If you have lost some or all of your natural teeth, dentures can be used to replace your missing teeth – improving your health as well as your appearance. Dentures prevent the sagging of facial muscles, which can make a person with missing teeth look much older. Dentures also enable you to eat and speak normally, little things often taken for granted until natural teeth are lost.
For hundreds of years, dental fillings have been used to restore teeth. Dental fillings are placed in teeth where a dentist has had to remove tooth structure due to decay or fracture. In recent years filling materials have been substantially improved by many technological advancements. Although silver amalgam was the dominant choice years ago, today we have several other preferred options for tooth restoration including tooth colored composite filling materials and cementable resins and porcelains.
The basis of sound dental care is routine cleaning and maintenance. We customize cleaning on the basis of your periodontal (gums and bone) health. We utilize medicated gels along with prescription mouth rinses in problem areas if necessary. Ultrasonic scalers are sometimes used to make the procedure more comfortable and effective as well.
Gum disease is usually caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. If plaque is not removed with thorough daily brushing and cleaning between teeth, gums become irritated and inflamed. The irritated gum tissue can separate from the teeth and form spaces called pockets. Bacteria move into the pockets where they continue to promote irritation. Left untreated, the process can continue until the bone and other tooth-supporting tissues are destroyed. The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. It often results in gums that are red and swollen and may bleed easily.
Endodontic treatment, more commonly known as root canal therapy, is necessary when the pulp of your tooth becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes such as deep decay, repeated dental procedures on your tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. With proper care, an endodontically treated tooth will function normally for years to come.
Unlike a crown, which covers the entire tooth, a veneer is a thin shell that is placed over the front or visible parts of the tooth. There are two types of veneers: ceramic veneers that are produced by a dental laboratory and resin-based composite veneers. With proper care, your new veneers will greatly improve your appearance and increase your confidence for years to come.
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in your mouth and are the teeth least needed for good oral health. Most people have four wisdom teeth that usually erupt through the gums in their late teens or early twenties. Sometimes wisdom teeth remain trapped in the jawbone under the gums because there is insufficient room for them to erupt.
Wisdom teeth can cause gum disease, crowding or other damage to adjacent teeth, decay (due to the inability of your toothbrush to keep the area clean), and bone destroying cysts. Pain and swelling are the most common symptoms of problem wisdom teeth. Whether you have obvious symptoms or not, it is important to diagnose existing or potential problems caused by your wisdom teeth. Removal is often the wisest decision for your health and well-being.
Everyone loves a bright, white smile. Today there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve the color of your teeth. Some whitening procedures, such as Zoom, are done in our office with one visit. Other whitening agents can be purchased over-the-counter, however this type of whitening does not whiten your teeth as quickly or as effectively as those delivered by your dentist.
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