A family practice treating all ages
38 Exchange Street
Athol, MA 01331
Athol Dental Associates provides general dentistry services to patients of all ages. Long-term optimum dental health is our goal for your and your family. Our dental team will gladly answer your questions and customize your visit to meet your needs.
Your first visit with our office starts with a full health history, a periodontal tooth charting and x-rays which provide information about your dental health.
One of our dental hygienists will clean your teeth and inspect your gums for periodontal (gum) disease. Our dentist will then perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, looking for signs of disease or other problems.
Our goal is to help maintain your good oral health and to prevent problems from becoming serious, by identifying and treating them as soon as possible.
We pride ourselves on offering prompt emergency dental treatment. There are many options for dealing with dental emergencies. Our dental team has the training and skills to identify what the problem is, how serious it is, and almost always can reduce or get rid of your pain within a few minutes.
Any injury to teeth or gums should not be ignored. Nerves or blood vessels could be damaged. There is also a risk of getting an infection. If an infection is not treated it can spread to other parts of the head and neck and cause serious health problems. In rare cases it can even become life threatening. It is very important to always seek treatment for a dental injury.
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When a dentist gives you a filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay.
Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).
We are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. We have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.
Children begin to get their baby teeth during the first six months of life. By age 6 or 7 years, they start to lose their first set of teeth, which eventually are replaced by secondary, permanent teeth.
Without proper dental care, children face possible oral decay and disease that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications. Our goal is a healthy child who will enter adulthood free of dental disease as well as dental fears,
with good oral health habits that will last a lifetime.
Crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike removable devices such as dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants.
A crown is used to cover or "cap" a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth..
Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Our dentist can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, and consist of a complete top or bottom row of teeth mounted on a gum-colored base.
A partial is used when some natural teeth remain and fits like a puzzle with your existing teeth. It is secured with clips or brackets, but unlike a bridge, a partial is removable.
Advances in dental materials and technology have made full and partial dentures more lifelike and comfortable than ever.
Root canal therapy (also called endodontic treatment) can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges. Root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth's pulp, a small, thread-like tissue in the center of the tooth. Once the damaged, diseased or dead pulp is removed, the remaining space is cleaned, shaped and filled with a biocompatible material. This procedure seals off the root canal.
Modern techniques allow us to perform root canal treatments comfortably and successfully.
Cosmetic dentistry encompasses any dental procedure that improves the overall look, or esthetics, of your smile. A beautiful smile can have numerous effects on an individual’s self-confidence, self-esteem and personal relationships.
Veneers are thin, laminate covers typically made of porcelain as well that are adhered directly to the surface of teeth. They are used to help close unsightly gaps or cover up discoloration or other blemishes on a tooth, but are often used for aesthetic purposes rather than functional ones, to create a perfectly shaped, dazzlingly white smile. Modern veneers look completely natural as well.
The most common form of cosmetics that is effective in improving the appearance of an individual’s smile is teeth whitening. This can be applied at home in an over-the-counter treatment, but is most effective when applied by a professional. Typically it involves bleaching each tooth using a specialized formula that helps to whiten the enamel and eliminate discoloration.
Reshaping and bonding are two more common and often intertwined procedures that can help improve the look of a patient’s smile. Reshaping involves altering or removing a portion of the enamel to correct a chip or alter the shape of a tooth to improve its look. Bonding is similar in effect and involves applying an enamel-like composite to the surface of the tooth to help correct or perfect its shape.
Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports. They typically cover the upper teeth and can help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth.
Mouth guards are recommended for children and adults who play sports or participate in recreational activities that could result in a blow to the mouth.
Athol Dental Associates • 38 Exchange Street, Athol, MA 01331