Restorative Dental Care
Dentistry is all about smiles, and having a confident, healthy, beautiful smile is important even for patients wearing dentures. Our practice provides personalized denture services that meet the needs and comfort levels of our patients. All of our patients are unique and we create one-of-a-kind dentures that feel good and look natural.
What are dentures?
Dentures are natural-looking replacement teeth that are removable. There are two types of dentures, full and partial.
Full dentures are given to patients when all of the natural teeth have been removed. Conventional full dentures are placed after the gum tissue has healed, which can take several months. Immediate full dentures are placed immediately after the teeth have been removed and may require frequent adjustments during the first couple of months of use.
Partial dentures are attached to a metal frame that is connected to your natural teeth and is used to fill in where permanent teeth have been removed. Partial dentures are considered a removable alternative to bridges.
How do I know if dentures are the right choice for me?
Dentures are not for everyone. If you’re interested in learning more about dentures and want to know if they are the right choice for you, please schedule an appointment. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you might have and can determine the best course of treatment for your ongoing dental health.
Caring for your dentures.
Dentures, just like natural teeth, require daily maintenance to stay clean and keep bacteria from growing inside of your mouth. Keep your dentures clean and your smile healthy:
When handling your dentures, stand over a clean, folded towel or a sink full of water. This way, if you accidentally drop your dentures, they are less likely to break.
Your dentures are not immune from plaque and tartar build-up, so it’s important that you brush your dentures every day. To brush your dentures, use a soft-bristled brush and gently brush the surfaces of the dentures being careful not to break or bend the plastic. Between brushings, it’s important to rinse your dentures after each meal.
Use a gentle cleanser to clean your dentures. Many kinds of toothpaste, household cleaners, and mouthwashes can be too hard on your dentures, so it is recommended that you use a mild hand or dish soap to get your dentures clean. Be sure to check for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval to choose products that are safe for your dentures, or ask your dentist about which products may be best for you.
When you are not wearing your dentures, they need to be kept moist. Dentures that are not kept in a denture cleaning solution or in water can dry out, lose their shape or even crack and break. Certain styles of dentures require certain soaking solutions, so be sure to ask your dentist which solution is best for you.
Even if you have a full set of dentures, it’s important to keep your gums and tongue clean. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush to gently clean your gums and tongue every day.
If by chance your dentures do break, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Broken dentures that don’t fit properly can cause irritation to your gums and mouth. Also, remember to continue scheduling regular dental checkups every six months to make sure that your smile stays healthy for many years to come.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and Onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. Both offer a conservative preparation that preserves as much healthy tooth as possible. They are a great choice if you have minimal to moderate tooth decay that extends into a flossing area, offering an excellent alternative to full coverage crowns.
Dental inlays and onlays are also used when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and extends over the cusps of the treated tooth.
Are you a candidate?
Ideal candidates typically have too much damage or decay in the tooth structure to be successfully treated using a resin filling, but have sufficient healthy tooth remaining to avoid the need for a crown. This allows the dentist to conserve more of the patient’s original tooth structure.
What are the Benefits?
Inlays and Onlays are durable. They help to strengthen teeth by up to 75 percent, unlike traditional metal fillings which can actually reduce the strength of the teeth by up to 50 percent.
Inlays and Onlays prolong tooth life and prevent the need for more dental treatment in the future.
Dental Health and Root Canals
In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you would probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called root canal treatment, your tooth can be saved. Root canals are a relatively simple procedure involving one to three office visits. Best of all, having a root canal when necessary can save your tooth and your smile!
What is the purpose of a root canal?
A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory – to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but it is detrimental to your overall health. Without the proper treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.
What are the signs that a root canal is needed?
Teeth that require root canal therapy are not always painful. However, signs you may need a root canal include severe toothache, pain upon chewing or application of pressure, prolonged sensitivity or pain in response to hot and cold temperatures, a dark discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.
What happens during a root canal?
Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems with the nerves of the teeth) removes the affected tissue. Next, the tissue will be removed and the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. If your tooth had extensive decay, your doctor may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breakage. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.
A dental implant is actually a replacement for the root or roots of a tooth. Like tooth roots, dental implants are secured in the jawbone and are not visible once surgically placed. They are used to secure crowns (the parts of teeth seen in the mouth), bridgework or dentures by a variety of means. They are made of titanium, which is lightweight, strong and biocompatible, which means that it is not rejected by the body. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. The benefit of using implants is that they don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support and they are permanent and stable.
Are you a candidate for dental implants?
The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
How are dental implants placed and who places them?
First, a 3D CT scan is required to plan the implant placement and the design of the replacement teeth. This is done after the initial examination and, if needed, allows for temporary replacement teeth to be ready for you on the day of surgery.
On the day of the surgery, the implant (which looks like a screw or cylinder), is placed into your jaw. Over the next two to six months, the implant and the bone are allowed to bond together to form an anchor for your artificial tooth. During this time, a temporary tooth replacement option can be worn over the implant site.
Often, a second step of the procedure is necessary to uncover the implant and attach an extension. This temporary healing cap completes the foundation on which your new tooth will be placed. Your gums will be allowed to heal for a couple of weeks following this procedure.
It takes a dental team of 3 to assess and plan dental implant placement and restoration. The dental team consists of a periodontist or an oral surgeon who performs the surgery, a restorative dentist who plans and places the tooth restorations and a dental laboratory technician who fabricates the restoration (crown, bridge, and denture).
What type of maintenance do dental implants require?
It is important to practice good daily oral hygiene; this includes brushing and flossing to control bacterial and tartar build up. It is also important to see your dentist and dental hygienist. Special instruments are necessary to clean dental implants that will not damage their metal surface beneath the gum tissues. Your dentist will need to monitor your implants to make sure the implant and surrounding bone is stable, and that the implant crowns, bridgework or dentures are functioning adequately.
A dental bridge is a common, affordable, time-tested, and low-risk treatment for missing teeth. Your doctor may recommend a bridge if you’re missing one or more teeth. There are many benefits associated with having a dental bridge.
– Dental Bridges restore your smile
– Dental Bridges restore your ability to properly chew and speak
– Dental Bridges help the shape of your face
– Dental Bridges distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
– Dental Bridges prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
What Types of Dental Bridges Are Available?
Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (crown) in between. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.
Implant bridges – When several teeth in a row are missing, they can be replaced by a bridge attached to implants. An implant is not needed for each tooth being replaced. Three or four teeth can be replaced with just two dental implants for support. Dental implants are strong and can support the biting forces of several teeth when they are anchored together.
Traditional dental restoratives, or fillings, include gold, porcelain, and composite. The strength and durability of traditional dental materials make them useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, such as in the back of the mouth.
Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, but they can also be used on the back teeth depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay.
What’s right for me?
Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity, and expense of dental restorations, including:
The components used in the filling material
The amount of tooth structure remaining
Where and how the filling is placed
The chewing load that the tooth will have to bear
The length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth
Dental Filling Options
Before your treatment begins, your doctor will discuss with you all of your options and help you choose the best filling for your particular case. In preparation for this discussion, it may be helpful to understand the two basic types of dental fillings — direct and indirect.
Direct fillings are fillings placed immediately into a prepared cavity in a single visit. They include glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings. The dentist prepares the tooth, places the filling, and adjusts it in one appointment.
Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits. They include inlays, onlays, veneers, crowns, and bridges fabricated with gold, base metal alloys, ceramics, or composites. During the first visit, the dentist prepares the tooth and makes an impression of the area to be restored. The dentist then places a temporary covering over the prepared tooth. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory, which creates the dental restoration. At the next appointment, the dentist cements the restoration into the prepared cavity and adjusts it as needed.