Gum Therapy

    In the U.S., an estimated three out of four adults have some level of gum disease, and many don't even realize it.  Gum disease is the inflammation and infection of the gums and the surrounding tissues.  Generally caused by bacterial plaque, it is the biggest cause of adult tooth loss.

    If plaque in your mouth is left untreated, it will eventually harden to tartar.  Tartar forms at and underneath the gum line.  Tartar excretes the toxins that cause gum inflammation, resulting in the development of periodontal pockets that hold even more toxins and bacteria.  This condition can lead to the loosening of teeth, or even  make teeth fall out.  As the condition worsens, the accumulated toxins and bacteria move deeper into the jaw to destroy the bone that holds your teeth in place.

     Stopping the progression of gum disease before it escalates can save patients added time, discomfort, and expense.  Signs of gums disease can include:

     * Red, inflamed gums

     * Bleeding while brushing or flossing

     * Receding gums

     * Loose or separating teeth

     * Presence of pus between the gum/tooth

     * Chronic halitosis (bad breath)

     If gum disease is caught in the early stages, your dentist can reverse it.  The dentist will scale the teeth to remove plaque and calculus, and plane the roots to smooth them first.  The doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to clear up any infection or inflammation.  Advanced cases may require your dentist to surgically trim the gums, disinfect the tissue, remove the hardened plaque build-up, and re-contour the damaged bone.

Dental Crowns

    A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is permanently cemented over a tooth, in order to restore the tooth strength, shape and size, and improve its overall appearance.  The crown will cover the visible portion of the tooth above and right at the gum line, once its cemented in place.

    Crowns are used to hold weak, broken, or cracked teeth together to avoid further breakage.  Crowns are also used to support large fillings, attach a bridge, or cover discolored or deformed teeth.  Crowns may also be placed over dental implants.

    Usually it requires two visits to install a crown.  First the tooth or implant needs prepared for the crown.  The dentist will grind and shape the tooth so that the crown can be fitted over it.  Then, the dentist makes an impression of the tooth and surrounding gums, which is then sent to a dental lab so that the crown can be created.  The dentist fits a temporary crown over the tooth, until the permanent crown is ready.  During the second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and cement the finished permanent crown onto the tooth.

     Crowns generally last from five to eight years, and with good oral hygiene most crowns can last longer.  Certain habits such as fingernail biting, chewing ice, and grinding teeth can do damage to a crown and should be avoided.

Clear Braces

    Many adults or teens would like to improve their smiles but hate the idea of traditional orthodontia.  Clear braces (also known as Invisalign) are a great alternative to metal braces.  Virtually invisible, the system works through a series of custom aligners.

    Because clear braces use a series of clear trays to shift teeth, patients avoid irritating brackets and the unsightly appearance of metal braces.  An estimated 1,000,000 people have chosen to straighten their teeth with clear braces.  

​     Benefits Include:

     * Gradual movement of teeth

     * Imperceptible treatment option

     * Less inconvenience

     * Removable aligners

     * Shorter treatment time frame

CEREC 1 Visit Crowns

    Imagine visiting the dentist and leaving your appointment with a custom restoration in place.  With CEREC, short for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, this is exactly what can happen.

     This innovative dental procedure allows us to economically restore damaged teeth in a single appointment with a high-quality, durable ceramic material that matches your natural tooth color.  The CEREC system enables dentists to save as much original tooth structure as possible and keep their patients smiles intact.  

Teeth Whitening​

     Tooth stains fall into two categories - extrinsic and intrinsic stains.  The extrinsic or external stains only impact the surface of the teeth.  Intrinsic stains are present inside the teeth and are more difficult to remove.

    Teeth staining can be developed from a variety of causes including:

    *Beverages such as coffee, tea


    *Medication (antibiotics)





    *Excessive Fluoride

    *Insufficient Oral Hygiene

    *Nerve Degeneration

     With teeth whitening, we can bleach the enamel to remove discolorations and stains from teeth.  Research and clinical studies show that under the supervision of your dentist, chair-side teeth whitening with carbide peroxide and/or hydrogen peroxide is safe for both teeth and gums.  You can choose from in-office whitening for an immediate transformation or take-home kits, which will gradually brighten your smile over a few weeks.

New Patient Exam

​​     A clinical exam is more commonly referred to as a routine check up.  This lets your dentist essentially take inventory of the overall health of your mouth and teeth and diagnose any potential problems you may have.

     In most cases a clinical exam by itself is not sufficient to completely diagnose all potential problems with your mouth.  That is why x-rays play a key role in allowing a better, and more accurate look at what is really going on inside your mouth and below your teeth and gums.

     In addition to revealing any problems that were not visible during the clinical exam these initial x-rays will also provide your dentist with a benchmark with which to compare against during your future visits.


   (812) 279-2022


    Chips, stains or gaps between teeth don't have to mean an end to your vibrant smile.  Porcelain veneers, thin shells of ceramic material placed over the natural tooth surface, can remove these flaws and restore your smile's appearance.  

    If you want to straighten crooked teeth, repair cracks, or remove deep discolorations, porcelain veneers can completely transform your smile.  Your dentist will select veneers that compliment your other teeth along with your facial features.  

    Many patients select porcelain veneers because they:

    * Look completely natural

​     * Offer strength and durability

     * Cost less than other options

     * Renew your image and boost confidence

     Veneers are used to cover discolorations and imperfections.  These restorations can also serve as an effective substitution for crowns on the front teeth because they can aesthetically change the size, color, and shape of your teeth.  Veneers are resistant to staining and last for years to come.

     To prepare your teeth the dentist will first remove about half a millimeter of the natural enamel, which allows for the thickness of the veneer.  Next, the dentist will take a mold of the teeth.  These models are sent to a lab where a skilled technician will fabricate your custom veneers.  Finally, your dentist will permanently bond the veneers to the natural teeth.

Root Canals

    Root canal therapy is the most commonly performed procedure amongst all endodontic treatment procedures.  Root canal treatment is required when nerve tissue inside the teeth degenerates.  Without root canal treatment, the infection in the tooth pulp can result in an abscess, which in turn can cause damage to the jawbone.  You will need a root canal to save your tooth and to ensure the tissue around the root of the tooth remains healthy and free from inflammation.

    There are several reasons your tooth may become irritated and inflamed which include:

    * Deep decay

     * Big fillings

    * Trauma to the tooth

    * A chipped tooth

    * Repeated dental work

    You may need a root canal if your tooth is causing you pain or if the gums adjacent to the tooth are tender and swollen.  Another symptom is if the tooth appears discolored and has become extra sensitive to heat or cold.

    A root canal procedure has several steps.  First an x-ray of the infected tooth is taken and the dentist administers a local anesthetic.  Then the dentist removes the inflamed nerve tissue through an opening in the crown of the tooth.  The root canal is cleaned properly so that no debris or bacteria is left behind.  In the next step of the root canal procedure, the dentist will seal off the cleaned root canal cavity.  This is to prevent fluids and bacteria from entering the cavity.  In the third step the root canal is filled with gutta-percha and an adhesive cement mixture.  In the final step a crown is placed on the sealed tooth which allows the tooth to function normally.

Robert D. Shirley III, DDS                                                           Mark F. Sills, DDS


​ (812) 336-3522

Dental Bridges

    Dental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth in your mouth.  Dental bridges are fixed, in that they are cemented on the supporting teeth, or in some cases fixed on the dental implant that has been placed next to the missing teeth.

    It normally takes two or more visits for a bridge to be completed.  On the first visit the supporting teeth, which are typically on either side of the missing tooth, are prepared.  This is done to make room for the crowns that will slide over the supporting teeth.  

    Next, an impression is made so a dental lab can custom fit the bridge.  Finally, a temporary dental bridge is inserted to protect the supporting teeth as well as the space between them.

​     On your second visit the permanent bridge is placed and adjusted to insure proper fit and function.  If the fit of the bridge is satisfactory your dentists will proceed with permanently cementing the bridge into place.

     After the completion of the bridge you may feel some discomfort, mild pain, and sensitivity to temperature changes for a few days.