Our practice can provide a wide range of dental services. We can typically provide every type of dental service without having to refer you to other specialties. This flexibility saves you time and keeps your total dental care within one practice.
Dr. Marx and Dr. Arjes, as general dentist in Kansas City and Gladstone, places emphasis on total preventive care for our patients. Total care begins with regular hygiene visits, regular dental examinations and continued home oral health routines.
Our practice also provides the highest quality services for restoring mouths that have been damaged by dental disease and injury and common problems that require cosmetic dentistry.
A filling is one of the most common procedures a dentist performs. A filling is done to replace or rebuild a section of tooth that has been damaged by a cavity (decay) or breakage (fracture). The goal of filling a tooth (restoring a tooth) is to rebuild the missing part of the tooth and bring it back to its original shape and function.
There are two types of fillings in dentistry:
Silver amalgams – This is the dark colored or black filling you see in some back teeth. It is a mixture of silver and mercury and it tarnishes over time, turning very dark. Amalgams have been around for over 100 years. Its advantage is durability and ease of placement.
- It expands and contracts over its lifetime, often causing small fracture of the tooth around it over time.
- It contains mercury which is controversial but no study has proven amalgam causes harm (See the American Dental Association Website on amalgams).
- Its dark color turns the tooth dark.
Tooth colored fillings (composites) – Composites are a mixture of space age acrylic resin with strengthening particles of tooth colored quartz.
- It is long lasting.
- It can be perfectly matched to the natural tooth color.
- It is moldable by the dentist to form any shape.
- It is almost totally without after effect such as cold and hot sensitivity.
- ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Because composites are bonded to the tooth structure they help rebuild the strength of the tooth. Due to this feature we see less fracture of the tooth over time.
- Tooth colored fillings can show wear and tear after a number of years.
- Tooth colored fillings are not designed to replace large missing portions or breaks of a tooth. This type of damage is better suited for repair by a crown, inlay or onlay. (See Crown, Onlays on this website)
- Over time composites show staining deterioration and eventually have to be replaced.
- If black fillings (amalgams) or tooth colored fillings (composites) lasted about the same amount of time, which one would you choose? Guess what, they do last about the same amount of time.
In our practice we will replace old, broken down amalgam fillings which contain traces of mercury and darken your teeth with white fillings (composites) to restore your smile and teeth to a more natural look and feel.
The goal of dentistry as a profession and my personal mission as a dentist is to preserve my patient’s natural teeth in a healthy, beautiful condition throughout their lifetime. There are situations where removal of a tooth is unavoidable. Some of these situations are:
- A tooth badly destroyed by dental decay to the point it cannot be salvaged.
- Wisdom teeth that just do not have the proper room or position to come into the mouth properly.
- The rare situation where we must remove a tooth or several teeth to make space to allow us to straighten other teeth.
- When gum disease (periodontal disease) has weakened the bone around the tooth to the point we have no alternative but to remove the tooth.
If we must remove a tooth we take great pride in the fact that:
- We can remove the majority of teeth without referring our patients to a specialist.
- We accomplish this routinely with great care and gentle technique without causing discomfort.
- We are able to accomplish this using very gentle use of local anesthetic. We do not use general anesthetic.
The vast majority of our patients prefer and appreciate this and often mention the procedure was completely comfortable as compared to what they had imagined.
I can’t believe it, I didn’t feel a thing.
The biting (chewing) surfaces of our back teeth have many grooves (fissures or valleys) and ridges (cusps) that easily trap food and plaque. For that reason the chewing surfaces on our back teeth are the most common areas of decay. Most adults have had these teeth filled, refilled and even crowned.
What if there was a way to prevent these cavities in the first place, at a young age? There is! Sealants prevent the vast majority of these cavities from starting. Sealants are a thin coating of space age plastic material that flows into the grooves on the biting surface of the back teeth. A special light causes the sealant to lock in and harden, leaving a smooth barrier that keeps out plaque and food but leaves chewing unaffected.
- The biting surface is carefully cleaned of every speck of food, plaque and debris leaving the grooves spotlessly clean.
- The grooves are “conditioned” to make the surface ready for the sealant to bond to the tooth.
- The sealant is carefully flowed into the grooves.
- A special light bonds and hardens the sealant to the tooth.
- The bite is checked to make sure everything is okay.
We have helped thousands of teeth avoid the fate of developing cavities for our patients throughout the Kansas City area. I sealed my children’s teeth when they were very young and neither of them has had a cavity (more than 20 years later).
Sealants are most effective as soon as the permanent tooth is fully erupted through the gum (about 6-7 years of age). But as long as the tooth does not already have a cavity, it is never too late to seal the tooth.