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Ellicott City Dental Services

Dr. Edward Sharkey D.M.D. and the caring team of professionals are dedicated to ensuring your visit is as comfortable as possible. Each procedure will be thoroughly discussed with you and any questions you have resolved prior to the start of your care.

Feel free to browse through just some of the services we offer.

Please don't hesitate to call us at (410) 465-6008 if you have any questions regarding a specific dental procedure or condition.

Dr. Sharkey and his staff are pleased to be able to offer dental services to every age group and every member of your family. Prevention and education are important in our practice, and we take seriously your need to understand how to take charge of and protect your own oral health. Dr. Sharkey and his staff are always available to answer questions about your dental needs and the services we can provide for your ideal treatment. We offer a wide range of services to meet the needs of your entire family.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination is a process in which Dr. Sharkey takes necessary records to provide a thorough diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan. This examination will include:

Oral Cancer Screening: If you are a tobacco or smokeless tobacco user, you are in primary danger of developing oral cancer. More than 8,000 deaths were attributed to oral cancer in the past year. We are committed to the prevention of oral cancer through the early identification of pre-cancerous conditions, and provide oral cancer screenings at each preventive care appointment.

Periodontal Examination: Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. Dr. Sharkey will examine your gum tissues to insure that gum disease is detected in its early stages. Because bone loss is a significant consideration in determining the outcome of cosmetic treatment, we take the health of your gum and bone tissues very seriously.

Occlusal Examination: The forces of your bite can sometimes affect the positioning of your jaw and teeth. Through minor polishing of the enamel surfaces or smoothing fillings of the teeth, Dr. Sharkey can help redistribute and redirect the biting forces. Adjustments to chewing surfaces can often eliminate headaches that occur as a result of irregular biting patterns.

Caries Exam: During this visual examination, Dr. Sharkey locates areas of decay on chewing surfaces and between the teeth. Dr. Sharkey uses both a clinical exam and x-ray (radiographic) findings to determine the most conservative treatment plan for your oral needs.
Diagnodent Laser Caries Detector: With this device, Dr. Sharkey can determine whether or not stains on your teeth are an extension of dental decay or simply just stains. Basically, the diagnodent measures the fluorescence of the grooves in your teeth using a laser and assigns a numeric value to the site being examined. Because dental enamel has a low fluorescence value and decay has a high one, detection of cavities in the early stages is now available through the use of the diagnodent

Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction Examination: TMJ is a condition that afflicts thousands of people. Frequent indicators of TMJ include popping and clicking of the jaw, limited jaw function, pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper back, and pain and pressure in the face and ears. We provide conservative therapies that can eliminate this painful and frustrating problem.

Restorative Procedures

White/Composite Fillings: Made of tooth-colored material, composite fillings restore the teeth's natural beauty. Composite fillings can be matched very closely to your natural tooth color and are virtually indistinguishable from non-restored teeth. Composite fillings are excellent options for front teeth, but may be suggested for selected sites on molars as well. The composites we use have proven to be extremely durable and stain resistant.

Onlays: When you do not need a full crown, onlays may be the solution. The onlay procedure is a restoration in which composite, porcelain, or gold is applied to a tooth surface to provide support as a conservative treatment option. Our patients who have had onlays have given us positive comments about their appearance.

Veneers: Usually customized from porcelain, veneers are thin, semi-translucent facings bonded to the fronts of teeth. Veneers are durable, stain-resistant, and natural looking. They conceal broken, chipped, discolored, crooked, and misshapen teeth, and provide you with the winning smile you have always wanted. Dr. Sharkey is trained and certified to provide his patients with Lumineer Porcelain Veneers by Cerinate. These veneers are virtually the thickness of a contact lens and require very little tooth preparation if any.

Crown: A crown is a restoration that covers a tooth in order to strengthen it as well as restore it to its normal shape and size. A crown may be placed to support a large filling when there is little remaining tooth structure, attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, or restore fractured teeth. A tooth that has been treated with root canal therapy will require a crown following treatment to provide strength and support to the tooth. We only use materials for crowns that will provide the longest lasting benefits to our patients.

Bridge: A fixed bridge, usually made of gold (or porcelain-faced gold), is used to replace missing teeth. A bridge helps to create a normal bite, prevent stress on the dental arch, prevent the drifting and tilt of adjacent teeth, inhibit decay in difficult areas, and slow the onset of periodontal diseases. Bridges are composed of abutments (the sound teeth on either side acting as supports) and the span (a framework attached to the abutments with artificial teeth attached to that framework). Our patients appreciate the expertise and training that Dr. Sharkey has in this field as well as success with his patients.

Single Tooth or Multiple Tooth Implants:
Dental implants replace teeth that have been missing since birth or have been lost due to gum disease, infection, trauma, or decay. Implants are surgically attached to the jawbone and become a permanent part of your mouth. With implants, patients no longer experience the slipping, moving, and irritation of dentures. Dental implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth because they are made of a metal that is highly compatible with the jawbone. As a result, the implant (a small post that protrudes from the gum) is able to fuse easily with the underlying bone. Dr. Sharkey is a fully qualified dental implant surgeon with over one hundred twenty hours of training in surgical implant placement. He will expertly place your dental implant in his office which means you do not have to go to another office, and meet yet another doctor to have you dental implant placed. Dr. Sharkey will follow your treatment to the restorative phase. Dr. Sharkey will complete the implant procedure by attaching natural and functional tooth structures to the implant components, providing you once again with the comforts and confidence that accompanies a beautiful smile.

Full and Partial Dentures

Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are indicated if some serviceable teeth are present for support in conjunction with the gums and jawbone. A partial denture, though removable, provides form and function replacement for missing teeth.

Full Dentures: Full dentures are used if there are not any teeth left for support. The full denture covers more of the jaw than a partial denture and is partly held in place by a natural vacuum in the mouth.

Cosmetic Procedures

Bonding: Bonding is a process in which tooth-colored material is applied to tooth surfaces, sculpted into shape, hardened, and polished to match surrounding teeth. With this procedure Dr. Sharkey can close gaps, repair chipped or fractured teeth, and disguise discolored teeth. Bonding usually requires one office visit and no anesthesia. Bonding is the choice of treatment for patients who have minor front tooth imperfections.

Tooth Whitening: We offer the latest in technology for teeth whitening called ZOOM II. You may have seen this process on the television program "Extreme makeovers". This takes a two-hour appointment, and when you leave you will have an incredible white smile. Tooth-whitening procedures offer patients with stained, discolored, or dull teeth an opportunity to have a whiter, brighter smile. Whitening significantly reduces external surface stains affected by food and beverage. We also provide an in-home whitening system, which is comfortable and affordable, in conjunction with in-office appointments to monitor progress. For both procedures we take impressions of your mouth to prepare your custom-fitted trays, and specifically select a whitening program for you.

Porcelain Laminate Veneers: Dr. Sharkey is trained and certified to provide his patients with Lumineer Porcelain Veneers by Cerinate. These veneers are virtually the thickness of a contact lens and require very little tooth preparation if any.

Diagnostic and Preventive Services

Sealants: Sealants protect the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and should be applied as a child's permanent teeth erupt. Though typically placed on children's teeth, adult molars can also be sealed, provided a tooth does not show evidence of decay. The sealants that we have placed have been highly successful in preventing decay.

Fluoride Treatments: Fluoride applications help to strengthen the enamel on your child's teeth, making it more difficult for cavities to begin. Children should be receiving fluoride treatments every six months.

Regular Prophylaxis: These important appointments allow Dr. Sharkey and his hygienist to monitor your oral health and clean under your gum line where the toothbrush cannot reach. They also help promote healthy gums and teeth by removing the plaque that causes decay and gum infection, and educating you about prevention.

Tooth Desensitization: Fluoride is also helpful to adults to reduce the pain and discomfort caused by exposed root surfaces (receding gums). Regular fluoride application helps eliminate root sensitivity. Our patients have found it helpful to have a series of fluoride treatments to reduce their sensitivity, followed by possible at-home applications.

Periodontal Maintenance: Once your mouth is restored to health, it is important that you make a commitment to maintain your dental health. To achieve this, it is important that you return on a regular basis for a routine examination, scaling, and root planing. Dr. Sharkey and his hygienist will inform you of the re-care interval that best fits your needs.

Nightguard Therapy: Nightguards are used as a treatment option to prevent damage to the chewing surfaces of the teeth associated with grinding and clenching. It is a conservative treatment that is very successful and highly recommended for patients with TMJ dysfunction. By creating an acrylic pattern of your teeth, Dr. Sharkey can help you protect your teeth from unnecessary wear.

Occlusal Adjustment: Proper functioning of the jaws and teeth is often hindered by malocclusion (a bad bite). Adjustments to the bite can be made so that your teeth fit together properly for chewing and swallowing. Minor polishing of the enamel surfaces or fillings of the teeth can help redistribute and redirect the biting forces