When teeth are missing or damaged, crowns and bridges are used to restore, enhance or replace them. A crown, also referred to as a cap, can cover a damaged tooth entirely. Once a crown is placed the appearance, alignment, and shape of the tooth dramatically improve.
Crowns may be used to :
To fill the space left when teeth are missing, a bridge is the ideal method. A bridge uses the teeth on either side to support artificial teeth. The artificial teeth on the bridge will replace the missing tooth both cosmetically and functionally. Creating a bridge is as much as a science as it is an art. Multiple materials can be used to create a bridge the choice of material depends on requirements for wear, strength and esthetics.
To restore a tooth back to its normal function and shape after it has decayed, a filling is the best solution. When getting a filling, our dentists will remove all parts of the tooth that have decayed, clean the area and fill in the recently cleaned cavity with filling material. The filling works by preventing bacteria from getting into the cracks and crevices of your tooth by sealing them off with the filling material. There are a variety of filling materials such as gold, silver, plastic, and porcelain. We will work with you to determine which material will be the best fit depending on the damage on your teeth, the location of the damage and the cost of each option.
Gold fillings are often the pricier option. They are custom made in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Many people consider gold to be the best option since these are well tolerated by gum tissues and may last upwards of 20 years.
Amalgam (Silver) is often the second best option for some patients given that these are also well tolerated by the gums, but they are less expensive. However, due to their dark color they are more noticeable than other fillings and can last just half the time that a gold filling would.
Composite (Plastic) composites are made to the exact color of the patient’s teeth to achieve the most natural appearance. Cosmetically, these fillings are the least noticeable, however they can last anywhere from 3-10 years and may not be suited for large fillings as they can chip. Just like real teeth, the composite filling can become stained from multiple elements such as coffee, tea or tobacco.
Porcelain fillings are custom made in a lab to match our patient’s teeth and then bonded to the tooth. Porcelain fillings resist staining, are natural looking, and are about the same costs as gold fillings. However, a porcelain filling covers the tooth almost entirely making the restoration nearly undetectable.
A denture is a replacement for missing teeth and tissue that is removable. We decide what type of denture our patients would need based off of the two types available, partial dentures and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when some teeth are remaining while complete dentures replace all teeth. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth, therefore there should not be a noticeable difference. However, dentures may make a difference by improving your smile!
Complete denture – This method is used for restoring all the teeth that are missing to the function of natural teeth and smile. Since dentures are removable, they must be custom to a patient’s mouth, which may require some visits to exact the fit.
Partial dentures: When one or more natural teeth still remain a partial dental will be crafted for the patient. These artificial teeth are attached to a gum colored base that is held in place by the remaining natural teeth. Partial dentures fill the gap left by missing teeth and created support for the remaining teeth to prevent shifting.
Endodontic therapy or root canal therapy is used to save a damaged tooth without having to remove it. When a cavity goes untreated it can reach the pulp of the tooth, all the way in the center, and the tooth then become infected. Trauma can also cause the nerve of a tooth to be severely damaged. Once either of these conditions occur it begins to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is called an abscess). If a tooth is infected the only option is a root canal treatment since the tooth cannot heal on its own.
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth. Once completed a crown is usually recommended to cover the tooth and protect it from another cavity. The only other option to treat an infected pulp is extracting tooth. The longer an individual goes without treating an infected tooth can cause a weakened immune system. Symptoms of an infected pulp can be sensitivity to hot or cold, sweets, pain, swelling, pain when biting and a bad taste in mouth, however, there are instances where there are no symptoms and the problems is only discovered at the yearly check up.
Oral hygiene is paramount to long term oral health; the loss of a single tooth can have major impact in the function of all other teeth and also aesthetically. Our doctors at Generations Family Dental will go to great lengths to keep your natural teeth and restrain from tooth loss however in some cases an extraction is necessary. Our dentists will consult and x-ray to understand the best way to remove the tooth, and if it is complicated, an oral surgeon will be referred to you. After an extraction, there may be some discomfort and pain that the patient will experience, but these can be minimized with over the counter painkillers and ice packs applied to the face . If pain, swollenness, bleeding or fever is prolonged you need to contact our office immediately.
Some of the reasons extractions need to occur are;
When a patient has missing teeth from either an injury or periodontal disease, a dental implant to restore their smile is often the best option. The implant process begins by surgically positioning a metal post to the jaw. Once it is in place and the bones have had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post. Implants provide the maximum amount of benefits for the patient because they are stronger than natural teeth and can last up to 20 years. Patients with healthy gums, adequate bones, and who are committed to excellent oral hygiene are the best candidates for implants.