State-of-the-art tooth-colored (composite) fillings are placed. They are esthetically pleasing, strong and long lasting. We use only the highest rated materials and techniques to create a strong long-lasting restoration. A desensitizing agent as well as a fluoride releasing liner is placed. This aids in decreasing post-op sensitivity and greatly decreases the possibility of decay recurrence.
Crowns are required whenever a tooth has been overly weakened by large fillings, cracks, fractures, root canal treatment, etc. Crowns can be either all gold, all porcelain or porcelain fused to gold alloy. This procedure requires two appointments. At the first visit, impressions are made and a temporary crown is placed. You will receive your custom crown at the second appointment. All options and recommendations will be explained to you.
Bridges are one of three options to replace missing teeth. With the advent of implants, bridges are being used less frequently but are still a good option for select cases. A bridge uses the teeth on either side of the space left by a missing tooth to anchor it. These anchor (abutment) teeth require preparation (reduction and shaping). An impression is taken and a temporary bridge is made and cemented. Two to three weeks later the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent bridge is adjusted and cemented permanently to the abutment teeth. Special instructions are given for the care of your bridge.
With modern techniques and instruments, root canals have become a lot less stressful and painful for patients. Root canal treatment is sometimes required to save a tooth when deep decay and cracks have caused the pulp (nerve) of the tooth to die or become irreversibly damaged. An assessment is made to determine if the root canal can be performed in our office or requires a referral to a root canal specialist (endodontist). Because a tooth that has received a root canal may become weak and brittle, it may also require a full crown to protect the tooth from breaking.
Occasionally tooth removal is the only option due to severe gum disease, severe decay, trauma and/or fracture. With new implant technology, teeth that are questionable are sometimes better removed and replaced with an implant to give a better long-term result. Most extractions can be done at our office. However, depending upon the difficulty of the extraction and whether an implant is to be immediately placed or not, you may require a referral to a specialist.
Partial dentures are another option for the replacement of missing teeth. Usually this is a less expensive option than either bridgework or implants. This option utilizes removable appliances that are either acrylic (for temporary replacement) or a combination metal framework with added acrylic for long term use. Once the patient becomes used to the metal partial denture in their mouths, they can serve as a long-term solution to the problem of missing teeth. A minimum of three appointments is required.
In many cases, implants to replace missing teeth have become our best option. Often the implant can be placed at the same appointment the tooth (teeth) is extracted. This is accomplished at a specialist’s office. Once the healing (osseointegration) of the implant has occurred (around 4 months), you will be appointed at our office for the restoration phase. The implant, which is made of biocompatible titanium, acts as the “root”, and a specialized impression is taken of it and sent to a lab. At the final visit, an abutment, which anchors the crown to the implant, is fitted and a crown is cemented to the abutment. Usually no local anesthetic is required for this or the previous appointment. The result is a beautiful long term replacement for a missing natural tooth.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Mild sedation is available in the form of nitrous oxide for those patients who have anxiety about receiving dental treatment. Prior to treatment a mask is placed over your nose and a safe mixture of nitrous oxide gas and oxygen is delivered. This mixture can be adjusted to achieve a comfortable sedation for you. You should avoid having a large meal prior to appointments when nitrous oxide is to be used. As an alternative, an anti-anxiety medication may be prescribed to be taken 30 minutes prior to your appointment. Someone would be required to transport you to and from our office.