Common Dental Procedures


Providing Monmouth and Ocean Counties with State-of-the-Art General Dental Care

Optimizing overall health and wellness is achieved through a healthy smile. Dr. Barba and her team are committed to providing you and your family with a level of conservative, minimally-invasive dental care that will exceed your expectations. Your regular exam and cleaning every six months gives you the chance to speak with Dr. Barba about any dental concerns you may have. We are also here for patients requiring services that go beyond a basic cleaning. Our goal is to make you feel as comfortable as possible while providing unsurpassed dental care.

Digital Dental X-Rays

Using the most advanced dental technology possible is just as important as staying up-to-date on the latest dental care treatment techniques and the most popular cosmetic dental procedures. Digital X-rays provide several advanced imaging options designed to save time, provide clearer dental photos, and expose patients to less radiation than traditional X-ray technology.


Regular Exams and Cleanings

Examinations are typically recommended every six months. These are an important part of maintaining your oral health. During your exam, Dr. Barba and her team will:

Your regular exam will take about 45 minutes and includes a detailed teeth cleaning, during which we will clean, polish, and rinse your teeth to remove any tartar and plaque that has built up on the tooth’s surface.

Bonding: A Conservative Repair

If you have a slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked tooth or teeth, dental bonding is a non-invasive way to improve your tooth’s appearance. A white filling is placed onto your tooth using the tooth-colored shade that most closely matches your natural teeth. Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and can usually be completed in one visit to our office.


Bridges for Missing Teeth

Using a bridge to replace missing teeth helps maintain the shape of your face and alleviate stress on your bite. These artificial teeth look great and literally “bridge” the gap where one or more teeth may have been. They can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support. The success of any bridge depends on its foundation – the other teeth, gums, or bone to which it is attached. Therefore, it’s very important to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong. Scheduling your twice yearly exams at our Manasquan dental office with Dr. Barba is an excellent way to maintain your dental health.

Wisdom Teeth and Other Extractions

Wisdom teeth are molars in the very back of your mouth that usually appear in late teens or early twenties. They often become impacted (fail to erupt) due to angle of entry or lack of room in the jaw. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed to prevent pain, infections, and other problems. Other teeth sometimes need removal for additional reasons. For example, when a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, or a tooth with so much decay it puts the surrounding teeth at risk of decay. Infection and orthodontic correction can also require removal of a tooth. Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, causing problems with chewing or with your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, Dr. Barba may recommend that you replace the extracted tooth. She is very experienced with extractions and will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.


Dental Sealants to Prevent Cavities

Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth, where tooth decay is more likely to develop. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities. These plastic resins bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth’s surface. Brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay. Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure against tooth decay after the permanent teeth have erupted. However, adults can also receive sealants on healthy teeth.

Dental Fillings When Cavities Do Occur

Traditional dental restoratives, or fillings, are most often made of silver amalgam. The strength and durability of this traditional dental material makes it useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces from chewing, often in the back of the mouth. Alternate filling materials called composite resins are made of ceramic or plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. Before your treatment begins, Dr. Barba will discuss with you all of your options and help you choose the best filling for your particular case.

Bonded White Fillings

Using Fluoride to Protect Your Teeth

You brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and visit one of the best dentists in New Jersey, Dr. Barba, every six months. But did you know that rinsing with fluoride – a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay – also helps keep your teeth healthy and strong? Many of us get fluoride through a public water supply. While teeth are forming under the gums, the fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making it stronger and more resistant to cavities. Fluoride can also be applied topically to help prevent caries (cavities) on existing teeth. It is delivered through toothpaste, mouthwash, and professional fluoride applications. A fluoride treatment at the dental office takes just a few minutes. Depending on your oral health or Dr. Barba’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months. The doctor may also prescribe an at-home fluoride product such as a mouthwash, gel, or antibacterial rinse.

Oral Cancer Screening – Your Best Line of Defense

At Valerie Barba, DDS, FAGD, we take a holistic approach to your dental care, which includes an oral cancer screening as a part of your regular exam. Like many kinds of cancer, oral cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. We have the skills and tools to ensure that early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and precancerous conditions are identified. While these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is very important to visit our office to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. Dr. Barba is trained in a simple, quick screening that involves an examination of your teeth and oral cavity as a whole, and not just your teeth, to detect cancerous and precancerous conditions.

Aside from receiving an oral cancer screening during your checkup at our dental office, there are many things you can do to help prevent oral cancer.


Full and Partial Dentures

Dentures are natural-looking replacement teeth that are removable. There are two types of dentures:

  • Full Dentures are given to patients when all of the natural teeth have been removed. Conventional full dentures are placed after the gum tissue has healed, which can take several months. Immediate full dentures are placed immediately after the teeth have been removed and may require frequent adjustments during the first couple of months of use.
  • Partial Dentures are attached to a metal frame that is connected to your natural teeth and are used to fill in where permanent teeth have been removed. Partial dentures are considered a removable alternative to bridges.

How Do I Know if Dentures Are the Right Choice for Me?

Dentures are not for everyone, and it’s very important to educate yourself before you have any major dental procedures done. If you’re interested in learning more about dentures and want to know if they are the right choice for you, please schedule an appointment with our dental office. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you might have and can determine the best course of treatment for your ongoing dental health.

Also, if you experience minor pain or discomfort while adjusting to new dentures, receiving BOTOX™ treatment at the dentist can help alleviate pain and better accommodate dentures. Most importantly, remember to continue scheduling regular dental checkups with Dr. Barba every six months to make sure that your smile stays healthy for many years to come.

Protecting Teeth During Sports with Mouthguards

Whether you wear braces or not, protecting your smile while playing sports is essential. Injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common athletic injuries. Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums and are recommended by the American Dental Association for most sports.

There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard. When you choose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, well fitted for your mouth, and easy to keep clean. Also make sure it does not prevent you from breathing properly during use. If you wear braces or a retainer, it is imperative for you to wear a mouthguard. Dr. Barba can show you how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect your smile. Our goal is to help minimize your chances of a sports-related injury. Be sure to ask Dr. Barba about mouthguards at your next dental office visit and GO TEAM!


Nightguards Can Eliminate Pain

If you often wake up with jaw pain, earaches, or headaches, or if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, you may have a common condition called “bruxism.” Many people don’t even know they grind their teeth, as it often occurs when sleeping. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, or even tooth loss. The easiest, most non-invasive treatment for bruxism is nightguards. They prevent the wear and damage that teeth-grinding causes over time.

Digital Impressions – No More Goop!

For custom mouthguards, nightguards, restorations, and more, you can say goodbye to uncomfortable, goopy impressions thanks to the iTero™ intraoral scanner. Dr. Barba can now take a highly accurate digital impression, completely eliminating the tray and putty impressions where the experience is comparable to putting a large piece of gum in your mouth. The iTero scanner ensures a more accurate impression from the start, resulting in improved treatment and a more comfortable patient experience.

iTero™ Intraoral Scanner

Root Canals Can Save “Hopeless” Teeth

In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you would probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called root canal treatment, your tooth can be saved. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and cause an infection. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can lead to jawbone damage and is detrimental to your overall health. During treatment, Dr. Barba removes the affected tissue, cleans and seals the interior of the tooth, and fills the tooth with a dental composite. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime!


Dentistry is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions, disorders, and diseases of the teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. Often considered necessary for complete oral health, dentistry can have an impact on the health of your entire body.

A dentist is a specialist who works to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Your dentist has completed at least eight years of schooling and received either a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree or a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree. Pediatric dentists specialize in caring for children from infancy through their teen years and has received the proper education and training needed to work with young kids. Other specializations include:

  • Endodontics (root canals)
  • Oral and maxillofacial care (including pathology, radiology, and surgery)
  • Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
  • Periodontics (gum disease)
  • Prosthodontics (implants)

Visiting a dental office regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:

  • Helps prevent tooth decay
  • Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
  • Prevents bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
  • Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
  • Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
  • Strengthens your teeth so that you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life
Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still important to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. Your smile’s appearance is important, and a top dentist like Dr. Barba can help keep your smile healthy and looking beautiful.

Choosing a dentist who “clicks” with you and your family is important, and you may wish to consider several dentists before making your final decision. During your first visit to our dental spa in Manasquan, you should be able to determine whether Dr. Barba is right for you. During your appointment, consider the following:

  • Is the appointment schedule convenient?
  • Is the dental office easy to get to and close by?
  • Does the dental office appear to be clean and orderly?
  • Was your medical and dental history recorded and placed in a permanent file?
  • Does the dentist explain techniques for good oral health?
  • Is information about cost presented to you before treatment is scheduled?
  • Is your dentist a member of the American Dental Association?

The use of BOTOX and other cosmetic procedures has become more accessible in dentistry. A beautiful smile starts with good dental hygiene and, at times, can be enhanced through various cosmetic procedures. Remember to always ask your dental provider what certifications he or she has completed prior to starting any treatment plan. Below are just some of the offerings at Dr. Barba’s dental spa:

  • BOTOX™ Cosmetic
  • Juvéderm™ dermal fillers
  • KYBELLA™ treatment for double chins
  • ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once!
  • Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and ask your dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities.
  • Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities) and avoid tobacco (this can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer).
  • Don’t be afraid to brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkup at our dental spa. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six months of age and no later than one year of age. During this time, your child’s baby teeth will be coming in and your dentist can examine the health of your child’s first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.

Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to see the dentist more than just twice a year. Dr. Barba will help determine how often you should visit our dental office for regular checkups.

A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities are formed when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss between teeth at least once.

A filling is a synthetic material that your dentist uses to fill a cavity after all of the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt because your dentist will numb your mouth with an anesthetic. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure to talk to Dr. Barba about what type is best for you and your teeth.

According to your dentist and the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque. It is also recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride when you brush your teeth. You should spend at least a minute on the top teeth and a minute on the bottom teeth, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!

Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth twice a day for two to three minutes each time. Dr. Barba recommends that adults and children change their toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions because you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently. Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks to keep any bacteria from spreading. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If you’ve been sick, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, and, if detected, is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition. Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting the dentist every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease include:

  • Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gum line
  • Abscessed teeth

This is one of the most common questions from patients with braces, and the answer is yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit the dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Dr. Barba will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

Simply call our Manasquan dental office or click the button below to schedule online! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next dental checkup at your convenience. If you are a new patient, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need for your first dental visit. We can’t wait to see you!

Let Dr. Barba and her team know how they can be of service to you and help you achieve the smile of your dreams.

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