Bonding is a conservative way to repair, enforce, and strengthen slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. A white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling “bonds” with your teeth, and because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.
Tooth bonding can also be used for teeth fillings instead of silver amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonding fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than the amalgam fillings. Bonding fillings can be used on front and back teeth depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay.
Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and usually can be completed in one visit to our office. However, bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, tell us right away. The bonding can generally be patched or repaired in one visit.
A bridge may be used to replace missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress in your bite. A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Your bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials and is bonded
onto surrounding teeth for support.
Crowns are a functional yet esthetic restoration used to improve your tooth’s shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay.
Crowns are “caps” cemented onto an existing tooth which fully covers the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Crowns are often preferable to silver amalgam fillings. Unlike fillings, which apply metal directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression, which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk of decay, so we may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.
When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, we may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or may request another visit for this procedure. The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a “tooth socket,” and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, the doctor must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share any concerns or preferences for sedation with us.
Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift causing problems with chewing or with your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, we may recommend that you replace the extracted tooth with implants or bridges.
Traditional dental restoratives (fillings) include gold, porcelain, and composite/amalgam. The strength and durability of traditional dental materials continue to make them useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, such as in the back of the mouth.
Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important. They can be used on the back teeth as well as depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay. Composite resins are usually more costly than the old silver amalgam fillings.
Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity, and expense of dental restorations.
The components used in the filling material
The amount of tooth structure remaining
Where and how the filling is placed
The chewing load that the tooth will have to bear
The length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth
The ultimate decision about what to use is best determined in consultation with your doctor. Before your treatment begins, discuss the options with Dr. McNaught and Dr. Leggett. To help you prepare for this discussion it is helpful to understand the two basic types of dental fillings: direct and indirect.
Direct fillings are fillings placed immediately into a prepared cavity in a single visit. They include amalgam and composite. The doctor prepares the tooth, places the filling, and adjusts it during one appointment.
Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits. They include veneers, crowns, bridges, and composites. During the first visit, we prepare the tooth and make an impression of the area to be restored. We then place a temporary covering over the prepared tooth. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory, which creates the dental restoration. At the next appointment, we cement the restoration into the prepared cavity and adjust it as needed.
Dental Implants have become an increasingly popular way to replace missing teeth. Implants can also help support dentures or partial dentures, and may even eliminate the need for these prostheses. For a single tooth that must be removed, an implant can eliminate the need for a permanent bridge, which can be an aggressive reduction to perfectly good teeth.
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that acts as an artificial tooth root and provides a stable foundation for the final crown placement. An implant preserves healthy adjacent teeth by eliminating the need to grind them down to support a bridge. Dental implants look, feel, and function just like natural teeth and enable you to eat, speak, and smile like normal!
Simply extracting the tooth can have a negative effect on your chewing ability and may even cause the surrounding teeth to shift position, creating new areas for plaque and build up.
The treatment procedure involves an initial thorough examination involving x-rays to check bone condition. A referral to an oral surgeon or specialist places the implant with our guidance. This may involve bone grafting or augmentation. Once the implant has integrated (been accepted by the supporting tissue) the oral surgeon gives the “ok” to restore. The final restoration includes placing the abutment and final crown.
Long Lake Dental is pleased to now offer Invisalign® These wireless alternatives to braces are used to straighten teeth and are nearly invisible. Invisalign® can be used for both adults and teens and are custom made in our office specifically for you!
Simply come to our office for a consultation so we can figure out if this treatment is right for you. Once we determine if you’re a good candidate, we will customize a treatment plan just for you. You will then receive your customized aligners. Wear a new set of aligners every two weeks and soon you will have a new smile!
In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you’d probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special procedure called a root canal treatment, you may save that tooth.
Inside each tooth, there is the pulp and the nerve. The never is the vestige of the tissue that originally formed the tooth. Once the tooth has been in the mouth for a time, the functioning of the nerve is no longer necessary.
When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp. Germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. Left without treatment, pus builds up at the root tip in the jawbone, forming a “pus-pocket” called an abscess. An abscess can cause the pulp tissue to die. If the infected pulp is not removed, it can result in pain and swelling. Certain by-products of the infection can injure your jawbones and your overall health. Without treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.
Treatment often involves from one to three visits. During treatment, the dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems of the pulp) removes the diseased pulp. Next, the pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are cleaned and sealed. Often posterior (back) teeth that have endodontic treatment should have a cast crown placed in order to strengthen the remaining structure. Then, as long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups so that the root(s) of the restored tooth are nourished by the surrounding tissues, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.
Sometimes brushing is not enough. Everyone has hard-to-reach spots in their mouth and brushing doesn’t always fully clean those difficult places. When that happens, you are at risk of tooth decay. Using sealants on your teeth gives you an extra line of defense against tooth decay.
Dental sealant is a plastic resin that bonds to the deep grooves in your tooth’s chewing surface. When sealing a tooth, the grooves of your teeth are filled and the tooth’s surface becomes smoother – and less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, tooth brushing becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
Sealants are usually applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure during the years of most likely tooth decay. However, adults’ teeth can also be sealed. It is more common to seal permanent teeth rather than baby teeth, but every person has unique needs. Dr. McNaught and Dr. Leggett will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
Sealants generally last from three to five years. However, it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact so if your sealant comes off, let your dentist know.
Professional Teeth Whitening:
Professional teeth whitening at Long Lake Dental is your best choice when you need immediate whitening results. This procedure is called chair-side bleaching and may require more than one office visit. Each visit may take from 60 to 90 minutes.
During chair-side bleaching, we will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent.
There are several types of products available for use at home, which can either be dispensed by our office or purchased over the counter. They are generally teeth whitening trays (mouthguards), strips, or paint-on products.
Teeth Whitening Trays:
These products contain peroxide(s) which actually bleach the tooth enamel. Carbamide peroxide is the bleaching agent and comes in several different concentrations – we offer 20% and 35%). Peroxide-containing whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouthguard. Usage regimens vary. Some products are used twice a day for two weeks, while others are intended for overnight use for one to two weeks. If you obtain the bleaching solution from our office, we can make a custom-fitted mouthguard for you that will fit your teeth precisely.
Teeth Whitening Strips:
Teeth-whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide bleaching on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: for the upper teeth, and for the lower teeth. The bleaching agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips into place to ensure contact with all your teeth. Teeth-whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day.
The duration of the treatment will vary.
Teeth whitening can have some minor side effects:
Tooth sensitivity: teeth can become sensitive during the period when you are using the bleaching solution. In most cases, the sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once the treatment is finished.
Soft tissue irritation: Some people also experience some soft tissue irritation that can be caused by a tray not fitting properly, or from a solution that may come in contact with the tissues.