General Dental Services

Dental ExamThe secret to your bright, healthy smile is actually no secret at all: brush, floss and get a professional dental exam from Lighthouse Dental at least once every six months. Our professional dental exams are all about prevention – preventing existing problems from getting worse and preventing dental problems from developing in the future. Regular dental exams make it possible to identify and treat a problem in its earliest stage – which is not only good for your oral health but also good for your budget!

We’ll show you that there’s nothing to fear with a dental exam. Your teeth will be visually examined for signs of plaque, tartar and tooth decay. Your gums also will be examined for puffiness or discoloration, which are signs of gum disease. A full set of dental X-rays may also be taken during your dental exam, to enable us to see below the surfaces of your teeth. Dental exams typically end with a dental cleaning, to remove surface stains and buildup.

Dental X-rays have come a long way and are a great diagnostic tool. Today’s dental X-rays are safer, faster, more comfortable and more informative than the X-rays of years past. We use digital X-rays, one of the latest and most advanced dental technologies, which produce high-quality images of your teeth that can be viewed instantly by you and by us on an LCD monitor. Digital X-rays reduce radiation by up to 90 percent and provide exceptional diagnostic information to ensure that potential problems are caught in their earliest stages. We also use intraoral photography. Problems such as cavities, fractures and discolorations in the teeth are captured through clear and sharp photographic images that are taken with a digital camera.

Teeth CleaningEven when you brush and floss regularly, plaque and tartar deposits can still build up on your teeth. Our professional teeth cleaning is the single most effective way to remove these deposits and prevent them from causing more serious problems in the future. While a traditional teeth cleaning involves manually scraping away these deposits with special dental tools, our advanced dental technologies gives you more options.

We may recommend a deep cleaning if excessive plaque and tartar deposits have developed below the gum line. Deep cleanings, also known as scaling and root planing, involve a two-part process: first, the stubborn deposits are removed, and then the root surfaces are smoothed. A deep cleaning helps prevent periodontal disease and restores gum tissues to a healthy state.

If your silver fillings make you feel self-conscious when you smile, or it’s simply time to replace them, consider white fillings. White fillings are just as durable as they are attractive! Made of composite resin, white fillings match the natural color of your teeth and are an excellent option for small to mid-sized cavities. White fillings are strong and require less removal of your tooth structure than amalgam fillings.

Dental CrownsA dental crown may not make you feel like royalty, but it is one of the premiere treatments for teeth with extensive decay or damage. Dental crowns can also be used to hold a dental bridge in place, cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth, or cover a tooth after a root canal procedure. Made of either porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic or gold, dental crowns are placed during a multi-step process and sometimes require more than one dental visit. The first step is a dental impression. A temporary crown is then placed to protect the tooth while the impression is sent to an offsite laboratory to create the final restoration. In some cases, same-day crowns are possible, so be sure to inquire. With good oral hygiene and minimal wear and tear, your beautiful new dental crowns may last up to 15 years.

Did you know that dental bridges have been used for centuries to replace missing teeth? Today, dental bridges are still considered one of the most durable, conservative and cost-effective options for bridging the gap between a missing tooth and surrounding teeth. Comprised of two anchoring teeth and a replacement tooth, dental bridges help prevent surrounding teeth from drifting out of position, improve chewing and speaking, and help keep your natural face shape intact.

We use three types of dental bridges: 1) traditional dental bridges, 2) cantilever dental bridges, and 3) Maryland bridges. Traditional bridges have either dental crowns or dental implants on either side of the missing tooth, plus a replacement tooth, which is held in place by the crowns on either side of the space. Cantilever dental bridges are used in cases where there are surrounding teeth only on one side of the missing tooth (these can only be used in a select few cases). Maryland bridges are made of a specialized resin that is cemented to a metal or ceramic framework and cemented to the enamel of surrounding teeth.

Your dental bridges may take two to three weeks to complete and is less invasive than other options, such as dental implants. With good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, dental bridges can last up to 15 years. Each case has specific parameters that will be evaluated when treatment planning your case.

We can offer you a variety of natural-looking and comfortable dentures to replace missing teeth. Made of a gum-colored plastic resin or acrylic base and either resin or porcelain replacement teeth, we custom design your dentures to fit your mouth. If you have several teeth or all teeth missing on the upper or lower jaw, full dentures may be your best option. Partial dentures are great for patients who have several missing teeth scattered along the upper or lower jaw.

The process of getting dentures may take a few months and several dental visits.

Just as with your natural teeth, dentures require daily maintenance. With regular wear and tear, your dentures can last five to seven years. During that time, you may need periodic denture relines to accommodate changes in the contours of your mouth. Regular denture relines involve resurfacing the base to ensure that your dentures fit and function perfectly. If you break your dentures, it’s critical to bring them to us for professional denture repair. Don’t use home denture repair kits! They can cause more damage and make repairs even more costly.

Remember, dentures replace missing teeth but will never restore you function as well as your own teeth.

Do your dentures slip or come loose? Our removable denture alternative, the Straumann Pro Arch, may be the answer. A cross between dental implants and dentures, the Pro Arch combines scientifically proven implant technology and sleek prosthetic components. This option for natural teeth affixes your dentures to your jaw in much the same way a single tooth is implanted. The process is quick, and the result is reliable and lasting dentures. Smile! Lighthouse Dental has your removable denture alternative.

Do your dentures slip or come loose? Our removable denture alternative, the Straumann Pro Arch, may be the answer. A cross between dental implants and dentures, the Pro Arch combines scientifically proven implant technology and sleek prosthetic components. This option for natural teeth affixes your dentures to your jaw in much the same way a single tooth is implanted. The process is quick, and the result is reliable and lasting dentures. Smile! Lighthouse Dental has your removable denture alternative.

Red, swollen gums are a red flag for one thing: gum disease. If you have the symptoms, you are not alone. More than 80 percent of adults have some form of gum disease. Fortunately, we can provide many effective and gum disease treatments. For gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, treatment typically involves a thorough dental cleaning, followed by daily brushing and flossing. For more advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, we perform scaling and root planing to remove stubborn deposits below the gum line. If non-surgical methods of gum disease treatment are ineffective, a gingivectomy, or periodontal surgery, may be necessary. We will refer you to a capable and trusted periodontist only if we feel we cannot help you control your disease.

EndodonticsRoot canals get a bad rap. But don’t believe the rumors; the dreaded root canal isn’t dreadful at all! Root canals are needed when either decay or an injury infects the inner tooth (the pulp). In the earliest stages of infection, you may not feel any pain at all. But when it progresses, you could have a toothache and swelling, or a dental abscess might form. Root canals remove the infection and prevent it from spreading.

Dental implants are an extraordinary blend of science and art. Made of titanium, dental implants are securely anchored into the jaw and serve as foundations for dental crowns, bridges and dentures. In many cases, dental implants are considered the best option for replacing missing teeth. They are also used to replace dental bridges or partial dentures, or to provide support for dentures. Dental implants offer several advantages over other tooth replacement options. They look, feel and function just like real teeth! With dental implants, surrounding teeth are left untouched. Finally, dental implants are exceptionally reliable.

Cosmetic Dentistry

From minor improvements to a full smile makeover, at Lighthouse Dental we know how important healthy teeth are! We offer a wide range of cosmetic dental treatments to fit you and your dream smile.

Dental BondingLet us fix that chipped tooth, cracked tooth or a gap in your teeth with fast, easy and affordable with dental bonding. Dental bonding can also be used to improve the appearance of slightly discolored teeth and to change the shape of teeth, but it is typically recommended only for small cosmetic changes. Unlike other cosmetic treatments, dental bonding can be performed with little to no advance preparation. Dental bonding is also convenient and durable, taking just 30-60 minutes per tooth and lasting from three to 10 years.

Teeth WhiteningToday’s teeth whitening treatments are so easy, convenient and affordable that they’ve become a regular part of everyone’s beauty routine. If you haven’t tried one yet, we have plenty of choices. For the fastest, most dramatic results, consider laser teeth whitening. Laser teeth whitening treatments take just an hour and can whiten teeth up to 10 shades. If you’re the do-it-yourself type, an at-home teeth whitening kit might be right for you. These professional grade teeth whitening kits produce excellent results over longer periods. They can be purchased from us or over-the-counter, but for best results, talk to us before trying any over-the-counter teeth whitening system.

Years ago, smile makeovers involved multiple dental treatments over a period of several months. That’s no longer the case, thanks to porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are ultrathin shells made of translucent porcelain that can be bonded to your teeth for cosmetic purposes. Extremely versatile and durable, porcelain veneers are an excellent option whether you want a total smile makeover or need to cover a chipped tooth, mask a cracked tooth, or close gaps between your teeth. They require little to no prepping and can often be applied in just one dental visit!

Smile MakeoverTired of masking your smile because you don’t like the way your teeth look? A smile makeover can be a big boost to your confidence and self-esteem. With a total smile makeover, chipped teeth, cracked teeth, gapped teeth, crooked teeth, stained teeth and gapped teeth can be completely transformed into the smile of your dreams. This is done through a combination of restorative and cosmetic dental treatments, including white fillings, cosmetic dental bonding, porcelain veneers, cosmetic dental crowns, dental braces, dental bridges and dental implants.

Our state of the art CEREC machine is a computer that acts as a dental restoration tool, allowing us to restore decayed, broken or root canal teeth, place dental crowns, remove defective amalgam (silver) fillings, or place porcelain dental veneers in just one appointment. Call Lighthouse Dental today, to schedule your consultation!

A good dental team should work like a well-oiled machine, with everyone doing their part to make your appointment run smoothly. But at our office, we also think our equipment should work like part of the team, with each new technology helping to give you the most efficient care possible. That’s why we now offer CEREC®, the state-of-the art computer that’s making dental care a whole lot faster.

It may seem hard to believe that a machine so small could make such an impact, but CEREC® works like a miniature dental lab to create ceramic crowns, veneers and more. First, it takes 3-D pictures of your mouth to create an exact map of your teeth and gums. Then it actually shapes the porcelain right here in our office to create a custom fit while you wait!

With CEREC®, it only takes one appointment to receive natural-looking fillings, crowns and veneers — we can usually create each piece in as little as an hour, eliminating weeks of time waiting for your restorations! You get the care you need without having to schedule multiple visits for impressions, fittings and placement.

We’ve worked hard to build the best possible team to care for your teeth, and with cutting edge technology like CEREC®, we’re making sure we always have new ways to make you smile. Ask us about our one-visit restorations at your next appointment — we’re always eager to show off our newest recruit.

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560 E 14th St
Washington, MO 63090
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(636) 390-9991
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Academy of General Dentistry
Greater St. Louis Dental Society
American Dental Association