Dr. Hess Dentistry provides a full range of dental services. We are equipped with today’s technologies, techniques and materials to serve every smile. Our friendly environment is the perfect place for dental care for every member of the family, and we also proudly serve the military.
If think you are experiencing a dental emergency, please feel free to call our office with questions during normal business hours at 317-535-5665. If it is after office hours, read our information on dental emergencies to help you decide whether to seek treatment immediately or take precautions at home.
Preventive dental care at Dr. Hess Dentistry is stress-free and responsive to your needs, whether you have dental anxiety or just want a relaxing environment to call your dental home. Our hygienists and assistants are highly trained and will make sure your appointment is as comfortable and efficient as possible.
A regular check-up includes an exam, x-rays, cleaning, and fluoride treatment. The exam screens for gum disease, tooth decay, oral cancer, and more. Digital x-rays are used to check for tooth decay (cavities) in flossing areas and identify potentially infected teeth. As Dr. Hess says, even if you brush and floss regularly, you may not have “won the genetic lottery” when it comes to your risk for tooth decay. It can happen to anyone, but catching it early is the key.
Along with your exam and x-rays, a cleaning and fluoride treatment by one of our licensed hygienists will help prevent the development of gum disease or tooth decay, and leave your mouth with a refreshed, clean feeling. Because the microbes that cause gum disease and tooth decay can re-establish themselves within weeks or months, we generally recommend a regular check-up every six months. Sometimes more frequent cleanings may be recommended.
PEDIATRIC DENTAL CARE
We love children! As a father of four, Dr. Hess has a lot of experience with kids and he loves to make their dental visits fun. Ask him to make you a balloon animal (just not a pig; he hasn’t figured that out yet). Our hygienists are also trained to help our youngest patients feel right at home.
A child’s dental needs aren’t the same as an adult’s. Baby teeth are smaller, their enamel is thinner, and as a result they are much more susceptible to decay. At Dr. Hess Dentistry our pediatric dental program is designed to prevent decay, and catch it as early as possible when it does happen. Childhood fear of the dentist can lead to lifelong dental neglect, so we want to make the dentist a fun and relaxing place, especially for our pediatric patients.
We see patients from toddler up, and recommend that a child visit the dentist for the first time by his first birthday, or earlier if you suspect any problems. Visits for very young patients are simple and short, with the goal of letting children get used to being in a dentist’s office. We will screen for cavities and other problems, and perform a simple cleaning if the child is ready for it.
As our patients grow and their teeth mature, cleanings will become a little longer. We recommend fluoride treatments (AKA “tooth vitamins”) for school-age children. This consists of a flavored “varnish” painted on the teeth that makes them stronger and more resistant to decay. If you or your family have any concerns about fluoride use, Dr. Hess is happy to discuss them. Be assured that, while this is a treatment we recommend, it is not required, and we are not pushy or preachy about fluoride.
Dr. Hess will also guide parents in choosing orthodontic treatment to straighten crooked teeth. The age at which orthodontic treatment begins varies widely from child to child, but usually only adult teeth (not baby teeth) will be straightened once they have all erupted. Some orthodontic care can be provided at Dr. Hess Dentistry. When necessary, we will refer you to a trusted specialist.
How your smile looks can literally impact your whole life. At Dr. Hess Dentistry, we want you to look and feel great. Whether you’re looking for whiter, straighter or naturally spaced teeth, we’re here to help.
Some of the cosmetic services Dr. Hess provides include
- whitening trays,
- tooth-colored crowns and fillings,
- cosmetic resin bonding,
- and more!
- Coming soon: Invisalign, braces, and orthodontics!
CAVITIES AND TOOTH DECAY
At Dr. Hess Dentistry, cavities and tooth decay are usually treated with either a filling or a crown, or both.
FILLINGS: In most cases cavities and tooth decay can be treated by a filling. At Dr. Hess Dentistry we place cosmetically appealing, tooth-colored fillings. To fill a tooth, Dr. Hess will remove the decayed portion of the tooth, the bacteria that caused the decay, and all of their bacterial byproducts. A well-placed filling will also restore the natural shape and contour of the tooth to make it more self-cleansing and prevent future decay.
A filling can be placed in one relatively quick and easy appointment, and we’ll make you as comfortable as possible the entire time. If you have questions about our filling material, please feel free to contact us with your concerns. Dr. Hess enjoys talking about dental materials!
CROWNS: In some cases of severe or extensive decay, a crown is required to stop the decay process. You may have heard a crown referred to as a “cap.” Just like a cap covers your head, a crown is a porcelain cap that completely covers the chewing surface of the tooth. The crown seals off most of the tooth from the plaque and bacteria that cause decay. It also reinforces and strengthens the tooth to prevent it from breaking or fracturing. A filling called a “core buildup” is also frequently required to strengthen the tooth prior to being crowned.
A crown generally takes at least two appointments; the first one is longer, but the second one is usually very short as the new crown is placed.
If you have an accident that causes a broken tooth (or any other injury to a tooth) it is important to see a dentist immediately!
At Dr. Hess Dentistry we see and treat dental emergencies as quickly as possible, even on weekends, or we will refer you to a nearby dentist. Please call us immediately at 317-535-5665.
Depending on how much of the tooth is broken, a broken tooth may be treated with a filling, crown, root canal, or extraction.
FILLING: If a small piece of a tooth breaks off, and you’re not experiencing any pain or sensitivity in the tooth, there’s a good chance a filling can fix the tooth. A filling is done to replace small pieces of missing tooth. The tooth-colored filling will blend in with the original tooth structure and look as natural as possible.
CROWN: If a large piece of a tooth has broken off, or if the tooth is experiencing mild sensitivity after the fracture, a crown may be needed. The crown can replace larger amounts of missing tooth structure. Additionally, some sensitivity can be lessened by placing a crown; covering the entire tooth with porcelain provides some “insulation” to the tooth and the nerve inside the tooth.
ROOT CANAL: If a tooth is broken and in pain, a root canal treatment may be required to stop the pain and save the tooth. Root canal treatment removes the nerve inside the tooth, or any infection inside the tooth, and then fills up the roots of the tooth to prevent any future infection. In the case of a broken tooth that needs root canal treatment, the tooth usually needs a crown as well. Dr. Hess is experienced in root canals and can perform most of them in-office. In a more complicated case, you will be referred to a trusted local endodontist.
EXTRACTION: In cases where a tooth has been severely broken, or if the tooth root is fractured below the bone, it may be impossible to save the tooth. In a case like this removing the tooth (extraction) may be necessary. But don’t worry! If an extraction is necessary we have good options to replace missing teeth. No one will notice a difference in your smile.
Few things are harder to endure than a toothache! The dental team at Dr. Hess Dentistry will make you comfortable and provide long-term solutions to your pain.
Please don’t “suffer through it”; call our office at 317-535-5665 or contact us right away to set up an appointment. Even if your pain is intermittent, any toothache is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and we would like to see you as quickly as possible.
While there are many possible causes of a toothache, by the time a tooth hurts so much that it won’t let you sleep, usually either root canal treatment or an extraction is needed to stop the pain. Dr. Hess has extensive experience in emergency dentistry, and is ready to alleviate your dental pain today.
ROOT CANAL: When a tooth hurts, a root canal treatment removes the nerve inside the tooth to stop the pain. This is done in cases of infection or irreversible pain. After the nerve or infection is removed the roots of the tooth are filled up to prevent a future infection. If too much of the tooth is damaged or decayed, or if the tooth root is cracked below the bone, it may not be possible to do a successful root canal to restore the tooth to health. In a case like this Dr. Hess may recommend extracting the tooth.
While many root canals can be performed in our office, in complicated cases Dr. Hess may refer you to a trusted local endodontist.
EXTRACTION: Sometimes a painful tooth cannot be saved by any means. In such cases, Dr. Hess will recommend removing the tooth (extraction). While this is usually our treatment of last resort, there are good options to replace missing teeth.
A healthy smile is part of your overall well-being. When teeth are missing, you can suffer loss of confidence, impaired nutrition, digestive issues, or increased risk of infection, to name a few. At Dr. Hess Dentistry, we’ll talk with you about your options to replace missing teeth.
Depending on which teeth are missing, and how many of them, Dr. Hess might recommend a dental implant, bridge, partial denture, complete denture, or a combination of these.
DENTAL IMPLANTS: A dental implant is the ideal treatment for a missing tooth. Implant treatment begins with placing a threaded titanium “root” in the bone in the area of the missing tooth. Over the course of a few months the bone will integrate with the titanium to hold it in place. After this happens, a crown is made to attach to the titanium “root”. If multiple teeth are missing, implants can also be placed to support a bridge, partial denture, or complete denture.
BRIDGE: Sometimes one “false” tooth can be supported between two healthy teeth to bridge a gap in your smile. The two teeth on either side of the gap will be prepared for crowns. Then one unit, composed of multiple crowns, will be made and cemented on to the teeth. When the whole unit is cemented into place, the empty space is filled with a very life-like “false” tooth. A bridge is sometimes an ideal option to replace missing teeth, but it does require extra care and cleaning.
PARTIAL DENTURE: In cases where multiple teeth are missing in different areas of the mouth, a partial denture may be a good and strategic treatment choice. A partial denture is made of a metal or plastic framework that clips into and attaches to your existing natural teeth. That framework supports denture teeth that fill in gaps left by missing teeth. To qualify for a partial denture, the remaining teeth must be healthy enough to support it, and kept healthy with regular cleanings.
COMPLETE DENTURE: If you are missing either all your upper teeth or all your lower teeth, a complete denture is a good treatment option. It replaces all of the teeth in either the upper or lower dental arch. If there are not enough remaining teeth in either arch to support a partial denture, or if the remaining teeth are not healthy enough to support a partial denture, Dr. Hess may recommend that the remaining teeth be extracted and a complete denture made. Modern dentures are natural-looking and comfortable for a confident smile.
If you’re concerned about the stability of a denture, ask Dr. Hess if you’re a candidate for implants to help support your denture.
Periodontal disease, also called “gum disease,” is one of the most common diseases worldwide, and most people who have it don’t even know it! At Dr. Hess Dentistry our approach to gum disease is separated into three categories:
PREVENTIVE CLEANING, DEEP CLEANING, and PERIODONTAL MAINTENANCE
PREVENTIVE CLEANING: The best approach to periodontal disease is to prevent it whenever possible. At your regular six-month cleaning we will thoroughly clean your teeth and gums to remove plaque and tartar. The bacteria that cause gum disease live in plaque and tartar, so cleaning them out is the best preventative measure possible.
Remember, you may not be able to prevent periodontal disease just by good brushing and flossing habits. There are areas in your mouth that cannot be cleaned with a toothbrush or floss, so it is important to have your teeth regularly cleaned by a dental professional. Our hygienists are trained to both clean thoroughly and to keep you comfortable during the procedure. With regular six-month cleanings, these appointments are relatively short and routine.
DEEP CLEANING: A deep cleaning is also known as “scaling and root planing.” This treatment is done to interrupt the disease process when there is active gum disease. About a month after a deep cleaning we follow up to determine if the gum disease was successfully stopped.
PERIODONTAL MAINTENANCE: The damage done by periodontal disease is irreversible. If you have experienced gum disease in the past it is extra important to have regular cleanings to ensure the disease process does not begin again. A periodontal maintenance is the type of cleaning done to ensure gum disease does not begin again. Any patient that has ever had periodontal disease will receive this extra attention from our excellent, trained hygienists.