Family Dentist in New Port Richey, FL
Comprehensive General Dentistry
For over 30 years, the dental practice of Dr. Paul Miller, DDS has provided comprehensive, caring dental care in New Port Richey, Florida. As a family dental office, our team is proud to serve patients of all ages. We are dedicated to providing our patients with quality dentistry and a comfortable experience. We believe in building partnerships with our patients. Your needs come first, and we are committed to providing you with dental services that improve your immediate and long-term oral health.
Compassionate Family Dental Care in New Port Richey, FL
The dental office of Paul Miller DDS has provided family dental care in New Port Richey, FL since 1982. Our practice provides a full range of general and cosmetic dentistry services to patients of every age. We are committed to building lasting partnerships with our patients. Helping you to achieve and maintain great oral health is our number one goal.
Our general dentistry services include:
Regularly scheduled dental exams are important to maintaining a healthy smile and good dental health. For most patients, cleanings are recommended every six months. This helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. During a bi-annual exam, we will inspect teeth for signs of decay or gum disease, clean and polish your teeth, remove plaque and tartar, screen for oral cancer and more. Routine visits helps us monitor how well our patients’ at-home dental routines are working, as well as help us recognize if anything serious is developing.
Fillings are done to remove decay, and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because new material fills the hole that decay left. Nowadays most teeth are treated with bonded tooth colored composite resin fillings. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated, decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, and the tooth would need root canal treatment or extraction.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes.
First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bond agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. Then the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as a last step.
This is 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.
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 (gum disease) may be as follows: 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 signs may mean something is wrong. With the proper care, however, it may be possible to return them to a healthy state. This is where appropriate gum treatments come in. If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so we can take care of it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to get it treated at the first sign of a problem.
This is a focused beam of x-ray particles through bone which produces an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This gives the familiar black and white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems. X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and not using them could lead to undiagnosed diseases. Without an x-ray of the whole tooth, and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.
In our office, we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional x-rays. Coupled with computer monitoring, digital x-ray technology allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis of any dental concerns.
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. 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. The only other treatment would be to extract 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.
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in 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:
- 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.
Extracting permanent teeth that are significantly damaged can, in some cases, help return you to optimal health. After discussing your various treatment options with your dentist and deciding on an extraction, you and your doctor will determine the best way to replace the tooth. This prevents problems with the surrounding teeth.