Dental Implants

Restorative Dental Treatments Keep You Smiling

Healthy teeth can last a lifetime. But when infection or cavities strike, timely restorative treatment is the key to preserving your smile. Our office offers a comprehensive menu of restorations to choose from, depending on your situation.

Tooth Colored Fillings

Cavities are bacterial infections that erode the outer and inner structures of teeth. Once the enamel had decomposed, cavities can continue to grow and spread to other teeth in the mouth. To stop this process, we remove the decaying areas and fill them with restorative materials that seal, protect, and rebuild the tooth structure. Instead of silver amalgam fillings that contain mercury, we use white fillings that match the color of the tooth being treated.

Porcelain Dental Crowns

Sometimes called “caps,” dental crowns protect and encase your tooth’s surface above the gums. They’re necessary when too much structural damage has occurred (such as large cavities and cracks) or after root canal treatment. Each crown is made of porcelain and can be matched to your other teeth, so that it isn’t noticeable when you’re talking or smiling.

Dental Implants and Implant Restorations

Biocompatible dental implants function like artificial tooth roots. Each one is set into the jaw, where it fuses with the bone and becomes a permanent part of your bite. After integration occurs, we attach a fixed implant restoration such as a crown, bridge, or a denture. The best part? 98% of dental implants last for a lifetime.

Root Canals

Getting a root canal is a lot like having a filling, but the process takes longer because a larger area is being filled. Once the cavity is removed, the nerve inside the tooth is also taken out. Then the open canal is thoroughly cleaned, medicated, and sealed off to prevent the chance of reinfection.

Thanks to modern anesthetics and technology to make the treatment more efficient, having a root canal done is a relatively straightforward process. The overall length of treatment depends on the tooth, as some have more roots than others.

Some of the most common situations where root canals are recommended involve teeth that have suffered from:

  • Abscesses — Abscessed teeth may cause visible drainage out the side of the root, creating a fistula (small pimple) on the gums. This swollen area can come and go, or may not be visible at all. Let us know if you notice a bad taste around the tooth, which could be a clue. An X-ray will show whether or not there is any swelling or a cyst around the root, indicating past or current infection.
  • Past Trauma and Nerve Death — Injuries to the front teeth happen frequently. But, they don’t always “kill” teeth right away. You may have been injured in an auto accident years prior, or hit in the mouth with a baseball in high school. Years later, the tooth starts to die. The dead nerve inside of the tooth makes it appear darker than the others, catching your attention.
  • Deep Cavities or Fractures in Teeth — Once tooth decay (a bacterial infection) eats through tooth structure and reaches the nerve, the soft tissues flare up and become infected. Enclosed in the tooth, the only way for swelling to be released is through the root or open decay. Large fractures are quite similar, as they expose the nerve to external elements. Covering the tooth with a crown or filling only traps bacteria inside, leading to progression of the infection. A root canal saves the tooth before it deteriorates even further.
  • Severe Pain or Hypersensitivity — In some situations a person can experience hypersensitivity or chronic toothaches for no known reason. Endodontic therapy removes the nerve, and thus the pain receptors in the tooth.
  • Cracked Roots — Like decay, cracks in a tooth’s root allow bacteria to enter into the nerve, causing inflammation and pain.
  • Endodontic Re-treatments — Unfortunately, it’s possible for a root canal to fail from time to time. Perhaps part of the nerve chamber was difficult to reach, or not all of the nerve was removed. Re-treatments are usually performed by an endodontic specialist.

Custom Dental Bridges

One or two missing teeth can have a tremendous impact on your bite’s function and appearance. Bridges take two functional crowns that are anchored onto the adjacent teeth, and suspend an artificial crown (or two) between them, filling in the open space. A bridge can also be attached on top of dental implants to replace several teeth at one time (eliminating the need for a partial denture.)

Traditional Removable Dentures

In situations where all of your teeth need to be replaced at one time, a full upper or lower denture is a smart economical decision. Sometimes called “plates,” dentures span from one side of your mouth to the other, fully replacing all of the upper or lower teeth in a single prosthesis. Any existing teeth (such as those that are diseased) will need to be extracted before the denture can be worn.

Partial Denture Prosthetics

Your healthy, natural teeth are almost always the best thing for your smile. In instances where several teeth are missing, you won’t want to have the healthy teeth extracted just to get a denture made. The most appropriate solution may be a partial denture.

Unlike full dentures that span the width of your entire arch, a partial denture only replaces the teeth that are missing. It clips into place around the teeth that are still stable enough to maintain. Partials are also a good choice when there are too many missing teeth to get a fixed traditional bridge.

Partials come in various designs, the two most common being an acrylic base or a metal one. The “teeth” attached to the base are porcelain or high-quality acrylic, and made to match the shape, size, and color of the healthy teeth adjacent to them.

Implant Supported Overdentures

A conventional denture stays in place by creating a suction between the acrylic base and your gums. Sometimes there’s not enough bone under the gums to provide an adequate surface area, causing your denture to rock or shift throughout the day. Rather than rely on an adhesive or paste, there’s another alternative to consider: implant stabilization.

With an implant overdenture, there are designs to permanently affix your denture in place, or still have it removable for convenient daily care.

Comfortable Tooth Extractions

Having a tooth pulled is a significant step to preserving your smile’s overall health and integrity. Depending on which teeth are being extracted, the procedure can be a relatively simple one.

After numbing the area around your tooth — and offering any additional sedation, such as nitrous oxide — you’ll be able to feel comfortable and confident that the extraction is straightforward and gentler than you expected.

The only way to know for sure whether or not you need to have your tooth pulled, is to schedule an exam and X-ray. Once we have all of the necessary information on hand, we can help you make an informed decision about your situation.

Depending on your unique dental needs, there are usually only a few reasons why a tooth is extracted instead of being restored:

  • The Tooth is Non-Restorable — The most common reason for our dentist to recommend pulling a tooth is if it is no longer restorable. No filling, crown, or root canal is going to be able to save the limited healthy tooth structure that still exist. Rather than attempt to fix the tooth and hope it takes, removing it altogether is the standard of care.
  • For Orthodontic Purposes — It’s not as common these days, but some orthodontic patients do need to have teeth extracted to make more “room” inside of their mouth. Larger teeth in a smaller jaw, for instance, can contribute to unwanted crowding.
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth — Occasionally, there will not be enough space inside of the jaw for the final set of molars — otherwise known as wisdom teeth — to erupt properly. When they become impacted against other teeth, it can lead to infections, tooth damage, or changes in the bite alignment.
  • Advanced Gum Disease — Without healthy gums and bone to support teeth, loss of attachment leads to them becoming mobile and sore. The infected areas around them can lead to subsequent infections. Removing teeth from severely infected areas can prevent additional tooth loss.
  • Planning for Full Mouth Reconstruction — When only a few natural teeth remain, it’s up to the patient and his or her dentist to decide if it’s in their best interest to create a full denture. If so, any remaining teeth will need to be extracted before a “plate” fits into the mouth.

Sedation Dentistry

Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) is a safe and simple way to help you relax during your treatment, no matter how simple or complex it may be! Our custom sedation dentistry options put your mind at ease, so that you can relax and we can work more efficiently.

Planning Your Treatment

We recommend scheduling a checkup every six months, so that potential dental problems can be intercepted as early as possible. If you do feel something that needs to be checked, it’s best to schedule an exam at your earliest convenience.

During your visit, we will examine each tooth and order a set of X-rays to evaluate the areas that can’t be seen clinically. If findings such as cavities, abscesses, or other dental anomalies are noted, we’ll create a customized care plan that outlines our recommended treatments to restore your oral health back to its full potential.

When possible, we’ll also discuss alternative treatments that may be available, so that you can select the best one for your individual needs and priorities.