general dentistry Gaylord, MI

General Dentistry

At Otsego Dental Group, we offer a full range of general dentistry services to help you maintain exceptional oral hygiene and a beautiful smile you can be proud of. In addition to our expert preventative care such as regular cleanings and check-ups, we also perform more complex dental procedures like fillings, crowns, and root canals.

Professional Teeth Cleanings

To maintain our patients’ oral health, we offer professional teeth cleanings in Gaylord, Michigan. Our fantastic team of hygienists will clean and thoroughly check your dentition for decay or troublesome damage. This is a routine and preventive dental service we are happy to provide. Please call Otsego Dental Group at (989) 448‑2664 and we will help you schedule your appointment.

Dental cleanings and evaluations are two of the most basic yet important preventive treatments we provide at our office. Each time you visit our dental practice for a checkup, we will provide a professional teeth cleaning and dental evaluation to help your smile stay healthy. During your cleaning and evaluation, our dental team will:

  • Clean your teeth by removing any plaque or tartar (also called dental calculus), which can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease
  • Floss and polish your teeth for a healthy, bright smile
  • Evaluate your smile for signs of any damaging dental conditions or diseases

We may utilize dental X-rays to further evaluate your smile and make certain that you receive the dental care you need. Regular dental cleanings and evaluations are essential in maintaining good oral health, preventing cavities and gum disease, and making sure that any damaging conditions are treated as early as possible.

We recommend that you visit us every six months for a routine dental cleaning and evaluation. We may suggest more frequent visits if needed, and we also encourage you to contact us if you suffer from a dental emergency, pain or injury. To schedule your next appointment, we invite you to contact us today. We look forward to caring for your smile!

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Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers today and has one of the lowest survival rates. Thousands of cases are reported each year. If oral cancer is not treated in time, it could spread to other facial and neck tissues, leading to disfigurement and pain.

While people of all ages are at risk of cancer, adults over the age of 40, especially men, are more susceptible. Additionally, people with many forms of cancer can develop complications as a result of their cancer, some of them chronic and painful. These complications include dry mouth, overly sensitive teeth as well as accelerated tooth decay.
Our dentist, Dr. Harbin gladly offers oral cancer screenings in Gaylord, Michigan. Please call Otsego Dental Group at (989) 448-2664 and we will find an appointment time available for you to receive this life-saving procedure.

Oral cancer commonly develops on the tongue, but can also appear on the lips, gums, and soft palate tissues.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Early signs of cancer include lumps, lesions, and patchy areas—all of which may not cause discomfort of any kind. Other warning signs include:

  • Lumps or growths in the neck or throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent sores in the mouth
  • Unusual bleeding

Surgery may be the best option if a tumor is found in the mouth, face, or throat.

While our team will perform a screening for oral cancer to check for these and other symptoms, we encourage you to contact us if you notice any of these signs or if you experience any other type of dental discomfort. We are committed to helping you maintain good oral health.

You can take steps to prevent the development of oral cancer. Tobacco and alcohol use are the biggest culprits. Sun exposure and certain kinds of food have also been linked. A higher risk of oral cancer can be hereditary. Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruit, maintaining good oral hygiene, and visiting the dentist regularly are highly recommended defenses against oral cancer.

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Periodontal (Gum) Disease Therapy

Our office in Gaylord, Michigan, proudly offers periodontal (gum) disease treatment, which aids in the prevention of tooth loss and the spread of further infection. Periodontal disease develops in the gums as an infection. There are many stages of periodontal disease and appropriate treatments for each stage. Our dentist, Dr. Harbin, will review your individual needs during your consultation at Otsego Dental Group.

The medical term for early periodontal disease is gingivitis. Warning signs of gingivitis can include swollen and painful gums, bleeding after brushing or flossing, or chronic bad breath. However, gingivitis can often go unnoticed.

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures which support the teeth. In the more serious form of periodontal disease known as periodontitis, the gums pull away from the tooth and the supporting gum tissues are destroyed.

Chronic periodontitis is the most advanced form of the disease. Chronic periodontitis progresses relatively slow in most people and is typically more evident in adulthood. Inflammation as a result of bacterial infection is behind all forms of periodontal disease however, a host of factors can influence the severity of the disease. Risk factors include inherited or genetic susceptibility, smoking, lack of adequate home care, age, diet, health history, and medications.

Advanced periodontal disease causes gums to separate from the teeth, increasing the chances of infection and decay. Advanced periodontal disease can also result in tooth abscess and bone loss. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss however, this can be avoided in many cases.

Some cases of acute periodontal disease that do not respond to more conventional treatment and self-care may require a special type of cleaning called scaling and root planing. You may choose to begin this procedure with the administration of a local anesthetic to reduce any discomfort. A small instrument called a “scaler” and an ultrasonic cleaner, are used to clean beneath your gum line removing the plaque and tartar. The root surfaces of the teeth are then planed and smoothed. In effect scaling and root planing helps the gums reattach themselves to the tooth structure. Additional measures may be needed if the periodontal pockets persist after scaling and root planning.

The pathogens in the periodontal breakdown are also responsible for cardiovascular events, diabetes, pregnancy dysfunction, RA, COPD, and some cancers.

At Otsego Dental Group, we offer many periodontal services. Our dentist, Dr. Harbin, will thoroughly evaluate your oral health and determine which treatment will best suit your needs. We invite you to call Otsego Dental Group and our team will answer any of your questions.

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Dental Fillings

If you have ever had a cavity, you are not alone. About 78% of us have had at least one cavity by the time we reach age 17. Once a cavity is formed, actions need to be taken to restore and save the tooth from further decay. The first step is a clinical examination of the tooth with an X-ray to determine the extent of the decay. Once the decay is removed, the cavity can then be “filled”. There are two broad categories of fillings; composite, or tooth-colored fillings and amalgam, or silver fillings. Each type of filling material has its own advantages and drawbacks.

Composite Fillings

A popular choice for those who do not want their fillings to show, composite is a mixture of plastic and glass, which actually bonds to the tooth. Some advantages include the filling will blend with your natural tooth color, they adhere to the surface of the tooth, and typically require less drilling. Common drawbacks are composites take longer to place and require more frequent replacements.

Amalgam Fillings

The classic “silver” filling is use for more than century is actually an alloy made up of mercury, silver, tin and copper. The materials combine with each other to make the filling stable and safe. Proven for over a century, amalgam fillings typically cost less than composites fillings and tend to be longer lasting, thus making replacements less frequent. The main drawback with an amalgam filling, they tend to be more noticeable when you open wide.

Organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Public Health Services have been investigating the safety of amalgam material in dental fillings. No valid evidence has shown amalgam fillings to be harmful to patients, with the exception of rare allergic reactions. In light of the long-standing controversy about mercury in amalgam fillings, our dentist, Dr. Harbin has elected to use alternative restorations whenever possible.

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Dental Crowns

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a synthetic cap that is placed on a tooth to restore its function and appearance following a restorative procedure. When large amounts of a tooth need to be removed due to decay, a crown can protect and enhance the tooth. Crowns are often made of porcelain, but can also be comprised of gold or porcelain fused with metal.

Dental crowns can be used to cover a tooth after a root canal, protect a cracked tooth, stabilize a dental filling, cover a dental implant, or attach a bridge. They can also serve an aesthetic purpose by restoring a natural appearance to a stained or discolored tooth.


In order to accommodate a dental crown, a tooth must usually be reduced in size. Our dentist will make a cast of the tooth to create an impression, which is sent to a special lab to manufacture a custom-made crown. We may apply a temporary crown until the permanent crown is ready to be cemented in place.

Crowns can be confused with dental veneers. Unlike veneers, which are applied to a relatively small area, crowns cover the full tooth above the gum line.

Caring for Your Dental Crown

High-quality dental crowns can last for years with proper care. Flossing around the tooth removes excess plaque and debris, keeping the area healthy.

Harmful conditions such as bruxism (grinding and clenching the teeth) will shorten the life of a dental crown. Other behaviors such as eating hard candy, brittle food, or ice may affect the adhesion of the dental crown or damage the crown itself.

A dental crown, or cap, is a restoration that can be used for a number of purposes. One of the most common uses of a dental crown is to restore a tooth that is significantly damaged or decayed. The crown is custom made to fit over the entire tooth, starting at the gumline, in order to restore the tooth to its original shape and size. Dental crowns can be made of gold, porcelain or porcelain fused to metal; porcelain crowns are popular because they match the natural color and appearance of your teeth. Our dentist will help you determine which type of dental crown is right for your smile.

Your smile may benefit from a crown if a tooth is damaged or decayed to the point that a dental filling will not provide a successful restoration. Crowns can also be used for a number of other restorative and aesthetic purposes, including to:

To find out whether a dental crown is right for you, we welcome you to contact us today!

To learn more about dental crowns in Gaylord, Michigan, and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Harbin, please call Otsego Dental Group at (989) 448‑2664. One of our friendly and knowledgeable team members will be happy to answer any of your questions and help you find a convenient appointment time.

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Dr. Harbin can provide you with a custom-made dental bridge, a dental appliance that mimics natural teeth, to replace areas of tooth loss. Whether you are missing a single tooth or several in a row, a dental bridge can restore your smile’s function, appearance, and strength, helping you feel comfortable and confidence. For more information about dental bridges in Gaylord, Michigan, please contact Otsego Dental Group at (989) 448‑2664.

If you are missing a single tooth or multiple teeth in a row, we may recommend a dental bridge to restore your smile. A bridge is a fixed dental restoration, meaning it is non-removable. The dental bridge is anchored in place through the use of two dental crowns, which are custom made to fit your smile and are placed on the teeth or dental implants next to the space left by the missing tooth. These crowns hold the artificial tooth in place to restore your smile, ensuring that your restoration will not easily shift or come loose. It typically requires only two visits to our practice to complete a dental bridge. Dental bridges are designed to last for many years and to restore the function, beauty and health of your smile.

Our dentist may recommend a dental bridge to improve your smile by:

  • Restoring your ability to speak, eat and chew normally
  • Alleviating excess stress on the bite
  • Improving the shape and volume of your face
  • Replacing an unwanted removable partial denture
  • Preventing the remaining natural teeth from moving out of position
  • Enhancing the appearance of your smile

We will help you determine whether a custom dental bridge is the right choice for restoring your smile after tooth loss. For more information, please call or visit us today.

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Dental Implants

Dental implants in Gaylord, Michigan, are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Implants are typically made of a biocompatible material like titanium. Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant. Our dentist, Dr. Harbin, will thoroughly evaluate your oral health to determine whether an implant is the best choice for you. Please call Otsego Dental Group at (989) 448‑2664 and our team will be able to answer any of your concerns and aid you in finding an appointment time.

Dental implants are lasting, stable tooth replacements that can be used to replace one missing tooth, several missing teeth or complete arches of teeth. The dental implant post, which is a screw made of titanium, is surgically placed in the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth. It replaces the missing tooth root and ensures that your dental restoration is stable. A period of healing is then often required to allow the bone to begin to bond with the biocompatible post.

Following this healing period, our dentist will place the dental implant restoration, or replacement tooth, which fits on top of the implant post. Depending on which teeth are missing and your personal dental needs, your implant restoration might be a dental crown, dental bridge, or a complete or partial denture. Each dental implant restoration is custom made to fit your smile comfortably and aesthetically.

Replacing a missing tooth can restore your smile to optimal health, function and appearance. A dental implant is a great option for restoring your smile because the implant is designed to look, function and feel just like your natural teeth, and with proper care, it can last a lifetime. For more information about the benefits of implant dentistry and to schedule your implant consultation, please call or visit us soon.

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Dentures Gaylord, MI


Dentures in Gaylord, Michigan are made from very advanced materials designed to give your smile a natural appearance. Please keep in mind that just like your teeth, dentures should be cared for with the same diligence. Daily cleaning and regular visits with your dentist, Dr. Harbin, are highly recommended. Our team at Otsego Dental Group may also make minor adjustments to ensure that your dentures continue fitting naturally and comfortably. Please call (989) 448‑2664 if you have any questions and would like to make an appointment.

Dentures are an oral appliance that replaces missing teeth and adjacent tissue. They are made of acrylic resin that can be combined with various metals. Dentures improve chewing and speech, as well as provide support to the facial muscles and enhance your facial appearance and smile.

Types of Dentures

  • Complete dentures replace the full dental arch, and are beneficial for patients who have lost all or most of their teeth. They can be placed in the upper or lower jaw, or both.
  • Partial dentures fill spaces left by missing teeth, preventing the surrounding teeth from shifting. They are suitable for patients who have healthy teeth remaining.
  • Immediate dentures are complete dentures that are inserted into the mouth immediately after the remaining teeth are extracted. Our dentist takes careful measurements and models of your smile during a preliminary visit to ensure your immediate dentures will fit properly. With immediate dentures, you do not need to be without teeth, but your dentures will need to be relined or rebased as the gums and bones heal and shrink.
  • Overdentures fit over a small area of teeth or implants and are completely removable. Your natural teeth will need to be prepared to ensure stability for the overdenture.

How are dentures made?

The denture process can take about five visits to perform the diagnosis, create an impression and wax bite, match the color and shape of your smile, and place the final denture.

Our dentist, Dr. Harbin, will make a dental mold of your mouth including the measurements of your jaw and bite. The impression is then sent to our dental laboratory to create the custom denture.

The laboratory creates a model of your jaw, then places the teeth in a wax base and molds the wax to match the desired form of the finished denture. After the wax is removed, the mold is filled with pliable pink plastic that is hardened with heat. After a final polishing, your denture is ready.

Our dentist may recommend complete or partial dentures to restore your smile. If you are missing multiple teeth; dentures can improve your ability to properly speak and eat, and enhance the overall beauty of your smile. Your dentures will be custom made to fit your smile comfortably, aesthetically, and securely. We invite you to call (989) 448‑2664 or visit us soon to learn more about how dentures can improve your smile!

Caring for Your Denture

Brush your denture daily to remove food and bacteria and to keep it bright. You can use denture cleaner, hand soap, or mild dishwashing liquid.

You must also care for your mouth, brushing any remaining teeth as well as your tongue, gums, and palate.

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Root Canals

Root canal therapy in Gaylord, Michigan is a remarkable treatment with a very high rate of success. Our dentist, Dr. Harbin, removes the diseased tissue in the tooth thus halting the spread of infection, and restoring the healthy portion of the tooth. Root canal therapy at Otsego Dental Group is designed to save a problem tooth. Please call our office at (989) 448‑2664 to speak to a team member about any concerns you may have and to schedule an appointment.

Commonly called a root canal, root canal treatment is a type of endodontic therapy that is often recommended if the tooth pulp and nerves become infected or damaged. This may occur if injury or decay reaches deep into the tooth, past the outer enamel layer. When left untreated, this type of infection and disease may cause the tooth to die and necessitate tooth extraction. To restore the health of the tooth and avoid the need for extraction, our skilled dentist will remove the infected and injured tissues from within the tooth, clean the tooth, and fill it with a medicated material. We will then cap the tooth with a restoration, such as a dental crown, to return the tooth to its original shape and structure. In most cases, a root canal can be completed in only one or two comfortable visits to our office.

Root canal treatment has a reputation for being a painful treatment. In reality, however, root canal treatment can often be completed with minimal discomfort thanks to advanced techniques, tools and anesthesia. Our dentist and entire team work hard to provide you with a pleasant and comfortable experience each time you visit our office. To learn more about root canal treatment, we welcome you to contact us today. We are committed to restoring your smile’s health.

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TMJ/TMD Treatments

People who grind their teeth can sometimes develop a serious problem with their jaw and/or if left untreated, this can adversely affect the teeth, gums and bone structures of the mouth. One of the most common jaw disorders is related to a problem with the temporomandibular joint: the joint which connects the lower jaw to your skull. The temporomandibular joint allows your upper and lower jaw to open and close. It facilitates chewing and speaking.

TMD develops from disharmony in the jaw, such as an improper bite or jaw dislocation, and can occur because of bruxism (teeth grinding) or a traumatic injury. Patients with minor TMD may experience pain or discomfort in the jaw muscles, while more severe cases can result in arthritis in the jaw joint. TMD often causes popping or clicking sounds when the jaws open or close, and can cause tooth sensitivity, headaches, and neck aches.

Treatment for TMD may include anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, biofeedback, or an oral appliance that is worn during sleep. Severe cases may require jaw surgery.

If you are experiencing facial discomfort or know that you have a habit of grinding your teeth, contact Otsego Dental Group at (989) 448‑2664 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Harbin to discuss your options for TMJ/TMD treatment Gaylord, Michigan. We will gladly answer any questions that you may have and help you arrange your visit with our dentist.

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Tooth Extractions

When restoration procedures such as root canal therapy, dental crowns, or fillings are not enough to save a tooth, our dentist, Dr. Harbin, may recommend a tooth extraction. Tooth extractions in Gaylord, Michigan, are more comfortable than ever thanks to anesthetics and sedatives. In many cases, a patient who has a tooth removed at Otsego Dental Group experiences little or no discomfort. Please call (989) 448‑2664 and we will assist you in any way.

Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth. While we strive to avoid the need to remove a tooth whenever possible, certain conditions may make tooth extraction the most effective option for returning you to a healthy smile. Following the tooth extraction, we are happy to provide you with one of our excellent tooth replacement treatments to restore your smile to optimal health, beauty and function.

Several conditions may necessitate tooth extraction. Among these are:

  • Severe infection that has destroyed a significant portion of the tooth and supporting bone structure
  • Serious decay that has damaged a tooth beyond repair, making a successful restoration impossible
  • Crowding caused by too many teeth to properly fit in the mouth

Our dentist and team use great care and skill when performing a tooth extraction to ensure that your experience is as comfortable and painless as possible. We will also provide you with detailed post-treatment care instructions so that you can properly take care of your smile as it heals. For more information on tooth extraction and to schedule your personalized consultation at our friendly dental office, we invite you to call or visit us today. We are committed to improving your smile!

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