A crown, or often knows as a “cap,” is a covering that covers the entire tooth – restoring it to its original shape and size. Think of a crown as a “house” that protects and strengthens a tooth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain are the most popular, as they resemble your natural teeth color..
Crowns are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they will eventually need to be replaced.
What are the reasons for getting a crown?
- Broken or Fractured Teeth
- Decayed Teeth
- Fractured Fillings
- Large Fillings
- Tooth has a Root Canal
- Cosmetic Enhancement
What does getting a crown involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds – or impressions – that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is created at our trusted dental laboratory.
After numbing the tooth, your dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once that’s accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement. Your dentist will then check your bite to ensure proper form.
At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate!
Dentures & Partial Dentures
A denture is a removable dental appliance used to replace missing teeth and surrounding lost tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth. There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.
Reasons for Dentures
- Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch.
- Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch.
- Enhancing smile and facial tissues.
- Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.
What’s involved in getting dentures?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions and measurements are taken by our office and used to create your custom denture.
Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
Adjusting to dentures:
It may take you a little while to adjust to your new dentures. It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty. However this is temporary and will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.
Whether for one tooth or for several, dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for dental appliances used to complete your smile!
How do implants work?
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist. Teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are strong and durable and will last many years. On occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Why do patients get dental implants?
- Restore a patient’s smile.
- Replace one or more missing teeth – without affecting adjacent teeth.
- Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into a missing tooth’s space.
- Support a bridge or denture – making it more secure and comfortable.
- Restore proper chewing, speech, and digestion.
- Restore or enhance facial tissues.
What does getting dental implants involve?
While having implants is largely worry-free, the process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
Initially, x-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. The dentist will numb the area, and the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself for up to six months.
Depending on the type of implant, a second visit may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. After several weeks – allowing the area to heal – the artificial tooth – or teeth – are made and perfectly fitted to the post.
Because several fittings may be required, this step could take one to two months to fully complete. But after a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient!
A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth!
While there are several types of bridges, the “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain.
Patients typically prefer porcelain fixed bridges because they resemble natural teeth. This type of bridge consists to two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth and are attached to artificial teeth, filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years! Like anything else, with normal wear and tear they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented eventually.
Why would someone need a fixed bridge?
- Fill space from missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from moving out of position
- Restore your confident smile
- Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance
- Restore proper chewing and speaking ability
What does getting a fixed bridge involve?
Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. After your dentist numbs the tooth, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown.
Next, a highly accurate impression, or mold, is made and sent to a dental laboratory for the custom fitted bridge to be made. While the permanent bridge is out for production, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.
At the second visit, your permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted and cemented to achieve the ideal fit. Occasionally, your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canals are often the treatment of choice in order to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a problem tooth is the solution, however extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and could cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated dental materials that restore the tooth to its full function.
Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.
How to tell if you need root canal therapy
- Severe toothache pain
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Swelling and/or tenderness
- Sometimes no symptoms are present
Reasons for Root Canal Therapy
- Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
- Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
- Injury or trauma to the tooth
What does root canal therapy involve?
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments. After your dentist numbs the tooth, a rubber dam is placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.
An opening is made at the top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are inserted into the opening – one at a time – to clear the tooth of pulp, nerve tissue and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. Additionally, most teeth that have root canal therapy should have a crown (cap) placed. The crown will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and also restore it to its full function.
After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive. But that will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth heals.
If you are experiencing extreme sensitivity – or are suffering from advanced periodontal disease – you may be required to have a tooth extracted.
With a simple extraction, our dentists can safely remove the affected tooth without the need for major surgery.
Reasons for a tooth extraction
There are numerous situations in which a simple extraction can help alleviate pain or prepare you for another cosmetic or restorative procedure. Some common reasons for extraction include:
- Advanced periodontal disease that has loosened the tooth roots
- Extra teeth or baby teeth that impede adult teeth
- Preparing a patient for orthodontic treatment
- Removing a fractured or malformed tooth
- Severe tooth decay which cannot be remedied with root canal therapy
How is a tooth extracted?
As a precaution, the dentist will first take X-rays of the tooth or teeth in question, to help plan the procedure. After preparing a method of extraction, you will be given a local anesthetic to prevent pain during the procedure.
Next, the dentist will use a tool called an elevator to lift the tooth and loosen ligaments and gum tissue around the base of the tooth.
Finally, the dentist will use a pair of forceps, to gently rock the tooth back and forth until it breaks free of the ligaments holding it in the gum tissue. Occasionally, a stubborn tooth will resist the dentist’s soft tug, refusing to come out. In these and more complex cases, the tooth may need to be broken up into smaller pieces for removal.
Once removed, we will pack gauze into the socket and have you place pressure on the area by biting down. If necessary, the dentist will place stitches to close the socket.
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