Common Dental Procedures

Dental Exam and Cleanings illustration, Dr. Valerie Barba best dentists in new jersey

Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your oral health. During your exam, Dr. Barba and her team will:

  • Check for any problems that you may not see or feel
  • Perform a visual oral cancer screening
  • Look for cavities or any other signs of tooth destruction
  • Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
  • Check your jaw joint for dysfunction
  • Evaluate your bite
  • Provide a thorough teeth cleaning
  • Evaluate the airway for anatomical risk of sleep disordered breathing

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

Stop searching the internet for “general dentistry near me” and contact our Manasquan, NJ dental office. Visiting our dental office every six months gives you the chance to talk to one of the best dentists in New Jersey, Dr. Barba, about any questions you may have about your oral health. Regular exams are offered by appointment only. Please contact our dental office or submit an appointment request to schedule your next exam and teeth cleaning.

Bonding - Dr. Valerie Barba service best dentists in new jersey

Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During dental bonding, a white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling "bonds" with your tooth, and because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades, it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.

Tooth bonding can also be used for tooth fillings instead of amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than the silver amalgam fillings. Bonding fillings can be used on front and back teeth depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.

Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and can usually be completed in one visit to our office. However, bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, tell Dr. Barba. The bonding can generally be easily patched or repaired in one dental office visit.


Bridges - Dr. Valerie Barba service best dentists in new jersey

A bridge may be used to replace missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress on your bite.

A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Your bridge 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.

tooth extraction illustration - Dr. Valerie Barba service best dentists in new jersey

There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth at risk of decay. As a top cosmetic dentist in NJ, Dr. Barba may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.

When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, Dr. Barba may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or may request another visit to the dental office for this procedure. The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a "tooth socket", and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, Dr. Barba must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with Dr. Barba any concerns or preferences for sedation.

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.

Dental filling illustration - Dr. Valerie Barba service best dentists in new jersey

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.

Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, but they can also be used on the back teeth depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.


What's Right For Me?

Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity, and expense of dental restorations, including:

  • The components used in the filling material
  • The amount of tooth structure remaining
  • Where and how the filling is placed
  • The chewing load that the tooth will have to bear
  • The length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth

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. In preparation for this discussion it may be helpful to understand the two basic types of dental restoratives - direct and indirect.

  • Direct Restorations (fillings) include glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin). These fillings are placed into a prepared cavity in a single dental office visit. Dr. Barba prepares the tooth, places the filling, and adjusts it in one appointment.
  • Indirect Restorations include inlays, onlays, and veneers fabricated with gold, ceramics, or composites. They are used when a tooth has too much damage to support a filling but not enough to necessitate a crown. These restorations traditionally require two or more visits to a dental office but with the use of an iTero scanner and CAD/CAM technology, our Manasquan dental office offers same day dentistry. Dr. Barba prepares the tooth and takes a highly accurate digital impression of the area to be restored. The dental restoration is created in the office and Dr. Barba bonds the restoration into the prepared cavity and adjusts it as needed.
Tooth paste fluoride for dental care

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?

Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay by coating your teeth and preventing plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth's surface.


Fluoride Comes In Two Varieties, Systemic And Topical

  • Systemic fluoride is ingested, usually 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 teeth present in the mouth. It is delivered through toothpaste, mouthwash, and professional fluoride applications.

Receiving A Fluoride Treatment From Dr. Barba

A fluoride treatment at the dental office takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, patients may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. 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.


How To Choose The Right Fluoride Treatment

When choosing your own at-home fluoride product for your dental care (such as toothpaste or mouthwash), always check for the American Dental Association's (ADA) seal of acceptance. Products marked with the ADA seal of approval have been carefully examined by the ADA, and approved based on safety and effectiveness. Take care of your teeth and smile bright with dental fluoride treatments!

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 injuries received by athletes. Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums. If you participate in basketball, boxing, hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, track and field, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding, skydiving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting or wrestling, it is recommended by the American Dental Association that you wear a mouthguard.


Types Of Mouthguards

Choosing the right mouthguard is important. 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.


Taking Care Of Your Mouthguard

Similar to a retainer, braces, or any other special dental appliance, it is important to take care of your mouthguard by storing it properly and keeping it clean. You should also know when to replace your old mouthguard with a new one. Here are a few simple ways to keep your mouthguard clean and working correctly:

  • Gently scrub your mouthguard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Store your mouthguard in a protective case.
  • Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water; it may melt or become deformed.
  • Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season. You should also replace your mouthguard if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
  • Do not wear a retainer with your mouthguard. If you wear braces, your dentist will help design a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces.
  • Do not chew on or cut pieces off of your mouthguard.
  • Bring your mouthguard to each dental checkup, and Dr. Barba can check to make sure it's still in good shape.

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- GO TEAM!

Dentist holding nightguard

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 do not even know that they grind their teeth, as it often occurs when one is sleeping. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, or even tooth loss.

There is an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism: nightguards. Nightguards are an easy way to prevent the wear and damage that teeth-grinding causes over time. Using an iTero scanner, Dr. Barba will take a highly accurate digital impression of your teeth to create your custom-made nightguard that is inserted over your top or bottom teeth.

Root Canal 3D Illustration

Dental Health And Root Canals

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. Root canals are a relatively simple procedure involving one to three dental office visits. Best of all, having a root canal when necessary can save your tooth and your smile!


What Is The Purpose Of A Root Canal

A tooth's nerve is not vitally important to a tooth's health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory – to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.

When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but it is detrimental to your overall health. Without the proper treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.


What Are The Signs That A Root Canal Is Needed?

Teeth that require root canal therapy are not always painful. However, signs you may need a root canal include severe toothache, pain upon chewing or application of pressure, prolonged sensitivity or pain in response to hot and cold temperatures, a dark discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Barba at the Manasquan, NJ dental spa.


What Happens During A Root Canal?

Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems with the nerves of the teeth) removes the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. If your tooth had extensive decay, Dr. Barba may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breakage. 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.

Sealant illustration for dental care

Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It's difficult for your toothbrush to get in between the small cracks and grooves on your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.

Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, 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. It is more common to seal "permanent" teeth rather than "baby" teeth, but every patient has unique needs. As a top cosmetic dentist in NJ, Dr. Barba is highly knowledgeable and will only recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.

Sealants last from three to five years, but it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact, so if your sealants come off, let Dr. Barba know, and schedule an appointment for your teeth to be re-sealed.

Wisdom teeth illustration

Wisdom teeth are types of molars found in the very back of your mouth. These teeth usually appear in late teens or early twenties, but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.

Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the teeth's roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier as well as shorten the recovery time.

In order to remove a wisdom tooth, Dr. Barba will first numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and embedded in your jaw bone, she will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. In order to minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, Dr. Barba will often "section" your wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone. Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction, healing time varies. As one of the best dentists in New Jersey, Dr. Barba is very experienced with wisdom teeth removal and will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.


Providing Monmouth And Ocean Counties With State-Of-The-Art General Dental Care

Optimizing overall health and wellness is achieved through a healthy smile and a visit to one of the best dentists in New Jersey, Valerie Barba, DDS, FAGD.  Dr. Barba and her team are committed to providing you and your family with a level of dental care that will exceed your expectations. With unsurpassed, state-of-the-art care and a highly-skilled team, the dental office of Dr. Valerie Barba provides conservative, minimally-invasive dentistry for patients of all ages. 

Visiting Dr. Barba’s Manasquan dental office every six months for your regular exam and cleaning gives you the chance to speak with the doctor about any dental concerns you may have. Dr. Barba and her amazing team are there for patients requiring services that go beyond a basic cleaning, such as bonding, bridges, extractions, and fillings. Their goal is to make you feel as comfortable as possible while providing unsurpassed dental care.

View the dental menu to learn more about common dental procedures. The goal is to help you keep your teeth for life. Let Dr. Barba and her team know how they can be of service to you and how they can help you have the smile of your dreams.



“I have recommended Dr. Barba to friends and family because I feel so lucky to have found this practice.”

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