Composite fillings are restorative materials used to repair teeth which have been compromised due to cavities or trauma. Composite fillings, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small to midsize fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.
Root canals treat diseased or abscessed teeth. Once a tooth is injured, cracked or decayed, it is necessary to open the tooth and clean out the infected tissue in the center. This space is then filled and the opening sealed.
A crown or “cap” is a restoration that covers a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, which can strengthen and improve the appearance of the tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth has been damaged significantly and cannot be adequately restored with a filling. A crown can protect a weak tooth from fracturing; it also can prevent a cracked tooth from further damage. Crowns can cover discolored or misshapen teeth for more aesthetically pleasing smiles.
A fixed bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more missing teeth, thus “bridging” the space between the two adjacent natural teeth or implants. A traditional fixed bridge consists of a false tooth or teeth fused between two crowns, that are cemented on the surrounding teeth. An implant bridge is fastened to two or more implants that are submerged in the bone.
Dental sealants, usually applied to the chewing surface of teeth, acts as a barrier against decay-causing bacteria. Most often, the sealants are applied to the back teeth, e.g., premolars and molars.
Custom designed night guards are made of plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Nightguards are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night, or any other time that is stressful, as a way to protect their teeth. An impression of your teeth will be taken, then sent to a lab to make a custom fit night guard for you. On average, night guards last between 3 and 10 years.
Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces tooth roots with metal, screwlike posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones. Dental implants are surgically placed in your jawbone, where they serve as the roots of missing teeth. Dental implant surgery can offer a welcome alternative to dentures or bridgework.
In general, dental implants may be right for you if you:
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or resin placed over the front of the teeth to change their color or shape. In addition to improving teeth with uneven surfaces, veneers can be used to correct chipped, discolored, oddly-shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked teeth.
A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from your dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take around an hour or less. Cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay.
Once you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease and have undergone scaling and root planing, periodontal maintenance is what you can think of as taking the place of prophylaxis in your dental care routine. Rather than just addressing the just crowns (the portion above the gumline) of your teeth as in prophylaxis, periodontal maintenance also cares for your tooth roots, gums and bone. In other words, think of it as cleaning and maintenance for the tissues affected by your periodontal disease. The frequency of your periodontal maintenance appointments depends on your individual oral health condition and will be determined by your dentist.
Root planing is a procedure that involves removing tartar, bacteria, toxic deposits from the root of a tooth, all the way down to where gum and bone meet. While it is sometimes casually referred to as a “deep cleaning”, you should know that this treatment is quite different from prophylaxis. This procedure is required as a treatment for periodontal disease or periodontitis (commonly called gum disease, though it also affects the bone).
Many people can have periodontal disease and not even know it. Symptoms of the disease can include bleeding gums, loose teeth, bad breath, teeth that look longer due to recessed gums and swollen or red gums. However, many people do not notice any symptoms at all. That’s why it may come as a surprise when your dentist recommends scaling and root planing instead of a regular cleaning. It’s important to understand that this procedure is vital to getting periodontal disease under control and avoid future tooth loss, though other procedures including surgery may be required to treat the disease.
Whitening is a chemical procedure used to brighten dull teeth, which often become discolored over time. Some people have their teeth whitened to remove stains, while other simply want a brighter smile. At our office, we offer at-home bleaching.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing. Complete dentures can be either "conventional" or "immediate."
A conventional denture is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, it is ready for placement in the mouth about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.
Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require to be refitted or relined at the lab after the tissue and bone are completely healed.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth still remain.
A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is sometimes connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position. A partial denture is removable and has internal clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns.
Dental extractions come in two basic types – simple and surgical. Which kind is right for you will depend on the situation we are looking to fix.
Ideally, we prefer to save your natural teeth whenever possible. Unfortunately, this sometimes is not the appropriate solution and it becomes necessary to extract a tooth in order to protect the health of your other teeth. Some of the situations that may warrant an extraction include:
Simple extractions are performed when the tooth is above the gumline and can be removed with a lifter and forceps. The process and healing time are both quick. This may be used for a decayed tooth or a tooth that is broken but is still above the gumline. It’s also used to remove teeth when the root has died or if your teeth are crowded and removal is necessary to facilitate orthodontic treatment.
Surgical extractions are more complicated. A surgical extraction requires an incision into the gum to get to the tooth. This type of extraction is necessary if your tooth has broken below the gumline or if it is multiple pieces and some are stuck beneath the gums. A surgical extraction is also necessary for impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or completely covered by gum tissue.