An overview of the different procedures that we do
Dental amalgam or silver fillings have been around for over 150 years. Amalgam is composed of silver, tin, copper, mercury and zinc. Amalgam fillings are relatively inexpensive, durable and time-tested. They are considered unaesthetic because they blacken over time and can give teeth a gray appearance, and they do not strengthen the tooth.
Composite, resin or white fillings have been around for about two decades.They have the advantage of requiring a more "conservative" tooth preparation (e.g., less drilling required); can have a strengthening effect on the tooth; are very aesthetic; and virtually blend in with the tooth. Composite fillings are the material of choice for repairing the front teeth.
A bridge is one of the most common ways that missing teeth are replaced. The procedure involves the dentist trimming down the teeth surrounding the missing one, taking a mold (impression), and then having the laboratory construct the bridge out of porcelain and gold.The procedure normally takes 2 to 3 appointments and about two hours of total in-office time. The bridge is fitted over the surrounding teeth, and cemented into place, replacing the missing one(s). The results are generally excellent. The teeth look very natural, and the comfort level is high (for most people, it feels like their own teeth).
An implant is an option that has recently gained increasing acceptance for tooth replacement. The procedure involves placing a one-to-one and a half centimeter titanium rod into the jawbone to replace a tooth. The implant serves the same function as a tooth root. After the implant heals within the jawbone, teeth can be attached to the implant, replacing those that are missing. Implants are ideal in situations where a bridge cannot be used, but permanent tooth replacements are desired. Implants feel very natural, and also have the advantage of preserving the surrounding teeth.
A partial denture is a removable device (prosthesis) used to replace missing teeth. The main advantages of the partial denture are the relative ease of the procedure for the patient (very little, if any, teeth preparation is needed), and the comparatively low cost. The main disadvantages of the partial are the unnatural feel (it takes time to adjust to them) and some people have difficulty chewing and speaking with them. We offer a flexible type partial and a metal type partial.
A root canal is needed when the pulp becomes infected.The most common way for the pulp to become infected is from an untreated cavity.A tooth that becomes sensitive to hot or cold food or beverages or hurts when biting down may indicate an infected tooth. Depending on how the tooth looks on the x-ray is whether we will refer you to an endodontist or do the root canal at the office.
Crowns are an ideal restoration for teeth which have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. The crown fits right over the remaining part of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape and color of a natural tooth. Crowns are sometimes also known as caps.
Extraction is the removal of a tooth. The only reason for an extraction is if the decay has gotten into the pulp and even below the bone level and sometimes a crack in the tooth will require this.Depending on the x-ray of the tooth is whether we will extract it at the office or send you to an oral surgeon.
An Occlusal Guard is needed when you grind or clinch in your sleep.Bruxism, commonly know as tooth grinding, is the clenching together of the bottom and upper jaw accompanied by the grinding of the bottom and upper jaw and followed by the grinding of the lower set of teeth with the upper set. This behavior will remove critical portions of healthy enamel from the chewing surfaces of your teeth and may cause facial pain. People who grind and clench their teeth are called bruxers. They unintentionally bite down too hard at inappropriate times, such as when you sleep, especially in the early part of the night. During sleep, the biting force – the force at which the jaws clench together – can be up to six times greater than the pressure during waking hours. Bruxing is like clinching your two fists and holding them tightly against each other for eight hours. This behavior would cause you to end up with sore hands, arms and shoulde rs. Well, this same thing happens to your jaw muscles.
TMJ warning signs may be headaches; pain around the ears or head and neck; "tightness" of the jaw muscles (especially when awakening); limitation of motion of the mandible (lower jaw); ringing in the ears (tinnitus); "clicking" of the temporomandibular joints; and loose or frequently broken teeth or persistent dental pain. Clinching in your sleep is the most common cause of TMJ. The most effective, economically efficient treatment is the fabrication of a bruxism splint, also known as an oral orthotic or nightguard. The device functions as a diagnostic aid, and as effective therapy for pain management, often providing relief within days of its use. While there is no consensus of opinion in the dental community on design and materials, most practitioners who successfully treat TMJ utilize hard plastic orthotics with flat biting surfaces. The appliance may be fitted to cover the upper or lower teeth.