Thursday, May 21, 2015


Cavities can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, especially when they reside in the grooves and pits of molars, but technological advancements have made detection of tooth decay easier than ever. While the traditional way to check for cavities involved looking for visual signs of decay, using dental X-rays and feeling for soft areas with a dental explorer, dentists can now use DIAGNOdent laser technology to detect even the smallest cavity. In Smithville, MO, Dr. Matthew Garrison uses this technology to provide superior dental services to his patients at Garrison Family Dentistry.

Because the wide use of fluoride in recent years has hardened the outer layer of enamel on our teeth, cavities have become smaller and harder to diagnose, but the DIAGNOdent fluorescent laser provides a revolutionary way to detect decay. By using this laser, Dr. Garrison can find decay that even dental X-rays and intraoral cameras at 30 times magnification can miss. The DIAGNOdent allows the dentist to catch cavities at their earliest stages by reading what’s going on underneath the surface of teeth and detecting even the smallest amount of decay.

Early detection with the DIAGNOdent radically improves the quality of dental health care that the dentist can provide because the technology allows him to preserve more of the patient’s tooth structure. When a cavity is caught early, it not only saves more of the tooth from decay; it also prevents the need for more radical dental treatments required for larger cavities.

Dr. Matthew Garrison employs state-of-the-art technology to provide superior dental care to his patients in Smithville, MO. For the best diagnosis and treatment, schedule an appointment by calling (816) 532-8778. For more information about Garrison Family Dentistry and its services, please visit

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


If you’re missing multiple teeth and want looking to replace them for a complete smile, dentures are a popular option for many patients in Smithville, MO. There are three different types of dentures available, and patients can choose between partial dentures or one of the two types of full dentures. Whichever you choose, you can rely on the experience and expertise of the Dr. Matthew Garrison of Garrison Family Dentistry to provide you with a solution that works for you. 

Conventional full dentures are one type of full dentures that are used after all of a patient’s teeth are removed, but only once the gum tissue has healed for a few months. During that healing time, the patient has no teeth in place. If you don’t like the idea of having no teeth for several months, you can receive immediate full dentures. For this type, Dr. Garrison takes measurements of the patient’s mouth prior to removing the teeth. Then when the teeth are removed at the next appointment, the dentures are immediately placed in the patient’s mouth. With this method, a follow-up visit is required so that the dentures can be refitted and tightened since the jawbone changes shape slightly as it heals with no teeth.

Partial dentures are commonly used when not all of a patient’s teeth need to be removed. They are similar to bridges, except that bridges are permanent and partial dentures are removable. Whichever type of dentures you get, they do take time getting used to since the flesh-colored base is placed over your gums, which can feel bulky or make your mouth feel crowded. However, as you train yourself, eating and talking will begin to feel more natural.

Whether you’ve already lost a significant amount of teeth or are in need of extractions, dentures are a popular option, and Dr. Matthew Garrison of Garrison Family Dentistry can help patients find which choice is best for them in Smithville, MO. To schedule an appointment, call (816) 532-8778. For more information about our practice and the other services we offer, visit

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Inlays/Onlays – What’s the difference?

Inlays/onlays are designed to add strength to damaged teeth while restoring their appearance. We use dental inlays and onlays to restore a tooth that is too damaged to repair with a filling but not damaged enough to need a crown. Dental inlays and onlays save the healthy portion of an injured tooth and provide strength and stability for normal chewing. We thought we would show you the difference between inlays and onlays.

What are Inlays?

An inlay is used when there is no damage to the cusps of the tooth so the inlay can be placed right on the tooth. Cusps are the bumpy structures on the biting surface of your back teeth. These oral appliances are made of tooth-colored materials like porcelain or composite resin. Inlays use your existing tooth as a base for the inlay; this will strengthen the tooth, restore its shape and prevent future damage.

What are Onlays?

Onlays, also known as partial dentures, are similar to inlays because they are both used to treat decay and damage. The only difference comes in the amount of damage and the area treated. Onlays are used when the damage is more extensive, extending to one or more cusps.

Inlays/onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth is made by the dentist and sent to a lab for fabrication. During your second appointment, the temporary sealant is removed. Dr. Garrison will then make sure that the device fits correctly. Once the fitting is complete, the inlay/onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished.