Thomas Nykamp, DDS

A Family Dentist Practice, General, Cosmetic, and Restorative Dentistry

General Dentistry

In General Dentistry, the General Dentist is the primary dental care provider and is responsible for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of conditions and diseases affecting the teeth, gums and the jaw and face (maxillofacial)parts of the body.

Dr. Nykamp is a General Dentistry and Family Dentist practice. Family Dentistry refers to a dental practice that addresses oral health at all stages of life.

Dr. Nykamp also provides a wide array of other dental procedures including some minor cosmetic treatments like Dental Bonding, Dental Veneers and Dental Implants as a few examples.

However, should you need a special or higher level oral health service, Dr. Nykamp will make a referral to a reputable and competent provider of Dental Specialty Services

Common General Dentistry Procedures


Bi-annual dental exams and cleaning by a professional dental hygienist, and good dental habits at home are the keys to keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

Preventive dentistry is important for all ages of people: infants, children, teens, adults and seniors.


Our goal is to help our patients prevent cavities through regular scheduled bi-annual checkups and providing resources to help our patients take excellent care of their teeth daily.Repair of Cavities is typical of a General Dentistry dental practice.

What are cavities?
Cavities are caused by the bacteria in your mouth turning simple sugars into acids. These acids attack the mineral crystals in teeth and can lead to decay of the tooth.

When an examination does reveal a cavity, it’s important that treatment occur as soon as possible to eliminate the decay and restore the tooth structure using a filling material. After the decay is removed, the filling material is layered on top of a base to restore the damaged tooth.

Several different materials are available to fill cavities in a tooth. See the Filling Section below for more information.

Preventing Cavities
Good oral hygiene is the best defense against cavities, including brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, rinsing and flossing. Your body’s own saliva is also an excellent fighter of cavities because it contains special chemicals that rinse away many harmful materials.  Between brushing, chewing a good sugarless gum will stimulate saliva production.


Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Digital X-Rays

Dental technology has improved the way dentists practice their craft. One of these technologies is the digital X-ray. Simply stated, a digital X-ray uses computer imaging to capture and store your X-rays vs. traditional X-ray films that require development.

Higher Quality Detailed Images Provide Better and More Accurate Diagnosis

When you are relying on your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis, image quality is everything.  Not only do you get results within seconds, but the image can also be easily resized to enlarge hard-to-see potential issues without distorting or degrading the quality of the image.

Digital radiographs can reveal small hidden areas that cannot be detected with only a visual dental examination. These better detected conditions include decay between teeth or below existing restorations (fillings), bone infections, gum (periodontal) disease, abscesses or cysts, developmental abnormalities and tumors.Digital X-rays for General Dentistry

Panoramic (Panorex) X-rays

Panoramic X-rays provides a digital X-ray from all angles and show the entire mouth in one image, including all the teeth in the upper and lower arch, in one image.

Panoramic X-rays provide the entire picture and provide super details as to how all things in the mouth are related, and are routinely used to plan treatment for dental implants, detect impacted wisdom teeth and jaw problems, and diagnose bony tumors and cysts

Less Radiation

Digital dental X-rays produce between 80% and 90% less radiation than traditional X-ray films. Dental X-rays can help diagnose disease and pathology.


Simply put, a crown is a cap that goes over a tooth.

It can be made using any number of materials depending on its purpose. And what are those purposes? Well, they fall into two major categories—medical and cosmetic.

Medically speaking, crowns are used to:

  • Keep a large filling in place that your tooth may otherwise not be able to support
  • Attach a bridge
  • Prevent a weak tooth from breaking
  • Repair an already-broken tooth

Cosmetically, people opt to use crowns to make their pearly whites appear whiter. Others use them to reshape their teeth for that perfectly straight look.

Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different.

Veneers are typically applied only to relatively small areas.


A Dental Bridge is a custom-made replacement tooth or teeth that fill the space where one or more teeth are missing.

Why Should  Missing Teeth Be Replaced?

If a missing the tooth or teeth are not replaced, over time, other teeth can drift out of position and change the bite.

When teeth are lost and not replaced, over time, this can cause the face to look older and lips to appear thin and flattened. The chin can also possibly move forward and upward and may appear pointed.

Not replacing teeth can over time cause the mouth to lose some of its shape, and the lip line becomes straightened. Pouches can become pronounced on either side of the lower jaw and cracks and sores may form at the corners of the mouth.

Are There Different Kinds of Bridges?

There are several types of dental bridges.  The specific type of bridge will depend upon the number of teeth or gap being replaced and the condition of the teeth that will abut the bridge. 

Dental Implants
Before development of dental implants, dentures were the only option to replacing a missing tooth or teeth.

Implants are synthetic structures that are placed in space the tooth normally occupies. Implants are anchored to the jawbone which act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases, implants can be used to attach dentures.

Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant, however. For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene.

Implants are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Implants are usually made of a synthetic yet biocompatible material like metal or ceramic.


Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Partials (Removable Dentures)

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Root Canals - Anterior & Bicuspid

A Root canal dental procedure is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. The term “root canal” comes from cleaning of the canals inside a tooth’s root.

People fear root canals because they assume they are painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed.

What Causes the Need for a Root Canal

Common causes of root canals pain include:

  • Decay: Tooth decay that has penetrated the outer layers of the teeth causes root canal pain.
  • Damage: Cracks or chips in teeth can cause tooth decay and root canal pain.
  • Disease: Risk factors for infection in the tooth pulp include severe tooth decay, trauma to the tooth, recent dental procedures, large fillings, and cracks or chips in the teeth.

If the cause of your teeth pain is serious decay or infection in the tooth pulp, your dentist may recommend a root canal.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

Not all types of teeth pain are indications for a root canal. But signs of infection severe enough to require a root canal include:

  • Serious teeth pain when eating or when you put pressure on the area
  • Teeth pain and sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers after the hot or cold stimuli have been removed
  • A small, pimple-like bump on the gums near the area of teeth pain
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Tenderness or swelling in the gums near the area of teeth pain

Dr. Nykamp often will perform a root canal procedure on Anterior and Bicuspid teeth.  For other types of teeth, Dr. Nykamp will likely make a referral to a reputable and competent provider of Dental Specialty Services like an Endodontist.

Occlusal Guards

Do you sometimes wake up with soreness or jaw pain, wake up with a headache, have sensitive teeth or notice signs that your teeth are shifting or wearing down? If so, you may need an occlusal or “bite” guard.

Often people are unaware that they clench or grind their teeth because this typically occurs at night when they are not conscious of their habits.grand rapids dental occlusal guard how to stop effects of grinding or clenching teeth

Wearing a bite guard will typically will not stop you from clenching or grinding your teeth. However the bite guard will serve as a cushion, and as a result, help protect your teeth from wear and also relieve the pain and tension in your jaw muscles.

 Grinding or Clenching?

Persistent grinding or clenching wears down the enamel of your teeth making them more prone to breaking and being sensitive. There are many signs that your teeth are undergoing repeated and unnecessary strain and stress, and as a result, you may notice:

  • You have a chipped tooth you don’t recall chipping
  • Your front teeth are looking shorter
  • Your molars appear flat on top or have holes or little bits in them.
  • You can see little cracks in your teeth.

 These are all signs that you are clenching or grinding. The bite guard will help protect your teeth from the clenching and grinding forces and protect the enamel in your teeth.

Simple Extractions

A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth.  Some of the most common reasons for a tooth extraction are:

  • A tooth that is non-restorable due to tooth decay
  • Impacted or problematic wisdom teeth
  • Make room for an orthodontic procedure
  • Severe gum disease
  • Fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic reasons

The removal of a tooth is recommended only after all other dental options have been exhausted.

Simple extractions are performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth; it usually occurs under local anesthesia and requires only the use of instruments to elevate and/or grasp the visible portion of the tooth.

A surgical extraction involves the removal of a tooth that cannot be easily accessed, either because it has broken under the gum line or because it has not erupted fully.

If you have a complicated extraction, Dr. Nykamp will make a referral to a reputable and competent provider of Dental Specialty Services

Contact Us

Dentist Office

2540 Woodmeadow ST SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546


Tel:    616-452-5721
Fax:   616-452-0514


The Dentist's Hours

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
                  8:00 am - 12:30 pm
                  2:00 pm  -  6:00 pm

Lunch:    12:30 pm  -  1:45 pm
Tuesday:  1:00 pm  -  8:00 pm

Closed:  Friday - Sunday