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General Dentistry

CROWNS

If you want a smile that’s your crowning glory, you may need a crown to cover a tooth to help restore it to its normal shape and size. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance.

What is a dental crown?

 

A crown can help strengthen a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold the filling. Crowns can also be used to attach bridges, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that’s already broken. A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It’s also used to cover a dental implant.

If your dentist recommends a crown, it is probably to correct one of these conditions. Your dentist’s primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright.

DENTAL FILLINGS

WHY DO I NEED A FILLING?

When it comes to having a cavity filled, it’s important to know that you have the right to decide, after consultation with your dentist, what treatments and materials are used for your dental care. Your dentist considers materials to use on an individualized basis, taking into account the size and location of your cavity. Cosmetic considerations, how long the filling could last, insurance coverage and out of pocket costs are some other factors you might want to consider. The ADA encourages you to talk with your dentist so that together you may choose the material that’s right for you.

COMMON DENTAL FILLING OPTIONS:

  • Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, are a mixture of glass or quartz filler that provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. 

  • Dental amalgam, sometimes described as "silver-colored" fillings, is made from a combination of metals that include mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Dental amalgam has been used for generations by dentists. Amalgam is very durable and more affordable than tooth-colored or gold fillings; however tooth-colored materials are more natural looking. 

  • Gold fillings,also called inlays or onlays, are composed of an alloy of gold, copper and other metals. Gold has been used in dentistry for more than 1,000 years due to its durability; however, gold is more costly than amalgam and not natural looking like tooth-colored fillings.

If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may notice a difference in chewing and speaking. Bridges can help restore your smile.

what is a bridge?

 

Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth and literally “bridges” the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and are attached to surrounding teeth for support. Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist.

An implant bridge attaches artificial teeth directly to the jaw or under the gum tissue. Depending on which type of bridge your dentist recommends, its success depends on the foundation. So it’s very important to keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong.

FIXED BRIDGES


An extraction means to have a tooth removed, usually because of disease, trauma or crowding.

TIPS FOR AN EASIER RECOVERY:

  • Avoid anything that might prevent normal healing.

  • Don’t smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously.

  • Avoid drinking through a straw for 24 hours.

  • Follow the diet your dentist suggests.

For the first few days, if you must rinse, rinse your mouth gently. If you experience swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag and call your dentist right away. Ask your dentist about pain medication. You can brush and floss the other teeth as usual. But don't clean the teeth next to where the tooth was removed.

Remember, when having an extraction, today's modern procedures and follow up care (as recommended by your dentist) are there for your benefit and comfort.

EXTRACTIONS


Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases. Depending on your needs, your dentist will design a partial denture for you. A partial denture may have a metal framework and clasps that connect to your teeth, or they can have other connectors that are more natural looking. In some cases, a removable partial denture is made to attach to your natural teeth with devices called precision attachments. Precision attachments are generally more esthetic than clasps.

 

Crowns on your natural teeth are sometimes needed to improve the fit of a removable partial denture and they are usually required with attachments. Partial dentures with precision attachments generally cost more than those with clasps. Consult with your dentist to find out which type is right for you.

PARTIAL DENTURES

DENTURES


Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. That’s because dentures make it easier to eat and speak better than you could without teeth—things that people often take for granted.

WHAT ARE DENTURES?

 

When you lose all of your teeth, facial muscles can sag, making you look older. Dentures can help fill out the appearance of your face and profile. They can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change much. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile.

New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place. It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should go away. Follow-up appointments with the dentist are generally needed after a denture is inserted so the fit can be checked and adjusted. If any problem persists, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult your dentist

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Even if you wear full dentures, you still have to practice good dental hygiene. Brush your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.

ROOT CANAL


If you have a severely damaged, decaying tooth or a serious tooth infection (abscess), your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment. Root canals are used to repair and save your tooth instead of removing it.

WHAT'S INVOLVED IN ROOT CANAL REPAIR?

 

The pulp is soft tissue inside your tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels and provides nourishment for your tooth. It can become infected if you have:

  • A deep cavity

  • Repeated dental procedures that disturb this tissue

  • A cracked or fractured tooth

  • Injury to the tooth (even if there’s not a visible crack or chip)

If untreated, the tissues around the root of your tooth can become infected. When this happens, you will often feel pain and swelling and an abscess may form inside the tooth and/or in the bone around the end of the root of the tooth. An infection can also put you at risk of losing your tooth completely because bacteria can damage the bone that keeps your tooth connected to your jaw.

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