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Implant dentistry


Dental Implants

Dental implants are alternatives to dentures and bridges, used to replace a tooth that has been pulled or has fallen out due to decay or trauma. An implant uses a metal post that is implanted into the jaw bone. This post acts like a “natural” tooth root to secure an artificial tooth using an attachment piece called an abutment. Dental implants are designed to look and “work” like a natural tooth, even promoting the normal replacement of jaw bone tissue just like a natural tooth root. They also do not require adhesives, and they can be cared for just like the rest of the teeth. Implants usually take three visits to complete.

  • What causes teeth to become stained or yellowed?
    Superficial staining and yellowing occur most commonly as a result of the foods and beverages we consume. Dark pigments of coffee, tea, berries, and red wine can all stain teeth, and citrus products can soften enamel temporarily, allowing stains to penetrate the surface of teeth. Not cleaning teeth properly can also contribute to a dingy appearance, and using tobacco can cause significant yellow or brown stains.
  • Is teeth whitening safe?
    Yes, the products used in professional whitening treatments provided by dentists are safe and approved for teeth whitening.
  • What happens during a Zoom whitening treatment?
    Zoom uses a whitening gel that is applied to the surfaces of the teeth and a special light to activate the agents in the gel. A mouth guard is used during treatment to hold the lips back from the teeth so the light can reach tooth surfaces without obstruction. Treatment sessions take about 15 minutes and multiple sessions can be performed in one visit to ensure the best results.
  • Will whitening cause my teeth to become sensitive?
    Some patients may experience increased sensitivity during treatment, but these effects will resolve once treatment has ended.
  • Is professional whitening better than whitening kits I can buy in the drugstore?
    Yes, professional whitening is better for several reasons. First, do-it-yourself teeth bleaching kits are designed for the general population, so they can not provide the same type of consistent and complete coverage as a kit that is custom-designed for a specific patient, and that means the results will not be as consistent either. Professional whitening is also safer because the process is overseen by a dentist who can answer questions and concerns about the treatment. Plus, having teeth professionally whitened helps ensure tiny cracks and other imperfections are treated prior to whitening to reduce the risk of sensitivity during treatment. And finally, professional treatments – both in-office and take-home kits – can provide faster results than drugstore kits.
  • What is a root canal?
    Sometimes called root canal therapy, root canal treatment is used to treat decay located deep inside the tooth in the central portion called the pulp. The pulp is contained in channels or canals that run from the center of the tooth down to the jaw bone, and they contain the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues that keep the tooth healthy. Because of its location, the pulp cannot be treated with the same techniques as are used in treating a more superficial cavity. Root canal uses special techniques and special instruments to remove decayed, damaged tissue so the tooth does not need to be pulled.
  • What happens during a root canal treatment?
    A root canal uses the same basic approach as a “regular” dental filling: First, the decayed or damaged pulp is removed and the surrounding area is carefully cleaned. Then, a sealant and filler are applied to close the canal and help strengthen the tooth. Once the root canal is complete, a crown will be applied to provide additional strength and stability.
  • Will a root canal be painful?
    Today's state-of-the-art pain management techniques help ensure pain and discomfort are minimized during root canal procedures, and over-the-counter medications can help control discomfort during recovery.
  • Is a root canal better than having a tooth pulled?
    Keeping a natural tooth is almost always a better option than having it pulled. Your natural teeth have roots that help stimulate proper bone development in the jaw, and without those roots, the bone will eventually atrophy, threatening the health of neighboring teeth. Natural teeth also support a healthy and balanced bite, and when a tooth is lost – even if it's replaced by a bridge or denture – that balance can change, causing uneven tooth wear and an increased risk of decay. Plus, having a root canal is less costly than replacing a missing tooth with a bridge, denture, or implant.
  • What are white fillings?
    White fillings are restorations that are colored or tinted to match the surrounding tooth material so they're virtually undetectable by anyone other than your dentist or hygienist. Also called tooth-colored fillings, white fillings use a special composite resin material to fill teeth after decayed or damaged portions of the tooth have been removed, and they can be used to treat both small and large defects.
  • How is a composite filling applied?
    The procedure to place a composite filling in a cavity is similar to the process used with traditional metal amalgam fillings. First, the decayed or damaged portion is removed and the resulting space is carefully cleaned of debris. The composite filling material is placed on the tooth in layers, and shaping is performed to provide a durable chewing surface that looks like your own natural tooth. Once the filling material is applied to the tooth, a light may be used to cure the material and help it harden. Finally, the filling will be buffed around the edges so it's smooth and feels comfortable.
  • Are white fillings better than metal fillings?
    Many patients prefer white fillings because they aren't noticeable like metal amalgam fillings. But there are other advantages as well. Unlike metal fillings which contain a large amount of mercury, composite white fillings contain no mercury, and many patients feel more confident when composites are used. Plus, because the composites are applied in a more liquid state, they can form a very strong bond with the natural tooth material, reducing the risk of decay forming underneath the restoration. White fillings also retain their color over time, while metal amalgam fillings tend to become much darker and more noticeable. Composite fillings do tend to cost more than metal fillings, but today, many dental insurance plans cover the extra cost.
  • How long will a composite filling last?
    White fillings are extremely durable, and with proper care, they can last for many years. Like any filling, they may need to be replaced eventually.
  • What is a dental implant?
    Dental implants are alternatives to dentures and bridges, used to replace a tooth that has been pulled or has fallen out due to decay or trauma. An implant uses a metal post that is implanted into the jaw bone. This post acts like a “natural” tooth root to secure an artificial tooth using an attachment piece called an abutment. Dental implants are designed to look and “work” like a natural tooth, even promoting the normal replacement of jaw bone tissue just like a natural tooth root. They also do not require adhesives, and they can be cared for just like the rest of the teeth. Implants usually take three visits to complete.
  • What is a dental bridge?
    Bridges are devices used to replace one or more missing teeth. The bridge consists of a metal framework and one or more prosthetic teeth, or crowns, that attach to the frame. The bridge stays in place by attaching to the teeth on either side of the opening left by the missing tooth. Bridges can be permanently attached with strong adhesives, or they may be attached to the teeth using special clips that allow them to be removed for cleaning.
  • What is a crown?
    A crown is a protective covering for a tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma, or for teeth that have deep and widespread staining or large, dark fillings. Crowns can be tinted to match neighboring teeth so they look completely natural. Most crowns require two office visits – one to prepare the tooth that will be receiving the crown, to take an impression of the tooth, and to place a temporary crown on the tooth while the permanent crown is being made; and the second visit to remove the temporary crown, clean the tooth surface and apply the permanent crown with a strong adhesive.
  • What happens during a dental cleaning?
    Dental cleanings are designed to help remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar that brushing and flossing have missed so tooth decay and gum disease can be prevented. Special instruments reach between and around the teeth and along the gum line to remove built-up plaque and tartar, and polishing instruments are used to remove superficial stains and help teeth look their best. During the cleaning appointment, the hygienist will look for signs of gum disease, as well as areas that are not being adequately cleaned with routine brushing and flossing. Based on that data, the hygienist can provide tips that can help patients be more effective in caring for their teeth in between office visits.
  • How often should I have routine teeth cleaning appointments?
    Most patients should have their teeth professionally cleaned every six months to help prevent a buildup of plaque and tartar and to maintain optimal gum and tooth health. Having cleanings twice a year also enables the hygienist and dentist to look for early signs of gum disease so treatment can be provided to keep the disease from progressing. Patients who have mild to moderate gum disease might need to have professional cleanings performed more often.
  • What are the signs of gum disease?
    Early gum disease causes few symptoms, although the gums may bleed during brushing and flossing. As the disease progresses, the gums may become red, swollen, and tender. Eventually, the gum tissue will begin to recede from the teeth, exposing more of the teeth to disease-causing bacteria. Without treatment, the bacteria will cause infection near the root, and loosening teeth can be causing them to fall out.
  • What if I have gum disease?
    Although routine cleanings can be used to treat the earliest signs of gum disease, when gum disease is more advanced, deep-cleaning methods are needed to reach and remove bacteria that are located below the gum line and even around the tooth roots. These cleaning methods are called root planing and scaling, and they're often used in combination with special antibiotics to help get rid of hard-to-reach bacteria.
  • Do injections hurt?
    The injections used in Juvederm® and BOTOX® treatments can cause some minor discomfort during treatment, as well as some minor redness and swelling in the treatment area afterward. All of these effects will resolve soon after treatment. Some patients with sensitive skin can reduce discomfort with the application of ice packs prior to injection. Rubbing the treatment areas after injection should be avoided to prevent spreading the material to other areas and reduce the effects of treatment.
  • How does BOTOX® work?
    BOTOX® helps reduce or even eliminate the appearance of lines and wrinkles that form as a result of facial movement, like smiling or frowning. These are called dynamic wrinkles, and they tend to become deeper and more noticeable over time. Dynamic wrinkles form when muscles contract, causing the skin overlying the muscles to form lines and creases. BOTOX® works by blocking the nerve signals between certain facial muscles and the brain so muscles are not “told” to contract and wrinkles and creases don't form. BOTOX® injections last about four months, but with repeated injections, lines can become softer and injections may not be needed as often.
  • What is Juvederm®?
    Juvederm® is a cosmetic filler that is used to treat wrinkles and lines that form as a result of sun damage, genetics, gravity, and other causes not related to facial motions. These are called static wrinkles. Juvederm® uses a substance called hyaluronic acid which occurs naturally in the skin. Hyaluronic acid helps the skin retain moisture naturally so it appears firmer, plumper, and more resilient. The results of Juvederm® can last up to 12 months, with some formulations of the product providing results that last even longer.
  • Can Juvederm® and BOTOX® be used at the same time to treat different areas of the face?
    Yes, both products can be used to treat dynamic and static wrinkles, helping patients achieve many of the smoothing effects of a facelift without surgery or excessive cost.
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