General Dentistry

You are our priority! We focus all our efforts on maintaining and improving your overall health.

Smiling female patient before her comprehensive exam with Dr. Khayat

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about comprehensive dental exams.

Comprehensive Exams

Both Dr. Khayat and Dr. Becerra offer comprehensive exams to new patients. We also recommend a more thorough exam at least once a year for our current patients.

Our comprehensive oral examination includes:

Medical History Review: This includes a review of any medications you might be taking.

Oral Cancer Screening: This involves first an extra-oral visual and digital examination of the lymph nodes of your head and your neck. During the exam, we are looking for pain, tenderness, and flexibility of the nodes. It is then followed by a visual and digital examination of your lips (inside and out), and your mouth (your palate, the floor of the mouth, the inside surfaces of the cheeks, your tongue, and your gums).

Digital X-rays: These x-rays allow Dr. Khayat to diagnose any tumor or cyst inside your jaw bone. It also allows the detection of decay between your teeth or under some of your existing restorations. If you are or think you might be pregnant, please inform your doctor about it.

Tooth-by-tooth Decay Screening: All surfaces of your teeth and your current restorations will be carefully examined. Our Hingham dental team will thoroughly review any problems noted during the examination.

Periodontal Evaluation: This part of the exam involves taking six measurements per tooth of pocket depths and recording these pocket depths. In this exam mobility of teeth are checked; bone loss is measured; calculus, bleeding, swelling, and recession of the gums are recorded to determine the presence of any potential gum disease.

Occlusion Analysis: Grinding and clenching are some of the most common conditions that accelerate the wear of your natural enamel. Also, an improper bite can generate TMJ problems, jaw-locking, migraines, and fracture of the teeth. Our knowledgeable Prosthodontist will review your condition and inform you of therapies that will best suit you.

Smile Analysis: At South Shore Prosthodontics we care about your smile, please do not hesitate to ask us how we can give you the smile you always wanted to have.

A comprehensive exam provides our dentists in Hingham, MA with the information they need to move forward with dental treatments.

Male patient smiling and wearing a dental bib as he undergoes preventive dentistry in Hingham MA
Preventive Dentistry

Both natural teeth and teeth with restorations survive best in an oral environment that is clean and where the intake of harmful foods is controlled. Our program is designed to help prevent new cavities, preserve teeth that have been restored and manage periodontal disease.

At the initial visit oral hygiene instructions are reviewed and are reinforced at subsequent recall visits. The following are helpful recommendations for you:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day in a circular motion with a soft bristled toothbrush aimed at the gum

  • Floss every night in an up-and-down motion while keeping the floss in a U-shape and against the tooth surface

  • Avoid smoking

  • Avoid sticky sugary foods

  • Eat a balanced diet

  • Use antiseptic and fluoride rinses as directed

  • Have sealants placed on young permanent teeth

Dr. Khayat and Dr. Becerra work with our dental hygienist to boost your oral health and equip you with the knowledge you need for an improved wellbeing.

Male patient smiling and wearing a dental bib as he undergoes preventive dentistry in Hingham MA
Male patient in the dentist chair with his digital x-rays showing on the treatment room monitor
Digital X-Rays

Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping Dr. Khayat and our dental hygienist detect problems easier.

Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.

Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected and it would be difficult to create a comprehensive treatment plan.

Dental x-rays may reveal:

  • Abscesses or cysts

  • Bone loss

  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors

  • Decay between the teeth

  • Developmental abnormalities

  • Poor tooth and root positions

  • Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line

Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!

  • Are digital x-rays safe?

    Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are digital x-rays better for your health and safety, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental office. Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the x-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.

    Even though digital x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those x-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.

  • How often should digital x-rays be taken?

    The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.

    A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.

Older lady holding a mirror and smiling while looking over her shoulder after her fluoride treatment
Fluoride Treatment

For decades the dental community has used fluoride as an important mineral to strengthen tooth enamel and thus help prevent decay.

In nearly every U.S. community, public drinking supplies are supplemented with sodium fluoride because the practice is acknowledged as safe and effective in fighting cavities. Some private wells may contain naturally fluoridated water.

What Is Fluoride? Fluoride is a compound of the element fluorine, which can found throughout nature in water, soil, air, and food. By adding fluoride to our drinking water, it can be absorbed easily into tooth enamel, especially in children’s growing teeth, which helps to reduce tooth decay.

Why Is Fluoride Important To Teeth? Fluoride is absorbed into structures, such as bones and teeth, making them stronger and more resistant to fractures and decay. A process in your body called “remineralization” uses fluoride to repair damage caused by decay.

How Do I Get Fluoride? Just drinking public water will provide a certain measure of fluoride protection. But for years, health professionals have endorsed the practice of supplementing our intake with certain dietary products and topical fluorides in many kinds of toothpaste and some kinds of rinses. Certain beverages such as tea and soda may also contain fluoride. Certain kinds of dental varnishes and gels may also be applied directly to teeth to boost fluoride intake.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Fluoride? It is generally NOT safe to swallow toothpaste, rinses, or other products containing topical fluoride. In rare cases, some people may be overexposed to high concentrations of fluoride, resulting in a relatively harmless condition called fluorosis, which leaves dark enamel stains on teeth.

Older lady holding a mirror and smiling while looking over her shoulder after her fluoride treatment
Woman Patient recieving oral cancer screening looking at our Hingham dentist
Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers today and has one of the lowest survival rates, with thousands of new cases being reported each year. Fewer than half of all people diagnosed with oral cancer are ever cured.

Moreover, people with many forms of cancer can develop complications – some of them chronic and painful – from their cancer treatment. These include dry mouth and overly sensitive teeth, as well as accelerated tooth decay.

If oral cancer is not treated in time, it could spread to other facial and neck tissues, leading to disfigurement and pain.

Older adults over the age of 40 (especially men) are most susceptible to developing oral cancer, but people of all ages are at risk.

Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, but the tongue appears to be the most common location. Other oral structures could include the lips, gums and other soft palate tissues in the mouth.

Our caring team at South Shore Prosthodontics uses the VELscope® Vx oral screening device for tissue fluorescence visualization. Recognized by the World Health Organization, the award-winning VELscope® Vx is the world’s most widely used adjunctive device for the enhanced visualization of oral mucosal abnormalities, such as oral cancer or pre-malignant dysplasia.

  • Warning Signs of Oral Cancer

    In general, early signs of oral cancer usually occur in the form of lumps, patchy areas, and lesions, or breaks, in the tissues of the mouth. In many cases, these abnormalities are not painful in the early stages, making even self-diagnosis difficult. Here are some additional warning signs:

    • Hoarseness or difficulty swallowing
    • Unusual bleeding or persistent sores in the mouth that won’t heal
    • Lumps or growths in other nearby areas, such as the throat or neck

    If a tumor is found, surgery will generally be required to remove it. Some facial disfigurement could also result.

  • Prevention of Oral Cancer

    Prevention is the key to staving off oral cancer. One of the biggest culprits is tobacco and alcohol use. Certain kinds of foods and even overexposure to the sun have also been linked to oral cancer. Some experts believe certain oral cancer risk factors are also hereditary.

    A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is one of the best defenses against oral cancer. At South Shore Prosthodontics, we recommend each patient undergo an annual oral cancer exam during a regular check-up.

Highly recommend! Very welcoming from the second you walk thru the door. The young lady at the front is very knowledgeable and sweet, Maeve does the best cleaning, and Dr. Khayat is fantastic! Thanks for such a great experience!

Stephanie B. (Actual Patient)

Business man smiling after he received inlays and onlays

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Dental Fillings

Advances in modern dental materials and techniques increasingly offer new ways to create more pleasing, natural-looking smiles. Researchers are continuing their often decades-long work developing aesthetic materials, such as ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. As a result, dentists and patients today have several choices when it comes to selecting materials used to repair missing, worn, damaged or decayed teeth.

The advent of these new materials has not eliminated the usefulness of more traditional dental restoratives, which include dental amalgam. The strength and durability of traditional dental materials continue to make them useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, such as in the back of the mouth.

At South Shore Prosthodontics, we provide patients with the option of traditional silver fillings or composite fillings as an aesthetic alternative.

Tooth-colored bondings (composite fillings), are a mixture of acrylic resin and finely ground glasslike particles that produce a tooth-colored restoration.

Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Less tooth structure is removed when the dentist prepares the tooth, and this may result in a smaller filling than that of an amalgam.

Composites can also be “bonded” or adhesively held in a cavity, often allowing the dentist to make a more conservative repair to the tooth. In teeth where chewing loads are high, composite fillings are less resistant to wear than silver amalgams. It also takes longer to place a composite filling.

Fillings are a fast, effective solution to those with cavities. Please speak to our trained dentist in Hingham about the best choice for you!

Young patient sitting in the dentist chair and showing his thumbs up because he now has sealants
Sealants

The pits and grooves of your teeth are prime areas for opportunistic decay. Even regular brushing sometimes misses these intricate structures on the chewing surfaces of your teeth.

Sealants are liquid coatings that harden on the chewing surfaces of teeth and are showing a great deal of effectiveness in preventing cavities – even on teeth where decay has begun.

Sealants are applied by first cleaning the tooth surface. The procedure is followed by “etching” the tooth with a chemical substance, which allows the sealant to better adhere. After the sealant is applied, a warm light source is directed to the site to promote faster drying. Sealants usually need re-application every five to ten years.

Sealants were actually developed many years ago but didn’t become commonly used until the 1970s. Today, sealants are becoming widely popular and effective; young children are great candidates for preventative measures like sealants (especially on molars) because in many cases, decay has not set in. Even on teeth where decay is present, sealants have been shown to fight additional damage.

Young patient sitting in the dentist chair and showing his thumbs up because he now has sealants
Man placing his new custom-made mouth guard into his mouth

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Mouth Guards

Night Guards

Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is often viewed as a harmless, though annoying, habit. Some people develop bruxism from an inability to deal with stress or anxiety. However, teeth grinding can literally transform your bite and worse, severely damage your teeth and jaws over long periods of time.

Teeth grinding can cause abrasion to the chewing surfaces of your teeth. This abnormal wear and tear will prematurely age and loosen your teeth, and open them to problems such as hypersensitivity (from the small cracks that form, exposing your dentin). Bruxism can also lead to chronic jaw and facial pain, as well as headaches.

If no one has told you that you grind your teeth, here are a few clues that you may suffer from bruxism:

  • Your jaw is often sore, or you hear popping sounds when you open and close your mouth

  • Your teeth look abnormally short or worn down

  • You notice small dents in your tongue

Bruxism is somewhat treatable. A common therapy involves use of a special appliance worn while sleeping – a night guard. Less intrusive but just as effective methods could involve biofeedback, and behavior modification, such as tongue exercises and learning how to properly align your tongue, teeth and lips.

Sports Guards

Sports accidents are common, and a bite guard is especially beneficial to athletes who participate in high-contact activities. It is not uncommon to hear of athletes who have sustained serious damage to the teeth and tissues of the mouth that could have been easily prevented or minimized by a mouth guard. Football, hockey, soccer, and basketball are examples of just a few high-risk sports in which participants should wear mouth protection.

As an added benefit, bite guards are generally composed of materials that are naturally absorptive to force, meaning the guards not only protect the teeth but may also lessen the force to the entire skull and brain should the wearer suffer an injury.

Male professional holding his jaw due to TMJ pain
TMJ Disorder

People who grind their teeth can sometimes develop a serious problem with their jaw, which left untreated, can adversely affect the teeth, gums and bone structures of the mouth.

One of the most common jaw disorders is related to a problem with the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull, and allows your upper and lower jaw to open and close and facilitates chewing and speaking.

People with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) often have a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing their mouths. Such disorders are often accompanied by frequent headaches, neck aches, and in some cases, tooth sensitivity.

Some treatments for TMD include muscle relaxants, aspirin, biofeedback, or wearing a small plastic appliance in the mouth during sleep.

Minor cases of TMD involve discomfort or pain in the jaw muscles. More serious conditions involve improperly aligned joints or dislocated jaws. The most extreme form of TMD involves an arthritic condition of the jaw joint. Traumatic injuries also can cause jaw dislocation.

In these cases, jaw surgery may be required to correct the condition. Our Hingham dentists will help diagnose and treat this serious condition.

Male professional holding his jaw due to TMJ pain

Caring for Your Smile

Meeting your needs, no matter what.