DENTAL SERVICES: General
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If you have never had a cavity, congratulations! If you have had one, you are not alone. About 78% of people have had at least one cavity by the time they reach age 17, according to a 2000 report by the U.S. Surgeon General. Fortunately there’s a time-tested treatment for cavities: the dental filling.
Fillings do just what the name implies — seal a small hole in your tooth (a cavity) caused by decay. This prevents the bacteria-induced decay from spreading further into your tooth. If untreated, the decay can continue to the sensitive inner pulp (nerve) tissue located in the root canal. Should that happen, a root canal treatment is necessary.
Before the filling, we conduct a clinical exam of the tooth with x-rays to determine the extent of the decay. The tooth will be anesthetized while we remove the decayed area of the tooth. If numbing injections normally provoke anxiety for you, please let us know. We can discuss medications, the use of nitrous oxide and other techniques to help with this. After the decay is removed, all debris is cleaned from the tooth and the filling material is applied.
What to Expect After Getting a Filling
The numbness caused by local anesthesia should wear off within a couple of hours. Until then, it’s best to avoid drinking hot or cold liquids and eating on the side of your mouth with the new filling. Some sensitivity to hot and cold is normal in the first couple weeks after getting a tooth filled. If sensitivity persists beyond that, or you have any pain when biting, please let us know. This could signal a bite adjustment needs to be made to your filling. Continue to brush and floss as normal every day, and come in to the dental office at least twice per year for your regular checkups and cleanings. Tooth decay is a very preventable disease; with good oral hygiene and professional care, you can make your most recent cavity your last.
Have you ever had a large cavity? How about a cracked tooth? If you’re over the age of 25, you’ve most likely experienced one of the two. Because these issues are so common, dental crowns have come a long way from the gold caps many are used to seeing.
In most cases, when the enamel of a tooth is damaged, a dentist removes the affected portion and reshapes the tooth in preparation for a crown. If the tooth is cracked down to the base, a root canal is performed, followed by a post and core procedure. A crown tops off and seals the job.
Which crown your dentist recommends depends on the amount of treatment needed to address the problem. While some patients prefer gold crowns, porcelain crowns have become a popular alternative, as it provides a similar color and texture to the natural tooth. Thanks to modern technology, pressed porcelain crowns are fused to metal to create additional strength and durability. Once the right dental crown is determined for you, your dentist will take impressions of you teeth, and after a week or two, your crown will be set into place.
Dental crowns can vary in price due to the material choice for each unique situation. The cost can vary from $840-$950, so please schedule an appointment to get more information. With proper care, including regular cleaning, flossing and gum care, your crown can last more than 10 years.
Dental bridges are good options for those who suffer from periodontal gum disease or don’t want to undergo dental implants. It is important to address missing teeth as soon as possible. When a tooth is missing, bacteria and plaque have extra room to hide, which can cause more decay, periodontal gum disease, bad breath and gingivitis. Bone loss in the jaw is also quite serious, and can lead to trouble chewing, an uneven bite or painful TMJ.
Fortunately, there are a few different choices for those considering dental bridges that can help improve eating, speaking and smiling. At your consultation, we will determine the correct option for you. The most common types of bridges we offer are traditional (three-unit), Cantilever and Maryland (bonded).
The overall procedure usually takes about two weeks. After the permanent bridge is cemented in, its success depends on how well teeth, gums and the bridge itself are cared for. The cost varies depending on the type of bridge, so please schedule an appointment for more information.
While different circumstances call for different measures, there are a variety of treatments to correct problems brought about by missing teeth. We offer procedures for those who require a full set of dentures as well as for those where only gaps need to be filled. We work to restore everyday habits like eating and talking, while making corrective treatment to reverse infection a priority.
Partial dentures fill spaces where remaining teeth act as anchors, making chewing more effective and helping restore confidence in any smile. The advantages of partial dentures include a healthier jaw joint—ultimately leading to better chewing and support of cheeks and lips. Delaying treatment, however, can result in a lot of pain. If there are signs of infected teeth or gums, schedule an appointment with us right away to increase the chances of saving the teeth that still remain. Remember, infections can lead to further tooth loss.
When there are no teeth to anchor partial dentures, bridges or implants, or when all remaining teeth have to be removed due to infection or severe decay, full dentures may be the right solution. We will walk you through ways to make your dentures feel more natural and how to properly care for them.
The first day or two, dentures may leave your mouth feeling crowded or tight. However, after your bones and gums start to heal, dentures will begin to feel as natural as real teeth.
Restoring missing teeth will require a series of trips to the dentist chair. For those who fear the dentist office, we’ll work with you every step of the way to keep you informed and comfortable. Schedule an appointment today to discuss dentures in more detail and take the first step toward a beautiful, healthy smile.