A regular checkup is basic to good oral health. I recommend that my patient's have a checkup every six months coupled with a dental cleaning. Periodic checkups often reveal a dental problem in an early state. Detecting problems earlier, such as tooth decay and gum disease, makes treatment easier and more successful.
The dental filling (or restoration) is the most common dental procedure done in my office. Early detection is very important to keep the dental filling as small as possible. A small, conservative filling is most desirable, since it will not greatly weaken the tooth and will last longer than a larger filling. Dental fillings do not last forever and do occasionally need to be replaced. When a dental filling fails, it is usually at the edge where the filling meets the tooth. The edge of the filling is the weakest point and recurrent decay often starts at the edge. I use only white, composite filling material and believe that this is the best material for small to medium sized fillings. When a dental filling gets too big, an alternative treatment such as a crown or onlay should be considered.
CEREC (Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic) is a new method of fabricating all porcelain crowns, onlays, inlays, or veneers. Utilizing an infrared camera, a computer and a three dimensional milling machine, these restorations can be fabricated right in the dental office. Often these restorations can be placed the same day. Since these restorations are fabricated from solid. These particular restorations are very strong and look just like your natural teeth. For more information on CEREC Restorations please visit our CEREC page.
Bonding is a procedure that allows the dentist to attach tooth colored filling material to the enamel and dentin of teeth. Bonding keeps white fillings firmly fixed in the tooth and seals the edges of the filling tightly. Bonding also allows the dentist to cosmetically change the shape or size of a tooth, close spaces in between teeth or covering up imperfections.
Cosmetic Teeth Whitening
Tooth bleaching or whitening of teeth is the most conservative and inexpensive way of lightening teeth that have darkened with age. Different foods and drinks can stain teeth by getting into the surface of the enamel. Over time these stains can build up resulting in darker looking teeth. By bleaching the teeth with a special peroxide type solution, many of these stains can be removed, giving the teeth a much whiter appearance. In my office, we make custom trays to serve as a deliver system for the bleach. The patient can the, at their own convenience, bleach their teeth at home.
A crown (or cap) is a dental restoration that completely covers over the tooth. For a broken tooth, a cracked tooth, or a tooth with a very large filling, this is the treatment of choice. Crowns can be all porcelain, porcelain over gold or all gold. The type of crown selected depends on the situation and position in the mouth.
Porcelain veneers are cosmetic dental restorations used to improve the appearance of the front teeth. Porcelain veneers are thin ceramic restorations that are custom fabricated by the dental laboratory and bonded to the front of the anterior teeth. With porcelain veneers you can change the shape, size, and color of the front teeth, straighten the teeth, or close spaces to improve the appearance of the smile.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are solid porcelain or gold fillings fabricated outside of the mouth and then bonded or cemented into the place. Inlays and onlays are a more durable option to composite filling and a more conservative option to a crown.
A dental bridge (often referred to as a fixed bridge) is a prosthesis used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. A bridge is multiple crowns connected together. The missing teeth are incorporated into the bridge and are held in by the other crowns of the bridge.
The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is often the source of discomfort for the patient. Once this joint gets sore or inflamed, healing is difficult, since it is in constant use. Treatment can vary depending on the determined cause of the problem. In times of inflammation of the joint, I can fabricate a device called a TMJ splint. I have found that this device, in most cases, offers immediate relief to the patient. Wearing a TMJ splint may be enough to get the patient through a time of inflammation or until further treatment can be done.
A dental implant is a prosthesis to replace a missing tooth or teeth, or can be used to anchor a partial or full denture. The implant is a metal cylinder that is surgically placed into the bone. Over time the implant fuses to the bone and becomes solid. A crown or snap to retain the denture can be attached to the implant.
Full and Partial Dentures
Full and partial dentures are indicated when many or all of the teeth are missing. Partial dentures use the remaining teeth to retain the partial denture. A full denture is indicated when there are no teeth remaining and utilized a plastic base to retain the teeth. Whether it is full or partial denture, it is very important to have a full complement of teeth to aid in chewing and supporting the jaws.
Call us today at 724-452-6020 to discuss your dental needs!