Life happens. Sometimes, life results in damage to your teeth. Thankfully, we offer a variety of services to restore your teeth and your smile.
Sometimes tooth decay is discovered during scheduled cleanings and exams. Fillings are placed to restore or fix areas that have decayed or broken. There are many different types of fillings to treat the area, which include composite (“tooth color fillings”), gold, porcelain, or amalgam. If we discover a tooth that requires filling, we’ll advise you of your treatment options.
A crown or “cap” is a dental restoration that completely covers the visible part of your tooth. Crowns are held in place with special cements, which bond them to the underlying tooth structure.
A crown is usually required when a tooth is missing over 50% of the visible surface, when there are cracks in the tooth or when a tooth has had endodontic therapy, or “root canal”.
Crowns usually take two appointments to complete; during the first appointment the tooth is prepared, an impression taken and a temporary crown fabricated and placed; the second appointment (usually a few weeks later) is when the new crown is tried in, adjusted and permanently cemented.
Also called a Fixed Partial Denture, this restoration is used to replace a missing tooth by joining or “bridging” the teeth on either side of the missing tooth , called “abutment” teeth.
The abutment teeth are prepared to accommodate the material used to restore the missing tooth. This is a two-appointment procedure as it takes the lab a few weeks to fabricate the final bridge restoration. In the meantime, an acrylic temporary bridge is placed.
Also known as “periodontal disease” this is a process caused by long-term build-up of plaque and tartear that leads to the recession of gum tissue and loss of bone surrounding and supporting the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease will cause loosening and the eventual loss of teeth.
Plaque is full of microorganisms (bacteria). This sticky bio-film will remain attached to the teeth for around 24 hours before it is calcified and turns into a hard material called tarter. Tarter build up around teeth will attract more plaque and eventually grow in size causing the gums and bone to recede.
This process can be stopped early (before the tarter builds up below the gum-line) by brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings. If the build-up of tarter extends below the gum-line, more aggressive treatment, such as Scaling and Root Planning or Periodontal Surgery may be needed.
We eat food every day and not all of us are fastidious about keeping our teeth cleaned; everyone has gum disease to some extent. To determine the extent of gum disease and the appropriate treatment, you will need to have a complete examination with a full set of radiographs (x-rays). It is important to know that periodontal disease is painless until near the end. It's very similar to high blood pressure; prevention and being pro-active is the BEST way to treat gum disease!
Each tooth has an internal chamber that begins just under the biting surface and extends down to the ends of each root. This chamber houses the “pulp” which is comprised of blood and nerve tissue and various other cellular entities which allow the tooth to sense the temperature of food and beverage.
When tooth decay (caries) or trauma of the tooth structure (such as a fracture) reach the pulp, the tissue becomes irreversibly inflamed and dies. When this happens there are only two choices for treatment: pull the whole tooth or salvage the tooth by removing the diseased pulp tissue.
Endodontic therapy, or a “root canal”, is a procedure that removes the infected pulp tissue, cleans and disinfects the chamber and seals it up with an inert material preventing further infection .
It is very important to know that almost every tooth that has had endodontic therapy will need a crown placed to keep it from fracturing. The reason: accessing the pulp chamber, removing the pulp tissue, and reshaping the canal weakens the tooth. A crown reinforces the structural integrity and provides for normal esthetics and function.
Implants are a wonderful option for replacing missing teeth, whether they be single teeth, multiple teeth or the entire dentition. Implants are also an excellent way to secure complete dentures from “flopping around” in the mouth. Implants are titanium posts that are placed into the upper or lower jaw and allowed to integrate with the bone.
After complete integration (usually a few months) the implants are “loaded” with the appropriate restorations, which allow for normal function and esthetics. Whether we are replacing a single tooth or restoring your entire mouth, implants require multiple appointments and several months to complete. The time and effort are worth it as these are the best restorations dentistry has to offer.
There are times when a tooth cannot be restored due to extensive decay or trauma. When this is the case, the tooth must be extracted. Depending on the location and the extent of damage to the tooth, a surgical approach may be necessary.
After the area is thoroughly anesthetized , the gum tissue is reflected and bone removed from around the remainder of the tooth to facilitate its removal. The surgical area is cleaned and the gum tissue sutured back into place to allow complete healing.