Restorative Dentistry

Tooth Colored Fillings

In the past, cavities could only be treated with unsightly metal fillings that are alloys of silver and mercury. These fillings, especially when close to the front of the mouth, are highly noticeable and unaesthetic. Sometimes, the filling is so large that it causes discoloration of the entire tooth. These fillings (or restorations) often weaken teeth due to the large amount of the original tooth that has to be removed. Modern dentistry has increasingly turned to tooth colored or composite restorations as a strong, safe and more natural looking alternative. Composite fillings utilize a soft white plastic substance that is hardened with a visible spectrum light.

Crowns and Bridges

When a tooth is fractured, has a large old filling, or is severely damaged by decay, your dentist may recommend the placement of a crown. Crowns strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and can improve the appearance of your smile.

Types of crowns include the full porcelain crown, the porcelain-fused-to-metal crown and the all-metal crown.

Fitting a crown requires at least two visits to the dentist’s office. Initially, the dentist removes decay and shapes the tooth, takes an impression and fits a temporary or transitional crown. At the subsequent visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown, fits and adjusts the final crown and cements the crown into place.

BRIDGES: Few incidents have greater impact on dental health and personal appearance than tooth loss. When one or more teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can drift out of position, which can lead to a change in the bite, the loss of additional teeth, decay and gum disease. When tooth loss occurs, your dentist may recommend the placement of a bridge. A bridge is one or more replacement teeth anchored by one or more crowns on each side. There are also removable bridges (dentures and partials) which can be fabricated to replace missing teeth.

Endodontics (Root Canal Treatment)

Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges. Symptoms of the infection are generally acute dental pain or sensitivity to hot, cold or percussion. If you experience any of these symptoms, Dr. Khalifeh will most likely recommend root canal therapy to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required.

Following a root canal treatment, the tooth is fragile due to insults from decay and mechanical instrumentation and is prone to fracture. Overtime color changes are also observed. To protect the tooth from fracture your dentist will advise a crown. Sometimes depending upon the amount of tooth structure that is lost, a post ( a metal or a glass fiber pin ) will need to be placed for added retention of the crown. To learn more please call our office today.

Dental Implants

The consequences of tooth loss can be prevented by replacing the lost tooth in a timely manner. Although there are several options to replace a missing tooth the number one choice for replacing lost teeth are dental implants. If a tooth is extracted or missing for some other reason, it is now possible to replace it using dental implants. An implant is a new tooth made of metal and porcelain that looks just like your natural tooth. It’s composed of two main parts: One part is the titanium implant body that takes the place of the missing root, and the second part is the tooth-colored crown that is cemented on top of the implant.

In addition to tooth replacement, implants may be used to anchor dentures, especially lower dentures that tend to shift when you talk or chew. For patients with removable partial dentures, implants can replace missing teeth so that you have a more natural-looking smile.

Who is a candidate for Implants?

Anyone who is missing one or several teeth is a candidate for implants. With the exception of growing children, dental implants are the solution of choice for people of all ages, even those with the following health concerns:

Existing Medical Conditions: If you can have routine dental treatment, you can generally have an implant placed. While precautions are advisable for certain conditions, patients with such chronic diseases as high blood pressure and diabetes are usually successful candidates for dental implant treatment.

Gum Disease or Problem Teeth: Almost all implants placed in patients who have lost their teeth to periodontal disease or decay has been successful.

Currently Wearing Partials or Dentures: Implants can replace removable bridges or dentures, or they can be used to stabilize and secure the denture, making it much more comfortable.

Smokers: Although smoking lowers the success rate of implants, it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of getting them.

Bone Loss: Bone loss is not uncommon for people who have lost teeth or had periodontal disease. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained and experienced in grafting bone to safely and permanently secure the implant.

Implant tooth replacement in children is usually deferred until their jaw growth is complete. There are, however, some instances when a dental implant may be appropriate, such as when it is part of the child’s orthodontic treatment plan. Your family dentist or orthodontist can guide you in this instance.

Procedure

Dental Implant placement usually takes two surgical appointments:

  1. During the first surgical appointment the implant site is prepared to receive the implant following strict aseptic procedures. The selected size of the implant is placed in the prepared site. The gum tissue is sutured over the implant. The implant takes 4- 6 months to fuse with the bone.
  2. During the second surgical appointment the implant is uncovered and the appropriate post is attached to which the replacement tooth is anchored. An impression of the post is taken and sent to the lab for the fabrication of the implant crown. During this time a temporary crown is placed. Once the final crown is back it is cemented with permanent cement.