At Rawlins County Dental Clinic we provide all general dentistry services including but not limited to the following:

Tooth colored or Composite Fillings or Restorations

Reasons for composite fillings:

  • Chipped teeth.
  • Closing space between two teeth.
  • Cracked or broken teeth.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Worn teeth

A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc.  The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.  You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth.  Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today.  Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.  They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

How are composite fillings placed?

Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment.  While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary.  The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed.  If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection.  The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside over time, usually a few weeks to a couple months.

You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.


A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons; the most common reasons being severe tooth decay or a fracture that has destroyed enough tooth structure to render the tooth non-restorable. Extractions are often categorized as "simple" or "surgical".

Simple extractions are performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth, usually under local anesthetic, and require only the use of instruments to elevate and/or grasp the visible portion of the tooth. Typically, the tooth is lifted using an elevator, and using dental forceps, rocked back and forth until the periodontal ligament has been sufficiently broken and the supporting alveolar bone has been adequately widened to make the tooth loose enough to remove. When teeth are removed with forceps, slow, steady pressure is applied with controlled force.

Surgical extractions involve the removal of teeth that cannot be easily accessed, either because they have broken under the gum line or because they have not erupted fully. Surgical extractions may require an incision and frequently the tooth is split into multiple pieces to facilitate its removal. Some extractions of this complexity will be referred to an oral surgeon who specializes in removal of more difficult teeth to ensure patient health and safety.

Post-extraction healing

Following extraction of a tooth, a blood clot forms in the socket, usually within an hour. Bleeding is common in this first hour, but its likelihood decreases quickly as time passes, and bleeding has usually stopped after 24 hours. The raw open wound overlying the dental socket takes about 1 week to heal. Thereafter, the socket will gradually fill in with soft gum tissue over a period of about one to two months. Final closure of the socket with bony remodeling can take six months or more. You will receive complete care instructions after having a tooth extracted and following these instructions strictly will ensure proper healing.


A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface, restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

There are several types of crowns: gold, porcelain, & silver. The porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular, because they resemble your natural teeth. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.
  • Cosmetic enhancement.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Fractured fillings.
  • Large fillings.
  • Tooth has a root canal.
  • What does getting a crown involve?

    A crown procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown.  A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

    While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.  Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

    At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite is accurate.
    You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.


A denture is a removable dental appliance which replaces missing teeth and surrounding tissue.  They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.
There are two types of dentures - complete and partial dentures.  Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.  A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.

A Complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.”  A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks.  During this time the patient will go without teeth.  Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process.  Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made. With Immediate dentures a final conventional set will need to be made after about a year.

Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.

Reasons for dentures:

  • Complete Denture - Loss of all teeth in an arch.
  • Partial Denture - Loss of several teeth in an arch.
  • Enhancing smile and facial tissues.
  • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.

What does getting dentures involve?

The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks.  Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture.  Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit.  At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.

It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.

You will be given care instructions for your new dentures.  Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.

Tooth Whitening

The take-home bleaching system uses custom made intraoral trays that are fabricated by our staff in our laboratory. These custom fit trays only have to be worn for about 30 minutes a day for a couple of weeks. The peroxide based bleaching system that we use is safe for tooth surfaces and won’t harm the enamel. It is recommended that people who are interested in tooth whitening should have a professional dental cleaning first, this will give them a better end result. Everyone’s teeth whiten differently and at a different rate so treatment time will vary from person to person.

Reasons for tooth whitening:

  • Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
  • Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
  • Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
  • Yellow, brown stained teeth.

Dental Cleaning

Adult professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) will always be performed by Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

What is periodontal disease and how is it treated?

The word periodontal means “around the tooth”.  Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth.  Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva.  If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar).  When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone.  Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.

Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it!  Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.

Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy.  Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions.  Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.

Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
  • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
  • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
  • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
  • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
  • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
  • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.

Treatment of periodontal disease starts in the office with your Registered Dental Hygienist. The first step in treatment is a comprehensive periodontal evaluation. This is where your hygienist will take accurate measurements to determine if you have and how severe the bone loss has become. They will also determine if medications are needed to help control the bacterial infection in your gums. Initial treatment and cleaning portion can take up to 4 visits. Your dentist and hygienist will help to determine what course of treatment is best for you.


We feel strongly that a properly placed dental sealant is one of the best preventive services that the dentists and registered dental hygienists perform.

A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth.  More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves.  Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay.  A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.

Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.

Reasons for sealants:

  • Children and teenagers – As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.
  • Adults – Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions.
  • Baby teeth – Occasionally done if teeth have deep grooves or depressions and child is cavity prone.

What do sealants involve?

Sealants are easily applied by your registered dental hygienist at the dental clinic or at our school based outreach sites in just a couple of minutes per tooth.

The teeth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and then surrounded with cotton to keep the area dry.  A special solution is applied to the enamel surface to help the sealant bond to the teeth.  The teeth are then rinsed and dried.  Sealant material is carefully painted onto the enamel surface to cover the deep grooves or depressions, and cured with a composite halogen light.

Proper home care, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new sealants.


We now are able to offer our patients a new anti-decay program that includes the latest technology in fighting the bacterial infection that causes tooth decay. We now know that dental decay is caused by numerous oral bacteria which aggregate on the tooth surface with low acidity (pH).

The Carifree® system was specifically developed to embrace the new science of testing for and treating dental bacterial infection. Here is how the system works:

  • Risk Assessment – The quick and easy 1 minute CARISCREEN test determines your level of decay-causing bacteria. It only takes one minute to determine if your level of risk for dental bacterial cavities. Since risk factors change over time, it is recommended that you take the Cariscreen test once per year.
  • Carifree Treatment – The easy to use Carifree treatment consists of a series of Carifree antibacterial mouth rinses that kill the harmful bacterial infection that causes dental decay, giving you a much better chance of avoiding future dental cavities. It is that simple.

Carifree Treatment Rinse - a two part rinse treatment that kills the harmful bacteria on your teeth. It has elevated pH that is designed to offset the acidic condition of the infection. Carifree Maintenance Rinse - this rinse is designed to create an environment in your mouth which prevents the destructive bacteria from re-establishing itself. It also has an elevated pH which promotes a healthy environment.

Click on Carifree® Banner below for more information:

Fluoride Applications

Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay.  It is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies.  The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years and are supported by many health and professional organizations.

Fluoride works in two ways:

Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, and when administered regularly, makes the teeth more resistant to decay and greatly reduces sensitivity.  We gain topical fluoride by using fluoride containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels.  We generally recommend that our patients have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.

Systemic fluoride strengthens the teeth that have erupted as well as those that are developing under the gums.  We gain systemic fluoride from most foods and our community water supplies.  It is also available as a supplement in drop or gel form and can be prescribed by your dentist or physician.  Generally, fluoride drops are recommended for infants, and tablets are best suited for children up through the teen years.  It is very important to monitor the amounts of fluoride a child ingests.  If too much fluoride is consumed while the teeth are developing, a condition called fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may result.

Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay.  Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:

  • Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth.
  • Exposed and sensitive root surfaces.
  • Fair to poor oral hygiene habits.
  • Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake.
  • Inadequate exposure to fluorides.
  • Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments or medications.
  • Recent history of dental decay.

Patient Education

Everyone on our staff is dedicated to helping you have the best oral health possible. At each appointment they will help answer your questions and customize a home care regimen that is right for you.