The bone and soft tissue surrounding your teeth literally form the foundation for your dental health. Without healthy gums, other dental treatments to functionally and cosmetically restore your teeth may be wasted. Our office can help you improve and maintain your gums to create the basis for a healthy long-lasting smile.
COMPOSITE (TOOTH-COLORED) FILLINGS
Not so long ago the only durable options for filling the back teeth were metallic fillings — mostly silver amalgam fillings which turned black over time. While these are still available today and have their place, tooth-colored composite fillings have now come into their own. When carefully placed they can rival metallic fillings in longevity, and they certainly are an improvement cosmetically. Composite fillings are one of the most popular services we provide.
X-rays or “radiographs” are an important diagnostic tool in dentistry. X-rays reveal decay on surfaces between teeth where the dentist cannot see clinically. They also reveal disease or fractures involving the roots of the teeth and inside the bone. With the new fast films available today, radiation from taking dental x-ray films is kept to a minimum.
There are a number of situations when the preferable method of restoring a tooth is a crown. The tooth may have had large fillings that weaken the tooth, or the tooth may have fractured due to decay or trauma. In such cases a crown may be recommended. This procedure involves reducing the outside portion of the tooth and replacing it with a laboratory-fabricated crown. This procedure involves two appointments with a temporary crown in place between appointments. Crowns can be made out of a number of materials including gold alloy, porcelain fused to metal, all porcelain and composite. Crowns can really improve the function and esthetics of your teeth.
Porcelain veneers improve the function and esthetics of front teeth while removing less natural tooth structure than a full crown. Veneers are made of porcelain or composite materials and in the right conditions will last a long time. Veneers may be used to correct deformed teeth, close spaces, cover severely stained teeth, or improve tooth alignment. They are a major player in the cosmetic dentistry arsenal.
NIGHT GUARDS OR BRUXISM SPLINTS
There are no definitive studies on bruxism (tooth grinding), but published estimates run from 5% to 95% of the population. I see the results of tooth grinding and clenching nearly every day. Symptoms may include various patterns of tooth wear of the chewing and biting surfaces, a form of wear at the gumline called abfraction, soreness of teeth and jaws, especially in the mornings, and even jaw joint (TMJ) dysfunction and pain. Many people do not even recognize that they grind their teeth. For many of my patients I recommend fabrication of a bruxism split or night guard to be worn while sleeping. A night guard consists of a horseshoe shaped plastic appliance, usually worn on the upper teeth with a biting surface for the lower teeth to contact evenly. I use a thermoplastic material which becomes more pliable when heated in warm water and gives a comfortable fit. Most people adapt quickly to wearing a night guard and come to depend on them for a comfortable nights sleep. Contact us for your consultation.