Bonding is a modest way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During dental bonding, a white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling “bonds” with your tooth, and because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades, it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.
Tooth bonding also can be used for tooth fillings instead of amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than the silver amalgam fillings. Bonding fillings can be used on front and back teeth depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.
Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and usually can be completed in one visit to our office. However, bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, tell your doctor. The bonding generally can be easily patched or repaired in one visit.
A bridge (or partial denture) is a custom-made replacement for one or more missing teeth that literally “bridges the gap.” Artificial teeth are attached to gum-colored plastic bases.
A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Your bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.
The success of any bridge depends on its foundation — the other teeth, gums, or bone to which it is attached. Therefore, it’s very important to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong.
A removable bridge is detached by its wearer for daily cleaning and at bedtime. It is prescribed when:
Teeth adjacent to the gap are weak
There are multiple missing teeth
There are no posterior teeth to provide an anchor for the bridge
A fixed bridge provides greater stability than a removable bridge because it is permanently anchored to abutments by use of bonding or a crown. Only a Dentist or Specialist can remove it.
Fixed bridges must be cleaned daily using dental floss and a specially made aid.
A dental crown restores a tooth’s shape, size, and strength. It fully encases the visible portion of your tooth or dental implant
Crowns are prescribed when a tooth or teeth are too badly decayed, broken or cracked to be easily restored with a filling. Crowns are normally needed for teeth that have had root canals. Crowns are also placed on dental implants to replace missing teeth. Crowns can be made entirely of gold or porcelain fused to a gold substrate for strength and beauty. However, with new technology, crowns can be made entirely from high-strength ceramic and porcelain for beautiful cosmetic results.
With proper care, your new crown will increase your overall health and instill confidence for years to come.
A crown is a “cap” cemented onto an existing tooth that fully covers the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings, which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression, which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
A crown may be prescribed by your Dentist to:
Restore and protect a tooth that is worn, decayed, cracked, or broken
Protect and support a tooth after a very large filling or root canal treatment
Cover a dental implant
Hold a dental bridge or other prosthetic device in place
Improve your smile by covering a misshapen or severely discolored tooth
A Denture (also known as false teeth) is a custom-made removable replacement for multiple missing teeth. There are two types of dentures: full and partial. Full dentures replace most or all of your teeth, and partial dentures replace one or more missing teeth.
Full dentures are given to patients when all of the natural teeth have been removed. Partial dentures are attached to a metal frame that is connected to your natural teeth and are used to fill in where permanent teeth have been removed. Just like natural teeth, dentures need to be cared for. Use a gentle cleanser to brush your dentures, always keep them moist when they’re not in use, and be sure to keep your tongue and gums clean as well.
Both types of dentures support facial muscles and lips, and keep them from sagging and receding which will make you look younger, improve speech, and improve your health by enabling you to eat properly
There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk of decay, so your doctor may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.
When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, your dentist may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or may schedule another visit for this procedure.
Some of the reasong a filling is needed is cracked, broken or decayed teeth, a filling repairs a tooth that has been damaged. A filling will strengthen the tooth. If tooth has a decay and is not fixed on early stages, it will worsen and additional dental treatments may be necessary.
Compounds, often called composite resins, usually are used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important. There are two different kinds of fillings: direct and indirect. Direct fillings are fillings placed directly into a prepared cavity in a single visit. Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits.
See your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms:
Tooth or gum pain, discoloration, or prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold A tooth that is tender when it is touched A tooth abscess (pus enclosed in the tissues of the jawbone at the tip of an infected tooth) Pus drainage in your mouth Swelling or tenderness in the lymph nodes under your jaw Sometimes an endodontic problem can exist without warning signs. In these cases, a Digital X-ray taken during a routine dental checkup will reveal the tooth damage.
Root canal treatment involves the removal of the diseased pulp along with the tooth’s nerve (located within a tooth’s root canal). The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of your tooth are then cleaned, medicated and sealed. A dental crown or other restorative treatment is used to protect and strengthen the tooth.
Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for your toothbrush to get in between the small cracks and grooves on your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants are a plastic resin that bonds and hardens in the deep grooves on your tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth, and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure after the permanent teeth have erupted as a way to prevent tooth decay. However, adults also can receive sealants on healthy teeth. It is more common to seal “permanent” teeth rather than “baby” teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
Sealants last from three to five years, although it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact, so if your sealants come off, let your dentist know, and schedule an appointment for your teeth to be re-sealed.
Wisdom teeth are types of molars found in the very back of your mouth. These teeth usually appear in late teens or early twenties but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.
Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the teeth’s roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier, as well as making the recovery time much shorter.
In order to remove a wisdom tooth, your dentist first needs to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and imbedded in your jaw bone, your dentist will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. In order to minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, your dentist will often “section” your wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone. Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Healing time varies depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction. Your dentist will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.