Common Procedures


Exams, Cleanings & Consultations

Preventive care is one of the most important parts of keeping your teeth healthy and safe. The American Dental Association recommends regular dental visits – from two to four times a year – for professional cleaning and examination.

Professional cleanings are important because they remove built-up plaque that’s not affected by your normal brushing and flossing.  At the same time, dentists are often able to identify potential problems and correct them before they become larger issues. Regular dental visits are also one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay. At Perry Family Dental Care, we take your regular dental visits seriously.


What To Expect: Routine Cleaning and Exam:

  • Visual inspection of your teeth and gums, looking for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease.
  • Discussion of any oral health problems or concerns you may be feeling.
  • Inspect teeth for signs of tooth decay or cavities (may or may not involve x-rays).
  • Full cleaning by our dental hygienists, removing hardened plaque and tartar deposits with special instruments.
  • Polishing treatment to help safeguard your teeth.
  • A consultation regarding any problems or concerns, including the dentist’s suggestions and recommendations for future dental care.

Routine dental exams and cleanings are by appointment only, so please call us today at either our Antrim, Keene or Peterborough family dental offices to schedule your next visit.

Digital X-Rays

First our dental radiologist takes a digital x-ray of your teeth.

Professional Consultation

We will discuss your primary issues and your wishes concerning your teeth.

Dental Examination

This is followed by a professional examination of the teeth and gums.

Complete Treatment Plan

We devise a complete treatment plan for restoring your healthy smile.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is just what the name implies – a cap placed over a tooth to protect and strengthen it. Crowns appear like normal teeth, and each one is customized to fully encase the visible portion of the tooth it’s being placed on.

Some of the reasons for capping a tooth with a dental crown are:

  • To hold together and protect the remnants of a cracked tooth.
  • To protect a weak, worn down, or decayed tooth.
  • To improve the appearance of a misshapen or discolored tooth.
  • To anchor a [dental bridge].

When it comes to crown materials, you have several choices to select from. The main options are: stainless steel, metal alloys (including gold), porcelain, ceramic, and resin. Each one has its own advantages, and you should consult your dentist to determine which material is right for you.

Dental Sealants

A dental sealant is primarily used to protect scratched, grooved, or pitted teeth. Even an extremely small recess like a scratch can harbor bacteria, increasing the risk of cavities. A dental sealant is a clear plastic resin, applied like an extra layer of protection for your teeth. It fills in those tiny gaps, smooths them out, and makes brushing your teeth easier and more effective.

Dental sealants are used to protect soft baby teeth as well as healthy adult teeth at risk of decay. Typical sealants last three to five years, although occasionally they stay intact much longer. If you feel a sealant could help protect your own teeth from unnecessary risk, contact us today to schedule your appointment.

Root Canals

If you have teeth with diseased or infected roots, most likely you’re in a lot of pain. In the past, those teeth would need to be extracted. Today, we can often repair those teeth with a surgical procedure called a root canal.

When a tooth is cracked or a cavity extends to the inner “pulp” of the tooth, bacteria can get in and infect the pulp tissue. This infection often causes significant pain and discomfort. There are two ways to deal with this kind of infection: [extraction] or a root canal.

During a root canal, the dentist will first open the tooth and clean out all the infected pulp. Then the interior of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and sealed.  Next, the tooth is filled with a composite resin that keeps future bacteria from finding a foothold in that tooth again. In some cases, your dentist may recommend capping the tooth with a [dental crown], although this is not always necessary.

In all, a root canal procedure can take from one to three visits to your dentist’s office. With proper care, a root canal can last a lifetime. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, or discover a cracked tooth, don’t wait for it to get worse. 

Dental Fillings

A filling is what’s put into a tooth after the decay is cleaned out. First, your dentist drills into the infected area and cleans it out. What’s left, of course, is an empty “cavity”.

This cavity now needs to be filled, so that food and bacteria don't take up residence there again. This is the purpose of the dental filling.

Fillings in the past were usually silver amalgams, which are sometimes still used today. Most fillings these days, however, are more aesthetically pleasing materials (or less visible) like composite resins, porcelain, and gold. Occasionally, metal amalgams such as silver or tin are used at the patient’s request.

Dental Extractions

Sometimes, a tooth can’t be fixed and the best option is to remove it. This is called a dental extraction. Extractions are surgical procedures where your dentist physically removes the problem tooth. Some of the reasons why you might need an extraction are:

  • Baby teeth blocking the arrival of adult teeth
  • Severe decay or cavities
  • Impacted teeth (especially wisdom teeth)
  • Cracked or damaged teeth
  • Misshapen or misplaced teeth
  • Infection

Extracted teeth may be replaced by dental implants or other oral prosthetics, depending on your situation and the health of your other teeth. Gaps left unfilled can cause other teeth to shift, so consult with your dentist to find the best solution after any dental extraction.


Flouride helps prevent tooth decay by providing extra resistance from the acids of plaque bacteria and sugars present in the mouth. It can even reverse early surface decay by redepositing fluoride, an essential mineral that gets leeched from the tooth’s enamel layer by those same acids.

Flouride is important in the development of permanent teeth, so most children under 6 years of age are recommended to take regular fluoride pills. Adults may receive fluoride treatments as needed, based on your dentist’s recommendation.

If you have questions about fluoride, be sure to ask during your routine exam and cleaning. After a fluoride treatment, you should avoid rinsing for at least 30 minutes to allow the fluoride to be redeposited into the enamel of your teeth.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the farthest molars in the back of your mouth, and they typically don’t appear until your late teens or early twenties. It’s important to have your dentist look for your wisdom teeth as they form, typically by x-ray. That way your dentist can decide what risk they pose and if they should be removed long before they pose any problems.

The problem with wisdom teeth is that many people’s jaws simply don’t have room for them. The wisdom teeth get impacted on the roots of the adjacent molars or start forming at bad angles. Left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to swelling, soreness of the gums, and pain.

Partially erupted wisdom teeth are also difficult to clean, and can easily lead to tooth decay and other dental problems such as gum disease. This is why most dentists prefer to remove wisdom teeth early on if there’s any sign of impacting or partial eruption. As wisdom teeth arrive, the roots are usually not fully formed and the bone encasing the teeth is less dense. This makes it an ideal time to perform a dental extraction.

If you’ve never had your wisdom teeth out, or if you’re experiencing soreness towards the rear of your gums, consult with your dentist today and be sure to ask about the health and position of your wisdom teeth.


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Currently, we accept most insurance programs and are happy to assist you in better understanding what your insurance policy will (and won't) cover. 


At all of our dental offices in Keene, Antrim and Peterborough, NH, we offer our patients a variety of payment options to best meet their individual and family needs including:

  • Cash, check, credit card or authorized payment plan
  • We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express
  • We accept most insurance plans
  • We work closely with CareCredit and can help you set up your account if needed.
  • We will estimate your insurance coverage at the time of treatment – you just pay the rest.