Are you apprehensive about going to the dentist? Our team is here to help.
In our personalized approach, we will assist you in receiving treatment while remaining relaxed and comfortable.
We may recommend a dental filling if you have a cavity due to degenerative tooth decay, or injury to a tooth. A filling is a great option when you need to restore a tooth and your smile. There are different types of fillings available, all of which are guaranteed to protect your damaged tooth and restore its functionality.
Here is a brief summary of the different types of fillings, and the pros and cons of each.
Types of Dental Fillings
Silver amalgam;: These are the most common fillings that patients receive. The materials consist of a variety of metals that are safe and durable. They are cost-effective and guaranteed to last many years without fail. However, the main downside to silver amalgam fillings is their appearance. If you are concerned about the aesthetics of your smile, particularly if you need to have multiple cavities filled, this may not be the best choice.
Composites: These fillings are made of a hard plastic material. The main benefit is that they can be made to the exact same color as your teeth. However, the lifespan of composites is quite short (typically around 5 years), so they may not be the first option for people on a budget in the long-term. Despite this, these fillings are very strong and safer than traditional fillings, which make them a great option.
To find out more about the types of fillings available, and which one will be best for you, speak with Dr. Raleigh during your next appointment.
Dental Implants are one of the most advanced methods of replacing missing teeth available today. They mimic the structure of natural teeth to provide a secure chewing surface. Implants consist of two major parts: a permanent anchor and a prosthesis (artificial tooth). The anchor is surgically placed into or on top of the jawbone and can be structured for one or more teeth, a partial denture, or a complete denture. Endosteal implants that insert into the jawbone may be threaded like a screw, or cylindrical in shape, with small holes at the bottom. These holes and textured surfaces allow bone to grow in and around them, locking the implant in place.
A permanent artificial root, or anchor, that is surgicially inserted into the jawbone.
A small piece of metal that connects the crown or prosthesis to the implant.
Single: Can be used to replace one or two missing teeth. Each tooth attaches to its own implant.
Partial Denture: Replaces two or more teeth, requiring 2 to 3 implants.
Complete Denture: Replaces all teeth in the upper or lower jaw.
Number of implants required varies.
With Fixed Prosthesis: Denture is fitted to a frame which is then secured to the abutments. A fixed prosthesis uses 5 to 6 implants, intended to increase stability.
With Removable Prosthesis: Denture is fitted to a connector, or clip bar, requiring 2 to 4 implants per jaw. Prosthesis can be removed for easier cleaning.
Preventative Maintenance & Whitening
Although there are certain dental conditions that are hereditary and which cannot always be avoided, most people who floss, brush and use mouthwash daily will not develop cavities. To prevent cavities and the need for fillings altogether, keep your teeth clean!
People over the age of four or five should visit their dentist for a professional hygiene cleaning at least twice a year. To maintain oral health, it's very important that you keep track of the condition of your teeth, so that if problems are detected, they can be treated early to avoid developing more serious issues. At Bluegrass Dental Center, we provide comfortable, gentle hygiene cleanings, specifically to detect, deter and prevent gum disease. If we find a cause for concern, we may recommend a deep gum cleaning to remove tartar below the gum line, smooth out surfaces where plaque builds up and eliminate bacterial infection.
Important Reasons to Get Professional Cleanings:
• To detect possible health risks such as oral cancer and gum disease
• To prevent tooth loss
• To maintain good physical health
• To eliminate bad breath
• To have a brighter, whiter smile
Take-Home Whitening Kit
We will do impressions and make your personalized whitening trays for at home use. You place a small amount of bleaching solution in the trays and wear them for 15 minutes, once a day. Years of research has proven this method to give the best results and is the safest and longest lasting, as well.
In order to maintain good oral health and a bright smile, please call us to schedule a professional hygiene cleaning and get your whitening kit, today!
Crowns & Bridges
Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike removable devices such as dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist.
How do Crowns Work?
A crown is used to entirely cover or "cap" a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is often used because it is both strong and attractive.
We may recommend a crown to:
Protect a weak tooth from fracturing.
Restore a fractured tooth.
Attach a bridge.
Cover a dental implant.
Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth.
Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment.
How do Bridges Work?
A bridge may be recommended if you're missing one or more teeth.
Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Bridges span the space where the teeth are missing, cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. We can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.
How Long do Crowns and Bridges Last?
While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily. Also see us regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.
To prevent damage to your new crown or bridge, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects.
Root Canal Therapy
A tooth with damaged pulp can be saved with Root Canal Therapy. Also called Endodontic treatment, the damaged pulp tissue is removed, the remaining space is cleaned, shaped and filled, to prevent further problems.
The most common causes of pulp damage or disease are:
A cracked or broken tooth that allows bacteria to enter the pulp.
Gum disease that infects the pulp.
A blow to a tooth that ruptures blood vessels or damages a nerve.
Deep decay from an untreated cavity.
If left untreated, an abscess can form at the root tip in the jawbone. An abscess can destroy the bone surrounding the tooth and cause pain.
Root Canal Procedure
First, an opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the root canal to gain access to the damaged pulp.
Removing the pulp through the opening in the crown, cleaning and disinfecting the root canal.
Filling and sealing the root canal with a material that prevents bacteria from reentering the tooth.
Restoring the tooth with a filling or crown.
Partials & Dentures
When one or more of your teeth are missing, dentures may be recommended. These are made to look as natural and comfortable as possible.
Includes a removable prosthetic.
Replaces one or more teeth.
It attaches to your natural existing teeth, usually one tooth on each side of your mouth.
Includes a full removable prosthetic.
Replaces all of your missing teeth.
It is constructed to rest comfortably on top of your gum tissue.