Restorative Services

Tooth restorations address the repair needs of teeth that have been damaged, decayed or lost, resulting in both healthy and beautiful teeth. Examples of restorations include the following:

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. Broken or cracked teeth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crown dental options 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. Permanent porcelain crowns are then adjusted as needed and then cemented in place.

A filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, wear, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth is removed and then filled with one of several types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for you.

Composite resin fillings are a popular choice and can be made to resemble the appearance of the natural tooth. They are strong, durable and cosmetically superior to silver or dark grey colored amalgam fillings. Composite resin fillings are usually more expensive than amalgam fillings, while amalgam fillings tend to be more durable. We do not do gold alloys or onlays. In cases of old onlays in need of replacement, we replace them with crowns.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.  They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

There are different types of dentures, but they share their common function. Your dentist will consult you and give you a treatment plan that may include partial dentures or complete dentures. 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 cosmetic 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. Partial dentures are fitted to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth, depending on the denture types. 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.

TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. The TMJ anatomy is as follows: Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it’s where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension which can cause a TMJ headache. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.

Problems in this area can cause:

      TMJ Headaches
      Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
      Moving teeth
      Clicking or popping jaw
      Pain in the jaw muscles
    Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face

Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.

Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy, endodontics or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to this pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early.) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy, also. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated by a root canal specialist, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and give a bad taste in mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.
Patients who are missing teeth have a permanent, solid tooth replacement solution with complete dental implants. Whether you have struggled with ill-fitting dentures, bone loss, or gum recession, our doctors can improve your quality of life with this modern prosthetic dentistry option. Complete dental implants provide fully-functional and natural-looking replacement teeth that will stand up to many years of regular use with proper maintenance.

Dental implants are titanium posts that are placed below the gum line to replace damaged roots where teeth are missing. Once they’ve been incorporated by surrounding jaw bone tissue, these posts anchor lifelike, attractive tooth replacements, including single tooth replacements, bridge work and full dentures. Unlike traditional bridges, complete dental implants or retained artificial teeth, don’t rely on surrounding natural teeth for support. This helps you avoid the risk of damaging natural teeth or suffering from receding gums that accompanies traditional artificial teeth.

Dental implants also halt bone loss that is due to missing teeth, as well as strengthen your bite and help to preserve your facial bone structure. For patients who have lost all their teeth, we can provide secure implant-retained dentures that look and feel like beautiful, natural teeth.

During our initial consultation for affordable dental implants, we will customize your treatment plan and answer your questions regarding how much dental implants cost.

Dentists do their best to preserve their patients’ natural smiles but, under certain circumstances, your dentist may need to remove one or more of your teeth through a procedure called extraction.

Teeth are often extracted because decay and damage has left the tooth unable to be repaired through other methods. Patients suffering from periodontal disease also may undergo extraction to remove loose teeth. Teeth also may need to be removed for orthodontic reasons. With the goal of properly aligning a patient’s teeth, your dentist may recommend extraction to provide your teeth with the room needed to achieve the desired result. Lastly, for teeth that are impacted —those unable to break through the gumline— your dental provider may recommend extraction.

The first step your dentist will take in the extraction process is to numb the area(s) surrounding the extraction site. The procedure will not begin until the local anesthesia used has taken effect. When extracting an impacted tooth, your dentist will need to remove gum tissue and bone to expose the tooth. Then, using forceps, he or she will loosen the tooth using a gentle back and forth rocking motion. While a tooth is usually removed in one piece, hard-to-remove teeth may be extracted in pieces. Upon completion of the extraction, a gauze pad will be placed in the socket to help stop the bleeding. Your dentist also may choose to stitch the extraction site to help promote the closing of the gum edges.

Tooth extractions are a common form of oral surgery but, like most surgeries, this procedure leaves the body susceptible to infection. Before scheduling your extraction, it is important to be honest with your dentist. Provide him or her with your entire medical history—including a list of all of your medications and supplements. Your medical history will guide your dentist in developing the pre- and post-treatment plan that best fits your needs.

It is important to follow the post-extraction recovery procedures outlined by your dentist. To reduce the pain and swelling, your dentist also may recommend pain medication and the application of ice to the affected area in 10-minute increments. Keep the extraction site clean. It is recommended that you avoid smoking and you should not drink from a straw within the first 24 hours following an extraction. Continue brushing and flossing your teeth, but take care to avoid the extraction site as not to irritate it. Your dentist may recommend that you rinse your mouth with a homemade salt water solution. If advised, swish gently to avoid dislodging the blood clot that has formed at the extraction site. If you experience any symptoms, such as severe pain, infection, nausea or vomiting, redness or swelling at the extraction site, or shortness of breath, contact your dentist immediately.

Depending upon your situation, your dentist may recommend replacing extracted teeth with implants, dentures, or a bridge. Talk to your dentist to learn more about the options available to you. Or, click on our implant dropdown for more information.

What do I do if I’m still confused about these procedures?

If you are still unclear about the process, speak to your dentist. Your dentist can walk you through the steps of the procedures and address any questions or concerns you may have