Your health and wellness are important to Vista Smiles. Because dental health can affect the whole body we want to help you live a happy, healthy lifestyle with strong teeth. Teeth cleaning, fillings, screenings, restorations and braces are all part of what we want to do for you. Please review what we offer, and if you need further information, please contact our office.
CEREC is a new, time-saving dentistry technique that allows a provider to craft a new ceramic crown in a single day. Vista Smiles Dentistry offers our patients this new 3-D technology, designing, fabricating and placing a crown, inlay or veneer while you wait. In on a short visit – usually only an hour or less – you’ll be able to walk out of the office with a beautiful and durable ceramic dental restoration.
Previously, a patient would need to visit several times for the same results, wearing a temporary tooth while the new ceramic tooth was prepared off–site and had to making a return visit to have it placed. With CEREC, however, we can not only save patients time but help preserve more of the healthy tooth structure in the process. These beautiful, tooth-colored restorations are metal-free and durable.
(Curious about the crown or veneer procedure? Be sure to visit our Tooth Restorations section for more information.)
Vista Smiles Family Dentistry welcomes young patients, from one year old toddlers to teenagers. Starting at about one year of age, children need regular dental care, just as adults do. Daily tooth brushing – once in the morning after breakfast and once before bed – is important not only for their teeth, but to get them accustomed to brushing twice a day. Regular dental maintenance, including a checkup every six months and possibly dental sealants, will also help to ensure that they do not have tooth decay.
First teeth form before birth and are called baby teeth or primary teeth, erupting between the ages of six to 12 months. The first teeth to appear are the lower two middle teeth, followed by the upper two. Gums are sore, tender and sometimes irritable until the age of three. Rubbing sore gums gently with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon, a teething ring or a cold, wet cloth helps to soothe the gums. The remaining teeth typically erupt by age three, but the location and order varies from child to child.
Once these teeth have come in, they should be brushed with a very soft baby toothbrush and a tiny amount of toothpaste, especially before bed. When awake, saliva carries away much of the sugar in liquids and soft foods, but during sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and any liquids in the mouth pool around the child’s teeth for long periods. This lack of flow allows the acids in foods and drinks to eat away at tooth enamel.
The primary, or ‘baby’ teeth, are important in dental development. Without them, a child cannot chew food properly and even has difficulty speaking clearly. Primary teeth are necessary for jaw development, as well as guiding the permanent teeth into place. Due to this importance, be sure to mention any recently lost teeth to Dr. Fox during the child’s next checkup.
Healthy primary/baby teeth allow a child to chew and maintain good nutrition, and assist other non-eating functions such as clear pronunciation and correct speech habits. For a happy, healthy development experience, dental care through Vista Dental should be a consistent part of your child’s medical schedule.
As a member of The American Dental Association, Vista Smiles echoes their recommendation that a child’s first dental visit be around his or her first birthday. The most important part of this visit for your child will be becoming comfortable with the doctor and staff. A pleasant first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits; if possible, allow the child to sit in your lap in the exam room to help them feel more comfortable. Older children should be encouraged to discuss any fears or anxiety they feel so that Dr. Fox and his team can properly address them.
The teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a well-balanced, low-sugar diet in order to remain healthy. A variety of foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins like low-fat yogurt and cheese, nuts and meats helps minimize the potential for cavities and other dental problems.
Your child may need braces if he or she has a bite that does not meet properly, a malocclusion, or crooked teeth. Causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period, may cause malocclusions.
At Vista Smiles Family Dentistry, our team will determine the cause of the crooked teeth and prescribe a treatment plan when your child is ready for braces.
The third molars, also called wisdom teeth, vary greatly in eruption age. When a young patient is about 15 years old, Dr. Fox will evaluate the third molars to see if they have enough room to erupt, and if they will erupt correctly. Third molars will sometimes not erupt until the patient is in their 20′s or 30′s, during which time surgery is sometimes needed to remove them.
Using digital radiography, or X-rays, Vista Smiles can clearly identify all of your teeth and accurately diagnose your dental problems. This quick and comfortable procedure is performed by placing a small sensor in your mouth to create a detailed image of your teeth and surrounding structures. Dr. Fox can then rotate and magnify the image, adjust for contrast, and even color-code for better patient visualization, with the results on a television screen that allows patients to follow along. This procedure ensures better dental evaluations and truly personalized treatment decisions.
Digital X-rays offer many benefits over traditional radiography: they are convenient, safe for the environment, provide a great opportunity for patient education, can be transferred and copied accurately, and best of all, they are safer for our patients thanks to reduced radiation requirements.
With our intra oral camera, you will see what Dr. Fox sees in your mouth. During your checkup, he will insert a pen-sized, camera-tipped wand into your mouth, covered with a disposable plastic sheath for hygiene and safety. This wand takes full-color pictures for you and the doctor to view on a TV screen, where he can point out any problem areas and explain his recommendations for treatment.
This camera helps reveal the early stages of potentially serious problems. It is especially helpful with diagnosing tricky issues like gum disease, painless in its early stages and therefore hard to detect. Through use of this camera, Dr. Fox can also show you how your regular home hygiene routine is paying off and recommend ways to improve your homecare based on his findings.
When you have a broken tooth, a lost or broken crown, pain with tooth decay or swelling, Vista Smiles family dentistry is ready to help. When you call us during office hours, we’ll work hard to try and fit you into the schedule as an emergency procedure. We can help minimize your issue with techniques such as bite adjustment, a mouth guard, or a new same-day crown made with CEREC. With all of the latest dentistry technology at our fingertips, we’re ready to fix your emergency dental issues.
Vista Smiles uses tooth-colored fillings to support and protect your teeth when you have cavities, or caries, caused by tooth decay. This decay happens when we eat and drink, as the acids contained in almost every food or beverage eat away at tooth enamel to some degree. Carbohydrate-rich foods made with white flour and sugars, including cookies, crackers and bread, as well as candy, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits, unless rinsed away with brushing and water, bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth, eventually leading to tooth decay and caries.
Our office uses composite resin fillings that are close to your natural tooth color, rather than the old-fashioned and highly visible silver amalgam fillings. Your smile will be brighter and whiter as a result, and our team can even analyze your teeth if you would like to upgrade old silver fillings for white resin ones.
Dental implants are effective replacement teeth, and Vista Smiles is proud to be a part of the effort to restore your chewing ability and smile. If you have a tooth that is worn out, injured or has suffered disease, Dr. Fox can assist with treatment in the form of an implant.
Our office is also equipped to provide an upper or lower partial denture with an implant. This requires no other teeth to be involved for crown preparation and it the most desirable way to replace teeth.
After diagnosis for an implant, Dr. Fox will refer you to an oral surgeon to place the tooth into the jawbone under anesthesia. When the bone fully adapts to the root surface, you will return to Vista Smiles for a new crown; the process takes 3-6 months from diagnosis to new crown.
Once a new crown is in place, you can treat it as a normal tooth and brush and floss around it as usual. Dental implants look, and feel, like your own teeth – they will not slide around as a partial denture will do, your speech will improve, and you will be able to eat more easily and with greater comfort.
If you’ve experienced a sore or tight jaw, or notice your teeth grinding during the night, it’s time to order a nightguard from Vista Smiles Family Dental. A nightguard is typically made of two hard pieces of clear plastic. Each piece is custom-fitted to your upper or lower teeth and has a smooth surface on top for comfort.
This custom-made device prevents tooth wear, specific toothaches or general hot/cold sensitivity. It is typically worn only at night. Unlike a mouthguard that locks your teeth together, a nightguard allows your teeth to move freely against each other.
Up to 40 percent of all sporting injuries involve the face, with many of these involving dental damage. A mouthguard is proper protective gear for your teeth and face, and Vista Smiles is happy to fabricate a custom guard for you and/or your child. To make a mouthguard, Dr. Fox takes impressions of your teeth and uses them to fabricate a guard that is perfectly matched to your dental structure. You will be able to wear this guard more often than a generic ready-made mouthguard, due to the comfortable, personalized fit. This mouthguard style also ensures that you can speak more easily, and the quality material will not harden over time.
Dramatically reduce the risk of sports-related oral injury with a comfortable custom-molded mouthguard from Vista Smiles to wear during practice and competition. Research has shown that mouthguards can even help reduce or prevent concussions.
In order to ensure your appliance is long-lasting and dependable, you should protect your custom night or mouth guard. Be aware that chewing on it may weaken the material and decrease its effectiveness, and that holes, tears and damage to the guard may irritate the gums. If you notice any damage on your guard, be sure to see Vista Smiles to replace it immediately.
Before and after each use, check your mouthguard for damage and rinse it with cold water or mouthwash. You should also regularly clean it with a separate, designated toothbrush and toothpaste, or by immersing it in a solution of soapy water. Be sure to rinse it well and store it in a firm, perforated container. Also avoid placing the guard in direct sunlight or prolonged high temperatures, as this can also weaken the material.
Vista Smiles Family Dentistry recommends daily brushing and flossing to prevent the buildup of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and are the main cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies, may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem. Mention these issues to Dr. Fox or a dental hygienist during your checkup if you are concerned about persistent bad breath.
Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) appear as small sores inside the mouth, characterized with a white or gray base surrounded by red borders. These sores often recur if not treated, but you can reduce the duration of canker sores by using antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. Your dental team at Vista Smiles can prescribe or recommend appropriate products, simply ask during your checkup.
Your sensitive teeth are treatable at Vista Smiles. The pain or sensitivity you feel during rapid temperature changes in food or environment are likely the result of your teeth expanding and contracting. Sensitive teeth can occur for many reasons: tooth enamel wearing down, or receding gums, for example. Sometimes teeth even develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. During your checkup, Dr. Fox and his team mayl recommend changing your dental hygiene with a softer brush and specific toothpaste, or may suggest a mouthguard for possible clenching and grinding of the teeth. If the cause is receding gums, a fluoride varnish, bonded fillings or sealant for teeth are all potential courses of treatment.
Vista Smiles Family Dental is a skilled root canal provider, having performed hundreds of root canals on our patients to ease pain and promote a healthier mouth. A root canal involves removing the inside nerves and soft tissue within a tooth and its roots to prevent ongoing discomfort and pain.
During the procedure, we make an opening at the top of the tooth, clean out the tooth and roots and refill the inner canals of the root with soft rubber. A root canal usually takes 1 to 2 appointments to complete, because a new crown is necessary to replace and protect the surface of the tooth.
Most commonly, a root canal is prescribed when decay from outside the tooth spreads to the inside of a tooth, as this can cause intense pain and swelling if left untreated. A less common (but still valid) cause for a root canal is trauma to the tooth and tooth fracture lines that make the tooth nerve hypersensitive.
Here are some symptoms you could possibly experience before needing a root canal:
Experiencing some of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you need a root canal, but a checkup will be needed to determine the issue. Dr. Fox is an experienced dentist that will use state-of-the-art techniques to diagnose the need for a root canal and administer it quickly and as comfortably as possible.
Oral Cancer is a silent cancer, and one that most patients will not discover without the assistance of a dentist. Vista Smiles offers advanced technology screenings for patients, and Dr. Fox will recommend a screening if he sees a problem area during treatment or high risk factors in a patient.
ViziLite is a new technology that we use to detect suspicious mucous membranes. This visual aid will show irregular growth after a mild dye is applied to the area. Another method, brush biopsy, is a painless test performed on areas that may initially look harmless but are out of place or discolored. This test can detect potentially dangerous cells in the early stages of the disease.
The most common risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco use, frequent high quantity alcohol consumption, constant sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting or poorly fitting dentures.
During a regular dental checkup, Vista Smiles experts will examine your entire mouth, searching for a flat, painless, white or red spot or small sore. Other signs of oral cancer include:
Schedule regular checkups for everyone in your family, and two visits per year are highly recommended. If, between visits, you notice any unusual changes in your mouth, call Vista Smiles immediately. Together you and Dr. Fox can fight and win the battle against oral cancer. For more information about oral cancer or treatments, visit www.oralcancerfoundation.org.
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis or gingivitis, is “silent” in that early symptoms may be painless and mild, such as swollen gums or bleeding while brushing and flossing. Dr. Fox is able to detect, treat and reverse gum disease in the early stages before it becomes a major problem. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day, having a dental checkup every six months and using a good mouth rinse are your best bets against the discomfort of gum disease.
Bacterial plaque causes gum disease, and factors including poor dental hygiene, heredity and lifestyle choices may contribute to it. Plaque is the sticky, colorless film that naturally forms on the teeth after eating, and when it is not brushed away, it will build up and release toxins that break down the natural fibers that attach the gums to your teeth. Pockets begin to form and make a place for more bacteria and toxins to hide, destroying your gums and teeth. You will even occasionally ingest these bacteria, and this can compromise your whole-body health.
Over time, this process can affect not only gums, teeth, and bone within the mouth, but also overall health; recent research shows a link between patients who have gum disease and those who suffer from strokes, heart attacks, or complications with diabetes or pregnancy.
Naturally, the team at Vista Smiles wants to help you avoid periodontal disease, so be sure to let Dr. Fox know if you have any concerns or symptoms.
Vista Smiles recommends composite resins for people with cavities. The unique tooth-to-composite bond they offer supports the remaining tooth structure, deterring breakage and insulating against temperature changes. In our office, we blend the tooth-colored plastic filling to match closely the color of your teeth for an attractive smile.
If you currently have tooth decay or dark fillings in your teeth, you may be a good candidate for new composite resins or replacement of amalgam (silver) fillings.
Crowns, also called “caps,” cover cracked, broken, decayed, or worn teeth. A crown from Vista Smiles can return structure, strength, and function to a tooth that has had extensive decay or damage, and visibly restore your smile as well. A crown fits snugly over a damaged and repaired tooth and functions just as a healthy tooth would. It will protect the remaining tooth from further damage and helps preserve the jaw’s correct natural alignment.
If you are receiving a crown through our office, you may choose precious metal, porcelain fused to metal, or all porcelain/ceramic crowns, but we strongly recommend all-ceramic crowns. Our CEREC crowns are state-of-the-art, available as a one-day service and are shown to be effective in preventing leakage from the temporary crown between visits. We use a precise color-matching system to find the right shade of porcelain to blend with your natural tooth color. Ceramic crowns are also extremely durable and long lasting, and these benefits make them popular with dentists as well as patients.
You will care for a crown as you do your natural teeth, with careful brushing twice a day and daily flossing. Be sure to visit us at least two times a year for professional cleanings and a preventative exam.
A dental implant is a new tooth placed in the jawbone and then covered with a crown from Vista Smiles Family Dentistry. This option closely mimics the original tooth’s function and appearance, preventing embarrassment or discomfort. See Dental Implants for more information.
At Vista Smiles, we offer dental implants, fixed bridges, dentures, and partials to replace any teeth that are worn out or missing.
Veneers are thin, semi-translucent ‘shells’ made from porcelain material, permanently bonded to your teeth through an in-office procedure. Vista Smiles provides these veneers as a fast, appealing way to improve the appearance of your smile. We suggest veneers to improve a smile with:
Veneers are a pretty solution to your smile that can possibly take the place of orthodontic treatment. Veneers offer a natural-looking improvement to your smile, and a veneer application can be completed in only two office visits.
An attractive smile is powerful – to both the recipient and the sender. Vista Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry wants to help you to have the brightest smile possible and offers many solutions. Designed to correct damage from injury, decay or age, we provide service through orthodontics, tooth whitening, veneers, one-day crown restorations and veneers.
Your smile can see a huge turnaround with a new crown to replace a missing or damaged tooth.
CEREC is a process that makes a tooth colored ceramic to replace your tooth while you wait at Vista Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry. With this new 3-D technology, Dr. Fox can save more of the healthy tooth structure in our patients while giving them beautiful, tooth-colored restorations that are metal-free and durable.
Clearcorrect Clear Braces is a clear way to straighten teeth at Vista Smiles with smooth and comfortable aligners. Virtually invisible, aligners are made of a clear, BPA-free plastic and are removable. You can take them out to eat and drink what you want, and most importantly, you can brush and floss normally to maintain healthy gums and teeth.
At your first appointment, our staff will take x-rays, photos and impressions of your teeth to create 3-D images for the aligners. From the images, Dr. Fox, experienced in using Invisalign, will develop a treatment plan for straightened teeth and a brighter smile. Clearcorrect creates a series of custom-made aligners that Dr. Fox will provide for you to switch out every two weeks, with an appointment at our office every six weeks.
Your teeth will move gradually, and it takes approximately one year for adults and up to two years for children and teenagers to straighten teeth. Clearcorrect is an excellent alternative to those who would prefer not to wear traditional braces.
“It’s never too late for orthodontics!” says Dr. Ethan Fox, owner of Vista Smiles, referring to traditional orthodontics (braces), Clearcorrect clear braces and six-month orthodontics offered at his offices.
Braces are the traditional metal band wrapped around each tooth with a bracket to hold a wire encompassing the upper or lower teeth, or both. Rubber bands hold the wire to the bracket, and the wire is tightened on each visit to adjust the straightening.
Clearcorrect clear braces is another method to straightening teeth at Vista Smiles. Custom made, clear aligners are placed on the teeth and worn for two weeks at a time before replacement. The aligners can be removed for eating, brushing and flossing. See Clearcorrect for more details.
You or your child may need braces if he or she has a bite that does not meet properly, called a malocclusion. Causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period, may cause malocclusions.
You can have a safe and effective teeth whitening experience from Vista Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry. We offer at-home and in-office procedures to brighten your smile give you more confidence. Zoom! Whitening removes the toughest stains and whitens teeth in about an hour at our offices, or we will provide custom bleaching trays with an effective treatment to wear at home. We may also recommend over the counter whitening solutions and toothpastes if you prefer a temporary solution that will not be quite as successful.
Chemicals in foods, beverages, and tobacco can change the color of your teeth, as can the effects of aging. Medications such as tetracycline antibiotics, natural aging, excessive fluoride use and previous dental work may cause unsightly stains on your tooth enamel, and natural genetics can also affect the color of your teeth. While we think of tooth enamel as white, the natural, unstained shade of your teeth can range from pearl white to pale yellow to bluish gray. Even if you brush and floss daily, stains can tarnish your beautiful smile and steal the confident image you want to convey. Tooth whitening is a smart solution for regaining that confidence.
For those that brush and floss regularly, possibly even try a home whitening system, yet still have dingy or yellow teeth, you need Zoom! Whitening. During the one-hour procedure, the staff at Vista Smiles protects your lips and gums with a covering and then places a specialized gel with pH-balanced hydrogen peroxide on the teeth. We then hold a special low light lamp over the teeth to activate the gel. This process penetrates the enamel and dentin in your teeth to remove deep stains and discoloration. After a fluoride treatment, you will go home with a whiter smile.
Many Zoom! Whitening clients say that the method makes their teeth up to six shades whiter, and some say that their smiles became brighter days after the dental appointment. The results last for years, but if you notice any discoloration, the system includes a take-home touch-up kit with comfortable custom-made trays. Regular brushing and flossing, plus an annual touch-up at home, and your teeth can remain refreshingly white for many years to come.
We can create clear, customized bleaching trays that fit on your top and bottom teeth for you to whiten your teeth at home. You will put a prescribed amount of a professional grade solution that contains hydrogen or carbamide peroxide into your custom trays and wear them for an hour, after brushing your teeth. Your teeth will be whiter teeth as soon as you remove the trays and rinse your mouth, and after seven to ten days of whitening, you will see dramatic results.
If bleaching and whitening does not get your teeth as white as you would like, veneers or bonding may be a good solution. These cosmetic procedures are long lasting and do not discolor or stain. In addition to whitening your smile, veneers and bonding can cover cracks, chips, and slight misalignments. See Tooth Restorations for more information.
You will want to keep a white smile afterwards, so do not eat or drink foods that stain, or smoke, since recently whitened teeth absorb stains. Coffee, tea, sodas, dark fruit juices and tomato sauce are common offenders, but rinsing your mouth after eating and drinking them and eating carrots, apples and celery afterwards can reduce staining. Whitening systems can also cause increased sensitivity in your teeth and gums. These side effects pass with time, but if they persist or other problems arise, contact Vista Smiles immediately.