SERVICES

Dr. Waite & Associates has provided personalized dental care to thousands of families. Our patients come from near and far to experience the warm, individualized care we provide, We pride ourselves in utilizing the most modern equipment and methods available.

 

In order to provide nothing but the best to out patients, our offices use state-of-the-art technologies in all our procedures. These new technologies allow us to detect dental concerns at early stages, treat your dental issues with precision, and provide stunning and customized restorations. Our premium dental software system maximizes your time and our office efficiency. When you visit our office you can be confident that you are receiving the finest and most advanced in dental care.

Patient receiving an oral cleaning.

Crown & Bridge

Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged, or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown, also referred to as a carp, is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth, but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment.

Crowns may be used to:

  • Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • Restore a fractured tooth
  • Attach a bridge
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had a root canal treatment

A bridge is a method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support, hence the name. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing toot. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The material used is ceramic used to match your natural tooth color.

Cancer Care

Dr. Waite and Associates has been asked to become part of your Cancer Care team by your Oncologist or Radiation Oncologist. A thorough oral evaluation by a knowledgeable dentist before radiation or chemotherapy begins is important to the success of the regimen. Ideally, this exam is scheduled 1 month prior to the start of treatment. The dentists and supporting staff in our practice have experience treating the head and neck cancer patient and good communication with Oncologists.

Dental Cleaning

A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take approximately 1 hour. A routine dental cleaning should include scaling and polishing. Cleaning should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. Plaque left untreated can lead to periodontal disease and tooth decay.

Patient receiving an oral cleaning.
A tray of dental tools

Periodontal Disease

The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for one’s teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium include: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these may be a sign of a problem. With proper scaling and root planing, or a deep cleaning, it may be possible to return gum tissue to a healthy state. If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so we may treat it right away. The treatment usually involves a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to have it treated at the first sign of a problem.

Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has led to more modern methods such as electric scalers. This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. To achieve best results, both electric and manual scaling methods are combined for routine cleanings and deep cleanings.

Dentures

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues, There are two types of dentures available, including partial and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while complete dentures are used commonly to replace all teeth. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change in your appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve your smile!

Complete dentures – This restoration method is used to restore your smile and mouth function if all  your teeth have been lost. The dentures are custom created to resemble natural teeth and are positioned into a patient’s mouth to take the place of where the natural teeth used to be. Complete dentures are removable and may require adjustments in order to create a proper fit with the gums and mouth.

Partial Dentures – A removable partial denture is a device used when one or more natural teeth still remain in the upper or lower jaw. They usually consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base which is held in place in the mouth. A fixed partial denture acts the same as a removable denture, but it is cemented into place using the adjacent teeth, as well as creates a support for the remaining teeth to prevent shifting.

A dental assistent holding a set of dentures.

Extractions

Good oral hygiene should always be practiced since the lost of a single tooth can have a major impact upon your oral health and appearance. Although dentists will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there are still some occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted. A tooth may need to be extracted if the following occurs:

  • Severe decay
  • Advanced periodontal disease
  • Infection or abscess
  • Orthodontic correction
  • Malpositioned teeth
  • Fractured teeth or roots
  • Impacted teeth

After careful examination and treatment, the dentist may advise to have  tooth extracted. Before a tooth is removed, the dentist will take an x-ray in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. Based on the degree of difficulty, we may refer you to a specialist called an oral surgeon.

A certain amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected following an extraction, which can be minimized with a pain killer and ice packs applied to the face for 15 minutes at a time. After a routine extraction, discomfort should lessen within three days to two weeks. If you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever, call our office immediately.

Fillings

A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first removed the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.

There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best for you, depending the extent of the repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and cost. Each of the filling materials is briefly explained below:

  • Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years. They may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea, or tobacco.
  • Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are custom created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining, and are about the same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.

Implants

A dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth as a result of injury, periodontal disease, or any other reason. A dental implant is a metal post that is surgically positioned into the jaw. Once in place and bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and generally last 10-20 years. They are also a more favorable approach than bridgework since they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.

To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums, and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits as theses are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.

Dental assistant demonstrating how dentures can be removed or inserted.

Invisalign

girl smiling

The Invisalign® System works by creating a series of trays that will move your teeth gradually until the end result is achieved. At the end of each two-week period, you will switch trays. Throughout the process, you will visit your dentist every six weeks to ensure treatment is progressing as planned. Once your treatment is complete you will likely wear a clear retainer to ensure your new smile stays in place.

Invisalign retainer in a gloved hand

The Invisalign® treatment consists of a series of a clear snap-on, custom fit, removable mouth trays that apply a controlled amount of force to your teeth, forcing them to shift. The system provides the same beautiful results as traditional braces, but since the trays are made of plastic, they are virtually invisible. In additions, because Invisalign® trays are removable, they can be taken out while eating, drinking, brushing and flossing. As with all orthodontic appliances, the cost of Invisalign® varies according to the complexity of the case. However, Invisalign® is generally more expensive than traditional braces. Insurance policies generally cover Invisalign® to the same extent that they cover regular braces.

Night Guards

Custom designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may get hit. In addition, these guards protect the soft tissues if your tongue, lips, and cheek lining. Nightguards are also recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite.

If you have decided a guard is right for you, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth which will then be sent to a lab to make a custom fit guard for you. In most cases you can choose from a variety of colors and styles for your guard. On average, guards last between 3 and 10 years.

Root Canal

Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to the pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early.) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy, also. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth.

Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup. A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.

Sealants

Sealants are used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn’t brush, but because they’re too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time, and you don’t want that. So the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common and serious sleeping disorder that happens when your regular breathing is interrupted during sleep. Snoring is common among patients with sleep apnea but not all snorers have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, although men are more likely to develop the disorder. The risk is also greater for those:

  • Over 40
  • Overweight
  • With large tonsils, large tongue or small jaw
  • With a family history of sleep apnea, with nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies or sinus problems.

Sleep apnea can be treated. A continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) is a device which improves breathing while you sleep. The device supplies air through the nasal passages and the air pressure keeps the airway open while sleeping. Certain oral devices, such as a Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) or Elastic Mandibular Advancement (EMA) appliances, can shift and support the jaw to prevent the airway from collapsing. Research shows that oral appliances can successfully prevent sleep apnea in some mild to moderate cases.

(source: American Dental Association)

Special Needs

Patients unable to  tolerate dental treatment in the office setting can be scheduled for treatment with general anesthesia in the hospital operating room. Most procedures can be scheduled as out-patient; with the patient arriving at the surgery center in the morning and returning home that afternoon. Most medical insurance carriers including Medicare and Missouri Medicaid will cover hospital costs if medical necessity is established.

TMJ Treatment

TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of the skull; mandibular as in the mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it’s where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.

Problems in this area can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Pain in the jaw muscles
  • Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face

Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.

Veneers

Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.

The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. this method is usually referred to as bonding.

The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are aesthetically pleasing.

The advantage to veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.

Whitening

Tooth whitening is a popular procedure to make teeth whiter and brighter, and therefore more attractive. Bleaching can be used to whiten stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. Either way, tooth whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure ideal for most patients. Our office offers two methods of whitening: in-office whitening and tray whitening.

In-office whitening is an ideal procedure for anyone wanting immediate results. Because the entire procedure takes place in our office in about an hour, it is the perfect choice for busy individuals. In this process, a protective gel is applied to your gums to protect the soft tissue. A special light-activated gel is then applied to your teeth and a special light or laser is used to enhance the action of the agent. Finally, we take impressions of your teeth to create custom trays for at home touch-up, and give you instructions for keeping your smile bright. The result is dramatically whiter teeth that will last for years.

Tray whitening is a less expensive whitening treatment you can use while in the comfort of your own home to gradually whiten teeth. We will first take an impression of your teeth to create a customized clear tray that you will wear to whiten your teeth. Within a few days your trays will be ready to be picked up and we will show you how to apply the special bleaching material to the trays. The whitening gel trays should be work 30-60 minutes up to twice a day, or overnight, depending on level of sensitivity. At the end of this period you will see maximum whitening results that are nothing short of dazzling. Occasional treatment can be used at your convenience to maintain your new smile.

Patient receiving a dental cleaning
itero scanner

Technologies

Dr. Wait & Associates has provided personalized dental care to thousands of families. Our patients come from near and far to experience the warm, individualized care we provide, We pride ourselves in utilizing the most modern equipment and methods available.

 

In order to provide nothing but the best to out patients, our offices use state-of-the-art technologies in all our procedures. These new technologies allow us to detect dental concerns at early stages, treat your dental issues with precision, and provide stunning and customized restorations. Our premium dental software system maximizes your time and our office efficiency.

Auto Appointment Reminders

we use an automated appointment reminder system that will email you prior to your scheduled appointment time to remind you of your appointment. Our office staff will also contact you to confirm your scheduled visit. If you are not home, a message will be left on your voicemail. We kindly ask for your commitment to your exclusive appointments with our team. Should you need to make a change to your appointment date or time, we would appreciate 48 hours advance notice.

Cone Beam

A more detailed physical manifestation of your mental picture and a new dimension of insight into the clinical situations you encounter every day. Affordable, safe, and customizable to fit the needs of both general and specialized practices, our 3D imaging systems represent the most comprehensive lineup of 3D units currently available in the marketplace.

A patient receiving an oral X-ray

Digital Imaging & Intraoral camera

We use digital imaging software in our office, which allows us to take a digital picture of your facial features, smile and teeth. Digital imaging allows us to document your dental case and procedures accurately. These images provide us with a permanent record and visual documentation of your treatment.

We use small cameras about the size of a pen, called intraoral cameras, top help clearly see the condition of your teeth and gums. With this advanced technology we ca zoom in on small diseased areas, cracks, chips and work metal fillings with extreme precision. The full-color images taken with the intraoral camera are sent to a computer screen so we can clearly see and diagnose dental problems much earlier than with traditional dental technology. Because images are displayed on our screens, patients will also be able to see areas being worked on and are able to gain a better understanding of dental procedures being performed.

Digital X-Rays

A dental assistant revieiwing a patient's X-rays

X-rays are a focused beam of x-ray particles passed through bone which produce an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This provides the familiar black and white images doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems and disease. Without an x-ray of the whole tooth and supporting bone and gum tissues, there would be no way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.

In our office, we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using up to 90% less radiation than conventional film x-rays. Using this technology, we are able to take an x-ray of your mouth by using a small sensor which records the image of your teeth and sends it to a computer. The result is a highly detailed image of your mouth that can easily be enhanced to better diagnose dental concerns and determine the very best treatment for each case.

Digital Impression System: Itero Scanner

Not only is a digital impression more comfortable, it’s also much more accurate. The scanner takes an incredibly detailed impression of your teeth and gums. Once the scan is complete, your dentist will then have a 3D model of your mouth that can be used to create detailed crowns, bridges, implants and Invisalign clear aligners and retainers. This digital accuracy eliminates the need to retake impressions, keeping your time in the chair to an absolute minimum.

itero scanner

Laser Therapy

Lasers have been used for a long time in medicine and now have applications to improve outcomes in delivery of dental care. They are a great way to enhance dental care for routine and surgical soft tissue procedures. Laser therapy allows for faster healing with less post-operative discomfort. the laser is also a valuable adjunct in treating periodontal disease to help reduce and sterilize pocket depths so the patient can execute their homecare more effectively and ultimately maintain their dentition.

Paperless Charting

Our office is a completely digital (paperless) dental office. This means all x-rays and charting are made and recorded with the aid of the computer. This technology allows us to maintain your dental records electronically, and cuts down on unnecessary paperwork used with traditional paper charting. Traditional paper charting is difficult to keep standardized from doctor to hygienist to assistant. Even handwriting differences and coding make the charts look different. The computer eliminates this problem by using consistent charting methods that are accurate and precise, making it easy to read your dental chart and see up-to-date information. Digital charting standardizes the charting process so it is clear, easy to understand, and enables us to provide on the most accurate and precise care to our patients. When needed, this method also allows us to quickly and securely share information with your other health care providers.

Dental assistant reviewing patient charts.