Bonding is a quick, painless in-office procedure to repair cracks, chips, gaps between teeth or cover stained teeth to enhance your smile. Bonding can often be done without anesthesia if there is no decay or pulp exposure. The bonding material is developed in many shades allowing the dentist to accurately match the shade of your natural teeth. The composite resin forms a durable, stain resistant surface that is later smoothed and polished to give it a natural appearance and feel.
Bonding can be used to:
Protect exposed roots of teeth.
Repair cracks, unevenness or chips.
Close spaces between front teeth.
Reshape crooked or misshapen teeth.
Replace old or unattractive silver fillings.
Whiten stained teeth.
Replace missing teeth.
Stabilize loose teeth.
This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a whole chain reaction of bad things. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and, with one missing, they start to “fall.” As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before them, too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.
Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits the crown is made, usually of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy, all ceramic material, or gold. During this time a temporary crown is worn. In the second visit this temporary is removed. Then the permanent crown is adjusted as needed and then cemented in place.
There are different types of dentures, but they share their common function. They replace teeth that have become loose or been lost due to bone loss. When bone loss around the roots of teeth is great enough to loosen them or let them fall out, it’s time for dentures. Relax. No one enjoys losing their natural teeth, but you can still eat and talk regularly.
The entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The loose teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fitted to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth, depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take some getting used to. But once accustomed to the dentures, all the normal functionality and appearance return and one just carries on as usual. Often implants can used to further stabilize the dentures.
Fillings are done to remove decay, and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because new a material fills hole that decay left. Presently most teeth are treated with bonded tooth colored composite resin fillings. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, and the tooth would need root canal treatment or extraction.
The basis of sound dental care is routine cleaning and maintenance. We customize cleanings 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.
Sealants should be used as part of a child’s total preventive dental care. Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings which are applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars (back teeth). Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs in these surfaces. Sealants cover the chewing surfaces to prevent decay. Applying sealants does not require drilling or removing tooth structure. It is an easy three step-process:
We clean teeth with a special toothpaste. A special cleaning liquid, on a tiny piece of cotton, is rubbed gently on the tooth and is washed off. Finally, the sealant is painted on the tooth. It takes about a minute for the sealant to form a protective shield. One sealant application can last for as long as 5 to 10 years. Sealants should be checked regularly, and reapplied if they are no longer in place.
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to set. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist then works to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft. This permanent solution has the advantages over bridge work that it does not stress the surrounding teeth for support, and, should the tooth wear out, another can simply be replaced on the shaft.
Dental inlays and onlays are some of the strongest and most lifelike dental restorations available. After your mouth has been anesthetized, we prepare the tooth in much the same way we would for a standard filling. When the tooth has been prepared to our satisfaction, an impression is made and sent to a dental lab. You will usually be required to wear a temporary filling until the restoration is fabricated. With proper care, your inlay or onlay will increase your overall health and instill confidence for years to come.
A method of sedation involving the administration of oral sedative drugs, generally to facilitate a dental procedure and reduce patients fear and anxiety related to the experience. Oral sedation is one of the available methods of conscious sedation dentistry, along with inhalation sedation (nitrous oxide) and conscious intravenous sedation
How is the Medication Administered?
The sedative and anesthetic medications are given orally. A variety of single and incremental dose protocols are used to medicate the patient as early as the day before treatment. Medication additionally helps reduce memory or the sights and smells of the dental office to avoid recall of any trauma.
What is Sedation and Anesthesia?
During Dental and oral surgical procedures local anesthesia (Novocain) is administered to block sensations. However, the anxiety that some people have can be controlled by administering sedative drugs, such as Valium type medications. A sedated patient may remember the procedures, but will be more relaxed. Additional medications such as agents similar to pentothal are sometimes used to cause anesthesia, which places the patient more deeply asleep.
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.
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.
The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding.
The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.
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 are done in our office with one visit. Other whitening agents can even be purchased over-the-counter. However, over-the-counter whitening agents will not whiten your teeth as quickly or as effectively as those delivered by a dentist.
Call our office now at (713) 785-7767 to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to meeting you and earning your trust.