General Dentistry

Tooth Colored Fillings

“Tooth colored” or composite resin restorations are commonly used in dentistry because they look so natural, are very strong, mercury-free, bio-compatible, and securely bonded to the tooth. They can be used for restoring decayed or damaged areas of a tooth or for cosmetic improvements. If you have a cavity in a tooth, broken fillings, mercury fillings, or amalgam fillings then Composite Resin Fillings are well worth discussing with us. Mercury or amalgam fillings can easily be removed and replaced with far more attractive and stronger colored Composite Resin fillings.

Tooth colored fillings bond to teeth better than old metal fillings. Not only that, but they can also aid in the prevention of further decay and damage. Tooth-colored fillings are so durable that they are often used on teeth that absorb a great deal of pressure, such as molars. These composites have the added benefits of insulating teeth from temperature changes and eliminating the health risks posed by metal fillings with mercury.

As the most aesthetic restorative choice, natural-colored fillings are virtually undetectable. In most social situations, such as talking, laughing, eating, and smiling, no one will be able to notice tooth-colored fillings — they look flawless!

What are the benefits of tooth colored fillings for me?

  • Life-like aesthetic qualities
  • The preservation of more natural tooth structure
  • Optimal bio-compatibility
  • Minimal risk of allergic reaction
  • No development of metal sensitivity

What Happens At The First Appointment For Tooth Colored Fillings?

Dr Etue will gently prepare the cavity or effected tooth area. A tooth conditioning agent may be applied to the prepared tooth, followed by the application of an adhesive agent and the resin for the tooth-colored filling. Dr Etue will contour the resin to produce the desired aesthetic appearance and expose it to a special curing light to harden the resin. The average procedure can be accomplished with in 30 minutes!!

Care Of Cosmetically Bonded Teeth & Tooth Colored Fillings.

Tooth colored fillings should receive the same meticulous care as natural teeth: regular brushing, flossing, tongue scraping, and professional preventive treatments to maintain ideal health and appearance.

Crowns

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth — to protect and cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?

  • To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  • To hold a dental bridge in place
  • To cover misshapened or severely discolored teeth
  • To cover a dental implant
  • to cover and protect a tooth that has had root canal therapy

What can I expect if Dr Etue recommends a crown?

Crowns can be completed in either one or two visits. Single visit crowns are fabricated in our office while you wait, while two visit crowns are made in a local dental laboratory

At the first visit in preparation for a crown, Dr Etue may take X-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown and surrounding bone.

Before the process of making a crown begins, Dr Etue will gently anesthetize (numb) the tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, the tooth receiving the crown is smoothed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. If there happens to be a large area of the tooth missing (due to decay or damage), Dr Etue will use composite filling material to “build up” the tooth to support the crown.

After a brief reshaping of the tooth, Dr Etue will use a putty to make an impression or mold of the tooth to receive the crown. Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth to receive the dental crown will also be made to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite, and to ensure you will never even notice it! At the second visit, Dr Etue will check the fit and color of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, the new crown is permanently cemented in place, usually in less than 15 minutes!

What are crowns made of?

Dr Etue is well skilled in the use of all crown materials. Our office favors Zirconia and porcelain crowns for their strength and longevity. Dr Etue is also able to make metal crowns, porcelain fused to a metal base crowns, and gold crowns. Dr Etue will discuss each option with you and if you have a preference, he will be more than happy to speak with you.

Bridges

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

A bridge is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap — these two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth — and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from Zirconia, porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants, and are cemented permanently by Dr Etue.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Bridges?

  • Restore your smile
  • Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
  • Maintain the shape of your face
  • Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position

What is the process if Dr Etue Recommends a Bridge?

The process is two brief appointments and is the same as that of a crown, but preparing two teeth as opposed to a single tooth.

Periodontal Therapy

Peridontal therapy is gum therapy. When our gums are sick or it’s been along time since we have had our teeth cleaned, the gums can become inflamed, which can lead to tooth loss if not corrected. Therapy includes treatment for gum or “periodontal disease”. Dr Etue will discuss which treatments are right for you, and how often therapy will be required.

Periodontal Therapy is a “conservative” (non-surgical) program consisting of a series visits to control gum disease.

If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, Dr Etue will recommend a periodontal therapy program to control your disease. The severity of the periodontal disease determines the length of your program. Our goal is to eliminate bleeding and mouth odor, as well as reduce gum pocket depths to eliminate bacterial re-infection. Remember, healthy gums never bleed!

As always, Dr Etue will perform periodontal therapy in a relaxed pain free environment tailored to your specific needs.

Root Canals

A root canal is a therapy used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed, is infected, is uncomfortable when chewing, or is constantly sensitive to cold or hot. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are gently removed and the inside of the tooth and root structure, and then is cleaned and sealed. The roots are not removed during the process. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses will form.

“Root canal” is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.

What Damages a Tooth’s Nerve and Pulp in the First Place?

A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, and/or large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.

What Are the Signs That a Root Canal Is Needed?

Sometimes no symptoms are present; however, signs you may need a root canal include:

  • Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
  • Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures (after the hot or cold has been removed)
  • Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums

Do root canals hurt?

No, and Dr Etue will numb the tooth so you don’t have any discomfort. And, if you are nervous, root canals can be done while sedated!! After the root canal, Dr Etue will give you instructions and some soreness may be present the day after. Most patients are fine with tylenol or advil and don’t see a disruption in work or life activities.

Teeth Cleanings

Teeth cleaning, also known as prophylaxis (literally a preventative treatment of a disease), is a gentle procedure for the removal of tartar (mineralized plaque) that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing. Oral problems can arise especially in areas that are difficult to reach in routine tooth brushing. Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling and tooth polishing and debridement if too much tartar has accumulated. Dr Etue will determine how often you should have a cleaning done and is usually related to how well you do at home. Don’t forget to floss and brush daily!!!

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