Welcome to Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry, Scottsdale AZ

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Technology is so important for us at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry. By using technology in our office, we can ensure the best care for your oral health care needs. For this reason we offer cone-beam 3D imaging in the comfort of our office in North Scottsdale.

What is the cone beam 3D?

Cone beam 3D imaging is a recent development that helps dentists see clear, detailed, three dimensional images of your teeth. It also helps us to see the bones and soft tissues that surround them. 

The reason it is called a cone-beam is because the x-ray beam is shaped like a cone. This is compared to traditional CT scans that use fan shaped x-ray beams instead. Because of the cone-shaped beam, it takes nearly 600 “slices” of information about your mouth. From there, special software assembles all of this into 3D views. 

How does the cone beam work?

These images are more helpful than traditional x-rays because they can be moved around to see your tooth and bone structures from every angle. This is particularly helpful for seeing how close wisdom teeth are to the nerves and arteries in your jaw. It can also help to see precisely how much bone is present to support an implant. 

Dr. Sara might take a 3D image of your teeth and tissues for the following reasons:

  • Placement of implants.
  • Determining if a root canal is your best treatment option.
  • Planning for extractions, especially for impacted teeth.
  • Evaluation of your sinuses.
  • Identifying sleep apnea. 
  • Fractures.
  • Diagnosing TMJ issues.
  • Understanding undiagnosed pain.

Not everyone will need a Cone Beam 3D image because they are not a substitution for traditional x-rays. These are only used when a diagnostic tool is medically necessary. 

Talk to Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about cone-beam 3D imagery and how it might help improve your diagnosis.

When looking to map out the mouth in preparation for improvements in the bite and smile, Dr. Sara might use the iTero® scanner. This device helps to find the exact position and location of the teeth and gums, and will typically be done by making impressions of the teeth. Without these impressions, it is not possible to create a proper treatment plan. 

How does the iTero scanner work?

The iTero scanner works by using digital technology to come up with a 3D diagram of the mouth. Using hundreds of focal points to come up with measurements in nearly every way imaginable, this becomes the blueprint by which the orthodontic product will be made. The scan is much more precise than traditional impressions. 

All information needed to develop the map of the mouth can be gathered in just a few minutes. This means you will spend less time in the chair than you would with more traditional methods, such as using liquid plaster for making a mold of the teeth and gums. 

Where is the information saved?

By using the scanner, the information that is gathered will be saved as a digital file on a computer. It will also be electronically sent to the lab that will make the products. Since the transmission can be taken instantly, time will be saved for everyone involved. The images are much more precise than what is achievable otherwise, which benefits the patient because the end product fits much better. 

Contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about the iTero scanner and how it can improve your treatment.

It is important to get a good night’s sleep every night. In doing so, your body is restored and your mind is enlivened. And, when it comes to sleep, dental health care is often one area you might have overlooked.

More than 18 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which means they need a good night’s sleep in order to save their lives. By visiting your dentist, you can find proper treatment options to help relieve your symptoms.

What is the dentist’s role?

Dentists are often the first line of defense against sleep apnea, and are the first to notice symptoms because they are in contact with their patients more frequently than the family doctor. Dr. Sara can notice and detect the less evident symptoms of sleep apnea through asking questions and talking with you, along with an exam.

She might suspect you suffer from sleep apnea if you have complaints of lethargy, morning headaches, or dry mouth. When signs and symptoms are first noticed, dentists will send patients to sleep medicine specialists who can properly diagnose sleep apnea. If diagnosed with a sleep breathing disorder, the specialist might then refer you back to our office for treatment with oral appliance therapy.

What treatment options are available?

Treatment options for sleep apnea will vary depending on the severity of the disorder. If you are suffering from mild sleep apnea, simple behavioral changes such as losing weight might make all the difference.

Those suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea can also be treated with oral appliance therapy. Similar to a mouth guard, an oral appliance helps to reposition the jaw and tongue to improve airflow. As with any appliance, they will require some adjusting and commitment but are easy to wear and use.

To learn more about treatment of sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Sara at our office today!

We need our teeth to eat properly, so when one is damaged it can take a toll on your day-to-day life. In order to continue to protect your teeth and overall well-being, it is important to repair damaged teeth. At Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry, dental crowns are utilized to perform the following:

  • Attach bridges.
  • Cover implants.
  • Prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse.
  • Restore an existing filling in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated.

Looking for an improved aesthetic appearance? When applied to discolored or stained teeth needing restoration, dental crowns provide a natural appearance.

Caring for your dental crowns

Once your dental crown is in place, it is important to maintain proper care of your teeth. While a crown has provided a newly restored tooth, it doesn’t mean the tooth is indestructible. And, what’s even better is that with proper care, a good quality crown can last up to eight or more years. Remember to brush and floss the area of the crown daily to avoid excess plaque buildup or collection of debris around the restoration.

It is also important to pay attention to other behaviors that might damage the dental crown. These behaviors often include jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding). Try to avoid eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy, as well. In doing so, the adhesion of the crown can be compromised or damaged.

Contact us at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona about dental crowns and how this restoration procedure might be able to restore the appearance and functionality of your smile.

The last thing you want to deal with is missing teeth. We understand that it can be a difficult situation to go through. However, if you are missing any teeth, we have a solution that might work great for you: All-on-4 dental implants.

What are All-on-4 implants?

The term All-on-4 refers to all teeth being supported on four dental implants. It is a surgical prosthodontics procedure for total rehabilitation if you are missing teeth or have broken or decayed teeth. The four implants support a fixed prosthesis with 10 to 14 teeth and is placed immediately–typically within 24 hours of surgery.

All-on-4 is a treatment technique that has evolved over time and has the following features:

  • Four dental implants to support a full fixed bridge.
  • Angulated implants in the back to overcome bony deficiencies or anatomical structures.
  • Immediate loading.

What are the benefits of All-on-4?

When All-on-4 dental implants are used to restore your smile, there are several benefits you can experience. Some of the benefits of All-on-4 dental implants include:

  • Full-arch restoration.
  • Shorter installation times than other implants.
  • Prevents further bone loss.
  • Decreases the need for a bone graft.

Please contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry in north Scottsdale, Arizona to schedule your consultation and learn more about how you can improve your smile.

As we get older, there can be unwelcome dark spaces that begin to appear between our teeth. While it adds an older appearance to our smile, these dental dark triangles can also collect food debris and plaque. These can be the result of bone loss, recession of the gum line or movement of the teeth.

Some people have naturally occurring gaps between their teeth and, while not unhealthy, can sometimes be a source of embarrassment or low self-esteem. To treat those dark spaces in your teeth, Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry offers Bioclear. She is the only certified dentist in Scottsdale, Arizona who has gone through all the training.

How does BioClear work?

Previously, dentists used to repair these black triangles and gaps in teeth with porcelain veneers, which is a method for restoring function and appearance. Using veneers means removing portions of the tooth surface to make room. With BioClear, though, the natural tooth can be preserved so there is no additional loss of minerals. It achieves aesthetic beauty in a healthy way.

BioClear is beneficial for posterior teeth because the injection molding technique can often be used to prevent having to place a dental crown. While there are many instances where you need to get a crown, we can now restore teeth with BioClear before having to go to the extremes of a dental crown.

Using composite material, BioClear easily bonds to any part of the tooth to close the gaps, align uneven teeth, cover chips and even out the color. It is a minimally invasive procedure that is also cost effective and uses clear forms which are filled with a composite material matched to the shade of your teeth. When the forms are removed, a smooth contoured composite is left behind, which means your teeth will appear to emerge naturally.

Contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about BioClear and how it can help improve the appearance of your smile.

For many people who are thinking about getting braces, the sole purpose they have in mind is to straighten their crooked teeth. However, you don’t have to settle for getting braces anymore. Instead, you can opt for clear aligners to straighten your teeth without anyone even noticing you are undergoing treatment!

Through the use of clear aligners you can have a straighter, healthier smile in no time. Here are the benefits of straight teeth with clear aligners from Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry.

Easy to clean. Crowded or crooked teeth can be extremely difficult to clean properly. Your toothbrush will not be able to reach the entire surface of your teeth and teeth that are too close together cannot be flossed. This can lead to a buildup of plaque and tooth or gum disease. Being able to properly brush and floss your teeth is essential to maintaining your oral health. If your teeth are too crowded, even your dentist will not be able to properly clean certain areas. If you develop a problem with one of your teeth, it will be very difficult for your dentist to perform an effective restoration. Crowns, bridges and veneers are all much easier to perform on teeth that are straight.

A better bite. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of a straighter smile, orthodontic treatment also fixes your bite and balances the force of your bite throughout your teeth. When teeth are crooked and misaligned, the force of your bite can be focused on just a few of your teeth. Over time, this can cause problems with these teeth. Abnormal wear patterns, headaches and jaw pain can all result from this. In addition, this can lead to grinding of the teeth, a habit that is very damaging. Chewing and talking are also much easier with straight teeth.

A confident smile. While the functional benefits of straight teeth are very important, it would be remiss to not mention the benefits to your self-confidence. Having crooked teeth can be a source of shame and embarrassment, especially to younger people. For many, the moment they get their braces off signifies a turning point in their lives. A bright smile has been shown to lead to better social and career success for adults. If you get your teeth straightened, other people will have a better perception of how intelligent and likeable you are.

If you are thinking about taking the leap toward straighter teeth, contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about clear aligners and if this treatment option is best for your smile.

Receding gums can be the result of periodontal disease, teeth clenching, grinding, overly aggressive brushing habits, or the natural aging process. Genetics, hormones, and tobacco use can also cause your gums to become more sensitive and vulnerable to recession. Most patients with receding gums do not realize that it is occurring because it happens gradually.

You might notice some sensitivity or the appearance of longer teeth. Gum recession can even cause pockets to form between the teeth and gum line, allowing harmful bacteria and tartar to build up, leading to advanced periodontal disease, tissue and bone deterioration, and eventual tooth loss.

To help treat gum recession, Dr. Sara uses the Pinhole procedure. Let’s take a look at what this procedure is and the benefits.

Who is a candidate for Pinhole?

If you suffer from periodontal disease and gum recession and want to restore your gum line and protect the roots of your teeth, this might be a good option for you. Skip the often painful and lengthy traditional gum grafting procedure and choose the Pinhole technique.

The Pinhole procedure is the first minimally invasive procedure to treat gum recession effectively. Dr. Sara will not use a scalpel or sutures. Instead, she will use healthy gum tissue already present at the treatment site, which is repositioned using instruments inserted through a very small opening in the gums. The procedure is virtually pain-free and requires minimal recovery.

What are the benefits? As we mentioned before, this is a minimally invasive procedure that requires no incisions and no suturing. It is a quick and effective treatment for gum recession that is virtually pain-free. What is also great is that it requires only a very short recovery time. You can resume normal activities the same day as your procedure. Isn’t that great? We think so too!

What is the recovery and aftercare? Six weeks following your procedure, brushing your teeth might irritate the gums. Instead, Dr. Sara might recommend using a prescription mouthwash. Make sure you eat only soft foods for a short period after the surgery and if you feel any discomfort, over-the-counter medication can help. You will have a series of follow-up appointments to ensure that everything is healing properly and that you do not require any additional treatment.

Contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about the Pinhole procedure and how it can help treat gum recession.

While you might be going on your vacation to relax and take a break from working, it isn’t a time to skimp out on caring for your teeth and gums. When you are on vacation, keep these three tips in mind to remain on top of your oral health game no matter where you are. Trust us, your teeth will thank you in the end.

Always have supplies available. Whether you are going on a road trip or a long flight, keep the essentials handy. But what does that include? It should include floss, a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste. Keep these in your carry-on bag if you are flying or your glove compartment when driving on a road trip. This allows you to have easy access to them when you need to clean your teeth.

Avoid bacteria filled cases. When you are packing your bags for travel, grab the toothbrush holders, right? Wrong. While it might seem like a great idea, it is actually a breeding ground for bacteria transfer. It’s the moist environment that can encourage that bacterial growth. So skip the travel case and let your toothbrush air-dry before packing it.

Visit the dentist before leaving. If you’re heading out on a long trip, visit your dentist! No one wants to go on vacation only to be miserable with a toothache. If you are experiencing any pain before your trip, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment before you leave. The last thing you need is to deal with a dental emergency when you’re far from home.

Stick to your routine and don’t stray from your oral health care. And contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry in north Scottsdale, Arizona if you need any further tips or guidance while traveling.

We understand that oral cancer is scary–so are all cancers. While it might be difficult to imagine, we need to make sure we are all properly educated on oral cancer. It has been shown that oral cancers have a five-year survival rate that is as low as 60 percent. That is scary to think about, but it is important to protect yourself by getting checked today.

To help, Dr. Sara has put together some of the top reasons why you should add an oral cancer screening to your wellness checklist.

It’s easy. Asking your dentist to check for signs of oral cancer during your next visit is super easy. Just ask! It can save your life, so don’t be afraid to speak up and ask your dentist for this examination or if you have any questions. By asking for a screening, you can boost your chances of survival by at least 20 percent when the disease is caught early.

It’s inexpensive. When you incorporate an oral cancer exam into your regular dental visit, there is no extra charge! The only added expense comes if any follow-up procedures are needed. And if that is the case, at least you staying proactive and ensuring your health is taken care of. These follow-up visits will help.

It’s better to be safe. You might feel anxious or nervous to ask, but you shouldn’t. While asking is easy, it is also better to be safe than not. Even if you don’t have oral cancer, isn’t it better to know for sure? We think so.

Contact Dr. Sara at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry in North Scottsdale today to schedule your next dental appointment and ask for an oral cancer screening. Your health and well-being is important, so speak up and be proactive in ensuring you receive optimal care.


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