After the examination is complete, one of our dental professionals will perform a complete dental cleaning. Professional cleanings are encouraged to prevent or slow the process of gingivitis (gum disease), dental decay, and periodontitis (bone loss).

While dental decay and periodontitis are the top causes of tooth loss, it is important to remember that proper oral hygiene must be kept up at home on a daily basis. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding certain foods and drinks that may be harmful to your teeth. During your visit we will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your personal oral hygiene and how to best care for your teeth.

See first hand why Highland Ave Family Dentistry is Battle Creek’s favorite dental practice. Call us today at (269) 964-3957 or send us an email at to schedule an appointment. We can’t wait to see you!

The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for one’s teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium include: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these may be a sign of a problem. With proper gum treatments, however, it may be possible to return gum tissue to a healthy state. If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so we may treat it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to have it treated at the first sign of a problem.

Early childhood and tooth decay no longer have to go hand in hand. At Highland Ave Family Dentistry, we focus on all aspects of preventive oral care. We use the latest in sealant technology to shield your child’s teeth. Sealants are bonded to the chewing surfaces of back teeth to prevent them from developing plaque buildup which can lead to tooth decay. This is just one of the many ways Highland Ave Family Dentistry will help set the foundation for your child’s good oral health for life.

Dental implants are synthetic teeth roots. They are used to create foundations for replacement teeth. When teeth need to be replaced due to an accident or disease, give Highland Ave Family Dentistry a call at (269) 964-3957 or send us an email at to learn if dental implants are right for you.

When looking into tooth replacement, consider the following attributes of Highland Ave Family Dentistry’s dental implants:

Comfort: each implant is individually placed and therefore more comfortable than dentures and bridges

Strength: if taken care of properly, they can last you for your entire life

Fit: tends to be better than dentures or bridges

Appearance: they look and feel like your teeth

Speech: since they won’t slip out, you do not run the risk of your implants slurring your words or causing you to mumble

Eating: they stay put so you can eat more easily

Oral Health: other teeth do not have to be alter to fit, like with a bridge, so your teeth are left intact

Flossing: you can floss around your dental implant and other teeth

Cleaner: unlike dentures, there is no need to disinfect or deal with adhesives to keep them in place

When your tooth is weak or doesn’t match the rest of your teeth a dental crown can be placed to strengthen it and fix the appearance of your smile.

A dental crown is a cover that is securely placed over your tooth by a dentist. Different types of materials are used to create a dental crown that mimics the shape, color, and size of your other teeth. Some materials that are used include ceramics, composite resin, porcelain, and metal alloys.

A dental bridge consists of one or more synthetic teeth used to fill a gap in your smile. Different types of materials may be used to create a dental bridge including metal alloys and ceramics.

After an impression is taken of your mouth, a lab makes your dental bridge to match your surrounding teeth. The dental bridge consists of synthetic teeth called pontics and usually has dental crowns on each end. The dental crowns are placed over your existing teeth to hold the dental bridge in place.

When extra support is needed because your existing teeth are not able to hold the dental bridge alone or there are several missing teeth, implants may be used with or without placing dental crowns on surrounding teeth.

  • Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are custom created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining      , and are about the same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.
  • Gold fillings are custom made in a laboratory and then cemented into place. While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many consider it the best filling material. Gold inlays are well-tolerated by gum tissues and may last more than 20 years.

Veneers can be a great way to improve the look of your smile. Your veneers are custom crafted to look like your existing teeth and fit seamlessly.

A veneer is a thin covering for the front of your tooth made of porcelain or composite resin. They can be used to cover:

chipped, cracked, or misfigured teeth

gaps between teeth

permanently stained teeth

Porcelain Veneers

Since a porcelain veneer is specially made by a dental lab and are very strong and not easily stained.

To place your porcelain veneer, we treat the front and sides of your tooth to remove a little enamel so there is room for your veneer to fit and look natural. Once any necessary adjustments have been made, the custom veneer is bonded to your tooth.

Composite Resin Veneers

Like porcelain veneers, composite resin veneers are thin coverings for your teeth, but the materials, process, and durability are different.

We use resin materials to sculpt and bond your veneer in the office, which means the whole process may be done in as little as one visit.

To prepare your tooth, usually less enamel is needed to be removed than when placing a porcelain veneer. It is hardened and bonded using a special light and then polished to resemble your surrounding teeth.

From all over Battle Creek, Climax, East Leroy, Ceresco, Augusta, Galesburg, Bedford, patients have been coming to Highland Ave Family Dentistry for decades to get the right veneers that fit their own personal needs and lifestyles.

Composites are tooth-colored fillings. While amalgam fillings are made up of different metals and have a silver look to them, composites are composed of plastic and ceramic compounds.

Composites are a great alternative to amalgam and gold fillings. You may want to replace your old amalgam fillings – especially if they deteriorating – with more subtle and aesthetically pleasing composites.

At Highland Ave Family Dentistry every member of our focused and professionally trained team works together to efficiently and precisely place your fillings. We’ve had patients from all over Battle Creek, Climax, East Leroy, Ceresco, Augusta, Galesburg, Bedford and surrounding areas come to us for great gentle dental care

A dental sealant is a paste or gel that is placed by a dentist and is usually made of a plastic material.

The dental sealant hardens to create a strong coat over your tooth. They should be very durable and last for several years.

The purpose of a dental sealant is to create a protective barrier on your teeth to help prevent decay. Since back molars tend to have grooves that are difficult to clean, sealants can be used to help safeguard them from cavities.

Whether you are a child who has never had a cavity or an adult who is constantly going to the dentist, Highland Ave Family Dentistry can determine if you are a good candidate for dental sealants.

Whether some or all of your natural teeth are missing, we may be able to restore the functionality of your mouth and aesthetics of your smile with dentures.

A denture is synthetic teeth attached to a plastic base that has been made to match your natural teeth and gums. Besides making your smile look better, dentures also fix the way your mouth functions overall. Dentures also support your cheeks and lips to reduce sagging of the muscles in your face.

Below are some types of dentures that might be available to you. Even though there are many options, not all patients are good candidates for every type of denture. During your appointment, we will let you know which options may work best for you.

Conventional Complete Dentures
Conventional complete dentures consist of an upper denture and a lower denture.

The upper denture is made to replace all of your teeth in your upper jaw. It covers the roof of your mouth and fits securely on your upper gums and palate.

The lower denture is made to take the place of all your teeth in your lower jaw. It sits on the lower gums and stays in place with the help of your tongue, saliva, and cheek muscles.

Your mouth must be clear of all natural teeth before conventional complete dentures are placed. If some of your teeth need to be removed, the dentures will be placed once your gums have healed.

Implant-Supported Complete Dentures
Like conventional complete dentures, implant-supported complete dentures replace all of your natural teeth. Instead of relying solely on the structure, tongue, saliva, and cheek muscles, this type of dentures uses implants to keep them secure.

Implant-supported complete dentures are placed on healthy gums that have fully recovered from teeth extractions and/or implant placements.

Immediate Dentures
Immediate dentures are put into place right after all of your remaining teeth have been removed. You do not have to wait for your gums to heal before the immediate dentures are placed. The dentist may need to make adjustments once your gums have fully healed.

Partial Dentures
Partial dentures are also comprised of synthetic teeth attached to a plastic base made to look like your natural teeth and gums. Below the plastic base they usually have a framework that attaches to your teeth. Unlike complete dentures, partial dentures cannot be placed in a mouth with no teeth.

Since our office is conveniently located in Battle Creek, MI, you don’t have to go far to get great professional denture service.

If you have a chipped tooth, slight gap, or stain you’d like to cover up, bonding might be a good option for you.

Highland Ave Family Dentistry can provide tooth bonding in a single visit to patients from Battle Creek, Climax, East Leroy, Ceresco, Augusta, Galesburg, Bedford, and nearby communities.

Bonding is when materials that are tooth colored are bonded to the surface of your tooth. Different colored resins are mixed to match the color of your tooth to help blend in with the tooth. This resin is put on your tooth and carefully shaped. A special chemical or light process is used to harden the resin in place.

Root canal therapy or endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. Despite popular belief, a root canal procedure actually doesn’t hurt at all. If pain is felt, the root cause is actually an infection in the tooth. The purpose of the root canal is to eliminate that pain.

An opening in the crown or top of the tooth is made in order to clean out the infection found in the pulp chamber and root canals of the lower half of the tooth. After the space is cleaned the root canals are filled with biocompatible material. A gutta percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canal. In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening.

Eventually, a crown or other restoration is placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.

With our office conveniently located in Battle Creek you don’t have to go far to get great root canal therapy. Give us a call at (269) 964-3957 today to schedule a consultation and see what treatment is best for you.

Good oral hygiene should always be practiced since the loss of a single tooth can have major impact upon your oral health and appearance. Although dentists will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there are still some occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted. A tooth may need to be extracted if the following occurs:

      • Severe decay
      • Advanced periodontal disease
      • Infection or abscess
      • Orthodontic correction
      • Malpositioned teeth
      • Fractured teeth or roots
      • Impacted teeth

After careful examination and treatment, the dentist may advise to have a tooth extracted. Before a tooth is removed, the dentist will take an x-ray in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. Based on the degree of difficulty, we may refer you to a specialist called an oral surgeon.

A certain amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected following an extraction, which can be minimized with a pain killer and ice packs applied to the face for 15 minutes at a time. After a routine extraction, discomfort should lessen within three days to two weeks. If you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever, call our office immediately.

Wisdom teeth are the last molars, or “third molars” that develop on each side of the jaws. Wisdom teeth usually emerge in the back of the mouth between the ages of 16-20.

Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, problems develop that require their removal. When the jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in or misaligned). Wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way through the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.

A wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure. The dentist will numb the area in your mouth with a local anesthesia or use IV sedation so you are asleep during the procedure.

After the tooth (or teeth) is removed, you may be asked to bite down softly on a piece of gauze for 30 to 45 minutes after you leave the office, to limit any bleeding that may occur. Some pain and swelling may occur but it will normally go away after a few days; however, you should call your dentist if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever.


TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it’s where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.

Problems in this area can cause:

      • Headaches
      • Earaches
      • Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
      • Clicking or popping of the jaw
      • Pain in the jaw muscles
      • Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face

Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.

Custom designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may get hit. In addition, these guards protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Nightguards are also recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite.

If you have decided a guard is right for you, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth which will then be sent to a lab to make a custom fit guard for you. In most cases you can choose from a variety of colors and styles for your guard. On average, guards last between 3 and 10 years.

Many people are interested in whitening or brightening their smile. It seems like we receive more questions about bleaching than just about any other topic. At Highland Ave Family Dentistry we offer three different options to meet the needs of our patients:

Custom Trays
With this option, impressions are taken and whitening trays are custom made in our on-site lab. Our staff verifies the fit of the trays and demonstrates how to load the tray with whitening agent. Custom whitening trays allow the user to whiten their teeth at their own pace. It also gives the user the ability to touch up the whiteness or brightness of their smile before special occasions. Custom whitening trays are a great option for those who are willing to put in the time to wear them.

In-office Whitening or 1-hour Whitening
One hour whitening allows for fast, dramatic results. The system used at Highland Ave Family Dentistry has been shown to brighten smiles up to 14 shades in as little as 60 minutes. Our patients have been very pleased with the results they have achieved in such a short period of time. We give our patients the option of spending a little bit more time with the whitening agent if they want to achieve a little extra brightness to their smile. Custom trays can be made as well so the beautiful shade of white can last for as long as the patient likes.

Permanent Whitening
With the permanent whitening option, minimal prep veneers are used. In other words, we use thin pieces of porcelain to cover the front side of the teeth. The process may take several appointments but the results are fantastic. With this process, not only can we brighten smiles, but we can also make cosmetic changes if desired.

Invisalign® straightens your teeth using custom-made aligners created just for you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic. They gently and gradually shift your teeth into place. Best of all, there are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. Just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You’ll achieve a great smile with little interference to your daily life.

Designing Your Smile

The cosmetic dental team at Highland Ave Family Dentistry is highly trained in all aspects of cosmetic dentistry. You can be confident that we can give you the beautiful smile you have always wanted. Please call to schedule a consultation to discuss the design of your new smile. At Highland Ave Family Dentistry we are highly artistic and can sense what is needed to provide you with a great looking and natural smile. Many different factors need to be taken into consideration such as your age, facial features and the image you want to project. You and your dentist can select the smile that will look best on you. A number of different options will be presented to you including

  • Veneers
  • Implants
  • Invisalign ( or other braces systems)
  • Teeth whitening
  • Other possible procedures as needed

Once you’re fully informed of exactly what to expect we will use all the latest technology in cosmetic dentistry to create your gorgeous new smile. In the end you will have a smile you can be proud of that will give you the confidence and self-esteem you deserve.

Early detection is the best way to combat any form of cancer and oral cancer is no different. Diagnosing oral cancer through regular screenings is key to preventing and effectively treating the condition. Our goal is to find oral, neck and head cancers as soon as possible when patients come in with symptoms of bleeding, pain, dysphagia or otalgia. We carefully examine the mouth and neck, which usually only takes a few minutes. This short exam is critical to the prevention, treatment and cure of early stage oral cancer.

Oral caner screenings consist of the following:

Check face for assymetry, swelling, discoloration, ulceration
Palpate lymphatic chains
Evaluate lips (inside and out)
Evaluate cheeks (inside and out)
Evaluate tongue (both sides, and underneath)
Evaluate floor of mouth
Evaluate soft palate
Check tonsils

Just a small amount of fluoride can help prevent cavities and even assist in repairing teeth that are at the very earliest stages of decay. While you can get fluoride from some water supplies and supplements, to optimize the effects it is best to also have topical fluoride treatments.

Highland Ave Family Dentistry topically administers professional fluoride treatments. It only takes a few minutes and can greatly help in combating tooth decay.

Your temporomandibular joint (frequently called TMJ) is where the part of your skull called the temporal bone meets your mandible. This is the lower jawbone that holds all your bottom teeth in place. Your TMJ allows you to move your jaw side to side as well as up and down.

For a variety of reason your temporomandibular joint may cause you pain. When this occurs it is referred to as TMJ disorder or dysfunction.

There are many different theories as to why your TMJ may be causing you pain. Genetics, arthritis, stress, and injuries are some of the contributing factors that can cause problems.

Luckily, today there are many different options for treating all kinds of TMD. There are plenty of noninvasive and very advanced option to help manage or eliminate your pain associated with TMD.