Composite Restorations – Tooth-colored restorative materials now allow us to place the most aesthetically pleasing restorations possible. At the same time you gain the benefit of a material that actually bonds with the tooth providing a strong and long-term solution.
The concept of a “filling” is replacing and restoring your tooth structure that is damaged due to decay or fracture with a material. We will replace old, broken-down amalgam/metal fillings that contain traces of mercury with white fillings (composites) to restore your smile and teeth to a more natural look and feel.
With today’s advancements, no longer will you have to suffer the embarrassment of unsightly silver fillings or metal margins. Eliminate the dark, black appearance in your teeth with new-age, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials.
Comparing White Fillings Versus Silver Amalgam Fillings:
- White fillings bond to the tooth; they strengthen the tooth by restoring most of its original shape. Silver amalgams, on the other hand, weaken the teeth and make them more susceptible to breaking.
- White filling composites are preferred by most patients. This is due to the natural color, strength and overall appearance and feel. Composites are naturally more comfortable.
- Hot and cold sensitivity is greatly reduced with composite material compared to the silver/mercury amalgams.
- Restorations with composites require less removal of tooth, less structure to place than those with amalgams and especially with new cavities. Dramatically smaller holes are needed with a composite.
- White fillings are healthier because no traces of mercury are used, unlike silver amalgams.
Bonding Is a Common Solution for:
- Fixing or repairing chipped or cracked teeth
- Reducing unsightly gaps or spaces between teeth
- Hiding discoloration or faded areas on the tooth’s surface
Often used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.
Crown & Bridge
Cosmetically pleasing crowns and bridges can help restore strength to a broken tooth or replace missing teeth. These are lab-made to match your adjacent teeth and complete your smile. They are strong enough to hold up to the pressure created by chewing and with good homecare can be with you for many years.
Crowns – A permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is in need of structural support due to being decayed, damaged, or cracked. These can be made from a variety of different materials such as porcelain, acrylic resin, gold or a mix of these materials. The material best for your crown would be decided based on strength or cosmetic needs.
A crown would normally involve 2 visits. The first to remove decay and reshape the tooth to provide the best fit for the crown. At that appointment, impressions would be taken to create the custom-made crown. A temporary crown would be placed while the permanent crown is being made. You would return 2-4 weeks later to have the permanent crown placed and adjusted to your bite.
Once the procedure is completed it is important to maintain proper dental hygiene including daily brushing and flossing. If proper care is given, your crown can last a lifetime.
Bridges – When a tooth is lost, a bridge is a way to fill the space. This may be necessary to prevent shifting of the surrounding teeth that can lead to bite problems, jaw problems, and periodontal disease. It will also help maintain the integrity of the existing teeth.
There are different types of bridges and your dentist will help you decide which one is best for your overall dental health.
Implants – Implants are the best way to replace missing teeth when you do not want to alter the adjacent tooth structures. Implants can also be used to help partials and dentures stay in place without clamps that are visible around remaining teeth. These are placed by one of our specialists and then restored, all in our practice.
Some Advantages of Dental Implants Include:
- Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
- Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
- Improved comfort. Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
- Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
- Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
- Improved oral health. Dental implants don't require reducing other teeth as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
- Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
- Convenience. Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.
For more information, make an appointment for a consultation with one of our specialists and they will be happy to answer all of your questions.
Root Canals - Root canals may be recommended when the nerve of your tooth becomes infected or dies. Although root canals have been given a “bad rap” in the past, with modern technology they can be an easy and very successful alternative to extraction, allowing the tooth to be preserved.
What Causes the Need for a Root Canal?
Decay is the number one cause of root canal. When the decay progresses to the pulp chamber (middle) of the tooth, you will usually feel sensitivity when you drink something hot or cold. This doesn’t automatically indicate root canal. Sometimes just getting the decay removed and cavity filled takes care of the problem.
If the decay has progressed too far, bacteria can get into the pulp of the tooth and cause a root canal infection, better known as an abscess in the bone at the end of the root of your tooth and can be seen on x-ray. There are sometimes no symptoms as nerves can die slowly over time. This is one reason dentists take x-rays during your routine cleaning appointments.
If left untreated, the abscess can get larger and literally eat away at the bone in your jaw causing pain and swelling. This can result in whole body systemic infection that could reach your brain and cause death. (This is VERY rare but has happened.) The only remedy is a root canal or have the tooth removed.
Another cause of root canal is from old metal fillings that will shrink over time and decay starts underneath it, undetected until you feel pain or temperature sensitivity.
The second most common cause of root canal is tooth fracture caused by clenching or grinding your teeth, eating hard foods or chewing ice. Your tooth can develop hairline type fracture(s) or craze lines that let bacteria into the pulp chamber, inflaming the nerve or infecting the tooth. You will not be able to ignore the pain this can cause, especially if you bite something hard and increase the fracture. Chewing on the other side of your mouth is ignoring this problem, not curing it. Unfortunately, that is the route some people take until the tooth becomes infected or the pain unbearable.
However, it is noted by many doctors that different people suffer a different degree of pain in their mouths. X-ray of teeth with abscess that would cause severe pain to most average people have had the patient state that it did not hurt at all! It’s amazing, and dangerous, that some people can have severe tooth problems and not feel strong pain.
The third cause of root canal is trauma. People that were hit in the mouth as a child, can have the tooth get infected as an adult. Car accidents, work- or sports-related injuries, and falls that make you snap your teeth together can cause damage to the nerve that may or may not show up right away.
Root canal treatment, also called root canal therapy is the removal of damaged or infected nerves and tissue from the inside of your tooth.
Root canal treatment allows you to keep a tooth you would otherwise have to have pulled. When there is an infection inside the tooth, there is no cure. The bacteria continues to spread to the nerve and surrounding tissue.
Many people wonder why medications, like antibiotics, cannot cure the infection. The fact is that the tissues swell, cutting off the blood supply so there is no way to get the medication to the area. Yes, they can help surrounding tissue, but cannot reach the inside of the tooth.
Root canal treatment is one of life's most dreaded procedures. Although most root canals done today are pain free, their bad reputation has not been forgotten.
Laser Technology - We now have a soft tissue laser. This laser allows remove of gingival tissue that is clean and precise with minimal discomfort and quicker healing time to the patient.