Crowns & Bridges
Chances are you’re having a crown, a number of crowns or a permanent bridge designed. To ensure the most esthetic and functional results possible, your cooperation and understanding are especially important. In this brochure we´ll take you step-by-step through crown and bridge treatment. We encourage you to ask questions along the way. Crown and bridge treatment will restore lost teeth, support remaining teeth and help you maintain optimum dental health. If you´re faced with tooth loss, crown and bridge treatment may be the right restorative option for you. This long-term solution can help prevent the cycle of problems that can occur when just one tooth is missing, such as shifting of the remaining teeth or decay, periodontal disease and bone loss. We provide this brochure to help you understand why restoration through crown and bridge treatment is so important and what the procedure involves.
What Is a Crown?
A crown sometimes called a “cap” is a toothlike covering placed over a carefully prepared existing tooth. Used to strengthen, restore or improve the appearance of your natural tooth, a crown is placed on an individual tooth much like a thimble over your finger. Crowns serve many functions in addition to being used to strengthen a tooth to accommodate the attachment of a fixed bridge. One of the most common is to support the tooth when there is no longer sufficient tooth structure left to place a filling. Crowns may also be used to protect the structure of a tooth that is fractured or broken.
What Is a Bridge and Why Are Crowns Involved?
A bridge is a custom device anchored to neighboring teeth that replaces one or more missing teeth. When a lost tooth is replaced with bridge-work, the teeth on either side of the missing one must be prepared as crowns to serve as abutments to hold the prosthetic (replacement) teeth in place. Crowns and bridges are most often made from superior materials such as semi-precious or precious metals, porcelain or a combination of metal fused to porcelain. Both appearance and function are considered when selecting the material most suitable for you.
Why Is Crown and Bridge Treatment Necessary?
Losing a permanent tooth whether it be due to dental decay, periodontal (gum) disease, injury or accident can cause many serious problems for your neighboring teeth. Because the support and chewing forces are altered, the remaining teeth may begin to shift. The opposing tooth above or below the lost tooth can begin to move up or down and out of the socket, which can accelerate periodontal disease and further break down the bone structure. If the missing tooth is not replaced, more teeth may eventually be lost due to the improper forces exerted during chewing.
What Are the Benefits of Crown and Bridge Treatment?
Crown and bridge treatment reverses the negative impact of missing teeth in a variety of ways:
- Restores and maintains the natural bite
- Prevents unnatural stress on other teeth
- Keeps opposing teeth in their proper place
- Prevents shifting and tilting of adjacent teeth
- Discourages further dental decay and periodontal disease enhances your smile, speech and chewing function.
How Is the Treatment Performed?
Once we determine that crown and bridge treatment is indicated, a series of appointments will be scheduled for you. It is important for you to keep all of these appointments to prevent any delays in treatment. At the first appointment, we complete a thorough oral examination, including an evaluation of your dental history. Any necessary x-rays are completed at this time.
During the restorative procedure, we first anesthetize the area to be treated. Next, we carefully shape and contour the tooth or teeth to be crowned to allow the crown or bridge sufficient space for proper fit and appearance. Finally, we make an impression of the area and fit the teeth involved with a temporary crown or bridge to protect them until your next appointment.
At the following appointment, we evaluate the final crown or bridge for proper fit before placing it permanently, making final adjustments, if necessary. Other factors we carefully consider at this time include:
- Aesthetics: color match and appearance
- Function: chewing and biting accuracy
- Tissue compatibility: the contour of the bridge must conform to the surrounding tissue in a natural, healthy position.
What Is the Best Way to Care for a Crown and Bridge?
Care for it as you would any of your other teeth you wish to preserve! Proper oral hygiene, including flossing at least once a day and brushing twice daily, is just as important as ever to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy, along with regular dental hygiene appointments.
To make the most of your investment, it´s important that you follow our recommendations including making adjustments to your diet. We recommend avoiding sticky foods like caramels, gum and taffy, and crunchy foods like hard candy. And please, don’t chew ice cubes!
A Final Word
We´ll be happy to answer any questions you may have throughout your crown and bridge treatment. During the process we will do everything we can to ensure your comfort. Our goal is to help you to preserve your smile for a lifetime.
Night Guard/Occlusal Guard/Bite Splint
Bruxing (Grinding) & Clenching
44 million Americans suffer from chronic clenching and grinding resulting in: broken crowns, sore muscles, worn teeth, disturbed sleep, neck and jaw pain, fatigue and headaches or migraines.
Grinding of the teeth is a medical condition called bruxism. Over time, bruxism will result in the wearing down of your natural tooth enamel. In fact, studies suggest that those who grind their teeth experience up to 80 times the normal wear per day compared with those who do not.
Reduce the risk of wear and tear of your existing healthy teeth by using a nightguard.
What Is a Night Guard/Occlusal Guard/Bite Splint?
These terms refer to a thin removable device, custom-made to fit over your upper or lower teeth as you sleep. It is custom-made to your teeth and easy to insert and remove. In addition to relieving head, neck, jaw joint and shoulder pain, it will protect your existing healthy teeth and your dental restorations. It is highly recommended for those who have crowns, bridges, implants and dentures, to offset the effects of the often-subconscious habit of grinding and clenching during sleep.
What Is a Night Guard/Occlusal Guard/Bite Splint Made Of?
- Hard outer surface with soft inner layer
- Ideal for patients allergic to acrylics or metals
- Fabricated from BPA-free co-polyester
The NTI-tss Plus is a small, taco-shaped device that fits securely and comfortably on your upper or lower front teeth while you sleep. It is a small custom fit piece of thermoplastic material, non-porous so it won’t stain or absorb odor, non-allergenic and easy to care for. The NTI-tss Plus reduces the intensity of clenching by not allowing the back teeth to touch.
Endodontic Procedures Root Canal
Chances are you or a family member have been told that a root canal is necessary to save a tooth; perhaps root canal therapy is already underway. In either case, it’s important to understand what will happen during root canal treatment and why this procedure is necessary to save the tooth.
Why Root Canal Treatment?
If you have been told that a root canal is necessary to save one of your teeth, it is important that you understand why this procedure is necessary and what happens during root canal treatment.
Root canal treatment (endodontics) treats disorders of the nerve (also called the pulp) of the tooth. It used to be that a tooth with a diseased or infected nerve had to be removed. In 95% of the cases today, however, this is no longer true. We believe in saving teeth (instead of removing them). We make every effort to help you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime!
What Makes a root Canal Necessary?
The following are the most common factors contributing to a need for root canal treatment:
- Infection caused by deep decay or a very large filling
- Severe gum disease
- Trauma, such as a physical blow to a tooth or a constant striking of a tooth in the opposite jaw that traumatizes the tooth.
Regardless of the initial cause, the tooth pulp becomes irritated and infected. Bacteria grow within the tooth pulp, causing pressure and pain, sometimes accompanied by swelling of the face. Sometimes the deterioration of the pulp happens so gradually that little pain is felt. Either way, eventually the bacteria can destroy the pulp. As this happens, the bone surrounding the tooth may become infected and abscessed, which may lead to the destruction of the bone surrounding the tooth.
What Happens During Treatment?
If we determine through x-rays and a clinical examination that root canal treatment is necessary, we will schedule a series of appointments for you. It is important that you keep these appointments to prevent delays in treatment and healing, which can affect the outcome. It’s also essential that you take all medications prescribed to hasten healing and reduce swelling.
- First, we want to relieve any discomfort you might be experiencing and ensure your comfort throughout the treatment. When necessary, an anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and surrounding area. The tooth will be carefully isolated, which confines the treatment area and protects the rest of the mouth during treatment. An opening will be made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp.
- We will carefully remove the diseased pulp. The root canal area inside your tooth will be cleaned, enlarged and shaped. Then, depending on your individual case, the root canal and pulp chamber may be permanently filled and sealed. In some cases, we place a temporary medication in the tooth to control bacterial growth and reduce infection.
- A temporary filling will be placed in the opening of the tooth until the next visit. In some cases, the tooth may be left open in order to allow the infection to drain. We will decide what is right for your individual case and do whatever is necessary to ensure your comfort.
- At the next appointment, we will thoroughly clean the inside of the tooth to remove any additional bacteria. Throughout the root canal procedure, we will take x-rays to ensure that all of the infected pulp is removed and that the canals are well prepared.
- Finally we will permanently fill and seal the pulp chamber.
- Once the root canal treatment is complete the tooth needs to be fully restored.
What Care Follows the Treatment?
Once the root canal treatment has been completed, you should consider the following:
- Brittleness — a non-vital (endodontically treated) tooth is more brittle than a vital one and is more susceptible to fracture. Therefore, in most cases, we recommend that your root canal tooth be crowned (capped) following treatment.
- Discoloration — you may notice that your endodontically treated tooth (especially a front tooth) has undergone a change in color. Though this discoloration is of no medical concern, you may be interested in having the tooth whitened. Be sure to ask us about tooth whitening if we do not decide to place a crown on the tooth.
A Final Word
Throughout your root canal treatment, you may have questions or concerns not covered here. We will make every effort to ensure your comfort during root canal treatment. And we’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Our goal is to help you preserve your natural teeth for a lifetime, so you can smile with confidence!
Pit & Fissure Sealants
Chances are you’re interested in preventing decay in your child’s teeth. While sealants are by no means a cure all in preventing all forms of tooth decay, they are helpful to patients particularly children in controlling decay in certain areas of the mouth.
The Facts About Dental Sealants
Sealants are cost-effective and helpful to patients particularly children—in controlling decay in certain areas of the mouth.
A dental sealant is an acrylic-like material that helps shield out decay-causing bacteria from the chewing surfaces of back teeth.
We base our diagnosis and recommendation for dental sealants on the patient’s susceptibility to tooth decay and how the teeth were shaped when they originally formed below the gum. Though there is no specific age at which sealants are indicated, often we will recommend that the best time to apply them is when the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear.
How Do Sealants Help Prevent Decay?
Sealant material forms a protective barrier by bonding to tooth surfaces and covering natural depressions and grooves (called pits and fissures) in the teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in the pit and fissure areas of the back teeth. Combined with proper home care and regular dental visits, sealants are extremely effective in preventing tooth decay.
Are Sealants Suitable For All Teeth?
Sealants are applied only to pit and fissure areas of specific teeth. Unfortunately, they cannot be applied to the surfaces in between teeth, where daily flossing is recommended to prevent decay.
Though sealants are most often applied to children’s teeth, many adults are now seeking the preventive benefits of pit and fissure sealants as well.
Sealants Vs. Fluoride
Sealants and fluoride prolong the life of your teeth by preventing dental decay. Sealants are applied topically to individual teeth and are a visible sign of protection.
Fluoride, on the other hand, may be used effectively from the prenatal stages through the adolescent period, when children are most prone to cavities. Fluoride is supplied in a variety of forms, including commercially prepared mouth rinses, foams, gels, drinking water and many toothpastes.
Here are some other steps you should take to protect your teeth:
- Brush and floss regularly.
- Follow a balanced diet.
- Visit us at least twice a year for routine checkups.
How Are Sealants Applied?
In this painless procedure, a solution is applied to the chewing surface of the tooth to condition the enamel and help it bond more effectively to the sealant material. The tooth is thoroughly washed and dried. Then the sealant material is applied and allowed to harden, sometimes using ultraviolet light. The procedure takes only a few minutes.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Depending on your chewing pattern, the sealant effect can last many years. Even though sealant material is durable, at subsequent dental appointments we make sure the sealant material is intact. Occasionally, we might need to replace or add a new layer of sealant material to keep the protective barrier strong and effective.
Now That Your Teeth Have Been Sealed
- Reduced fat peanut butter
- Air-popped popcorn
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh fruit
- Sugar-free, non-fat fruit yogurt
- Dry, unsweetened cereal
- Low-fat cheese
A Final Word
If you have any questions about sealants, please ask us. Sealants have proven to prevent tooth decay. Our goal is to help preserve your smile throughout your life, and sealants help make that possible.
Sleep Apnea & Appliances
Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be treated safely and effectively with EMA or TAP oral appliances.
What Is Snoring?
Snoring is the sign of a breathing problem. It occurs when the jaw opens and the tongue falls into the back of the throat, causing the airway to narrow and forcing air through the smaller opening. This creates sound vibrations in the throat known as snoring. Snoring can seriously affect your quality of life. It can be embarrassing and inconvenient, and can cause problems in relationships. In some cases, snoring is a red flag for a more serious medical problem called obstructive sleep apnea [OSA).
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
OSA occurs when the muscles and tissue surrounding the throat relax causing the airway to completely collapse and block airflow into the lungs. This blockage cuts off the oxygen supply to the body and brain. The airway obstruction persists until the brain partially awakens the person.
The repeating cycle falling asleep, muscles relaxing, airway collapsing, unconsciously awakening with a gasp is the reason there is never a restful night of sleep. The lack of oxygen puts extra stress on the entire body, especially the heart. Sleep apnea is a serious chronic disease that may trigger other serious health problems:
- Chronic Sleepiness
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Attack
- Morning Headaches
EMA Oral Appliance (Elastic Mandibular Advancement Appliance)
The EMA oral appliance fits entirely inside the mouth. Unlike a CPAP device, the EMA is portable and does not use any electricity or make any noise, and does not require a mask or hose, etc. The EMA is FDA cleared for the treatment of both obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. Other advantages of the EMA applicance are:
- You can talk and even drink water while wearing it
- It is completely free of metal and the elastic straps are latex-free
- You can easily change the elastic straps yourself; no additional trips to the dentist needed.
TAP Oral Appliance (Thornton Adjustable Postitioner)
The TAP® is a custom-made adjustable appliance that is worn while sleeping. The trays of the appliance, which look like teeth whitening trays, snap over the upper and lower teeth and hook together. The design is based on the same principle as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The airway must be opened to allow air to pass through the throat.
The TAP® holds the lower jaw in a forward position so that it does not shift or fall open during the night. This prevents the airway from collapsing. The more you pull your jaw forward, the more your airway will open.
The TAPÂ® is the only mandibular advancement device that can be adjusted easily while in the mouth. This feature allows the patient to be in control of their treatment.
Most patients experience relief the very first night they wear their TAP®. It usually takes about a week to get used to wearing the appliance. Nine in ten patients wear the appliance all night, every night.
- Comfortable and Patient-Friendly
- Maximum Effectiveness
Under Implants (Dental Implants)
Dental implants may be the answer if you’re looking for an attractive, comfortable, and permanent replacement for missing teeth. Dental implants have helped hundreds of thousands of people regain the function and confidence they once took for granted. Whether you’re missing a single tooth or require a complete set of teeth, you owe it to yourself to talk with your dentist about the many benefits that dental implants can offer.
What Is Dental Implant Treatment?
Think of dental implants as metal anchors, usually made of titanium, that are surgically placed into the jawbone to hold permanent replacement teeth or dentures. Through a process called “osteointegration,” the jawbone actually attaches itself to the implant over time, providing tremendous stability.
Implant treatment is usually performed by a general dentist, oral surgeon, periodontist or a team of these doctors. To devise the best treatment plan for you, we first complete a medical and dental history and a thorough oral examination, including x-rays.
The procedure and follow-ups are often performed in the dental office using local anesthetic. Depending upon your individual situation, other types of anesthesia may be used to ensure your comfort.
During surgery, each implant is placed within the jawbone to serve as an anchor for the post that will eventually support the replacement teeth. Generally from three to six months or more is then allowed for the bone tissue to grow around the implants and hold them securely in place.
Immediately after surgery we will give you specific post-surgical instructions to assure the best possible healing. In addition, we may prescribe pain medication, and in some cases, antibiotics to aid in the healing process and help alleviate any discomfort. At this time, you may be fitted with temporary dentures or natural-looking teeth to help you function as normally as possible. You also will need to limit your diet to soft foods and follow important oral hygiene instructions.
Follow-up care is important during this time. Once the jawbone has firmly healed around the implant, a small post is attached to each implant. The post protrudes through the gumline and serves as an anchor for the replacement teeth. This short procedure usually requires only local anesthesia. After your gums have healed, the replacement teeth or dentures are securely attached to the posts.
Benefit of Dental Implants
Because dental implants are patterned after the structure of your natural teeth, they provide a highly stable support system for the replacement teeth or dentures. Other benefits include:
- Improved biting pressure. Healthy teeth are able to absorb over 500 pounds of biting pressure per square inch. If you’ve worn dentures for a long time, that pressure may be diminished significantly, to one-tenth that of natural teeth. Dental implants can often restore the amount of pressure that can be withstood to nearly the same level of healthy natural teeth.
- Comfort and fit. Because your replacement teeth are anchored securely to the implants in your jawbone, they can’t slip and slide like unsecured dentures can. When dentures aren’t secure enough, they often cause sores in the mouth and an annoying clicking sound. Dental implants eliminate these problems.
- Longevity and reliability. With proper oral hygiene and care, scientifically tested and approved dental implant systems have been shown to last as long as 20 years or more with few complications.
- Increased self-confidence. Because dental implants function remarkably like natural teeth, most people who get them experience a renewed sense of self-confidence once they realize they can again chew, talk, laugh and smile with confidence.
What Risks Are Involved?
Dental implant surgery has proved to be successful for hundreds of thousands of people over the years. Negative effects such as bleeding, infection, injury to the nerves or sinus cavity, or incomplete healing of the bone around the implant resulting in implant failure, are rare.
During the healing process, however, discomfort, swelling and inflammation of the gums normal responses to oral surgery may be present in varying degrees. If you have questions about your individual situation or want to discuss what is considered normal in the healing process, we will be happy to address your concerns.
What Care is Required for Dental Implants?
The care you give to your dental implant makes a tremendous difference in the overall satisfaction you experience, as well as the longevity of the implant itself. With proper oral hygiene habits brushing, flossing, and regular dental check ups your implant will serve you well.
Chances are you’re curious about porcelain veneers and how they can improve your smile. Announcing a breakthrough in cosmetic dentistry.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Veneers, usually customized from porcelain, are a thin, semi-translucent “shell”, permanently bonded to your teeth. While they’re not suitable for every patient, veneers are a cosmetic alternative for a variety of dental conditions of the front teeth, including: • diastemas (spaces between the teeth)
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Unsightly, stained or washed out fillings
- Permanently stained or discolored teeth
- Misshapen or crooked teeth
Advantages and Benefits Of Veneers
At one time, resin fillings or crowns were the only available treatment for these conditions. Today, a third alternative is available.
There are many benefits and advantages to having porcelain veneers placed on your front teeth. The advantages of veneers may include all of the following considerations:
- Only a small amount of tooth structure (if any) is removed during the procedure
- A healthy “natural” look is achieved with little or no discomfort
How Are Veneers Different From Fillings Or Crowns?
A composite resin filling may be used when only a small amount of tooth structure needs replacement.
A porcelain veneer is indicated when a portion of the front surface of the tooth needs a “face lift.”
A full crown is indicated when a tooth has had root canal treatment, or when a substantial amount of the entire tooth structure (enamel) has been lost.
How Are Porcelain Veneers Done?
Similar to a resin bonding procedure, veneers are attached directly to the existing tooth structure. An impression will be taken to make an exact replica of your teeth. During your veneering appointment, your teeth will be etched with a mild acid solution. When the veneers are applied, a tooth-colored liquid bonding material is applied. This helps the veneers adhere to your natural teeth.
What To Expect
Veneers can last for years, depending on how well they are taken care of by the patient. Because veneers are stronger than simple bonding, they are also more resistant to stains and chipping.
Another important point is that oral habits such as nail biting, opening bobby pins and chewing on hard objects could damage your new veneers.
You must maintain regular oral hygiene at home, and visit us for routine cleanings and exams. This is to ensure that your new veneers will look as good as new.
A Final Word
The decision to enhance your smile with porcelain veneers is a very personal one. Even a subtle change in your smile can make an exceptional difference in the way you look and feel — and on your social outlook. When you feel good, you look great. And that helps you project an image of self-confidence and high personal esteem. If you have any further questions about porcelain veneers, please ask us. Your smile is our business.