Why is it important for me to go see the dentist regularly?
Regular cleanings will remove plaque and calculus (tartar) buildup from teeth
above the gum line, helping to prevent periodontal (gum) disease. Our office
offers a thorough oral exam by our dentist, Dr. Spencer T. Updike, DDS.
Keeping the mouth, teeth and gum areas as clean as possible is as simple as
brushing, flossing and rinsing twice daily as well as going to see your dentist
semi-annually. Habitually doing these will help in preventing not only gum
disease, but tooth decay and tooth loss as well. It is recommended by the
American Dental Association (ADA) to have a professional dental cleaning by
a dentist and/or dental hygienist twice yearly. Remember that a clean, healthy
mouth starts with clean, healthy teeth and gums!
How quickly can I get in to see the dentist in an emergency?
We do our absolute best to see patients as soon as we can, and can usually get
you in the same day you call. There are times when a dental emergency may
come up. It might be a toothache, a broken tooth, or general discomfort in the
mouth. If ever you are experiencing sensitivity or other dental concerns, you
should call right away. Dr Spencer T. Updike does his best to treat each case,
scheduled or emergency. Call us (801) 521-8188
Which type of filling restorations do we use?
We use a tooth colored resin for all of our fillings. Not only is it bonded directly
to your tooth, adding to the strength of your tooth, it keeps your smile beautiful!
There certainly are pros and cons to different types of filling material. Dr. Updike
is happy to explain these.
What is a crown and why might I need one?
A crown is a permanent covering that restores the tooth to its original
appearance. It also strengthens and protects the weakened tooth. Most cases
for a crown are due to excessive decay of the tooth or breakage. It may also be
needed after a root canal has been performed.
In our office we offer crowns made entirely of porcelain, crowns that are
metal layered with a porcelain covering, or gold crowns. Crowns are a highly
recommended option for saving your teeth and sustaining an overall healthy
I have a missing tooth, can it be fixed?
Absolutely! To fill in a space where there is a missing tooth, we can permanently
cement a bridge. A bridge consists of a pontic (a lab created tooth) and two
crowns for structure and strength. A bridge resembles natural teeth and can be
used to replace one or more missing teeth.
If a space in the mouth where the teeth are missing is left untreated, it can lead
neighboring teeth to shift, malocclusion (a bad bite) and/or jaw problems.
A dental bridge maintains the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain an overall healthy mouth.
When should I get a sealant?
We recommend sealants usually only for children. Sealants are generally applied
to the permanent molars as they come in, about the ages of 7-13 years old.
Sealants are a white material that is bonded to the “chewing” surfaces of the
teeth. They are designed to help prevent decay.
What is a root canal treatment and when is it needed?
A root canal is a dental (endodontic) treatment which removes the decayed or
damaged pulp from inside a tooth, which will enable the body’s defense system
to repair any damage caused by an infection.
When the pulp is inflamed, diseased or injured, and unable to repair itself, it can
become infected. If left untreated, an infected tooth may have to be extracted.
Unfortunately not all teeth are perfectly healthy, but since it is better to keep your
natural teeth, a root canal is generally the best option.
Following a root canal treatment it is vital to keep the tooth stabilized and strong.
It is usually preferred to use a crown restoration due to the usual amount of lost
tooth structure from decay and/or old fillings.
Root canals are performed after thoroughly numbing the area to be treated.
Who gets periodontal (gum) disease and how is it treated?
Everyone is susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease; however you can lessen
your chances of getting it by having good oral hygiene at home and going to your
regular dental visits. It is often painless and some patients don’t even realize they
have it. By traveling from the mouth and into the blood stream, gum disease can
affect different organs of the body, such as the heart, liver, and even the unborn
fetus of a mother.
Each case is different and the dentist will determine how often it is needed
to come in. With your visit the dentist or dental hygienist will perform a deep
cleaning, which goes below the gum line to clean out calculus that has built up.
Dr. Updike also uses a specialized mouth rinse to remove bacteria and soothe
Oral Surgery Services:
If I get an infection, do I have to have my tooth extracted?
When teeth become infected, the infection can be removed in two ways.
The tooth can usually be saved with a root canal or it can be extracted. We
understand that finances are not always in a position to save teeth. Also, some
teeth become too decayed for a root canal. In these cases, Dr. Spencer T.
Updike can perform extractions. Some cases also may be referred to an oral
surgeon, depending on the complexity of the case.
How can I get my teeth whiter?
We offer two options to assist you in getting that beautiful, white, sparkling smile
you dream of! We offer an in-office whitening and a take home whitening with
custom made bleaching trays.
A simple and convenient teeth whitening treatment is a one-hour session in our
office. We protect your gums and isolate your teeth with a professional gel and
then administer a high-quality, fast-acting whitening solution to your teeth. We
then give you bleach trays at no extra cost in case you would like any additional
whitening in the comfort of your home. So in just one easy office visit you’ll be
walking out with a fantastic smile!
Are you wanting to whiten your teeth on your own time? Try our take-home
whitening treatment. We make custom trays that will fit your teeth perfectly and
won’t affect your speech! You place a small dot of bleaching solution, which
we provide you, in your trays and wear them for an hour each day. Noticeable
results are generally seen within a few days to a couple of weeks.
Call us today and we can determine together which method will be best for you!
I grind my teeth in my sleep. Is there anything to help me?
Yes, there is! We can make you a custom dental device called a night guard. It
looks similar to a plastic retainer that you simply put in before you go to bed and
take out when you wake up. When you grind your teeth, you are prematurely
wearing them down, which can create negative effects on your oral health. It is
just as important to protect your teeth when you are sleeping as it is during the
day. We can make you a simple to device to save your teeth from permanent
Are x-rays really that necessary?
Yes. X-rays are a vital piece of the puzzle to show us the health of your teeth and
gums. With the cutting edge technology that we use in our office, it will save you
time, money and discomfort. We use updated digital x-rays so the dentist can
see the images immediately! Our office also uses a panoramic x-ray, which takes
one picture of your entire mouth in just 12 seconds! X-rays are used to identify
tooth decay that may not be seen intraorally. X-rays will also assist the dentist is
-health of the jaw bone
-extra teeth, such as wisdom teeth
-missing or impacted teeth
-abscesses (infections near the roots of the teeth)
-filling overhangs (excess filling material)
-calculus (tartar) below the gum line
-bone cancer or cysts
We take all necessary precautions with radiation safety. We are aware of
concerns of over-exposure to radiation; therefore we use the lowest amount
needed to get acceptable diagnostic x-rays.
*If you are pregnant, or think you could be, it is important to let us know. We
avoid taking any x-rays on pregnant woman. If it is absolutely needed, we will
make certain to protect you and your unborn child.