strong as the original tooth. Porcelain is used to repair teeth that have broken or chipped, or when teeth have large, cracked, metal fillings. Composite resin is a tooth colored plastic that can be placed in one visit. Generally, composite is a great option for smaller restorations, and is an excellent replacement alternative to most mercury fillings.

Laser Dentistry

With our state-of-the-art dental lasers, we are able to do certain procedures much more comfortably and efficiently! We mainly use our dental laser for gum treatments such as gingival esthetic recontouring. Do you or someone you know have a “gummy smile?” Gingival recontouring is used to make short stubby teeth appear longer and more natural when you smile. This can be now be done blade-free with no bleeding and much faster healing time thanks to this technology. In addition to this, we have also invested in a separate laser, called the DIAGNOdent Laser. This laser functions by helping us to detect areas of decay and bacteria inside your teeth much more thoroughly than by visual inspection alone. By examining your mouth with this laser, we can help to treat any dental decay as it begins, BEFORE it starts to cause you pain or discomfort.

Laser dentistry also helps make routine restorative treatments, such as crown appointments more comfortable. It can even be used during hygiene visits to kill harmful bacteria around your teeth. To find out more about how laser dentistry can benefit you and give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of, let us help you today.

Get the beautiful,
natural smile you deserve.