Procedures

For Patient Education the Following Procedures are Described

 

ProceduresTMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) ~

People who suffer from symptoms such as headaches, earaches, tenderness of the jaw muscles, or dull, aching facial pain may suffer from TMD-temporomandibular joint disorders. The muscles and joints may not function properly, resulting in cycles of pain and spasms. These disorders can have a variety of causes and, can be treated. You may also have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Since TMD symptoms (eg, tooth clenching or grinding, headaches, jaw pain or discomfort, clicking, grating, difficulty in closing your jaw) can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important. No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely, and treatment takes time to be effective.

Misalignment of the jaw can be corrected using different devices applied by your dentist or an orthodontist. Treatment is based on determining the underlying cause of the problem and correcting it, if possible Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) can help to reduce inflammation in the jaw. Muscle spasms or muscle tension may be relieved by using moist heat packs on the affected area. A diet of soft foods is recommended. Biofeedback or relaxation exercises may also be effective. Surgery of the jaw is rarely required.

CROWNS ~

Crown restorations are similar to veneers, because they too are attached to individual teeth. Crowns completely cover the tooth on all sides, helping to correct any problems that you might have with alignment. Crowns are used to repair teeth that have undergone root canals, have severe erosion, or extreme malposition. The use of crowns is essential in any situation that requires greater strength and aesthetics. Crowns are fabricated from ceramic or ceramic and metal, and are indistinguishable from adjacent teeth.

Having crowns applied takes two or three appointments so that your teeth can be prepared and impressions can be made. The impressions are used to fashion a porcelain crown that fits into the contour of the remaining teeth. While your permanent crowns are being created in a laboratory, you’ll wear temporary crowns that maintain your appearance and ability to function. Often crowns are added to existing teeth to create better connecting surfaces for attachment of fixed bridges and partial dentures. As with all treatments, crown restorations require meticulous oral hygiene; proper brushing and flossing techniques are effective in eliminating plaque and bacteria. Crowns or caps can last the longest compared to other treatments depending on placement and forces placed on them.

INLAYS & ONLAYS ~

Inlays and onlays are used to replace your silver fillings. These restorations are usually made from composite resin material, porcelain, or gold. Once placed, they are virtually undetectable in the mouth, and they conserve much of your natural tooth structure.

For an inlay to be successful, it is best if the cavity involves only the occlusal surface (chewing surface) and one proximal surface (surface in between the teeth). The other proximal surface should be free of decay. An onlay, which is similar to an inlay, covers the entire proximal surface and protects the cusps from fracture. Treatment involves isolation of the tooth and removal of the old fillings under local anesthesia. Once your dentist makes an impression, the inlay/onlay is created from porcelain, gold, or composite resin material. The inlay/onlay is then cemented securely into place. Inlays and onlays usually take 2 to 3 appointments to complete. The onlay is the best alternative for covering larger surface restorations. An inlay/onlay looks exactly like the rest of the tooth, and is so durable that it doesn’t need to be replaced for years.

BRIDGES ~

Bridges are useful as corrective measures after an accident or serious dental decay. These restorations-generally made of porcelain or a composite material- are used to replace missing teeth Bridges are a method by which to restore your bite and create a pleasant smile. It also takes a great deal of time to both prepare the area and affix the bridge once it comes back from the lab. Fixed bridges are placed on the neighboring teeth, so they span the site of the missing tooth. The bridge is fitted with ceramic teeth to replicate the missing teeth, to restore function, and aesthetics.

Removable bridges (full or partial) are recommended in complex dental situations to restore support and proper function. These bridges are constructed of ceramic and metal and require creation of a study model made from impressions. The bridge is also fitted with ceramic teeth to replicate the missing teeth and combined with metal that is shaped to fit the inside contours of the mouth. Multiple visits are required for adjustments to the bite and fit of the appliance. Fixed bridges require meticulous cleaning usually with a threading floss. Removable bridgework requires meticulous cleaning after meals and soaking in a solution to remove plaque and bacteria.

WHITENING ~

Your dentist can whiten teeth dramatically using various forms of hydrogen peroxide. One form, carbamide peroxide, is most often used in the form of a gel, and placed into a special tray that is custom-fitted to your teeth. The tray is worn in the mouth for one to four hours per treatment. When in contact with the teeth, the carbamide peroxide releases oxygen that releases the stain on your teeth. This process is safe and effective with only a few temporary side effects. This treatment can be applied at home under periodic supervision by your dentist.

VENEERS ~

Veneers are ultra-thin sculpted pieces of tooth-shaped porcelain that fit over the front of your teeth. They are wonderful for fixing teeth that are significantly discolored, chipped, pitted, malformed, or crooked, or if you have unwanted spaces. In certain situations, a change in upper lip fullness and balance can be obtained by placing porcelain laminate veneers on your four front teeth.

Unlike crowns or caps, porcelain laminate veneers don’t require the removal of much tooth structure. Veneers are usually created in a dental laboratory from an impression taken in the dental office. During the first visit, the color is matched using a shade guide then the teeth are filed down a bit. Then the teeth are fitted with temporaries while the veneers are being created at the lab. Then the veneers are cemented directly onto your teeth and polished to a natural, aesthetic smile. Veneers are stronger and have a longer life than bonding, but the process requires more time. Veneers typically cost less than crowns and won’t stain, making them a popular means of improving your smile. Treatment may take two or more office visits to complete and will last for up to 15 years.

BONDING ~

Composite bonding is the most versatile and effective way to aesthetically restore your smile. Composite materials are used to replace old unattractive fillings, change the color of your teeth, or reshape and recontour a less than ideal smile. Composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide). Composite fillings have a slightly higher rate of wear than your traditional silver fillings.

Most procedures take as little as 10 to 15 minutes per tooth, depending on how complicated your particular treatment may be. At your actual bonding appointment, the dentist will use a mild acid to condition the surface of the tooth so the composite will adhere to it. Next, the dentist applies several layers of the bonding material onto the tooth, then uses a light source to set the material. The last step is shaping, smoothing, and polishing the surfaces. Daily hygiene may require more detailed flossing to clean edges at the gum line. As with your natural teeth, cosmetically bonded teeth may chip or stain. A bonded restoration should last 5 to 10 years or more before requiring a touch-up or replacement. The procedure is painless and quick enough to be completed in one visit.

For more information about any of our services or to make an appointment, please call us at 670-234-4040 or Contact Us Online today! We look forward to serving you soon.

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