If you’re unhappy with your smile because of decay or dark fillings in your teeth, you may be a good candidate for composite resins, or tooth colored fillings.
Tooth-colored fillings are made of a blend, or “composite,” of plastic resins and silica fillers. These substances mimic many of the qualities of natural tooth structure, Composite resins represent several advantages over traditional silver, or amalgam, fillings.
Because composite resins are not the old metal fillings, we can blend and mix shades to find the perfect color to match your natural teeth. Another advantage is that the tooth/composite bond supports the remaining tooth structure, deterring breakage. Medium and small composites can last 7 to 10 years – just as long as metal amalgams. Best of all, composite resins allow us to keep more of your natural tooth structure intact than amalgams. We believe in taking a conservative approach to your dental care – the more natural tooth structure you keep, the better teeth you’ll likely have in the future.
The best way to determine whether tooth-colored fillings are right for you is to schedule a dental consultation. Call us today for an appointment.
Keeping our teeth their whitest is a lot harder than it sounds. With all the coffee, wine, smoking and other foods that have the ability to stain our teeth on a daily basis, even proper maintenance sometimes leaves them a little lackluster. Teeth whitening is an excellent way to restore the natural color of your teeth or even make them whiter than your natural color if you would like.
To accomplish the whitening of your teeth, we utilize a product called ZOOM!. ZOOM! is a chairside whitening procedure that uses a safe whitening gel and a low intensity light to activate the gel. This combination allows us to provide you with teeth that are 6-10 shades whiter in about an hour!
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or also known as TMJ, is the initialism for temporomandibular joint, which connects your lower jaw (the mandible) to your skull at the temporal bone. This joint controls many jaw functions, like chewing. If the chewing muscles or the joint itself are causing you pain you may have temporamandibular disorder, or TMD. TMD can be caused by stress, continual clenching of the jaw muscles, or teeth grinding.
Some of the Symptoms of TMJ and TMD Include:
Many of these symptoms can often be associated with other health problems, so only a medical professional can tell you if it is due to TMD. Teeth grinding is an especially problematic symptom because it can lead to further problems. Prolonged teeth grinding, or bruxism, can cause enamel to wear off teeth and expose dentin. This material is softer than enamel and more susceptible to decay. Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink may also develop from excessive teeth grinding.
Your dentist will discuss your symptoms and examine your jaw. Your doctor will listen to and feel your jaw when you open and close your mouth, observe the range of motion in your jaw, and press around your jaw to identify any pain or discomfort.
If your’re suspected of having TMJ, you may need dental X-rays to examine your teeth and jaw, a CT scan of the bones involved in the joint, or an MRI to reveal problems with the surrounding soft tissue.
Properly diagnosing and treating TMJ can help ease the following symptoms:
Pain relievers and hot/cold compresses are short term methods to provide relief for pain symptoms.
If your TMJ stems from teeth grinding or clenching, your dentist may recommend that you wear a custom mouth guard at night. This dental appliance will keep your upper teeth from grinding against your lower teeth. Along with helping to alleviate TMJ symptoms and pain, this guard will prevent wear on your teeth from grinding that can lead to other problems.
In very severe cases of TMD surgery may be required, but behavioral treatments to change the way you use your jaw muscles are usually enough to provide relief.
If you suspect you may have TMD, it’s time to come in for a consultation. We can help diagnose you and provide relief for your symptoms.
Using oral surgery to help sleep apnea seeks to remove the excess tissue in the throat that is vibrating and blocking the upper air passages. One surgical procedure is an Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). This procedure involves removing the excess tissue from the upper mouth and throat. This procedure in performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. Maxillomandibular advancement is another type of procedure used to assist with sleep apnea. This procedure involves the upper and lower part of the jaw. In this procedure, the jaw is moved forward from the rest of the facial bones. This allows more room behind the soft palate, thereby reducing the obstruction. Finally a Tracheostomy is a last ditch effort when other treatments have failed. This involves the surgeon inserting a tube in your throat so you can breathe. It is covered during the day, but opens at night while you sleep. All of the aforementioned surgeries are routine and very safe.
If you’re getting dental implants a periodontal procedure, or other restorative dentistry treatment, your dentist may talk with you about getting a graft. Bone grafting is recommended if your dentist sees that your jawbone is too thin, soft, or there is an insufficient amount of bone to be a foundation for the implant. If there isn’t enough bone, the implant could fail over time.
This deficiency of your natural bones can be caused by:
Bone grafting is a very common, and completely safe procedure. Bone grafting technology not only promotes important new bone growth, but also controlled growth for the optimum results. Bone grafting can create new opportunities for better mouth function and a more attractive smile, restoring your confidence and self esteem.
The bone grafting procedure itself will typically take anywhere between 45-90 minutes and is performed in our office. The initial recovery period lasts about two weeks, but can vary depending on the patient. The surgery area will need to heal for about 3-6 months before it’s ready to support an implant. During this time, your dentist will monitor the healing process to see when your jawbone will be ready and fully healed.
If you have more questions, or would like to schedule a consult, give us a call today.
Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth as you please. Depending on each individual patient case, they may receive full or partial dentures. Full dentures are used when all of the natural teeth are removed from the mouth and replaced with a full set of dentures. There are two types of full dentures.
Partial dentures are another option when not all of your teeth need to be removed. This is similar to a bridge, but it is not a permanent fixture in your mouth.
Your dentures may take some time to get used to. The flesh colored base of the dentures is placed over your gums. Some people say that it feels bulky or that they don’t have enough room for their tongue. Other times the dentures might feel loose. These feelings will affect the way you eat and talk for a little while. Over time, your mouth becomes trained to eat and speak with your dentures and they begin to feel more and more like your natural teeth. They may never feel perfectly comfortable, but it is much better than the alternative of not having teeth.
Even though dentures are not real teeth, you should care for them like they are. You should brush them to remove plaque and food particles before removing your dentures. After they have been removed you should place them directly into room temperature water or a denture cleaning solution. Never use hot water because it could warp the dentures. Your dentures are delicate, so make sure you are careful when handling them so you don’t drop them. Also, never try to adjust your dentures yourself. You could ruin them, so you should always seek assistance from your dentist if they feel uncomfortable or loose.
Over time our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, discoloration and others. If you feel your smile isn’t what it once was, crowns can help you recover your smile. If your dentist notices that a tooth is decayed or seems weakened/cracked a crown may be necessary to make sure that there are no additional problems with the tooth. In cases like this a filling or bonding will not be sufficient.
Crowns can be made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or a full gold crown. To maintain a natural look and feel a porcelain finished crown is best, as it can be matched to the shade of your other teeth. This will allow it to blend in and appear just like one of your natural teeth.
The process of installing a crown takes 2-3 visits to the dentist. On the first visit the tooth will be reshaped by filing down the enamel so that the crown can be placed over it. You will be given a local anesthetic before this part of the procedure so that you do not experience any discomfort. Once the tooth has been reshaped, a mold will be taken of that tooth and the surrounding teeth. This mold will be sent to a dental lab so that your new crown can be made so that it fits in the spot created for it and looks the same relative to the surrounding teeth. Before leaving, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready.
The crown takes about 2-3 weeks to be returned to your dentist. At this time you will have another appointment to place and fit the permanent crown. You will again have a local anesthetic to numb the area and the tooth will be placed using a cement to ensure the tooth sets in place. When you look in the mirror, you will see your old smile back. Crowns are durable and will usually last about 10-15 years. You should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Call us today if you would like to learn more about how crowns can help restore your smile.
Dental bridges are a great way to replace missing teeth. Your existing teeth are used to literally create a bridge to cross the area where your tooth is missing. Bridges are made from gold, metal, alloys, or porcelain to ensure that they are strong and durable.
The process of creating a bridge begins by creating abutments out of your existing teeth where the bridge will be attached. The existing teeth are recontoured to provide a base for the bridge. After the abutments have been created, a mold is taken of the area which is sent to a dental lab. The lab is able to use the mold to create a bridge that will fit properly and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible. The bridge consists of two crowns on either end to place on the abutments and a pontic, which is the new tooth that replaces your missing tooth.
We will fit you with a temporary bridge while we wait for the lab to craft your permanent bridge. This will protect the abutments and the exposed gum areas and look more appealing than having a missing tooth. When the permanent bridge has been created, you will have a follow up visit to set the bridge. It will be placed on the abutments and the dentist will then use an adhesive to make sure that the bridge is set.
The bridge may take a little while to get used to, but after a few days it should feel like you have your own teeth back again. You should eat soft foods for the first few days after having your bridge placed. After the initial phase, you will be able to eat whatever you want with no issues.
If you are missing a tooth you should strongly consider having it replaced. Besides the aesthetic disadvantage of missing a tooth, it could also cause structural changes to your mouth and jaw, as well as making it difficult to eat or speak properly. Set up an appointment today to restore your smile.
“Root canal” has become a scary term for dental patients to hear, but the benefits of the procedure and advances in dental technology have made it much less “scary”. Local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the procedure to be performed with little to no pain in most cases. There may be some soreness following the procedure, but that is normal for most dental procedures. Over the counter painkillers are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards, but your dentist may prescribe medication. The procedure will also relieve you from pain caused by the infection allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too har
Endodontics, more commonly known as root canal therapy or a root canal procedure, can relieve the pain caused by diseased or injured pulp tissue in the center of the tooth.
Historically, a tooth with a diseased nerve would be removed immediately, but endodontists are now able to save the natural tooth in most cases with root canals. Root canals involve extracting the inner tooth structures, then sealing the resulting gap with a crown, restoring health and functionality to damaged teeth.
After a well-performed root canal treatment, you should have no lasting pain or sensitivity in the tooth and with good oral hygiene, and the tooth should last for years. With most patients, we use local anesthetics that will make your treatment as comfortable and pain free as possible.
Endodontic treatment is necessary when the soft tissue inside the root canal becomes inflamed or infected. If this inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain and eventually lead to an abscess.
Signs and symptoms of endodontic problems include:
On the day of the procedure a local anesthetic will be typically be administered, unless you and your dentist have discussed other options.
The first step in a root canal procedure is to gain access to the inner tooth. If a temporary crown and post have been placed, these will be removed.
Next, filling material and obstructions that block the root canals will be removed. Small instruments will then be used to clean and reshape the root canals. X-rays may be taken to ensure that the roots are thoroughly clean.
When the root canals are completely clean, gutta-percha is used to pack the space. This rubbery material seals the canals to prevent bacterial invasion. Finally, a temporary crown or filling is applied to tooth. At a later date, the color-matched permanent crown will replace the temporary crown.
If you are experiencing discomfort or tooth pain, please make an appointment as soon as possible.
Snap-On Smile is a great product for those looking to makeover their smile without undergoing extensive dental procedures. It works exactly like it sounds, a new set of “teeth” are created that are placed over your current teeth by snapping them in place. You can have a beautiful new smile in just two quick and painless visits to our office.
Snap-On Smile is a great option for patients with stained, chipped, cracked, crooked, or missing teeth. On your first visit with us you will pick the shade and style of your smile. We will then take an impression of your teeth so the Snap-On Smile can be properly fitted. The Snap-On Smile is then made with a light, durable resin to create a strong yet thin set of snap on teeth. In about three weeks you will return for your next visit where your new smile will be waiting! The Snap-On Smile will be placed onto your current teeth and you will leave the office with a bright new smile. No drilling, no extractions, no whitening chemicals are necessary – the whole process is quick, easy, and painless.
Your friends and family will be amazed by your transformation. You will be able to eat and drink with your Snap-On Smile, and caring for it is very easy. We will supply you with a cleaning solution during your final appointment. It can also be easily removed to clean your natural teeth, to participate in sporting events, or before you go to sleep. With proper care your Snap-On Smile can last from 3-5 years. If you have any questions about Snap-On Smile or would like to schedule a consultation please give our office a call. Remember, you are only two short, painless visits away from a beautiful new smile.