Regular preventive checkups give us the opportunity to do our best work. We make preventative appointments affordable to encourage people to be proactive in maintaining dental wellness. In the spirit of "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," it is much easier and less costly to repair teeth when the damage is small. We urge people not to wait until they have a tooth ache, but to come for a check-up when they first suspect a problem. While we are very good at relieving people's tooth pain, we prefer to avoid such unpleasant situations whenever possible.
A visual exam allows us to see obvious decay. With the help of x-rays we are able to find the more elusive decay hidden between the teeth. We also examine and evaluate tissue and bone around the teeth. Periodic examinations and cleanings are the foundation of dental well-being.
Your dental cleaning will be performed by one of the hygienists in Dr. McMillen's office. A typical cleaning appointment includes removal of tartar, removal of plaque, and polishing of your teeth. Our staff is also committed to teaching proper dental health.
The gum and bone around the teeth are the foundation for oral health, yet are often overlooked by many people. Periodontal (gum) disease is a progressive disease that, if left untreated, may result in tooth loss. Depending on the patient's particular case, Dr. McMillen may opt for one of two treatments. In some cases, using a laser can be helpful in curing some of the deep pockets that have formed around teeth. Another cutting-edge treatment is knows as Perio Protect. With Perio Protect, special trays are fitted over the gums to combat the biofilm that accumulates. Dr. McMillen is certified in the minimally-invasive Perio Protect treatment and has a number of patients who have been wonderfully satisfied with the results.
Dr. McMillen is very committed to this aspect of dentistry. The whole body is very much affected by the health or non-health of the gums -- for example, recent studies suggest that patients with gum disease are more likely to have cardiovascular involvement. We enjoy teaching the proper care of gums to our young patients and anyone who will listen. Our hygienists and dental assistants are equally committed.
We enjoy doing cosmetic dentistry. Most cosmetic treatments produce the double effect of improving dental function (chewing) while also making the teeth more regular and pleasing to look at.
Dr. McMillen is certified in the Invisalign technology, which is an almost-invisible option to straighten teeth without conventional metal braces. Because the aligners are removable, this method is extremely convenient and comfortable. Invisalign uses 3-D computer imaging technology to design a treatment plan and preview the final positioning of your teeth. Dr. McMillen has used the Invisalign technology on patients ranging in age from 15 to over 70.
Veneers are one of the most popular methods of improving a smile. Porcelain veneers are used to close gaps, repair chipped or worn teeth, or help crowded teeth appear straighter. Veneers can beautify your smile by improving the color and shape of teeth. The final result is a more beautiful and natural looking smile!
Over time, teeth can become discolored or stained from smoking, drinking coffee, or other reasons. But whitening teeth can bring back a beautiful smile faster than you think. Whitening your teeth is a simple procedure. Patients can also freshen up the whitening every other month to keep their smiles looking great.
Dentures can be made to look almost exactly like your natural teeth so that there's almost no change to your appearance. Dr. McMillen is trained in a special kind of dentures called Swissdent. Swissdent dentures are all porcelain, which does not wear down the lower jawbone and is very real-looking. On full upper and lower dentures Dr. McMillen uses only porcelain teeth. Porcelain teeth do not stain or wear over time.
In this procedure, an implant is fashioned and inserted into the bone to replace a lost tooth. The implant does not require the support of adjacent teeth, nor is it necessary to remove tooth structure from adjacent teeth. The implant, placed directly into the bone, is the closest thing to a natural tooth. For more than twenty years, Dr. McMillen has been teaming up with a trusted oral surgeon for patient implants. The procedure of placing the implant directly in the bone requires the kind of special surgical skill that improves with the many, many repetitions that are possible only for a specialist.
When teeth become damaged by tooth decay so that small cavities form, fillings are the necessary treatment. Tooth decay results when acid or oral bacteria in the mouth soften and weaken the teeth. Tooth decay cannot be reversed, and so the damaged portion of the tooth must be removed and replaced with a filling.
Since Dr. McMillen is so committed to saving teeth that he has done over 15,000 root canals in Fort Bragg. A root canal is a procedure that is used to repair and save a badly decayed tooth. Dr. McMillen uses a laser to sterilize the canals. With the tooth properly numbed, this is a relatively painless and easy procedure.
Bridges are an excellent way to replace missing teeth. This procedure involves crowning a tooth on either side of a missing tooth, thereby having two teeth support three teeth. Getting a bridge can help you prevent teeth from drifting out of position, restore chewing and speaking ability, and help you get your great smile back. Dr. McMillen's lab usually needs about 10 working days to complete the fixed bridge.
Dr. McMillen is adept at several types of oral surgery, including removing wisdom teeth and preparing the mouth for dentures.
Dr. McMillen has been using this amazing technology for over six years. He has done more than a thousand crowns, and finds this type of crown incredibly aesthetic and very strong. Any tooth in the mouth can usually be restored with a Cerec crown, from front teeth to molars. Large fillings, partial crowns, or veneers can be done as well.
Dr. McMillen loves children and is very good with them. When a child feels comfortable in our offices and work is needed, we use Nitrous Oxide (N2O2). With baby teeth, usually no numbing is required. When young patients cannot become comfortable with us, they are referred to a specialist or pedodontist.