Man smiling happily in dental chair

General Dentistry in Hackensack, NJ

High-Quality Care for a Beautiful Smile

In dentistry, prevention is the first line of defense — keeping your smile from becoming damaged in the first place can keep you from needing invasive reparative procedures. That’s why we recommend coming in to visit us every six months for a regular checkup.

But sometimes, things happen that are out of your control. If your smile has been damaged or is subject to decay, we’re here to help. We provide convenient and beautiful solutions to cavities, gum disease, and more.

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Your Regular Dental Appointment

Exams & Cleanings

Visiting us for cleanings and exams every six months is important for keeping your smile healthy and beautiful. Even if you clean your teeth every day, there are areas of your mouth that are easy to miss. The plaque in these areas can harden and become difficult to clean at home.

That’s where we come in. State Street Smiles can thoroughly clean all the plaque off of your teeth, even if it’s hardened. We’ll also give your teeth a polish so they can shine when you smile.

We’ll also examine your oral health to make sure you haven’t developed any cavities or other oral issues. We do this every six months because we may be able to discover a problem when it can be easily fixed, rather than requiring more invasive treatment.

family of a dad, mom, a daughter, and a son stand in a park and smile

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer is a prime example of a health issue that needs to be detected early on for effective treatment. The exam itself consists of a visual check for lesions and abnormal patches of white cells, a short physical inspection of the neck and jaw, as well as use of a VELscope.

A VELscope allows us to more easily detect abnormal tissue in your mouth and throat that may be cancerous. All this device will do is emit a safe blue light into your mouth, which activates tissue layers. If you’re healthy, your tissue will appear bright green, while suspicious regions are dark.

toothbrushes with bamboo handles sit in a white cup on the bathroom counter top

Root Canal Therapy

Though root canal therapy may have a bad reputation, it’s usually not painful and it can save your natural tooth. Root canal therapy becomes necessary when a cavity goes untreated, allowing the harmful bacteria to make their way into the very center of your tooth.

Root canal treatment can eliminate the need for tooth extraction and a replacement tooth by keeping your natural tooth structure intact. The procedure consists of removing all the infected tooth tissues and sealing the tooth so it won’t become infected again. Then, we place a dental crown over the tooth for additional protection.

Oral Hygiene Tips

A good at-home oral hygiene routine is the first line of defense against cavities and oral disease. While we can thoroughly clean your teeth at our office, we only see many patients twice a year. To keep your smile beautiful, proper care is essential.

Some of the most important tips to keep your smile sparkling are:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste, preferably one containing fluoride.
  • Floss at least once a day or use another type of interdental cleaner approved by your dentist. Many people neglect the areas between their teeth, but food can easily become stuck and lead to cavities in these places.
  • Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste and mouthwash.  Fluoride can help prevent cavities and protects your teeth. 
  • Rinse with an appropriate mouth rinse. Your dentist can provide guidance on what type of mouthwash may be best for you.
  • Make sure your children take a fluoride supplement until they’re at least 12 years old. Your dentist can let you know when your child can stop taking this supplement.

SERVICES

Bonding
Crowns & Onlays
Fillings
Halitosis Treatment
Gum Treatments
Dental Bridges

Bonding

If your teeth have small chips, cracks, discoloration, or dents, dental bonding can improve the appearance of your smile. We can use a tooth-colored filling material to make it look like your tooth is as good as new so you can smile confidently.

We can also use this material for cavity treatment, rather than silver-toned amalgam fillings. Our patients often prefer this because their smile can maintain a natural appearance. This is especially useful if you have a cavity near the front of your smile.

Crowns & Onlays

Dental crowns and onlays protect teeth that have been damaged, or they can be used to replace missing teeth. They can be made to look exactly like a natural tooth, so they’ll blend in with the rest of your smile and can dramatically improve its appearance.

Crowns or onlays may be used to:

  • Replace a large filling when there’s little tooth structure remaining
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • Restore a tooth that’s broken
  • Attach a dental bridge
  • Complete a dental implant
  • Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth

Fillings

Dental fillings are used to restore teeth back to their normal appearance and function after they’re damaged. If you have a cavity, we’ll clean it out to remove the infection, then seal it up for protection.

Some of the materials we have available for fillings include:

  • Amalgam (silver) fillings – Amalgam fillings are the most affordable choice and they’re strong, but they’re far more noticeable than other types of fillings due to their dark color. While they may be a good choice for teeth in the back of the mouth, they can affect the appearance of your smile if they’re on your front teeth.
  • Composite (white) fillings – These fillings are custom-made to match the color of your teeth, so they blend in naturally with your smile. Our patients prefer these fillings to amalgam because of this. Their only downsides are that they may not be ideal for large fillings and they can become stained over time.
  • Porcelain fillings – Porcelain fillings are created in a lab and then bonded to your tooth. They’re color-matched for a natural appearance, offer protection, and are resistant to staining.

Halitosis Treatment

Halitosis is the professional term for “bad breath.” While everyone can have bad breath at some point, persistent bad breath can be a sign of a disorder. The most common cause of halitosis is bacteria.

Bad breath caused by bacteria can be easily treated through improving your oral hygiene practices, including daily brushing and flossing. Visiting our office for a comprehensive cleaning and exam every six months can also help stave off bad breath.

The most common causes of bad breath are:

  • Poor oral hygiene, which leaves food particles to decay in the mouth
  • Infections in the mouth, such as periodontal (gum) disease
  • Respiratory tract infections such as throat, sinus, or lung infections
  • Eating food such as garlic, onions, and coffee.
  • Tobacco use, including cigarettes and chewing tobacco
  • Dry mouth caused by salivary gland problems, breathing through the mouth, or certain medications
  • Systemic illnesses such as diabetes, acid-reflux disease, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, and sinus problems

To treat your halitosis, your dentist will physically examine your mouth to determine the cause. If you have a system issue, you may be referred to your family physician. In the case of a dental issue, we’ll suggest a treatment method that will alleviate the problem.

Gum Treatments

Gum Treatments

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, can wreak havoc on your smile by destroying the very foundation of your teeth. This disease occurs when bacteria get below your gum line and eventually infect the tooth roots and bone.

Signs of gum disease include:

  • Gums that are red and bleed easily
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Gums that easily pull away from the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Changes in tooth position

With treatment, it’s possible for your oral health to be restored. We’ll perform a deep cleaning, or a scaling and root planing, to remove all the bacteria and make them less likely to return. But there are some cases of gum disease that have progressed beyond this point and require surgery or extractions.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is one method for replacing a tooth. A bridge is made up of one or more artificial teeth that are kept in place with the support of your natural teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge can be created to blend in with the rest of your teeth for a natural-looking smile.

While natural-looking bridge options are popular, we do provide a variety of materials for bridges. Your choice may depend on the strength, wear, and aesthetics you’ll need from your bridge.

Dentures
Mouthguards / Nightguards
Sealants
TMJ Treatment
Veneers
Extractions

Dentures

Dentures can restore your smile and its function if you’ve lost many or all of your teeth. Your dentures will be custom-created for you to resemble a natural smile. They’re completely removable and can be adjusted to create a comfortable fit.

Partial dentures are also removable and are made to fit in with your natural teeth. We can also place a fixed partial denture by using a dental bridge or dental implants, so they won’t need to be removed for cleaning.

Mouthguards / Nightguards

If you play sports, especially contact sports that may damage your teeth, we recommend a mouthguard to protect your jaw, tongue, cheek lining, and teeth. This can prevent serious injury to your smile.

Nightguards are commonly used to protect the teeth of people who clench or grind their teeth at night. Nighttime tooth grinding can lead to serious issues such as TMJ problems, causing you jaw pain and an audible popping when you chew or speak.

Sealants

Dental sealants are a common way to prevent cavities in children’s teeth and teeth with fine grooves or pits that are easily infected. Sealants are a safe plastic material that’s brushed onto the tooth to fill these problem areas and prevent bacteria from getting in. 

We recommend sealants for children to prevent cavities on permanent molars that grow in to protect them. This can prevent them from getting infected and preserve your children’s first adult teeth for longer.

TMJ Treatment

Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joints, are located on either side of your head and they help your jaw to act as a hinge. If you notice that your jaw pops, clicks, or hurts when you open your mouth, that’s a sign of an issue in these areas.

Some common TMD (temporomandibular disorder) symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Trouble opening and closing your mouth
  • Pain in the jaw muscles
  • Jaw popping or clicking
  • Soreness in the jaw, ears, or face
  • Headaches
  • Loss of hearing

These problems can be caused by trauma in the area, misalignment of the teeth, excess muscle tension, or bruxism (tooth grinding). We can fix these issues in a variety of ways, including adjusting your bite to fix misalignment issues and issuing a mouthpiece you can use to prevent clenching or grinding.

Veneers

Do you wish you could have a perfect smile? Many celebrities entrust their smile to veneers for a beautiful yet natural appearance. 

These thin, tooth-shaped porcelain shells are attached to the fronts of your natural teeth, so you’ll still maintain the integrity of your tooth strength. We’ll usually only place veneers on the parts of your mouth that are visible when you’re talking or smiling.

Extractions

At State Street Smiles, we do everything we can to save your tooth before considering extraction. But sometimes, a tooth needs to be removed for the sake of your safety. 

Some reasons why an extraction may be necessary include:

  • Severe decay
  • Infection or abscess
  • Orthodontic correction
  • Malpositioned teeth
  • Fractured teeth or roots
  • Impacted teeth

Before suggesting an extraction, we’ll thoroughly examine your tooth to make sure there isn’t anything else we can do for it. After your extraction, we can provide beautiful-looking tooth replacement options.

We commonly remove wisdom teeth due to their tendency to grow in impacted. Many people’s jaws are too small to accommodate this third set of molars, so they can end up causing severe issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is general dentistry?
Do dental cleanings really help?
How long do dental exams take?
How often should I get a dental exam?
What type of toothbrush should I use?
Is one toothpaste better than others?
How often should I floss?
What’s the difference between a crown and a cap?
How can I replace a missing tooth?
Do I need to have a root canal because I have a crown?
What is general dentistry?

General dentistry includes procedures that help prevent oral diseases and protect your oral health. This category includes cleanings and examinations, extractions, dental crowns, root canal therapy, and more.

The main goal of general dentistry is to protect and repair your teeth and oral health. The first line of defense is prevention, which includes regular oral care at home and dental appointments every six months.

Do dental cleanings really help?

Yes, dental cleanings help to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. Even if you brush and floss your teeth every day, there are spots in your mouth that can be easy to miss. Those areas can develop into decay and cavities without proper cleaning.

Visiting the dentist regularly can help prevent oral health complications from developing. Even if you have a small cavity, we can treat it before it becomes a larger issue. This means you won’t have to undergo invasive procedures and can retain as much of your natural smile as possible.

How long do dental exams take?

Dental exams normally don’t take very long. A regular appointment takes about 30 minutes to one hour, but the time varies depending on your unique situation. A six-month dental appointment consists of both an examination and a cleaning. 

Our advanced dental technology allows our dental exams and cleanings to be quick so you don’t have to spend as much time in the chair.

How often should I get a dental exam?

Regular exams are important to your dental health because you may not notice if you have a dental issue. Some people wait until they feel pain to go to the dentist, but at that stage, you may require more invasive procedures.

What type of toothbrush should I use?

The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It’s unnecessary to “scrub” the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.

We do find that electric brushes often do a better job than manual brushes. Ask us which toothbrush is right for you!

Is one toothpaste better than others?

Generally, no. However, it’s advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste to prevent cavities. We recommend our patients use what tastes good to them as long as it contains fluoride.

How often should I floss?

Flossing your teeth or using a Waterpik once a day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. They both also help to keep your gums healthy. Regular use can prevent bleeding and gingivitis.

What’s the difference between a crown and a cap?

There is no difference. Dentists typically use the word “crown” while patients often use the word “cap”. These are intended to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The crown can be made out of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. The newest materials look beautiful, just like a natural tooth.

How can I replace a missing tooth?

There is no difference. Dentists typically use the word “crown” while patients often use the word “cap”. These are intended to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The crown can be made out of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. The newest materials look beautiful, just like a natural tooth.

Do I need to have a root canal because I have a crown?

No. While most teeth that have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.

Contact Us for Elevated Dental Care

State Street Smiles is here for you — to provide high-quality dental care and an experience you won’t dread. We’ll make sure you’re comfortable and you love your smile.

To learn more, contact us by calling (201) 487-7030 or by filling out the online contact form available on this page. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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