Fillings & Extractions

Fillings
Fillings are used to repair and restore tooth structure that has been compromised by dental caries, or cavities, and are among the most common dental procedures. While fillings are available in nearly any dental office, there are a few notable things that set Synergy Dental apart:

  • NOT doing fillings!  Not what you expect from a dentist?  The fact is, no filling material is as good as your natural enamel.  When decay is detectable on an xray but appears to be isolated to the enamel layer, Dr. Ulm recommends remineralizing at home with a non-fluoride paste.  The problem spot is then re-examined at a later date to ensure it has remained small.  Remineralization is considered successful so long as the cavity doesn’t grow and remains isolated to the enamel.  Our philosophy is no filling is best, whenever possible!
  • We are a Mercury-Free and Mercury-Safe practice, meaning we never use mercury filling material, and Dr. Ulm has been trained extensively to remove mercury fillings safely. Read more about Mercury-Safe Dentistry.
  • Conservative, minimal prep: One of the main tenets of biological dentistry is conservative, minimally invasive treatment, and Dr. Ulm is careful when prepping a tooth for a filling to remove only what is necessary, conserving as much of the healthy enamel as possible.  We never place crowns on teeth that don’t already have them, preferring instead to use simple fillings or biomimetic onlays.  See our Onlays page for more information.
  • Safe, non-toxic materials: We thoroughly research every material we use.  While it is impossible to completely avoid the use of chemicals in restoring compromised teeth, we are educated and informed as to the risks of using filling materials, and take steps to mitigate patient exposure to chemicals in the chair.  It’s not only Dr. Ulm who is aware of these risks – our chairside assistants are carefully trained and informed as well.
  • As painless as it gets:  Dr. Ulm is constantly complimented on his gentle, pain-free injection technique.  The secret? Aside from his own expertise after 17 years of practice, he is willing to wait long enough to allow the topical anesthetic to fully take effect prior to giving the injection, and allows the anesthetic to infiltrate slowly, avoiding tissue damage.
  • Beautiful tooth-colored fillings: Dr. Ulm carefully matches the color of your filling to the color of your tooth, and contours each filling to look as close to your natural tooth as possible. Most of our patients can’t tell which tooth has a filling and which doesn’t!

Extractions
An extraction involves removing a tooth, whether it be a stubborn baby tooth that won’t let go on its own, a wisdom tooth that threatens to cause problems, or a chronically infected tooth or failed root canal.  While some general dentists are uncomfortable performing extractions, Dr. Ulm is both incredibly skilled and gentle at removing teeth safely.  As a biological dentist, there are a few additional steps Dr. Ulm takes while extracting permanent teeth which result in better healing and fewer post-operative complications, such as infection and dry socket.

  • Removal of Periodontal Ligament (PDL), Debridement, and Ozone Therapy:  In addition to removing the tooth itself, the soft tissue surrounding the tooth, the periodontal ligament (PDL), is also removed, along with any infected/compromised bone surrounding the root.  The socket is then flushed with ozonated water to disinfect and kill pathogenic bacteria.
  • Platelet-Rich Fibrin Grafting: Prior to the extraction a blood draw is taken from the patient, and the vials of blood are spun in a calibrated centrifuge right here in our lab.  The blood separates into plasma, red blood cells and heme, and a wonderful substance called platelet-rich fibrin, or PRF.  This PRF includes platelets, or clotting agents, as well as growth factors and fibrin, and has been shown to have marked therapeutic benefits in bone healing (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3740636/).   One or more PRF grafts are placed inside the socket to fill the void left by the tooth, and another is pressed flat and stitched over the socket to close it.  The stitches resorb after 3-5 days and do not require removal.  The PRF graft adheres to the socket walls, preventing dry-socket, food impaction, and infection.

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