ADVANCED PROCEDURES

CROWNS

Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling.  The larger the hole made by a cavity,  the more likely a crown will be needed. A Crown placed over a weakened tooth, provides strength and protects the tooth against further damage. 


BRIDGES
This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. The two teeth adjacent to the empty space are use to support the bridge. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics. If a missing tooth is not replaced as soon as possible the following could occur:

  • The teeth surrounding the gap will shift inward, creating a chain reaction of tooth movement. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and, with one missing, they all start to "fall."
  • The falling teeth causes changes in your bite. 
  • The change in your bite can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ.
  • The shifting of the teeth can increase gum disease and subsequently tooth loss.

DENTURES
There are different types of dentures, but they share their common function. They replace teeth that have become loose or been lost due to bone loss. When bone loss around the roots of teeth is great enough to loosen them or let them fall out, it's time for dentures.  No one enjoys losing their natural teeth, but maintaining damaged (infected teeth) can create more serious health issues. our goal is always to retain as many of your natural teeth as possible. With dentures you can still eat and talk regularly. Often implants are used to provide additional stability to the dentures.

IMPLANTS
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth or multiple teeth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is implanted into the bone. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist then works to attach the final replacement tooth. This permanent solution has several advantages:

  • An implant can replace a single missing tooth without stressing the surrounding teeth.
  • Implants can be used if you are missing all your teeth and would like to have a full compliment of teeth that are not removable. 
  • Implants can be used to provided added security for loose dentures
  • Implants slows the bone loss caused by the absence your natural teeth
  • Once the work is done, Implants look and feel like natural teeth

ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed to reach  the pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may also cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to infect the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system.  Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include:

  • Sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Pain to biting or pressure
  • A bad taste in the mouth

Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup. 
 

TMJ TREATMENTS
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it's where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result. Problems in this area can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Pain in the jaw muscles
  • Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face

Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.

FUNCTIONAL DEFICITS                                                                                             Patients with severe functional deficits resulting form trauma, cancer surgery or as a result of developmental defects such as cleft palate or other craniofacial anomalies present special challenges. Procedures that fail to take into account the long-term occlusal requirements of such individuals may lead to further functional or esthetic problems.

FULL SMILE MAKEOVER                                                                                            Full smile makeover is the individual reconstruction of each and every tooth in the mouth. Whether than doing it tooth by tooth over an extended period of time we are able to do it all at once using a series of diagnostic aids to design a beautiful smile while maintaining your ideal occlusion (bite).

MAXILLOFACIAL RECONSTRUCTION                                                                   Special skills are needed in treating the patient who requires prosthetic replacement of extraoral maxillofacial structures. (e.g.,ear,nose). Prosthodontists have extensive experience with the specialized materials and attachments that can facilitate design and replacement  of lost anatomic sturctures.