A prosthodontist is a specialist who has received two to three additional years of education and training after dental school at an American Dental Association (ADA) accredited institution. He or she is a specialist of the art of treating damaged and missing teeth. The additional training focuses on mastering the techniques necessary to correct imperfect smiles and dysfunctional aspects of the mouth. As such, Dr. Levine provides among the best restorations the Willamette Valley has available.
In simple terms, prosthodontists are the masters of mouth rehabilitation. Similar to a closing pitcher or quarterback, a prosthodontist is the expert of a team that knows how to make your smile ideal and rehabilitate your mouth back to a healthy state again.
When it comes to your smile, putting your trust in a prosthodontist is the wisest choice you can make. It is always best to have a job done right the first time, and that is why you should trust in someone who has extended training, an additional three years of schooling, and who is considered a master of mouth reconstruction. It is simply the smart choice.
To learn more about how our expert prosthodontist, Dr. Ronald Levine can help you get the mouth you deserve, please schedule your private consultation today.
As a dentist specializing in dental prostheses, Dr. Levine is an expert at the highly complicated dental rehabilitation procedures such as crowns, caps, bridges, veneers, full mouth reconstruction, removable partial dentures, complete dentures, dental implants, sleep apnea and snoring appliances, and TMJ pain.
A prosthodontist also is a master of correcting dental procedures. When a patient doesn’t receive the results he or she was expecting from other dental treatments, many are referred to Dr. Levine in order to correct mishaps and to provide them the smile they deserve.
Though many dentists call themselves “cosmetic dentists,” the American Dental Association does not include cosmetic dentistry as one of the nine dental specialties it recognizes.
With that said, with Dr. Levine's extensive three years of additional training, countless continuing education and experience with "cosmetic dentistry" procedures would probably qualify him as the closest thing to a “cosmetic dentist” as there can be. By way of comparison, other so-called “cosmetic dentists” who are not prosthodontist may only receive training on complicated procedures from a seminar or a series of courses that last a few days or perhaps weeks.
Dr. Levine is considered a master architect of dental procedures. It is he who directs the vision of your final outcome, both the cosmetic aspect, as well as the medicinal and functional components.
Often other dental experts and staff may participate in your treatment, but only under strict supervision of Dr. Levine. Every step along the way is overseen by him.
Call today for you private consultation with Dr. Levine and start on the road to your ideal smile.
Prosthodontists are specialists in replacing or restoring missing teeth. It is estimated that 120 million Americans are missing one or more teeth, and 36 million Americans are missing all of the teeth in one or both of their jaws.
With dental restorations such as dentures and dental implants, people can enjoy health, natural smiles and improved quality of life. Dental restorations may be supported by natural teeth or by dental implants.
Dental restorations can be expensive. It's important to protect your investment!
Patients with dental restorations can keep their teeth healthy using a lifelong recall and maintenance approach. This can reduce risk for failure of tooth and implant-borne restorations.
Dr. Levine will create an at-home maintenance plan that is tailored to you. These are some key steps to ensure the health of your restored teeth:
- Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day.
- Floss your teeth once a day.
- Use a mouthwash recommended by Dr. Levine.
- Wear a night guard (if recommended by Dr. Levine) to protect your restorations.
- Don't smoke or chew tobacco.
- Avoid eating a high-sugar diet.
With these recommendations, your restored teeth are more likely to last longer, feel good, and look great.
Digital imaging is a relatively new technology in dentistry and offers features that enhance the viewing of any problem areas. Digital X-rays use low levels of radiation and an electronic sensor to create a black and white picture of teeth and the surrounding bone. The images are displayed almost instantly on a computer screen and are stored in the computer allowing easy electronic transmission.
Digital X-rays are used inside the mouth to examine the teeth, the jaw-bone, and dental restorations. They play an important role in the diagnosis of decay and failing crowns and fillings, the correct placement of dental implants, and the proper treatment of teeth requiring root canals.
All dental X-rays, including digital X-rays, use very low levels of radiation and are very safe. Protective lead aprons can be used.
CAD/CAM stands for “computer-aided design / computer-aided manufacturing”. Dr. Levine works with dental laboratories utilizing CAD/CAM systems to design and create crowns, bridges, dentures, and other prostheses more efficiently and precise than was possible before.
Radiography refers to the use of X-ray radiation to create images of structures of the body. Like medicine, digital radiography is gradually replacing the traditional dental radiographs using film. Either technique uses low levels of radiation to create a black and white picture of the various structures in and near the mouth. X-rays are used inside the mouth to examine the teeth, the jaw-bone, and dental restorations.
Dental X-rays play an important role in the diagnosis of decay and failing crowns and fillings, the correct placement of dental implants, and the proper treatment of teeth requiring root canals. X-rays are utilized to help with evaluation of the upper and lower jaws, the sinuses and the temporomandibular joints. All dental X-rays, including digital X-rays, use very low levels of radiation and are very safe. Protective lead aprons can be used to cover various body parts when X-rays are taken. Using this technology is safer for the environment as it eliminates chemicals that were needed to develop radiographs in the past.
Whitening: It is not possible to whiten dentures like natural teeth because dentures are made of plastic. To minimize staining, properly clean your dentures daily to remove food and plaque bacteria. Brushing with a denture brush or soft toothbrush will prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained and keep your mouth healthy. Moisten the brush and apply a non-abrasive soap or denture paste (regular toothpaste is too abrasive). Brush every surface, inside and out, scrubbing gently. A variety of over-the-counter denture cleanser products may be safely used (by following the manufacturer’s instructions) to remove most stains. Do not use bleach on your dentures unless Dr. Levine gives you special instructions on using bleach. Dilute household bleach can be used to clean and disinfect your dentures, but don’t use bleach until you see Dr. Levine for instructions. More stubborn stains may require removal by Dr. Levine.
Brushing: Do not brush your dentures with normal toothpaste. Toothpastes are designed to be used on teeth, and they often contain materials and chemicals that help whiten and strengthen teeth, but may harm dentures, which are made of a very durable plastic. Even though the plastic is strong, it is not as strong as the enamel of teeth and may be scratched by using toothpaste to clean your dentures. You should use a dish washing liquid and a special denture brush to clean your dentures by hand every day. After rinsing them thoroughly, soak your dentures in water-based cleaning solution overnight.
Repairing broken dentures: The best solution is to return to Dr. Levine and have the cracked denture repaired professionally. It may seem easy to fix, but it is important that the repair is done correctly to prevent problems with chewing and to avoid any sore spots. Dr. Levine also needs to check the denture and adjust it after it is repaired. The denture may be too old and may no longer fit closely to your gums, and you may need a new denture.
Most patients need to learn how to use dentures properly and as a result, it takes a little time to get use to them. After a while, you should be able to eat fairly normally, but it may take more time to get comfortable with harder or sticky foods. Using a small amount of denture adhesive (no more than three or four pea-sized dabs on each denture) may help stabilize the dentures and help hold them in place while you learn how to get comfortable with them and may make the learning process easier.
Chewing gum: Dentures and chewing gum do not usually work well together, no matter which brand of chewing gum you decide to try. The gum typically sticks to the acrylic plastic in the denture and may break a seal on the dentures, which will loosen them as a result. Gum may remain stuck to the denture and eventually harden and discolor. Ultimately, if you wear dentures, you should avoid chewing gum.
Veneers may be an option if you are not happy with the spaces, color, or shape of your teeth. Following a slight preparation of the outermost surface of your teeth, Dr. Levine bonds a thin layer of porcelain permanently to the front of your teeth. Veneers may be used to correct minor flaws of an individual tooth, but are often used on multiple teeth to create a uniform smile.
From implants to permanent bridges, you have several options to replace missing teeth and blend them with your natural teeth. Using advanced materials and tooth-color matching techniques, Dr. Levine can recommend the appropriate method for optimal function and esthetics.
When a tooth exhibits moderate to severe destruction such as a large filling with recurrent decay or extensive wear, a crown, also known as a protective cap, gives you the strength, beauty, translucency, and feel of a natural tooth. Made from a variety of materials, Dr. Levine can help determine the correct crown for your mouth.
Proper tooth brushing habits are the key to maintaining a healthy, pain-free mouth. Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, the same principles apply to develop the correct tooth brushing techniques. Because it is important to clean your gums as well as your teeth and to avoid damaging the gums, you should always use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Clean the area where the gums meet the teeth by placing the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, touching both the gums and the teeth and make small circles with the brush for several seconds. Then move the brush to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and clean them with a front to back motion of the toothbrush. Electronic toothbrushes may enhance the proper tooth brushing techniques by automatically providing the proper cleansing motion and encouraging specific time interval, usually two minutes, for a thorough cleaning.
Flossing is easy once you get in the habit of flossing regularly. The technique is the same for all types of floss:
- Take approximately 16-18 inches of floss and wrap it around your fingers.
- Use your thumb and index finger to gently guide the floss between the teeth and through the contact area.
- When you reach the gum line, carefully move the floss up and down against each tooth reaching under the gum.
- Readjust the floss to use a clean section for every two teeth.
Initially the gums may bleed when flossing, but with continued and regular tooth flossing the gums will become healthy and stop bleeding.
As the building blocks of our body, cells maintain our tissues and organs. When cell production and regulation lapse, abnormal growths or malignant tumors destroy healthy tissues and spread or metastasize the diseased cells to other parts of the body.
About two-thirds of cancer of the mouth or oral cavity occurs in the floor of mouth and tongue, but can occur in the upper or lower jaw, lips, gums, and cheek lining. Just behind the mouth is an area known as the orophyarnx. Oropharygeal cancer (one-third of cases) occurs in the back of the tongue, tonsils and throat tissue.
- Red or white patches in or behind the mouth
- Mouth sores or ulcers that bleed easily and do not heal
- Unexplained lump in the neck, throat or floor of the mouth
- Difficulty or discomfort swallowing
- Pain and tenderness in teeth or gums
- Change in the fit of dentures or partial dentures
- Visible change in mouth tissue
- Unpleasant sensations (pain, discomfort, numbness)
- Diminished ability to perform normal functions such as opening jaw, chewing or swallowing
- Unexplained swelling or fullness in the neck
The American Cancer Society recommends a comprehensive oral evaluation and soft tissue exam annually, yet only one in five patients reports having an oral cancer exam in the last year. Dr. Levine is trained to perform a comprehensive evaluation of your mouth including the associated structures in the head and neck area.
An oral cancer screening is painless; treatment for advanced oral cancer is not.
Many people experience anxiety before their dental treatment. This dental anxiety may stem from past experiences or just a perception that the dental procedures will be painful. Many methods are available to help reduce or remove dental anxiety. Some people can relieve their anxiety simply by discussing their fears with Dr. Levine and learning more about the planned procedure.
Be open with Dr. Levine about your anxiety and have a discussion on the treatment that is right for you.
Nitrous oxide or "laughing gas" is given to a person with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps anxious people relax during their dental treatment. When using nitrous oxide, the patient remains conscious and can talk during their procedure. The effects wear off almost immediately allowing the person to drive home following the treatment.
Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects when given properly by Dr. Levine. Using nitrous oxide during a dental procedure will reduce dental anxiety for a number of people, but very anxious patients may require a prescription medication.
Sedation is meant to help people calm their nerves through the use of medication or inhaled gas prior to and/or during a treatment procedure. Sedation is helpful for patients with fears related to dental treatment, for patients with a low pain tolerance, or perhaps for patients requiring longer dental appointments. There are different types of sedation used depending on the situation.
Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to help many patients feel comfortable during their dental visit. Before using sedation or anesthetic, it is important to tell Dr. Levine about any medications or herbal supplements you are taking or medical treatments you are receiving.
Any prescription anti-anxiety treatment, will require the individual to be in good general health and to have a driver to take him or her home after the dental procedure.
Anesthesia relates to blocking or temporarily removing sensation from your body or mouth to allow medical or dental treatment without discomfort. Local anesthetics are typically used for dental procedures to remove sensation or “numb” a specific area. General anesthesia is more commonly used in a hospital setting to remove sensation from the entire body during a medical surgery.
Several antibiotics exist that are well-suited to treat dental infections (used as antibiotic therapy), and Dr. Levine can decide the best antibiotic based on the type of infection and your medical history.
People with certain medical conditions such as specific heart conditions (including artificial heart valves) or total joint replacements of the knee and/or hip may need to take antibiotics (antibiotic prophylaxis) before any invasive dental procedures. Some dental procedures may allow bacteria to enter the blood stream. The bacteria in the blood stream can eventually reach either the damaged area of the heart or the artificial joint and cause an infection. In extreme situations, the risk may become life-threatening. Dr. Levine may consult with your cardiologist to determine the appropriate protocol for you.
Dr. Levine of Willamette Valley Prosthodontics would love to meet you and your family. WVP can provide you with the dental care you need and give you the smile you deserve! Our offices provide the exceptional care you need to achieve the beautiful, natural look you seek. We can even reshape your natural teeth to make them straighter and more youthful. Our offices are easily accessible making it convenient for those living near Eugene or Salem to get the care they deserve.Request An Appointment Online
Salem - (503) 363-6852