At Love Family Dentistry, we are pleased to develop comprehensive treatment plans to help our patients achieve and maintain healthy smiles that maximize your personal health and appearance. We offer restorative and cosmetic dental procedures, in addition to general dentistry treatments.
General Dentistry in Spokane, WA
Routine & Preventative Care
General dentistry involves the diagnosis and treatment of general conditions affecting the teeth, gums, and jaw. General dentists can care for the overall oral health of patients of all ages. At Love Family Dentistry we welcome everyone in your family!
We believe prevention should be the primary goal, so we aim to identify and treat problems before they become serious, painful, and expensive. Regular six-month check-ups, along with proper home care will result in a healthier mouthand a healthier life.
Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. Good oral hygiene continues in the dental office by the efforts of Dr. Love and the dental hygienists to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.
A preventive program is a group effort between the patient, Dr. Love, and the Love Family Dentistry staff. Prevention is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.
Preventive Dental Treatments
- Dental Cleanings
- Dental Exams
- Dental X-rays
- Sealants and Fluoride
- Oral Cancer Screening
- Night Guards and Sports Mouth Guards
Dr. Love looks forward to getting to know you and your family!
- Digital X-Rays
A dental X-ray is needed to reveal:
- Abscesses or Cysts
- Deep Cavities
- Deep Gum Disease
- Developmental Abnormalities
- Infections in the Jaw Bones
- Small Areas of Decay Between Teeth or Below Existing Restorations
- Some Types of Tumors
Digital X-rays are comfortable for you and faster than traditional X-rays. Digital X-rays allow you to view your images on a computer or TV screen in seconds! Digital x-rays are also safe and can even be used during pregnancy. Some studies show that digital X-rays emit up to 90% less radiation! With no chemical processing needed, digital x-rays are easy on you and the environment, too.
Diligent oral hygiene is essential for preventing cavities, but toothbrushes cannot always reach down into the deepest crevices of teeth. Dental sealants can compensate for this with a resin material that bonds into the grooves of teeth, creating a barrier against food particles, plaque, and acidic food and drink. Sealants can last up to 10 years!
Fluoride is used to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride strengthens teeth so that they can resist acid and block cavity-forming bacteria. Fluoride usually is prescribed for children and adults whose homes have water that is not fluoridated. Ask Dr. Love if fluoride would help yourteeth.
- Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening is a routine part of a dental examination. Regular check-ups are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. You may have a very small, but dangerous oral spot or sore and not be aware of it. Dr. Love carefully examines the inside of your mouth and tongue. If Dr. Love notices any type of sore he will treat it and ask you to return for re-examination.
- Night Guards
If you’re a teeth-grinder, know that the earlier you catch the damage, the better your prognosis. One excellent way to combat the bothersome habit of nighttime grinding, or bruxism, is to use a night guard at bedtime. If you think the trouble or expense of a dental night guard isn’t worth it, or you aren’t even entirely sure it’s tooth-grinding behind what seem to be increasingly shorter teeth, headaches, and jaw pain, it’s probably time to visit Dr. Love. Based on the amount of damage you may have already done and the symptoms you describe, Dr. Love can determine whether a night guard is right for you.
- Sports Mouth Guards
An active lifestyle calls for active safety. While helmets, goggles, and knee pads have become standard equipment to protect our bodies, it’s important to remember to protect your teeth as well. Mouth guards offer an easy, reliable method to cushion your teeth during athletic and recreational activity. Participating in any physical activity involves a risk of contact with the face and mouth. Although many sports teams require some protective gear, the delicate teeth are often overlooked. Considering that even minor direct force can cause teeth to chip, break, or come loose, a mouth guard is a crucial piece of equipment for all athletic activities. Mouth guards are especially crucial during contact sports such as football, hockey, and boxing. But even non-contact sports such as gymnastics, skating, and mountain biking pose a risk to the teeth. When participating in any activity that may result in injury to the mouth, Dr. Love recommends that the teeth be properly shielded with some form of dental mouth guard.
At Love Family Dentistry, our goal is to help you have a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal.
Key components of dental home care
- Eating Well-Balanced Meals
- Reducing the Number of Snacks and Sugary Drinks you consume
- Brushing Twice a Day
- Flossing Everyday
- Sports Mouth Guards
Brushing and flossing are essential to a healthy smile. Proper brushing and flossing help prevent numerous dental problems. Some of the issues that can be prevented are:
- Halitosis – Bad breath or halitosis is usually caused by old food particles on or between the teeth. These food particles can be removed with regular brushing and flossing, leaving your mouth healthier and your breath fresher.
- Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease is a serious, progressive condition which can cause tooth loss, gum recession, and jawbone recession. Periodontal disease is caused by the toxins found in plaque, and can lead to serious health problems in other parts of the body.
- Staining – Staining, or the yellowing of teeth can be caused by factors such as smoking, coffee, and tea. The more regularly these staining agents are removed from the teeth the less likely the stains are to become permanent.
- Tooth Decay – Tooth decay is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Treatment for tooth decay often requires complex dental procedures. Tooth decay occurs when the acids found in plaque erode the natural enamel found on the teeth.
- The Proper Way to Brush
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle where your gums and teeth meet.
- Gently brush your teeth using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on your gums.
- Brush teeth, cheeks, tongue, and chewing surfaces. Place special emphasis on the surfaces of the back teeth.
- Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of your front teeth.
- Use back and forth strokes to brush chewing surfaces.
Do not scrub or apply too much pressure to the teeth because you can damage the gums and tooth enamel. We recommend using an electric toothbrush. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job!
- The Proper Way to Floss
Flossing is a great way to remove plaque from the interdental regions (between the teeth). Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone. Flossing is an especially important tool for preventing periodontal disease and limiting the depth of the gum pockets. The interdental regions are difficult to reach with a toothbrush and should be cleansed with dental floss on a daily basis.
- Cut a piece of floss to around 18 inches long.
- Wrap one end of the floss around the middle finger of the left hand.
- Wrap the other end of the floss around the middle finger of the right hand.
- Keep hands about 2-3 inches apart.
- Work the floss gently between the teeth toward the gum line.
- Curve the floss in a U-shape around each individual tooth and carefully slide it beneath the gum line.
- Carefully move the floss up and down several times to remove interdental plaque and debris.
Do not pop the floss in and out between the teeth as this will inflame and cut the gums. Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
It is important to rinse your mouth with mouthwash or water after brushing and after meals. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it is a good idea to consult with Dr. Love to make sure that the mouthwash is appropriate for you.
A number of dental conditions may require oral surgery. Some of these conditons include:
- Dental Implant Placement
- Emergency Care and Repair
- Impacted Wisdom Teeth
- Jaw-Related Problems
- Emergency Extractrions
Extracting a tooth means removing it from the mouth. If Dr. Love can help you save your natural tooth for a healthy and attractive result, he will; however, some conditions in your mouth, ranging from infection and pain to very advanced decay, might require tooth extraction. You can rest assured that Dr. Love strives to understand and meet your dental needs. Dr. Love only recommends treatment he would provide his own family.
- Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and, they grow in last. Some people are fortunate enough to have their wisdom teeth grow in straight and with enough room to fit, but most people aren’t so lucky. More often than not, one or both wisdom teeth grow in at the wrong angle or get trapped or “impacted” under the gum-line. This causes swelling, infection, and pain. Additionally, impacted wisdom teeth left untreated can cause permanent damage to surrounding teeth, gums, and jaw bone. If you come to see Dr. Love with impacted wisdom teeth, he will mostly likely recommend oral surgery to remove them. For your convenience, Dr. Love removes wisdom teeth in his office so that you don’t have to be referred elsewhere.
Periodontal (Gum) Care
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults over age 35. Gum disease ranges from gingivitis to various forms and stages of periodontitis. The prevalence of gum disease increases with age because teeth wear down and become more sensitive as time passes; gums naturally recede and medications can greatly affect oral health.
- What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. Teeth are supported by the gums, or gingiva. A tooth’s root is anchored to its socket by fibers called periodontal ligaments.
The gums do not attach to the teeth as firmly as one might think. A shallow, V-shaped gap called a sulcus exists between the teeth and the gums. Periodontal disease affects this gap. Eventually, in periodontal disease, the tissues supporting the tooth break down. If only the gums are involved in this breakdown, the disease is called gingivitis. If only the connecting tissues and bone are involved, it is called periodontitis.
- Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease
If your gums feel tender or sore, or if your gums look red and swollen, you may have gum disease. Other warning signs include:
- Bleeding and/or Receding Gums
- Pain or Sensitive Teeth
- Persistent Bad Breath
If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth-loss, as well as, various serious health problems.
- Treatment & Maintenance of Periodontal Disease - Scaling and Root Plaining (Deep Cleaning)
If you have any degree of gum disease, Love Family Dental wants to help. Gum disease used to require surgery; however, many cases are now treated with less invasive techniques first, including deep dental cleanings, local antibiotics, and special mouth rinses.
Basic, everyday activities such as eating, talking, and laughing can be challenging for people who have damaged or missing teeth, but these can all become easier again with restorative dentistry. The word restore means to return something to a former condition. Dr. Love desires not only to restore your smile to its former health, but he also wants to make your smile look and feel even better than before!
- Tooth-colored Dental Fillings
Tooth-colored dental fillings, often called “composite fillings” or “filled resins,” are a mixture of quartz or glass filler in a resin medium that makes a natural-looking filling. The material is cured with a special light and the surface is shaped and polished so the end result is a virtually undetectable restoration that feels natural in your mouth. Composites are strong and durable. Additionally, because these fillings are bonded to teeth instead of mechanically held in place, the process is more conservative in relation to tooth structure removal; therefore, a more healthy, natural tooth is able to remain.
- Endodontics (Root Canal Therapy)
The inside of each tooth contains soft tissue with nerves and blood vessels running from the root to the crown. A crack, deep cavity, or other injury to a tooth can cause the nerve to become damaged or diseased, allowing bacteria to enter the tooth and kill the living tissue. Without treatment, the resulting infection can cause pain, swelling, abscesses, loss of the diseased tooth, and eventually damage to the surrounding bone. With endodontic treatment, also called root canal therapy, Dr. Love carefully removes the diseased tissue and nerve from the tooth, gently cleans the root canal, and then seals the root canal to protect it from bacteria. If needed, medication or an antibiotic can also be used to control the spread of bacteria and stop infection. Finally, a crown is placed over the reshaped tooth to restore and strengthen it.
- Implant-Supported Crown
A dental implant is a small titanium post that serves as a replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth, and a dental implant restoration is the replacement tooth or crown that goes on top of the post. Dental implants can be placed in both the upper and lower jaws and, thanks to the biocompatible properties of titanium, they fuse with the jaw bone to become a solid anchor for replacement teeth. Implants can be used as solutions for replacing single or multiple missing teeth, and there are a number of reasons to consider them. Without the root structure of a natural tooth present, the jawbone can shrink and cause bone loss. Not only is bone loss unhealthy, but jawbone shrinkage can also make you look older than you are. Best of all, dental implants function like natural teeth! Ask Dr. Love for more information.
- Crowns & Bridges
Dental bridges do exactly what their name implies: bridge gaps left by one or multiple missing teeth. The two teeth on either side of the gap to be bridged serve as anchor teeth, also called “abutment teeth.” Each anchor tooth has a crown that attaches to the false tooth or teeth of the bridge. Dental bridges can be supported by natural teeth with crowns on top, or by implant-supported crowns.
- Dentures & Partial Dentures
Dr. Love can determine the best option available for denture wearers. Complete denturescan be made and inserted in the mouth either immediately after the removal of remaining teeth (immediate dentures), or after the gums have healed for 6-8 weeks (conventional dentures). With immediate dentures, measurements are taken and models are made before the removal of teeth so that the dentures are ready to be worn immediately. Because gums and bones can shrink during healing, immediate dentures often need to be rebased or relined later to continue fitting properly. Once the mouth tissues have completely healed, aconventional denture can be prepared and placed.
Some denture wearers are candidates for another option called an “overdenture,” which fits over some remaining natural teeth, crowns, and/or implants to provide additional stability and strength.
Removable partial dentures act as replacement for missing teeth similar to other dentures; they just fit around natural teeth still in the mouth.
Even with dentures, good dental hygiene and a balanced diet are very important to keep your mouth healthy. Brush gums, tongue, and palate daily with a soft toothbrush to remove plaque and stimulate circulation. Dentures should also be brushed daily. Over time, dentures may need to be adjusted or replaced as they show signs of age or become loose.
Sores and infections caused by ill-fitting dentures are not only uncomfortable, but they can also cause other health problems. Dentures are delicate and must be treated with care and properly stored when not being worn.
If desired, dentures can be fashioned to look like your natural teeth to minimize any change in your appearance. And, like millions of other denture wearers, after a little practice and patience, you too can eat foods you love, speak with greater ease, and smile with confidence again!
CEREC is fast, safe, and provides a natural-looking restoration that will stand the test of time.
CEREC does more than just crowns – this revolutionary system is also used for inlays, onlays, and new fillings.
- What is CEREC®?
CEREC®> is the world’s first system for the fabrication of all ceramic dental restorations in one office visit. With CEREC®, Dr. Love can complete your permanent, all ceramic crown, onlay, or veneer in just one quick visit!
CEREC ® means we can quickly and economically restore damaged teeth using a durable ceramic material that matches the natural color of other teeth in your mouth.
- Why choose CEREC®?
A significant benefit of CEREC is that uses all-ceramic material that is durable and biocompatible with your teeth. In other words, it is safe and is resistant to wear.
CEREC also allows your dentist to save more of the healthy tooth structure. Teeth that would have previously been lost can now be restored with CEREC inlays and onlays. This is because CEREC's state-of -the-art bonding requires only a small amount of tooth structure to restore the tooth to it’s full function.
Another advantage of CEREC is that the entire procedure is done in one visit, from start to finish. There is no impression, no temporary and no second appointment for placement of the permanent crown.
- How does CEREC® work?
First your dentist will examine your teeth to determine what type of restoration is best for you. After tooth preparation a digital impression of your teeth is taken using a intra-oral digital video camera. The image is transferred to the computer, where your restoration is designed using computer aided design (CAD). This technology takes every clinical detail of your case into consideration, creating the most precise restoration. Next, these exact specifications are sent to our in-office milling machine. In approximately 15 minutes, this state-of-the-art device fabricates your custom, color-matched restoration.
Finally, your restoration is fitted, polished, and bonded in place. The entire process only takes 1-2 hours, depending on the extent of your dental work. Today, more than 20 million CEREC restorations have been completed worldwide, and this number keeps growing. CEREC remains one of the most trusted methods of restoration within the dental community, and for good reason!
- CEREC® Single Visit Restorations
CEREC® is the world’s first system for the fabrication of all ceramic dental restorations in one office visit. With CEREC®, Dr. Shern can complete your permanent, all ceramic crown, onlay, or veneer in just one quick visit! This means fewer shots, less drilling, and less time out of your hectic schedule for dental care.
- Only one appointment necessary
- No gooey impressions to take
- No temporaries
- Tooth colored ceramic
- Conservative restorations retain more healthy tooth structure
- What advantages does CEREC® offer me?
Are you one of the millions of adults in need of adult braces who are unhappy, self-conscious or even embarrassed of your smile?
Many adults spend their entire lives covering their mouths when they laugh, smile or talk. They feel stuck because they do not want to wear adult metal braces for years or they are concerned that other corrective teeth straightening procedures could be too invasive or too expensive.
Now, there is an effective, safe and affordable cosmetic braces solution that fits your lifestyle.
Have you lived your whole life wishing for a different smile? Do you turn your head in pictures or cover your mouth when you laugh? You do not have to live this way anymore. Six Month Smiles® is a revolutionary, cosmetic, and fast way to straighten your teeth and give you the smile you have always wanted.
Do you feel stuck because you do not want to wear adult metal braces for years or are you concerned that other corrective teeth straightening procedures could be too invasive or too expensive? Now, there is an effective, safe and affordable cosmetic braces solution that fits your lifestyle.
At Love Family Dentistry we can provide you with a barely visible and fast approach to traditional metal braces. Straightening your smile with Six Month Smiles® is conservative in that you keep your natural tooth structure unlike veneers and because it is done in less time it is less expensive!
If you find it hard to keep your crowded teeth clean or have been told that you have gum disease Six Month Smiles® can offer you a way to unravel your teeth and make them easier to clean. Your hygienist will love you!
If you are a bride or groom-to-be, a public speaker or someone who works with the public, Six Month Smiles is a great way to give yourself a smile in a short amount of time so that you can beam confidently.
If these following points sound like something you’ve been looking for, schedule your free consult today to be evaluated:
- Average treatment times of only six months
- Six Month Smiles® Lucid-Lok® clear brackets and tooth-colored wires are barely visible
- Use of braces has shown to provide the most conservative and predictable final result
- Six Month Smiles® Patient Tray Kits™ ensure that your appointments are fast and comfortable
- Low forces and short overall orthodontic treatment times increase comfort, safety, and hygiene
- Six Month Smiles® is typically less expensive than traditional braces, aligner therapy, or veneers
Stop snoring and improve your life and health today! We’re here to help.
Snoring is a very common problem. Under diagnosed and frequently dismissed simply as harmless, “Obstructive Sleep Apnea” (OSA) is a very dangerous condition.
- What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Prevalence and Health Ramifications
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Syndrome is a life threatening disorder affecting over 18 million Americans. 40% of Americans (2 out of 5) snore and 40% of snorers have OSA with no signs or symptoms of the disease.
- Serious repercussions /consequences of untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) include:
- Increased risk of stroke.
- Increased high blood pressure.
- Increased incidence of atrial fibrillation.
- Increased risk of diabetes.
- Poor memory and other cognitive impairments.
- Male impotence and decreased sex drive.
- Headaches and migraines.
- Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.
- Increase in Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD).
- Increase in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.
- Signs you or someone you love may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Sleep Disordered Breathing:
- Waking up due to gasping or choking.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Memory loss.
- Nighttime grinding of teeth.
- Restless or unrefreshed sleep.
- Frequent waking during sleep.
- How common is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
- 40% of adults over 40 snore(approx. 87 million Americans)
- 9% of men and 4% of women suffer from some form of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
(approx. 30 million Americans)
- Less than 10% of OSA sufferers have been diagnosed
(approximately 3 million Americans)
- How can dentists help?
Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are both caused by a collapse of the upper airway when the muscles relax during sleep, causing the patient to stop breathing during the night. The largest muscle, and most likely culprit for this problem of airway collapse, is the tongue. The tongue muscle is much larger than most people realize. The tongue is present in the oral cavity (mouth) but it also extends down the throat and beyond throughout most of the length of the collapsible upper airway.
Dental Sleep Solutions® dentists have obtained specialty training in oral appliance therapy, allowing us to fit custom FDA-approved dental devices (sometime called mandibular advancement devices or dental sleep devices) that help control the collapsing of the tongue into the airway, allowing patients to stop snoring and sleep and breath easier throughout the night. A dental sleep device looks similar to a sports mouth guard and can be comfortably worn in the mouth during sleep. The dental devices help prevent snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Oral appliance therapy helps prevent the collapse of the tongue into the airway by moving the jaw forward, allowing air to flow from your mouth into your lungs so you can breathe. Opening the airway decreases snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Most people find these devices much more comfortable than CPAP (the other primary treatment for OSA and snoring) and far less invasive and more predictable than surgery. To learn about alternative methods to treat snoring and sleep apnea click here.
Dental Sleep Solutions® dentists have the specialized knowledge and training to choose and fit an oral appliance that works perfectly for you. Many dentists claim they can provide treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), but only Dental Sleep Solutions® dentists have received the rigorous training necessary to ensure that you are treated properly.