Fillings remove decay and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because a new material fills the hole that decay left. Today, most teeth are treated with bonded tooth colored composite resin fillings. Detected early, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If decay is left untreated it can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, and the tooth could need root canal treatment or extraction (removal of the tooth).
GUM DISEASE THERAPY
Gums, ligaments and bone form the foundation of your teeth. These structures are referred to as the periodontium. If gum disease is present, it may be possible to return gums to a healthy state with proper treatment and care. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning, otherwise known as root planing, This can be done under local anesthetic if necessary. If gum disease is left untreated it can lead to surgery or extraction. If you are having any signs of gum disease, please call our office for proper diagnosis and care. With proper diagnosis and care, a comfortable smile is possible.
Crowns are full coverage restorations used to protect damaged teeth. They are most commonly done when a large filling wears out or has new decay. Crowns are also recommended for any tooth that has had root canal treatment. Jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body, so teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns cover the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. Crowns help to prevent, as well as creating a nice smile.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. At the first appointment decay is removed and a buildup material is placed. The tooth is then shaped to accept the crown. An impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits the crown is made and a temporary crown is worn. In the second visit, the permanent crown is adjusted as needed and then cemented in place for a new smile.
There are different types of dentures, but they share a common function. They replace teeth that have become loose or lost due to bone loss.
Our doctors will examine the entire mouth to determine needed removals, and which teeth are healthy enough to remain. Dentures are fitted to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth, depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take some getting used to. Often implants can used to further stabilize the dentures. When complete, dentures offer a new smile.
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to set. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist attaches the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft.
Implants can be used for support as part of an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures. Implants can slow the bone loss occasioned by missing teeth. Typically, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating. And, they don't have to be taken out all the time unlike a partial denture.
We also offer mini dental implants. These implants are about half the diameter of traditional implants are used mainly to stabilize lower dentures. These implants can be placed in one appointment and be immediately used. Call for a free consultation.
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity reaches the pulp. Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early. Sometimes trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). When the pulp is infected it must be treated, because it cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. Symptoms the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled to prevent further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.
This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is a science.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a whole chain reaction as teeth use their neighbors for support. This can result in problems with the jaw or the surrounding teeth deteriorating or lost. Treatment is important for proper health and esthetics.
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in its where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.
Problems in this area can cause:
Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. When treated properly, comfort and a healthy smile are attainable.