Rebuilding Smiles From Root to Crown
Poor oral health can have a huge impact on the way you eat, speak, and smile. Restorative dentistry provides the care you need to enjoy yourself again with a healthy, durable smile.
SmileHere Family Dental is passionate about helping patients achieve their best oral health. Our dental team combines skill with state-of-the-art treatments and technology to meet the needs of our patients no matter how complex.
Discover the smile you were meant to have. Schedule a visit to our office to see what we can do for your smile!
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Do I Need a Dental Restoration?
Dental restorations include a variety of treatments designed to protect your teeth and restore your teeth and gums to health. If you have dental health problems that a cleaning or at-home care won’t fix, a dental restoration may be your solution.
What Kind of Restorations Do You Offer?
Our skilled dental team provides a broad range of treatments to fully meet the needs of our patients. Our treatment options include:
- Dental implants
- Dentures and partial dentures
- Root canal therapy
How Do I Know Which Restoration is Right for Me?
Some oral health problems have multiple treatment options, with pros and cons to each. The dentist evaluates your specific case and makes a recommendation based on what best serves your unique oral health.
If there’s no clear right choice, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option. Don’t feel rushed into a decision. Instead, take the time to ask the dentist questions, gather information, and make the choice that feels right for you.
Are Dental Implants Good Tooth Replacements?
Dental implants offer several benefits as tooth replacements. Not only do they look, feel, and function well, they are the only tooth replacement that also replaces the tooth root. The titanium post is inserted into the jaw, where it fuses with the bone to become the new root.
Without chewing pressure from the tooth root, the body stops providing adequate minerals to keep the jaw bone healthy. This causes the bone to shrink, altering facial features and destroying the bite alignment. By replacing the root, you protect your jaw bone strength and preserve your youthful features.
Who’s a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Nearly anyone can be a candidate for implants as long as their jaw is fully grown and they have adequate jawbone volume. If your jaw is too weak or thin to support an implant, a bone graft may be needed to strengthen it.
You must also be in good health for implant placement. If you have gum disease or other oral health issues, these must be addressed first before implants can be placed.
Can Implants Replace Multiple Teeth?
With proper placement, implants can support both small and large restorations, including crowns, bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures. If you are missing multiple teeth, the dentist or periodontist plans the careful placement of implants to provide adequate support. A bridge may be supported by two implants on either end, while a full denture uses 6-8 implants on average.
How Long Does Implant Placement Take?
The amount of time needed in the implant process varies from case to case. Many factors play into the timeline, such as the number of missing teeth, their location in your mouth, your jaw bone density, and overall oral health.
After the implants are placed, your jaw will need a rest period to heal, typically 4-6 months. You’ll be given a temporary restoration to allow you to speak and chew normally while you heal. Afterward, you return to the dental office to have your custom restoration placed.
In many cases, an extraction is needed first, which usually needs 3-6 months of healing before an implant can be placed. However, some patients are eligible to have implants placed the same day as an extraction with immediate implant placement, reducing their treatment time and number of surgeries needed.
Am I a Candidate for Immediate Implant Placement?
Eligibility for this procedure is decided by the dentist on a case-by-case basis. At extraction, the dentist evaluates whether your gums and bones are in optimal condition to support an implant. If the gums or jawbone are too thin, then time and additional treatment are needed. If not, the dentist can proceed with immediate implant placement.
How Does Gum Disease Affect My Implant Restorations?
Gum disease is dangerous to both your implants and your natural teeth. Advanced gum disease causes the gums to recede, which exposes tooth roots and implants. Over time, jaw bone loss can also occur. This reduces the support that implants have, eventually leading to implant failure.
It’s essential to have healthy gums before implant placement and to visit the dentist regularly to ensure your gums stay healthy.
How Do I Take Care of My Implants?
The most important thing is to brush and floss regularly. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid scratching your restoration, and be sure to brush and floss around the gum line. You may need to practice a special flossing technique, which the dentist will show you.
Never bite hard substances such as ice cubes or hard candy with your implant. While it won’t harm the implant itself, it could damage your restoration. Make sure to keep your regular dental appointments, and contact our office if you have signs of gum disease so that we can help you keep it from worsening.
How Can I Tell if I Have Gum Disease?
Early signs of gum disease can be easy to miss. Pay close attention to any redness or swelling, bleeding when brushing or flossing, and sensitivity to temperatures. Be sure to alert the dentist of these symptoms, as gum disease can advance quickly.
In the advanced stages, the gums become red or dark and pull away from the gums. This creates the appearance of long teeth and leaves tooth roots exposed. Cavities become more likely, as are gum infections, and it’s even possible for the teeth to become loose and fall out or need extraction.
Can Gum Disease Be Cured?
Early gum disease is the result of gum irritation, which causes the gums to become inflamed. Regular cleanings remove the plaque, tartar, and food debris that irritates the gums, allowing them to return to health.
If the gum disease has advanced and the gums have receded, they sadly won’t grow back. Moreover, they are also much more vulnerable to repeated infections and must be monitored carefully. A gum graft may be needed to help restore the gum line if normal gum volume has been lost.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
If gum disease has established itself, the first step is to perform root scaling and planing, also called a deep cleaning. Antibiotics are used to cleanse pockets of bacteria between the gums and the tooth root, and special tools are used to remove hardened tartar from the root. The root surface is then smoothed out to allow the gums to reattach and secure the tooth.
In severe cases, surgery may be needed to treat gum disease. Pocket reduction surgery shrinks the open spaces beneath the gum line, making gums more secure. Gum graft surgery restores the gum line, restoring oral health and improving aesthetic.
How Can Dental Lasers Help My Gums?
Dental lasers offer a wide variety of benefits when used in treatments. The pinpoint laser provides greater accuracy for more targeted treatments. Patients feel no vibrations or other sensations, making treatment more comfortable. The laser kills bacteria, reducing the risk of infection, and because it cauterizes soft tissue, there is less bleeding and post-treatment healing is much shorter.
Learn More About Gum Disease
Do I Need Dentures?
If you have multiple missing teeth, dentures can help to restore your chewing function. With innovations in materials and design, dentures today are more comfortable and functional than ever before.
There are three main types of dentures. The dentist will work with you to help you decide which type is best for you.
- Full Dentures: These replace a full set of teeth in the jaw. They fit over the gums and are secured in place by suction or dental adhesive.
- Partial Dentures: A customized dental prosthetic used to replace a group (or groups) of missing teeth. They are held in place by anchoring to your remaining teeth with metal clasps.
- Implant-supported Dentures: These dentures are secured by implant posts, making them permanent restorations. Unlike other dentures, implant-supported dentures preserve jaw bone density.
Are Dentures Effective Tooth Replacements?
Dentures look and function just like your normal teeth, and are capable of biting and chewing most foods. The only drawback is stability, as repeated chewing and speaking motions may cause the dentures to slip.
Routine maintenance at the dental office ensures that your dentures stay in good shape. If your dentures don’t seem to fit as well as they did originally, the dentist can have your dentures adjusted or relined. If you are concerned about stability issues, consider asking whether implant-supported dentures are an option for you.
Can You Sleep with Dentures In?
It’s certainly possible to sleep with your dentures in, but it isn’t recommended. Dentures apply pressure to the gums and jawbone throughout the day. Removing the dentures at night allows your mouth to rest, encouraging better health.
Whether you wear them to sleep or not, it’s important to always clean your dentures and gums thoroughly. The shape of the denture can warp if it dries out, so be sure to soak your dentures in a denture solution when you aren’t wearing them.
How Do I Clean My Dentures?
To start, lay a towel over the counter or in the sink to cushion your dentures if they slip. Rinse your dentures in mild to warm (not hot) water, and brush them clean. Use toothpaste or a nonabrasive denture cleanser, and a soft-bristled toothbrush; hard brushes can scratch the dentures, allowing bacteria to collect in the scratches.
Be sure also to brush your gums to remove food debris and bacteria. Always rinse your dentures thoroughly before putting them in your mouth.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a restoration used to replace up to three teeth in a row. Traditional bridges are supported between neighboring teeth, which are capped with crowns. Other types of bridges may use only one support tooth, attach to the back of the tooth with clasps, or be supported by dental implants.
Which Do I Need: A Bridge or a Partial Denture?
To help you decide, the dentist evaluates how many teeth are missing and where the gap is located in your smile. The health and strength of your neighboring teeth are also carefully considered.
If you’re only missing a small number of teeth and the teeth nearby are healthy, a bridge is a good option. If several teeth are missing, or your teeth wouldn’t support the restoration, a partial denture may be better. You may also prefer a partial denture if you don’t want to have your teeth reshaped to fit dental crowns.
How Long Do Bridges Last?
On average, a dental bridge lasts 5 to 15 years before it needs replacing. As with any restoration, regular care at home and in the dental office can help to ensure your bridge lasts as long as possible.
Why Do I Need a Crown?
If the dentist recommended a dental crown at your last visit, you might feel unsure of why you need one or whether it’s really necessary. While a crown does require reshaping your dental enamel, it can do a lot of good for your tooth.
Crowns are used to protect teeth that are weak, damaged, or otherwise unhealthy. Dentists recommend crowns to:
- Protect cracked or broken teeth
- Cover large fillings
- Repair teeth with severe decay
- Cap a tooth after root canal therapy
- Support a dental bridge
- Correct minor bite problems
- Provide cosmetic enhancement
- Complete an implant restoration
Is a Crown Noticeable?
That depends on the type of crown and which tooth it covers. Teeth in the front or on the lower jaw tend to be more visible when speaking, while a molar in the upper jaw is harder to see. Metal crowns are sturdy but tend to stand out. A porcelain crown, however, is color-matched to neighboring teeth, allowing it to blend in seamlessly.
How Long Do Crowns Last?
On average, a dental crown lasts around fifteen years with proper care. Metal crowns tend to last longer than porcelain, while porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns fall somewhere between the two.
Is it Bad to Have a Crown?
Although some enamel needs to be removed to make space for a crown, dental crowns are not bad and do not harm your tooth. In fact, they provide many benefits for your teeth. However, crowns are often needed to protect teeth with health problems. It’s always ideal to keep your smile as healthy as possible so that crowns, fillings, and other restorations won’t be needed.
Do I Really Need a Filling?
Few people are happy to hear they need a filling, and you may wonder if you actually need one.
Cavities occur when bacteria feed on food in your mouth, converting it into acidic plaque. The plaque gradually causes tooth enamel to decay, creating pockets in the tooth. If left untreated, the cavity can reach the inner tooth, causing an infection that needs root canal therapy or an extraction.
To treat a cavity, the dentist removes the decayed enamel and fills in the space with a filling. This protects the enamel from more bacteria and keeps the tooth functional.
Do All Cavities Need Treatment?
If a cavity is small, it may be possible to restore the enamel through a natural process called remineralization. This process requires a combination of professional dental care, good hygiene at home, and special dental products such as fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash. Mid-sized to larger cavities, however, won’t be able to restore their full enamel and should be treated as soon as possible.
A Helping Hand Toward a Healthy Smile
At SmileHere Family Dental, we go above and beyond to help our patients overcome their dental issues. If you’ve suffered through pain, missing teeth, and other oral health problems, you can count on us to find the solution you need for a healthier smile.
Don’t spend another day suffering in silence. Contact our office to find relief and restoration today.