Services

BOTOX COSMETIC®
Dentistry by Kretchmer is pleased to be providing Botox Cosmetic as a simple, nonsurgical, physician administered treatment that can temporarily smooth moderate to severe frown lines between the brows in people from 18 to 65 years of age.

At Dentistry by Kretchmer you will always see the doctor for your treatment – I believe Dentists are particularly well suited and trained to administer Botox in the facial muscles. Dentists receive extensive education in head and neck anatomy. This training and understanding of facial musculature and the effect it has on appearance and function is the foundation of understanding what effect a Botox injection will have on any given patient. For more info regarding our Botox Treatments in Cottage Grove, MN. click this link.

BIOLASE

BIOLASE® Technology designs innovative dental lasers to reduce the complexity and trauma associated with many common dental procedures. The “drill” strikes fear into the hearts of many with its noise, vibration and heat.

The Waterlase® device utilizes hydrokinetic technology to remove hard and soft tissue with laser-powered water droplets. There is no heat, no vibrations and no noise associated with the Waterlase laser, and it is completely safe. The FDA deemed the hydrokinetic laser safe for use on both adults and children in 1998. Read more about the Biolase technology in our Cottage Grove, MN office by clicking the link.

BONDING
Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material is placed on the tooth.  This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth or for cosmetic purposes.

The tooth is first roughened and a conditioner is applied in order to improve the bond between the composite resin (tooth-colored filling) and the tooth surface.  The composite resin is now ready to be applied and molded to the tooth.  Once this is complete an ultraviolet light is used to harden the material.  The dentist will then trim away the excess material and polish the filling in order to make it look like a natural tooth.

BRIDGES
Bridges are one of the many treatment options for filling a space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth both functionally and cosmetically.  A bridge uses the teeth adjacent to the missing space as support.

Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or aesthetics.

It is important to replace missing teeth as soon as possible.  Missing teeth increases the risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.  Having missing teeth can also cause a shift in the alignment of your teeth, it may cause speech disorders, as well as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).

COSMETIC DENTISTRY
Creating a beautiful smile is the focus of cosmetic dentistry.  The color, alignment, spacing as well as regularity of the teeth are the characteristics that give the overall appearance. Any of these can be repaired to give a stunning look to the mouth.

At Dr. Kretchmer’s office a wide variety of cosmetic options are offered.   Some of these options are whitening, smile design, re-contouring of the shape of the teeth, veneers, bonding, and all ceramic/porcelain crowns.

CROWNS
Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns help prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile.

It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits the crown is made, usually of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy, all ceramic material, or gold. During this time a temporary crown is worn. In the second visit this temporary is removed. Then the permanent crown is adjusted as needed and then cemented in place.

VENEERS
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.

The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding.

The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very aesthetic.

The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers may be contraindicated for teeth with large fillings or little tooth structure.

DENTURES
There are different types of dentures, but they share a common function. Dentures are one of the many treatment options for replacing teeth that are missing due to periodontitis, tooth decay or trauma.

First, the entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The teeth are then extracted and the area is allowed to heal before the dentures are fabricated. Dentures are fitted to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth, depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it may take some getting used to. But once accustomed to the dentures, all the normal functionality and appearance return and one can carry on as usual. Often implants can be used to further stabilize the dentures.

FILLINGS
Fillings are done to remove decay, and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because the material fills the “hole” left by decay. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated, tooth decay can lead to pain, infection and possibly the need for root canal therapy or extraction.

IMPLANTS
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to set. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the bone the dentist can start the process of making a crown which attaches to the implant. This permanent solution has several advantages over a bridge. One advantage being that it does not use the adjacent teeth for support, therefore no stress is placed on these teeth.

Implants can also be used as support as part of an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages. First, there is no adjustment period since implants look and function like natural teeth. Implants also prevent bone loss that normally occurs once a tooth is lost. Best of all, since they are not removable it eliminates some of the difficulties associated with dentures.

We also offer mini dental implants. These implants are about half the diameter of traditional implants and are traditionally used to stabilize lower dentures. These implants can be placed in one appointment. The cost is 50-70% of standard dental implants. Call for a free consult.

LASER DECAY DETECTION
The DIAGNOdent is a revolutionary new way to detect decay in its earliest stages. This allows us to detect cavities that are forming months or years before they will ever show up on x-rays. This early detection makes it very easy to stop or prevent small cavities from becoming larger. Larger cavities require more extensive dental work and are usually more costly. Best of all, this process is completely painless!

NITROUS OXIDE (Laughing Gas)
Now, this isn’t really a service in itself, it’s used to make other treatment more comfortable. This is the famous dental anesthetic. It’s safe, has proven effective over a long period of time, and is pleasant. You will be given a mask that allows you to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. In about 30 seconds to 4 minutes you will notice a more sedate feeling, and your cheek and gums may go numb. After this any needed local anesthetic is applied and treatment begins. Afterwards, you will be given pure oxygen to breathe for about five minutes to dissipate the effects of the nitrous and return you to a normal state.

NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENTS (Periodontal Disease)
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for ones teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium (gum disease) may be as follows: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these signs may mean something is wrong. With the proper care, however, it may be possible to return them to a healthy state. This is where appropriate gum treatments come in. If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so we can take care of it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to get it treated at the first sign of a problem.

ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to this pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). Once the infection reaches the pulp, it can no longer be treated by a traditional filling and a root canal or extraction is needed.

Signs and symptoms that occur once the pulp is infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.

A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.

SEALANTS
Sealants are primarily used to prevent cavities from forming on the chewing surface of the tooth. The chewing surface has intricate pits and grooves which can easily trap food debris and plaque. These pits and grooves combined with plaque create an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and eventually cause tooth decay.

The process of applying sealants is quick and painless. The tooth is first cleaned of any debris. This is followed by placing an “etching” solution on the tooth which helps the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant is then applied to the tooth surface and is hardened with a light source. Once the light is used to harden the sealant, you can eat and drink normally.

TMJ TREATMENTS
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it’s where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.

Problems in this area can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Pain in the jaw muscles
  • Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face

Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.

WHITENING – INCLUDING Zoom!
This is the procedure of making teeth whiter, and therefore more attractive. Our office uses several methods: Zoom!, passive tray whitening, and professional strength white strips.

Zoom! is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. It’s safe, effective, and very fast. In just over an hour, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. The convenience of Zoom! in comparison to days of using strips or wearing trays, makes it the perfect choice for the busy individual.

The Zoom! Whitening procedure is simple. It begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. The clinician then applies the proprietary Zoom! Whitening gel that is activated by a specially designed light. Teeth typically become at least six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more. A fluoride treatment completes the procedure. You’ll be amazed with the results. In most cases, teeth get even whiter the first few days after the procedure. Trays with gel are recommended afterward for maximum whitening and maintenance.

The tray method involves having impressions taken from which laboratory fabricated custom vinyl trays are made. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays, and the trays with gel are worn anywhere from 3 hours to overnight. The entire process takes 3-4 weeks of daily use. Three different strengths of gel may be used, however the higher the strength the greater the likelihood of reactions or tooth sensitivity. The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining, and it may take several months of use to see significant color improvement. For maintenance of whitened teeth the trays should be used every couple months.

The end results, whether using trays at home or doing Zoom!, are the same.

X-RAYS
This is a focused beam of x-ray particles which produces an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This gives the familiar black and white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems.

X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and to not use them could lead to undiagnosed disease. Without an X-ray of the whole tooth, and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.

In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take X-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional X-rays. This digital technique also allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis of any dental concerns while substantially decreasing the amount of radiation the patient receives.