Dental fillings is one of the most common procedures done here in our practice. When a tooth becomes decayed it is necessary to restore the tooth to a healthy state before the nerve becomes damaged. Unrestored teeth can lead to sensitivity, pain, endodontic (root canal) treatment, or even tooth loss. Most of our dental fillings are done with local anesthetic to numb the area, creating a more comfortable experience for our patients. Dental fillings can be made of several different types of materials. The decayed part of the tooth is removed with a drill or a laser, then the healthy portion of the tooth is cleaned and prepped, enabling the filling material to bond to the tooth. We prefer to place Mercury-Free restorations made of a composite resin. These composites are tooth colored and blend in beautifully with your existing teeth creating a beautiful, strong, healthy smile.
Here at Stowe Family Dentistry we have the latest technology to help us create custom crowns in a same day visit. Our CEREC units, which utilize “CAD-CAM” technology, allow for completion of a new tooth colored crown in just a couple of hours and have transformed the way crowns are done. No need for temporary crowns or several visits to the office while an outside lab processes your order. Similar to a filling, we use local anesthetic to numb the area and prep the tooth for a crown to fit over the tooth. People often refer to them as “caps”. After they are custom created they leave no unsightly gaps or discolorations at the gum line. They appear as a natural tooth. Teeth that have had very large fillings in the past can greatly benefit from the protection of a crown, as well as teeth that have been treated with root canal therapy. In both cases the tooth has a weakened core and has a greater risk for fracturing. Crowns are an excellent way to protect a tooth, add strength and stability, and improve cosmetics.
Endodontic Therapy (Root Canals)
Endodontic therapy is the removal of the infected or damaged pulp from inside a tooth. Each tooth has a pulp that is comprised of blood vessels, a nerve, and some connective tissue. These supply each tooth with vital nutrients aiding in the strength of the tooth and keeping it healthy. On occasion patients may experience a broken tooth exposing the pulp, decay into the pulp chamber, or trauma that has injured the nerve. In all of these cases a root canal would likely be advised. By removing the pulp, we are able to remove the source of pain the patient may be experiencing. After the removal process, the chamber is cleaned and shaped, then the chamber canals are filled with a material called “gutta-purcha.” This is a biocompatible material that will form to the shape of the canals. After the chamber has been filled a permanent restoration must be placed where the access port was opened. Generally, a crown is recommended after endodontic treatment because the pulp is no longer supplying the tooth with nutrients. Without nutrients the tooth can become brittle over time increasing the chance of fracturing the tooth. Root canals are often performed over a span of a few visits, allowing the tooth to have time to heal before a permanent restoration is placed.
Dentures and Partials
Dentures are a removeable plate of artificial teeth designed to replace missing teeth from a full dental arch. Partials replace a few teeth on an arch. Both are viable options to replace missing teeth if bone structure will not support an implant.
Another option for replacing a missing tooth is a bridge. A bridge is a fixed dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. The dental bridge uses an artificial tooth to replace the missing tooth/teeth. These artificial teeth are called pontics. The pontics are joined permanently to crowns that cover the two adjacent teeth on both sides of the gap. The two crowns and the fake teeth all joined together make up the bridge. A bridge will span the full area where teeth are missing. A bridge is bonded into place permanently and is not removable like a denture or partial.
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