My family and I have depended on Dr. Cruser and his staff since he came to Virginia Beach 31 years ago, and we have never been disappointed. He has elevated the practice of dentistry to the highest level attainable. Most importantly, he only does work that is required, thus making this ‘necessary experience’ less of a bad experience and more of a good one.
General Dentistry Services
Melvin E. Cruser III Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers a full array of dental services to help you maintain healthy teeth. You can read more on this page about specific services.
We hope that you never have any serious dental problems. One way to ensure healthy gums and teeth are regularly scheduled cleanings, daily flossing, brushing and good oral hygiene habits. Our team of Dental Hygienists are instrumental in our preventative practice. We recommend that you have 2 cleanings per year and those are scheduled with reminder calls to help keep you on track. X-rays and fluoride treatments may also be required. You can discuss this with your hygienist.
90% of all bad breath originates in the mouth. We have a system that will eliminate this embarrassing problem. Most over the counter treatments only perfume the bad breath, not eliminate it. We are able to significantly reduce the odor causing compounds resulting in long lasting fresh breath.
While we still do silver fillings in appropriate situations if requested, tooth colored bonded fillings are more conservative to the tooth and certainly better looking. These can often be done with the Waterlase (a state of the art dental laser) without the need for local anesthetic. For children, nitrous oxide ("laughing gas") can often be used very safely and without having to give a shot to fill a baby tooth.
Root canals refer to the removal of the dead or diseased pulp tissue from the inside of the tooth. Once the canals have been thoroughly cleaned, shaped, and sterilized, they are filled to seal the inside of the tooth. This gets rid of pain and infection and allows the person to keep the tooth instead of having it removed.
There are times when a tooth is beyond salvage or must be removed due to lack of space in the dental arch for it to function properly. Dr. Cruser can perform most extractions. Some such as completely impacted wisdom teeth may be referred to an oral surgeon.
DENTURES AND REMOVABLE PARTIALS
When all or a majority of the teeth must be replaced, a complete or partial denture can be fabricated. Multiple appointments are necessary to make sure the right size and arrangement of the teeth are determined and the final prosthesis will fit comfortably.
OTHER REPLACEMENT OPTIONS
Sometimes a single tooth has had all the fillings it can take, putting it at risk for fracture. A crown can often be placed over the tooth after it has been precisely prepared. This will look natural, restore the strength and proper shape to the tooth, and allow the patient to chew comfortably and without fear. In the case where a tooth is missing, the tooth on either side of the space can be prepared for crowns. In this case a fixed bridge that replaces the missing tooth is made by cementing the one-piece prosthesis over the two abutment teeth. It is a strong and natural looking replacement and in some cases can be used to replace several missing teeth as well.
Implants are often a wonderful option for prosthetics and may be used in a variety of ways. In the case of a single missing tooth, a pure titanium cylinder is placed gently and precisely into the area formerly occupied by the tooth root. It is allowed to stabilize in the jawbone under the surface for a period of time. Dr. Cruser then attaches a special abutment to the implant, which will provide the support for a single crown. The placement of the implant is usually less traumatic than extracting a tooth and allows the patient to avoid the involvement of other teeth. Implants may also be used support fixed bridgework or to help anchor a removable partial or complete denture providing greater comfort and stability.
CONSERVATIVE PERIODONTAL THERAPY
Periodontal (gum) disease is present in epidemic proportions in this country. It is estimated that 90 % of adults have at least one tooth affected by it. Many people now wear dentures because the disease caused them to lose their teeth. “Periodontal” means “around the tooth” and it is the supporting structures (gum, ligaments and bone) which deteriorate.
Almost everyone has heard of plaque, which is the sticky substance secreted by some of the more than 300 species of bacteria in the mouth to allow them to stick to and colonize on the teeth. Plaque is easily removed with proper and frequent brushing and flossing. If it is not removed, the bacterial colonies grow and begin to produce inflammatory toxins which damage the ligaments that hold the gums to the teeth. The plaque will begin to calcify into a hard substance called tartar or calculus which is rough, irritating, and is not able to be removed with a brush and floss. Further damage occurs and the colony migrates deeper into the gum, forming a periodontal pocket between the lining of the gum and the root of the tooth. The toxins begin to dissolve away the bone that keeps the tooth solidly in the mouth. Sadly, this process can often progress quite far without pain until the person begins to notice that a tooth or teeth have become loose.
Obviously, prevention consisting of good home care and regular cleanings is the best idea. Early stages of the disease can be halted with little or no damage. This consists of what is called scaling and root planning to remove the hard calculus from the teeth and the bacterial colonies in the pocket. Sometimes antibiotics and/or special mouth rinses will be used to enhance healing. In certain cases a laser can be used to kill bacteria and reduce the depth of the pocket. These procedures are done in our office. Some areas may be more advanced and will require the services of a specialist called a periodontist who may perform surgical procedures and bone graphing to try to save the person’s teeth.