Tooth decay is created by bacteria in your mouth. When the bacteria encounters a food source such as sugar, an acid is produced which begins to breakdown the tooth. This results in what is known as tooth decay or a “cavity”. Not all “cavities” will cause pain, but it is important to have the decay removed and filled with either a silver or white filling to prevent it from spreading to the tooth’s nerve or pulp.
If tooth decay is left untreated it will eventually spread to the tooth’s pulp or nerve causing an infection and pain, this is an indication for root canal therapy. During a root canal, the infected nerve within the tooth is removed. The procedure feels no different than having a simple filling done, the key is proper anesthesia. We will ensure that you are properly numb before doing this or any procedure. After a root canal, the tooth will have to be built back up with a post and core. A root canal will weaken the overall structure of the tooth, so a crown is always recommended to add strength to the tooth and prevent a fracture.
This procedure is also recommended if a tooth has cracked or is missing a large portion. A crown takes 2 appointments. At the 1st appointment, the tooth is prepared and a mold of the tooth is taken. The mold or impression is then sent to a lab where the crown will be made. You will leave your from your 1st appointment with a temporary crown and return 2-3 weeks later to have the final/permanent crown cemented.
One method of permanently replacing missing teeth is with a fixed bridge. This procedure is similar to a crown in that it takes 2 appointments and teeth are also prepared or shaved at the 1st appointment. A bridge does exactly what its name means, it “bridges” the space left by a missing tooth or teeth.
For those patients needing complete replacement of their teeth, we offer dentures. A denture will take approximately 5 appointments to complete. We also offer partial dentures for patients looking for a more economical solution instead of a bridge or implant.
If dental decay is left untreated it will spread to the tooth’s pulp or nerve causing an infection and pain. To then treat the pain, a patient may elect to have endodontic treatment (root canal) to remove the infected nerve within the tooth or an extraction (complete tooth removal). In addition as wisdom teeth develop they may erupt at an odd angle causing pain or damage to other teeth in the mouth. At this point it is recommended that they be removed.
Professional take-home teeth whitening kits available from your dentist contain a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide and provide excellent results in 1 to 2 weeks of prescribed use. Custom-fit trays keep the whitening solution on the surface of the tooth to be whitened. Impressions are taken of your upper and lower teeth and sent to the dental laboratory to make your trays. It will normally take 1 to 2 weeks for the dental lab to make your trays. The initial shade of your teeth is recorded in your dental chart for comparison when whitening has been completed. An appointment will be made to show you how to dispense the teeth whitening solution in the trays and give you detailed instructions to follow. Take-home teeth whitening is typically used one hour a day for two weeks, and can be used for touch-up applications thereafter. Whitening times typically take 2 weeks, but can take longer for those with darker stains.
Braces are used to align and straighten teeth and help to position them with regard to a person’s bite, while also working to improve dental health. They are often used to correct underbites, as well as malocclusions, overbites, cross bites, open bites, deep bites, crooked teeth, and various other flaws of the teeth and jaw. Braces can be either cosmetic or structural. Dental braces are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to help widen the palate or jaws and to otherwise assist in shaping the teeth and jaws.
Dental implants are the best option to replace missing teeth. They are anchored into your mouth and are permanent. Unlike bridges, no teeth need to be prepared or shaved down. An implant consists of 3 parts. First the implant is surgically placed into the jaw. 3-4 months later, an abutment is placed on top of the implant and finally a crown is cemented on top of that. Implants are a great option for one or multiple missing teeth to ensure your smile is at it’s finest.