Procedures

 

Crowns — Whenever a tooth is missing more than 50% of the tooth structure, we will suggest a crown.  Teeth with root canal treatments and cracked teeth are often candidates for crowns.  A crown, also known as a cap, is a restoration that completely covers a tooth.  It helps to protect the tooth, in order to prevent further damage and decay.  Crowns can also be used to make a tooth look nice and healthy.  Crowns require two visits to complete.  During the first visit, decay is removed, a filling is used to replace the missing tooth structure, and the tooth is prepared to fit a crown.  An impression is taken, and a temporary crown is placed.  The impression is sent to a dental lab where a crown is fabricated.  The following week, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is cemented. Here at The Downtown Dentist, we do crowns in our sleep—very well, we might add. Contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can help you have a healthy, happy and good looking mouth.

 

“I’ve got to know most of the staff. I tend to be really, really sensitive at the dentist’s office. I’ve been going there for years for a reason. They always make you feel really comfortable. There’s just an open dialogue of communication between patient and the whole staff there.”

– Jeff D.

 

Fillings — When a small amount of tooth structure is missing due to decay, wear, or chipping, sometimes a filling is used to repair the damaged tooth. The filling material that we use in our office is tooth colored and is called a composite resin. After preparing the tooth, an adhesive is used to bond the composite filling to the tooth. The filling is placed and sculpted to replace the tooth’s original form. We check the filling to make sure there aren’t any rough edges, and that it fits with the opposing tooth when biting. Sometimes after the numbness wears off, you may find that the bite feels weird. If that’s the case, please call our office, so that we can adjust the filling.

Orthodontics — Orthodontics is the procedure used to straighten teeth. Clear aligners (Invisalign) or traditional brackets may be used to accomplish this. Depending on how much straightening needs to be done, treatment can take 6 months to 2 years. Orthodontics is not only a cosmetic procedure. Sometimes when teeth don’t fit together well, damage can be caused to the teeth, gum tissues, and joints. Having a healthy bite can help to preserve teeth to last a lifetime. There is no age limit on straightening teeth.

“She doesn’t always recommend the most expensive procedure. If there is something that can be done that’s not as expensive she usually gives you options and she also prioritizes. She gives you an idea of how you can make your pocketbook work for what needs to be done.” 

– Judy S.

 

Root Canals — When a tooth becomes infected, the soft tissue inside of the roots become inflamed. Because the tooth is hard, a build up of pressure occurs causing pain. This can cause the cheeks to swell up. A root canal relieves the pressure by removing the soft tissue inside of the tooth. Once the inside of the roots are cleaned and all of the infected tissue and bacteria is removed, the tooth roots are sealed up. After a tooth is treated with a root canal, a crown is necessary to protect the remaining tooth structure.

Bridges — A bridge can be used to replace missing teeth. Crowns are placed on the teeth in front of and behind the space and a fake crown is in the middle. The bridge is one piece that’s all connected together, and cemented to the remaining teeth. The teeth are prepared for the crowns to hold a bridge, an impression is taken, and the patient leaves the office with a temporary bridge. The impression is sent to the lab, where the bridge is fabricated. If the bridge includes front teeth, we ask the patient to go to the lab, so a custom shade can be done. This helps the bridge to match the remaining teeth. Bridges are a very fast way to replace teeth, and they aren’t something that you don’t have to take in and out. They can be difficult to clean under. Bridges are not very conservative, because the teeth adjacent to the space have to be shaved down. In many cases, a bridge is a great option to replace a missing tooth. Because it’s not removable, it’s very easy to chew with.

Veneers — Veneers are primarily used to improve the look of teeth. A veneer is a thin piece of porcelain that is cemented to a tooth. Veneers are used to give the appearance of straighter or whiter teeth. Often times the teeth do not need to be shaved down. After preparing the teeth for the veneers, an impression is taken, and a lab makes the veneers. We like to send the patients to the lab for a custom shade. When a custom shade is done, it’s difficult to teeth the difference between the teeth with veneers and the natural teeth. Once the veneers are fabricated, they are cemented to the teeth.

 

“The service I got from Joey was exquisite. It was a simple appointment to adjust my dentures. No pain involved. No nervousness.”

 

– Scott M.

 

Partial Dentures and Full Dentures — Partial dentures are a dental appliance that is used to replace missing teeth. A partial is a very economical way to replace several missing teeth. It is an appliance that you take in and out. A full denture is used when all of the top and/or bottom teeth are missing. Precision attachments can be used to help keep a full or partial denture in place. A partial denture uses the remaining teeth to help keep it in place. Dentures can be placed the same day the teeth are removed, so that you don’t have to go without teeth. Impressions and records are taken to make sure that the teeth will fit together correctly. The teeth are then set up in wax, so that they can be adjusted if the patient doesn’t like the look of the teeth. Finally, the teeth are processed with a pink acrylic base that looks like gum tissue. Partial and Full Dentures are prosthetic devices that you have to learn to use. You have to learn how to eat and speak with them. Luckily, the mouth is an area of the body that will adapt easily with a little training.

Periodontal Treatment — At the initial exam and cleaning appointment, the health of your gums are evaluated. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums due to plaque and tartar buildup. Gingivitis is a bacterial infection that affects the soft tissue. Gingivitis can usually be treated with a regular cleaning, and brushing and flossing. Periodontal disease is when the bacterial infection becomes deeper, and the bone holding in the teeth starts to recede. The first step in treating periodontal disease is a non-surgical treatment called scaling and root planing or a deep cleaning. This treatment generally takes 2 appointments. During the first appointment the upper right half and the lower right half of your mouth are anesthetized. The tartar is then cleaned from underneath the gum tissue. We also use a laser to kill the bacteria and to decrease discomfort following treatment. We may also prescribe antibiotics and special mouthwashes to help treat this infection. Periodontal disease is a serious infection that can cause tooth loss. Diabetics and immunocompromised patients are particularly susceptible to periodontal disease. Having your teeth cleaned, and regular brushing and flossing can help you live a longer life.

Dental Implants — A dental implant is used to replace missing teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace single or multiple missing teeth. They can also be used to hold dentures and partials in place. Once a tooth is removed, a bone graft is often placed to A dental implant looks like a screw, and it’s placed into the jaw bone. I know that sounds painful, but most of my patients report that there is very little pain associated with this procedure. After the implant is placed, it’s left to heal for 3-4 months. This gives the surrounding bone time to grow and stick to the implant. This process is called osseointegration of the implant. After the implant is tested, and there is no mobility, it’s time for the next 2 steps. A piece called an abutment is attached to the implant to hold a crown. The crown is then cemented or screwed onto the implant. Implants are a great way to replace teeth.