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Dental Services

Whether you need a simple cleaning or a more complex procedure such as a filling, Dr. Calkins will surpass your expectations while meeting your needs. His friendly, understanding nature combined with his dental expertise is ideal for any member of your family dentistry needs. In addition, Sandcreek's dental hygenists are among the best in eastern Montana!

Our dental services include:


PREVENTATIVE DENTISTRY

Professional Cleanings

Professional cleanings performed by a certified dentist or hygienist are just as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing.

Using specialized tools and training, your hygienist or dentist will:

You should visit the dentist at least twice a year. A dental exam can reveal early signs of decay and disease that you may not see or feel. Catching these conditions early can help control them before they get worse and harder to treat. Additionally, getting a cleaning by a trained professional will remove plaque in areas you may have missed or cannot reach.

Examinations

Regular examinations help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair.

Dental examinations generally include the following:

Regular examinations are very important for your health. Remember, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." —Ben Franklin


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Periodontal (Gum) Disease

What is Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)?

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth.

Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by the bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.

Warning signs that can signal a problem:

There are many factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease, including: smoking, pregnancy and diabetes. It is important to visit Sandcreek Dental if you suspect you have gum disease, because the sooner you treat it the better.

The Early Stage of Gum Disease is Called Gingivitis

If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.

Advanced Gum Disease is called Periodontitis

Chronic periodontitis can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time.

If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.Aggressive periodontitis is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients who are otherwise healthy.

Common features include rapid loss of tissue and bone, and may occur in localized areas or in the entire mouth. Periodontal disease cannot be cured, however, we have measures to help slow or stop the progression.

Research between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases is ongoing. While a link is not conclusive, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as diabetes or stroke.

Regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. The treatment methods that our dentists diagnose will depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good dental care at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious.


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Oral Hygiene

One easy way to improve your mouth health and preserve your teeth longer is to use the right equipment regularly.

recommend that you add flossing to your dental care routine. If your teeth are tightly spaced, shop around for a floss that will slip more easily between your teeth. If you find it difficult to handle floss, try a floss holder.

Soft-bristled toothbrushes can reach more surfaces, but be sure to get one that is comfortable to hold and works well in your mouth. Don't struggle with one that has bent or frayed bristles that can't be directed accurately. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months.

For people with limited motor skills or arthritis, a powered toothbrush might be helpful.

If your toothbrush has a rubber tip, use it to massage your gums after brushing. Additional tools include tiny brushes that get in between the teeth, called interproximal toothbrushes, and small interdental picks. Be careful to avoid injuring the gums when using these devices.

Oral irrigators can help remove particles of food around the teeth, especially if you wear braces or fixed partial dentures. But they are not a substitute for brushing and flossing.

Mouthrinses with fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. Using an antiplaque or antigingivitis mouthrinse may be recommended if you have plaque or gum disease.

Please contact us if you are not clear on the proper use of any of these products.


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Dental Sealants

Sealants are generally used to help prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of back teeth (molars). The natural grooves of these teeth can trap food that can resist casual brushing and rinsing. If left in place, the trapped food allows bacteria to multiply, eventually causing tooth decay and requiring costly attention.

Sealants are painted directly onto the tooth where they seal the natural grooves to help prevent tooth decay. While sealants are durable, they are not permanent. They can last up to 5 years of normal wear before needing replacement.

Sealants offer a cost-effective, preventative step to reduce the chances of tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of molars. However, they do not replace the need for regular brushing and flossing.


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COSMETIC DENTISTRY

Composite Dental Bonding

Bonding is a procedure in which we apply a tooth-colored composite material to a tooth, shape it, allow it to harden, and polish it. It can be used in certain situations where a tooth has been damaged or become stained. These are generally minor repairs, ones that can be resolved through this relatively inexpensive means rather than through a more costly dental procedure.

How It Works

The dentist prepares the tooth surface so that the bonding material will adhere. Once that's been applied, the dentist will shape it so that it has a natural appearance. Then the material is allowed to harden, usually with the help of a light. Finally, the composite is polished and buffed so that the surface is smooth.

This is not a process that is recommended if you are a smoker, since smoke causes staining. Also, the material is not as durable as porcelain veneers and crowns, so it chips more easily and eventually may require replacing.

Bonding is a perfectly adequate and more affordable solution to certain dental problems. Dental bonding can take less time to accomplish and may not even require anesthesia. Depending upon the issue, insurance may cover it.

Please don't procrastinate if you have a dental problem but are worried about the time, cost, or pain involved. Perhaps dental bonding can offer you a solution. Give us a call so we can discuss options with you.


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Composite and Amalgam Fillings

Fillings are used to restore areas of your tooth affected by decay. Dentists use both amalgam (silver) and composite (tooth-colored) materials to "fill in" the surface of the tooth after all decay has been removed.

Reasons for Fillings

What Does a Filling Involve

First, Dr. Calkins DDS will answer any questions you have and will apply anesthetic to the tooth requiring the filling.

Dr. Calkins DDS will thoroughly remove the decay that is present and prepare the tooth to successfully bond with either the composite material or amalgam (silver alloy).


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Dental Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom-made (for shape and color) by a professional dental laboratory. They are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful and attractive smile.

Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile. They can often be alternatives to crowns and the ideal solution in treating many cosmetic dental conditions for the front teeth.

As with most dental restorations, veneers may someday need replacement; however, they are still very durable and will last many years, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for Porcelain Veneers

What do Porcelain Veneers Involve?

Receiving veneers usually requires two visits to complete the process. The teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer. A mold or impression of the teeth is taken and a shade (color) will then be chosen by you and Dr. Calkins DDS.

On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond. Bonding cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a special light is used to harden and set the bond.

After your visit you will receive care instructions for your veneers. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your beautiful veneers.


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Dental Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel, and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.

Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are several ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using an at-home teeth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically.

Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.

Teeth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed once a year and more often if you smoke and/or drink coffee, tea or wine.

Reasons for Teeth Whitening

What Does At-Home Teeth Whitening Involve?

Whitening systems provided by our our dental office usually require two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear, plastic trays.

At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day or overnight, depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.

You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit our office regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.


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RESTORATIVE DENTISTRY

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is one of the traditional dental methods for replacing missing teeth.

The type of bridge used most often is called a fixed bridge, and consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached on either side of the artificial teeth (pontics), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years with proper home care; however, they may need to be replaced or re-cemented due to normal wear.

Reasons for a Fixed Bridge

What Does a Fixed Bridge Involve?

Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for about two weeks until your next appointment.

At the second visit, your bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted and cemented to achieve a proper fit and comfortable bite.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new bridge.


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Dental Crowns

A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens the tooth structure, giving the tooth a longer life than it would have if restored by fillings or other types of restorations.

There are three common types of crowns: all-porcelain (tooth colored), porcelain fused to metal, and gold.

All Porcelain

A very aesthetically pleasing crown usually recommended for front teeth only. There is a higher risk of this type of crown fracturing if placed on posterior teeth.

Porcelain Fused to Metal

A metal based crown with porcelain baked to the outside to make it more aesthetically appealing. This type of crown is great for someone who wants a tooth colored crown but still wants durability. There is still a risk of fracturing these types of crowns but usually it is just the outside porcelain that chips off.

Gold

This type of crown is very durable! They are recommended for back teeth where the crown cannot be seen, and they are often recommended for people who grind or clinch their teeth. Gold crowns are most like your natural teeth and your tissue adapts best to this material. Also, less actual tooth structure needs to be removed for this type of crown.

If a crown is needed, Dr. Calkins DDS will discuss what type of crown would be best for you.

Reasons for Crowns

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings
  • Tooth has had a root canal
  • What Does Getting a Crown Involve?

    A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. During your first appointment, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.

    Then he will take impressions that will be sent to the lab to create your custom crown. You will wear a temporary crown for approximately two weeks while your custom crown is being fabricated.

    At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

    You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your crown. As always, proper oral hygiene will help extend the life of your new crown.


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    Dental Dentures

    Dentures are a "replacement" option for missing teeth. There are two variations of dentures; partial dentures and full dentures. The difference between the two lies in how many natural teeth remain.

    When the condition of the teeth has deteriorated so far that they can no longer be repaired, removal is the only option.

    A complete denture is a removable prosthesis of white plastic teeth in a pink gum-colored plastic base; the denture rests on the remaining gum ridge once all of the teeth in the arch have been removed.

    It is important to note that life with an upper and/or lower denture is a major lifestyle change when compared to natural teeth. Dentures impact the type of food you are able to eat, your self-confidence in social situations and even your self-esteem.

    Reasons for a Full Denture

    An upper full denture will almost always feel better than a lower full denture. In order to dramatically improve the fit of a lower full denture, we frequently suggest using dental implants as a retentive mechanism. Implants placed in the lower jaw can help anchor the denture and significantly improve comfort. Sometimes, the implants can even be placed in the jaw after a denture has been in use for several years.


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    Tooth Extractions

    A tooth extraction is the procedure done to remove a tooth that is damaged beyond repair from its socket in the jawbone. Extractions are also done to remove wisdom teeth that may be impacted or create future problems.

    Many extractions can be performed in our Glendive office; however, more complicated procedures may be referred to one of our trusted oral surgeons.

    Why Are Teeth Extracted?

    Extractions are generally classified as either non-surgical (also known as "simple") or surgical (involving cutting through the gums and tooth). A simple procedure can quickly become a surgical procedure if the tooth fractures or refuses to loosen under pressure. We perform these procedures only after making the extraction site(s) profoundly numb.

    Tooth Extraction Post-Operative Instructions

    Following tooth extraction you may experience bleeding, oozing, soreness or moderate to severe pain.

    Bleeding should stop by 8-12 hours following the extraction. If you experience significant bleeding past this time please call our office immediately. Oozing of pink fluid for 1-2 days is normal.

    Discomfort following the tooth extraction is best managed with a mild analgesic like Tylenol, Advil or Aleve. If you experience severe pain that lasts more than 2-3 days after your extraction please call our office.

    Healing should be as smooth as possible following tooth extraction. It is important to not disturb the extraction site. Remember to eat a soft diet and avoid vigorous rinsing for 24 hours following the extraction.

    After 24 hours rinse with strong warm salt water for 1 minute a couple of times daily for 3-4 days. This will reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth and will promote better healing.

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us.


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    Dental Inlays & Onlays

    Inlays and onlays are used to restore portions of the tooth, or to strengthen a tooth. They are alternatives to using fillings or a crown to restore the integrity of the tooth.

    Inlays

    When there is only partial damage to your tooth, an inlay can be bonded inside the remaining tooth structure. Traditionally, gold is the material of choice for this type of restoration, and although this is available, most of our dental patients prefer the more natural look that ceramic provides.

    Onlays

    Onlays are used to restore a portion of the biting cusp of a tooth or to restore the strength of a tooth. Instead of removing healthy tooth structure for a crown placement, an onlay can be used as a more conservative restoration.

    Sometimes onlays are referred to as "inside crowns". That is a good description, as it describes the strengthening process that an onlay creates for the tooth. At Sandcreek Dental, we prefer to do onlays when possible to lessen the amount of healthy tooth removed, compared to traditional crowns. Research has shown that the less you reduce a tooth, the better it will survive long-term, and our goal is to provide you with healthy teeth for life.


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    Dental Crown Lengthening

    Crown lengthening (AKA: "crown-elongation" or "crown-extension") is a surgical procedure that is done when the tooth is too short to provide adequate retention for a restoration (usually a crown).

    When a tooth has a deep cavity, a crown and buildup are usually needed to restore the tooth. If the cavity extends too far below the gums, it becomes impossible to predictably make a crown that will last for any length of time. Performing crown lengthening where indicated improves the prognosis for the tooth.

    Crown lengthening nearly always involves removing and re-contouring some of the bone around the tooth. This results in more tooth structure above the gums and smooth flowing gum contours. Not every tooth that needs a crown also needs crown lengthening surgery, it is only necessary when a deep cavity or crack is present.

    Reasons for Crown Lengthening

    What Does Crown Lengthening Involve?

    First, the dentist or periodontist will thoroughly numb the tooth or teeth needing crown lengthening. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. After the procedure your dentist can now prepare the tooth for a functional, long lasting crown. As always, proper brushing and flossing is key to insuring the maximum life of your new crown.


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    Dental Implants

    A dental implant is a post made of metal that is designed to replace missing teeth. It is usually made out of titanium and is placed surgically into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. Unlike a bridge, an implant is a more permanent solution.

    You have several options when replacing teeth; it isn't limited to crowns and conventional bridges or dentures. Dental implants are aesthetically pleasing and feel very natural.

    Implants are surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments. With time, they fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or dentures.

    Through a process called osseointegration, implants offer stability because they fuse to your bone. Integration of the implants into your jaw also helps your replacement teeth feel more natural. Some patients have reported that the secure fit is more comfortable than alternatives.

    Dental implant candidates must have healthy gums and bone to support the implant.

    Reasons for Dental Implants

    What Does a Dental Implant Involve?

    Smoking tends to lead to a high rate of failure in implants, so dental implants are not the best option for patients who are actively smoking. We will help you determine whether dental implants will be a good tooth replacement option for you. Proper brushing and flossing will maximize the longevity of your new dental implant.


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    Six Month Smiles®

    Lost your retainer? Have crooked teeth? Do you cover your mouth or purse your lips when you smile? We have the solution for you: 6 Month Smiles.

    At Sandcreek Dental, Six Month Smiles is one of the best parts of our dental practice — because patients are so happy with the results.

    What is Six Month Smiles?

    Six Month Smiles is a revolutionary combination of proven orthodontic techniques, modern materials, and innovation. Six Month Smiles utilizes nearly invisible clear braces to gently straighten teeth in an average of six months.

    Before & After Cases

    If you've been looking for a way to achieve a beautiful smile in less than a year, Six Month Smiles® may be the ideal treatment. Blending seamlessly into your busy lifestyle, the clear aligners we use can transform your smile and improve your health. Teeth that overlap or are crooked can often harbor additional bacteria and plaque that brushing and sometimes even flossing can't fully remove. Look at our before and after cases of smiles we have treated at Sandcreek Dental and picture your smile here!

    Mia's Story

    Patient Information

    Ever wonder how it's possible to achieve a beautifully straight smile in only six months? Call our offices today at (406) 377-8265!


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    Botox and Dermal Fillers

    Botox is a trade name for botulinum toxin, which comes in the form of a purified protein. Botox is injected into the facial muscles but really doesn’t affect the muscle at all. Botulinum toxin affects and blocks the transmitters between the motor nerves that innervate the muscle. There is no loss of sensory feeling in the muscles. Once the motor nerve endings are interrupted, the muscle cannot contract. When that muscle does not contract, the dynamic motion that causes wrinkles in the skin will stop. The skin then starts to smooth out, and in approximately three to ten days after treatment, the skin above those muscles becomes nice and smooth. The effects of Botox last for approximately three to four months, at which time the patient needs retreatment.

    Do Dentists Do Botox?

    Yes! Dentists have very advanced training in the oral and maxillofacial areas (that means the face from chin to forehead) than just about any other healthcare professional who is now allowed to deliver Botox and dermal fillers to patients.

    Where is Botox Generally Administered?

    The areas that Botox is commonly used for smoothing of facial wrinkles are the forehead, between the eyes (glabellar region), and around the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet) and around the lips. Botox is also used to complement esthetic dentistry cases, as a minimally invasive alternative to surgically treating high lip line cases, denture patients who have trouble adjusting to new dentures, lip augmentation, and has uses in orthodontic cases where retraining of the facial muscles is necessary. No other healthcare provider has the capability to help patients in so many areas as do dentists.

    The Dermal Filler Primer

    Dermal fillers will volumize creases and folds in the face in areas that have lost fat and collagen as we age. After age 30, we all lose approximately 1% of hyaluronic acid from our bodies. Hyaluronic acid is the natural filler substance in your body. The face starts to lack volume and appears aged with deeper nasolabial folds, unaesthetic marionette lines, a deeper mentalis fold, the lips start to thin, and turning down the corners of the lips. Dermal fillers can be used for high lip line cases, asymmetrical lips around the mouth, lip augmentation, and completing cosmetic dentistry cases by creating a beautiful, young-looking frame around the teeth. The effect of dermal fillers typically last anywhere from 6 to 12 months at which point the procedure needs to be repeated.

    There is one huge advantage dentists have in delivering dermal fillers over any other healthcare professional. Most physicians and nurses use topical anesthetics and ice on the skin to numb the patient. Some actually learn how to give dental anesthesia but very few are proficient at it. As you may imagine, this will be a painful procedure when done this way. Indeed, this is the reason that many patients prefer dentists to deliver dermal fillers.

    Both Botox and dermal fillers are procedures that take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.

    Are There Any Adverse Reactions to Botox or Dermal Fillers?

    It is pretty rare for anyone to have adverse reactions to Botox and dermal fillers. The long-termed safety of Botox has become very well established clinically, with millions of injections delivered every single year. Botox treatments are the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the United States and would not be so if there were common adverse reactions. The most common dermal fillers used are made of hyaluronic acid which, as we mentioned, are naturally occurring substances in the body. When the effects of Botox and dermal fillers are gone, they are gone completely with no residue or after effects present.

    Dr. Calkins is able to administer both Botox and dermal fillers. He can advise what options are best for you. And Sandcreek Dental is one of the only places to get Botox and dermal fillers administered here in the Glendive MT area. Come talk to us today about k


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