Dr. Eilers offers a variety of services in their practice in Portland, OR.
Click the links below to about the different services offered at Eilers Family Dentistry.
Exams & 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:
Remove plaque build-up from the surfaces of teeth. Bacteria in the mouth form plaque, which collects on teeth and causes decay, gum disease and gingivitis
Remove tartar from teeth surfaces. Tartar, or calculus, is plaque that has become so hardened on the teeth that its removal requires special procedures. Tartar below the gum line is also an indicator of gum disease
Remove surface stains from teeth through polishing
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:
Gum disease screening
Oral Cancer screening
Visual tooth decay evaluation
Visual gum disease examination
Gum pocket measurement and tracking
X-ray examination to detect: tooth decay, cysts, tumors, problems below the gums and other hidden issues
X-rays (Radiographs) X-rays are a primary tool for early identification of dental problems. Detecting issues with x-rays before they become problems can save you money in the long run. Early detection can help prevent the need for more extensive, expensive procedures or surgeries.
X-rays are primarily used to detect:
Internal tooth decay
Cysts (fluid filled sacks at the base of your teeth)
Tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous
Teeth that are still coming in
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease) Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing, and gums that are red, inflamed or swollen.
Gum disease and tooth decay are two different diseases. Gum disease starts to deteriorate the bone, and if deterioration is allowed to continue, "pockets" form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3mm may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually decrease the bone levels and can lead to bone loss.
Gum disease is not curable, however, it can be kept under control with proper personal hygiene and regular visits to a trained dentist or hygienist.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral Cancer Screening
Your mouth is part of the oral cavity, which also includes your lips, cheek lining, gums, front part of your tongue, floor of the mouth and the hard palate (roof of your mouth). The throat (pharynx) starts at the soft part of the roof of your mouth and continues back into your throat. It includes the back section of your tongue as well as the base where the tongue attaches to the floor of your mouth.
During your dental visit, your dentist can talk to you about your health history and examine these areas for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer. Regular visits to your dentist can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.
Symptoms of Mouth or Throat Cancer
Sores that bleed easily or do not heal
Thick or hard spot or lump
Roughened or crusted area
Numbness, pain or tenderness
Change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
Make sure to tell your dentist about any problems you have when chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw.
At Eilers Family Dentistry in Portland, Dr. Eilers will include a thorough oral cancer screening during your comprehensive exam.
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 way 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.
Crowns and Bridges
A crown is a covering that will wrap and protect the entire surface of a tooth, allowing it to look and function just like the original tooth. Crowns work to strengthen the tooth while protecting the existing structure, extending the life of the tooth longer that it would be with a filling or another restoration.
Reasons for Choosing a Dental Crown
Dental crowns can correct a variety of problems that you might be experiencing with your teeth:
Fractured or broken teeth
Severely decayed teeth
To protect a tooth after a root canal
Types of Dental Crowns
There are three main types of dental crowns available, and we'll help you choose the right one for your mouth:
All Porcelain: The all porcelain crown is one of the most aesthetically pleasing options, but it is generally only recommended for the front teeth. When placed on the rear teeth, the risk of fracture with these crowns will increase.
Gold: Gold crowns are extremely durable, and they are best suited for the back molars where they cannot be seen. Gold crowns are useful for people who clench or grind their teeth. Gold crowns tend to be most similar to your natural teeth, which will allow the tissue to quickly adapt to the restoration, and a minimal amount of your natural tooth structure will need to be removed to have the crown put into place.
Porcelain Fused to Metal: This type of crown will feature a metal base with porcelain attached to the outside, making the restoration more attractive than an entirely metal option. If you want the durability of a gold crown, but want your tooth to look as natural as possible, this would be a great selection. Some risk does still exist regarding fractures, but in the event of a chip or break, it is usually just the outer porcelain portion that is damaged.
The Dental Crown Procedure
If you'll be getting a dental crown, you can plan on having two appointments to complete the process. At your first visit, the tooth will be prepared by removing decay, and the surface will be shaped so that it can fit the crown. We will take impressions of your teeth so that your customized crown can be created, and you'll likely wear a temporary restoration while we await your crown to be finished.
At your follow-up appointment, we'll take off your temporary crown and will carefully place the permanent one into place. We'll also ensure proper bite and spacing.
After your appointment, we'll encourage you to follow-up with us regularly. While proper oral hygiene is essential, you'll also need regular dental care to ensure that your crown is in the best possible shape.
Dental bridges are fixed appliances that will work to restore the structure and function of your teeth after tooth loss. These appliances are non-removable, so they will become a permanent part of your smile. There are many different types of bridges, and we can help you to choose the option that is right for your unique dental needs.
A traditional bridge is the most common type of bridge that is used to improve tooth loss, and it is made of metal and porcelain. The bridge contains two porcelain crowns fused to metal that will slip over two anchoring teeth found on either side of the artificial teeth. The bridge then fills the gap that was created due to tooth loss.
Reasons for Choosing a Fixed Bridge
There are numerous reasons that you might choose a fixed bridge to correct your tooth loss:
Restore the smile
Improve your ability to speak and chew normally
Maintain your normal face shape
Fill in the spaces left by missing teeth
Prevent the remaining teeth from shifting positions
Upgrade from removable dentures
Getting Your Fixed Bridge
The process of getting your bridge will generally require at least two appointments with your dentist. Your teeth will be numbed to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure, and the anchoring teeth will then be prepared by having a thin portion of the enamel removed in order to make room for a crown. Molds will be made of your teeth to be sent into a dental lab, and the bridge is fabricated at this facility. You may also be able to wear a temporary bridge until your follow-up appointment, which will usually be scheduled about two weeks out.
At your next visit, we’ll remove your temporary bridge, and the new bridge will be checked for proper fit. Once it is determined that the appliance is ready, it will be bonded or cemented into place.
Caring for Your Dental Bridge
Bridges are created to be highly durable, and with proper care, they can last for several years. However, even normal wear can require them to need replacement, so be sure to follow-up with your dentist regularly to ensure that your appliance is still in good shape. You should also be sure to brush and floss properly in order to keep your remaining teeth healthy and avoid future tooth loss.
A dental implant is a titanium post designed to replace missing teeth. The post is surgically placed into the jawbone where the tooth is missing, and provides a more permanent solution.
Crowns and conventional bridges or dentures may not be your only options when replacing missing teeth. For some people, dental implants offer a smile that looks and feels very natural. Implants are surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, and fuse to the jawbone. Implants offer stability because they fuse to your bone, a process called osseointegration. Integration of the implants into your jaw also helps your replacement teeth feel more natural, and some people also find the secure fit more comfortable than conventional substitutes. Candidates for dental implants must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant.
Reasons for Dental Implants
Replace a missing tooth
Maintain healthy bone levels
Help support overdentures
Keep the look and feel of a real tooth where one is missing
What Does a Dental Implant Involve? Implant Site Preparation The gum tissue is opened to expose the bone area where the implant will be placed. In situations where there is insufficient bone structure, bone grafting may be a recommended procedure. Once healthy bone has been established, a special drill is used to prepare the bone to receive the implant.
Placing the Implant After the bone has been prepared, the implant is placed and the tissue is sutured. After seven to ten days the sutures are removed. The healing process takes three to six months. This is the amount of time it usually takes the implant to become part of the bone of the jaw.
Attaching the Post When the gum tissue is ready, a special post is attached to the implant; it is the support for the new porcelain crown. Today's technologies often include zirconium abutments attached to the implant post, to assure that the new porcelain tooth possesses translucency properties similar to a natural tooth.
Placing the Crown After impressions are taken a crown is made and shaded to match your existing teeth. The crown is then slipped over the post and cemented. This final prosthetic crown appears as a natural tooth.
There is a high rate of failure of implants in patients who smoke, so dental implants tend to not be an 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.
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 Portland office; however, more complicated procedures may be referred to one of our trusted oral surgeons.
Why Are Teeth Extracted?
Severely decayed teeth
Periodontal disease leading to bone loss
Fractured in such a way that it is impossible or impractical to repair
Badly positioned (impacted wisdom teeth)
Non-functional or poorly functional teeth that should be replaced with a bridge, denture or dental implant
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.
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
Restoring small to medium sized cavities
Restoring a chipped anterior (front) tooth
What Does a Filling Involve? First, Dr. Eilers will answer any questions you have and will apply anesthetic to the tooth requiring the filling.
Dr. Eilers will thoroughly remove the decay that is present and prepare the tooth to successfully bond with either the composite material or amalgam (silver alloy).
What Are Composite Fillings? Composite fillings are tooth-colored to blend in with the remaining natural part of the tooth. The term composite refers to the actual filling material, which is a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium.
Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Less tooth structure is removed when the dentist prepares the tooth and this may result in a smaller filling than with an amalgam.
In addition, composites are "bonded" or attached with adhesive to the tooth often allowing a more conservative repair. Composite fillings require that the tooth be kept clean and dry during the entire filling process, and they are subject to stain and discoloration over time. The life expectancy of a white filling can depend greatly on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite.
Composite filling material is also commonly used to repair front teeth that have chipped or worn. Where possible, aesthetic bonding of composite material to front teeth is generally much less expensive than veneers or crowns. However, bonding typically does not last as long as veneers or crowns.
If your tooth is sensitive for a week or more it is important to contact our office so we can examine the tooth and determine if additional treatment is needed.
Inlay & 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 Eilers Family Dentistry, 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.
Partial & Full 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.
Often called a "partial," this type of denture is often used when only some of the teeth are missing.
A partial denture is a removable appliance held in place by gripping the remaining healthy teeth, usually with metal clasps or wires.
It is an economical solution that allows all missing teeth in the same arch (either the upper or the lower) to be replaced with one appliance. A partial denture is inherently much more stable and therefore more comfortable than a complete denture. There are many factors that help us to determine if you are a candidate for tooth replacement with a partial denture. Among these factors, the health of the gums and the shape of the anchor teeth are most important.
Reasons for Partial Dentures
Multiple teeth missing in the same arch
Restore chewing function
The metal clasps are usually visible and usually affect the beauty of your smile. Often, there are options available to reduce or eliminate the need for visible clasps.
Finally, partial dentures can be designed to allow for the future loss of teeth that may not be as healthy as the rest. Alternatives to partial dentures include bridges, implants, and, occasionally, full dentures.
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
All teeth missing in the same arch
Restore chewing ability
Restore a natural looking smile
Economical alternative to other procedures
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.
A "root canal," or endodontic therapy, is a procedure available to save a tooth that is infected and would otherwise require extraction. There are many reasons that teeth can become infected, including: cavities, previous large fillings, crowns, cracks, trauma and extreme wear.
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (nerve and blood supply), bacteria and any decay are removed, and the resulting space is filled with an inert material called gutta percha. After the tooth is healed, getting a crown is recommended, because the tooth will become brittle.
Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a problematic tooth is the best (and most economical) solution. Extracting, or pulling a tooth, could ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth, as well as causing loss of bone around the extraction site.
While root canal therapy has a high degree of success, it is not 100% guaranteed. It is very important to have a permanent restoration (usually a crown) placed within 30 days of the root canal. If a permanent restoration is not placed, the tooth can fracture or further decay to the point where the root canal must be re-done or, worse, the tooth must be removed.
Reasons for Root Canal Therapy
Decay has reached the tooth's pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
Infection or abscess has developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
Injury or trauma to the tooth
Extreme wear due to bruxism (grinding)
What Does Root Canal Therapy Involve? A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by Dr. Eilers. While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and isolated from the other teeth. Your Portland dentist will then create a hole at the top of the tooth, and clean the infected pulp from inside the tooth. Medicine will be applied to remove any bacteria, and a temporary filling will be placed. When the tooth has had time to heal from the root canal treatment, you will need to return to our offices to check the healing of the tooth. If the tooth has healed, then it will be ready to have a permanent crown placed to prevent any further decay or fracturing of the treated area.
At times the tooth requiring treatment has a complex root or the infection is such that it needs a specialist, called an endodontist, to examine and complete root canal therapy. Dr. Eilers will work closely with the endodontic specialist to review your treatment case, send necessary records to their office, and place the crown after your root canal is completed. Our office staff will help coordinate your appointments, and help you understand your financial responsibility.
Tooth veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry technique for creating a beautiful smile. They consist of thin sections of durable porcelain that are custom made for the unique shape of your teeth. Dental laboratories create the veneers to match the exact color and shape specifications sent in by your dentist, and once completed, they will be bonded onto the front surface of your teeth.
Veneers are often chosen as alternatives to crowns and other restorations, and they can be used to completely alter the shape of your smile and teeth. They are quite durable and can last for several years, allowing you to enjoy a beautiful and long-lasting smile.
Reasons to Choose Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers can correct a variety of dental issues to improve the appearance and function of your smile:
Teeth that have been severely stained
Yellowed or discolored teeth
Teeth that appear too large or small for your smile
Gaps or other uneven spaces
Teeth that have been chipped, broken, or worn
The Porcelain Veneer Procedure
If you've decided to use porcelain veneers to improve your smile, you'll need to schedule two visits. At your first appointment, your teeth will be prepared via light buffing and surface shaping so that the veneer can fit around the tooth. Impressions or molds of your teeth will be taken, and you and your dentist will choose the color of your new restorations.
At your second visit, your teeth will be cleaned with a specialized solution that will help the veneers to bond to the surface of your teeth. Bonding cement will be placed between the veneer and the natural tooth, and your dentist will use a specialized light to help set the bond and harden the cement.
After your appointment, you should continue to see your dentist regularly to check up on the health and appearance of your smile. By following a proper dental hygiene routine and getting in regular visits with your dentist, you'll extend the life of your beautiful new porcelain veneers.
Whitening the teeth is one of the easiest and most noticeable changes that you can make to improve the appearance of your smile. Whitening, or bleaching, is a non-invasive and simple dental treatment that will alter the color of your tooth enamel to make your smile look whiter and brighter.
For many people, dull or stained teeth are the primary concerns that they have about their smile. At-home teeth whitening systems are the most popular method for correcting this problem. However, if you have older fillings, crowns, and other restorations, you need to be aware that these whitening systems will only work to improve the appearance of the natural tooth enamel, so you won't notice any changes on these restorations. It is recommended that you have these restorations replaced after bleaching your teeth so that they match the new and improved color of the rest of your smile.
Reasons to Whiten Your Teeth
There are numerous reasons why you might choose to whiten your teeth:
Brown or yellow stains due to smoking or your diet
Discoloration due to fluorosis (too much fluoride during the development of the teeth)
Stains due to certain medications
Normal wear of the enamel
The Teeth Whitening Process
If you choose to whiten your teeth with a home whitening system, you will generally need two dental appointments. At your first visit, your dentist will take molds of your teeth to create customized plastic trays to hold the whitening solution.
After your trays have been fabricated, you'll be set up for a second appointment in which you'll ensure they fit properly. You'll receive instructions on how to wear the trays for optimal results. In most cases, this will involve wearing them either overnight or twice per day for several weeks.
Caring for Your Whitened Teeth
When whitening your teeth, it is completely normal to experience sensitivity. Fortunately, this discomfort should stop once you have finished with your bleaching treatment, but if it doesn't, sensitivity toothpaste can help with the symptoms.
It is important to remember that teeth whitening isn't a permanent procedure, so to get the most out of your results, you should be sure to avoid foods and beverages that could stain your smile, including wine, tea, soda, and coffee. If you are a smoker, you should also consider giving up the habit. Additionally, you will likely need an annual touch-up in order to maintain your beautiful, white smile.
Eilers Family Dentistry 5018 East Burnside Street Portland, OR 97215