Although dentistry has come a long way, sometimes it is impossible to save a tooth as it could be badly damaged or lost due to gum disease. Bridges, Dentures, and Implants are designed to replace lost teeth and restore function. Replacing teeth are also important in that they do not allow the remaining teeth to drift out of place.
Dental Implants are used to replace the missing root of teeth and thus allow replacement teeth to be supported. These teeth can be either fixed to the implant or allow the person to remove them.
Generally implants require a healthy individual , with healthy gums and bones to allow them to be supported properly. If there is a lack of bone structure, bone grafts can be used to replace bone that have been lost in the past. A consult with the dentist and dental surgeon will be required to assess this properly.
Following implant placement, the patient must be willing to brush and floss the implants properly like their normal teeth. Implants can still develop gum disease if not cared for properly.
The only drawback to implants is there costs they cost more than most other forms of replacing teeth and are generally not covered by any insurance plans.
Dentures can be partial or full. Full dentures are used to replace all the teeth in the upper or lower arch. Partial dentures are used to replace one or more missing teeth in any arch. Dentures can also be fixed or remove if they are tied directly to implants - Implants are used to provide stability for the denture.
Generally, dentures are the hardest to get used to. Most people complain about the lack of stability in lower dentures and thus the inability to chew certain foods. The other complaint is that food can get stuck underneath the denture and require constant cleaning after a meal or snack.
Dentures however are the most economical of all replacement prosthetics they have been around for the longest time.
Bridges are used to replace missing teeth. They are held in place by sound, solid teeth adjacent to it. If the supporting teeth are not healthy, other measures may have to taken to ensure their stability such as root canals and posts.
A bridge can replace one or more teeth depending on the span of the bridge. Generally, it is not recommended to replace more than 3 teeth with a bridge as they will cause forces on the adjacent teeth they are fixed to. If the span is more than 3 teeth other alternatives such as dentures or the combination of implants and bridges may be suggested.
It is best to have your dentist assess the area and provide alternatives in treatment plan to assist you in your decision.
Crowns or caps are used in dentistry to cover up teeth to prevent further fractures in the future. Teeth that have been heavily filled or have been root canalled generally require crowns to prevent further damage.
Crowns can also be used at times to restore teeth that have been badly broken. They can also be used for cosmetic purposes to align teeth or to cover up badly stained teeth.
There are also many different types of crowns from more esthetic looking ones to more protective ones. Your dentist would be more equipped to discuss this with you once the tooth is assessed.
Can you correct this crowding problem?? Most patients today would like their teeth to be straight and white. Crooked teeth are not just for esthetics they also help people clean their teeth better and may also assist them in biting properly without any jaw discomfort.
Orthodontics treatment uses either appliances, or wires to put gentle pressure on you teeth to move them into the right position. A new type of braces can be utilize now - Invisalign ® - the so called invisible braces. The invisible braces are most popular with adults as they are removable and can allow the patient to eat and clean normally. It also allows people who do presentations in their job to remove the braces before speaking, and replace them once the presentation is over.
However Invisalign ® is not for every case. Their drawbacks are that they are not only more expensive, as they are patented, but they do not move teeth as well as traditional braces.
In spite of the cause of crowding or spacing, most can be corrected by braces. It is best to have your dentist or orthodontist assess the case before proceeding.
Most people cringe when they hear these three words. Root canals now a days are not as bad as they used to be mostly due to the technological advances in the treatment modalities.
What is a root canal? Teeth inherently have two nerves - one on the outside and one on the inside. The nerve on the outside of the teeth is to sense pressure while the internal nerve is for hot and cold. When teeth are fractured, damaged, or filled heavily, the nerve on the inside tends to degenerate and die. Like any dead tissue in your body, it is important to remove the tissue to avoid infections. Thus, root canals are to remove the dead tissue or pulp (once made up nerves and blood vessels) - and fill the canal with a soft filling material.
Root canals are not used to treat infections, but are also used to allow the dentist to place posts to retain crowns and bridges. Sometimes, the dentist will suggest root canals ahead of time to avoid problems in the future especially if the existing teeth has a deep filling or the filling is to large to hold a crown properly.
Most root canals are completed in one appointment, unless there are extenuating circumstances to prevent it. Your dentist would be better to provide you with more information following an assessment of the tooth in question.
In recent years, bleaching or whitening of teeth have been advertised heavily in our media. There are many questions regarding what product is right for me to how long the process lasts.
To begin, most teeth generally have colours that range from a grayish to a yellowish shade. These shades can also vary depending upon the persons age, diet coffee, tea, red wine etc. and medical conditions that may have occurred in the past. Teeth inherently darken with age and can also be affected with medication taken recently or in the past.
In addition , teeth shades can also be affected by the colour of someones skin to the colour of makeup worn.
Generally bleaching products, like medication , require a certain concentration to be effective. There are many products out in the market that claim to whiten teeth. The consumer must be aware if they are actually bleaching products or abrasives. Abrasives are just that, they clear the stain by scrubbing' them away and thus have a complication of causing excessive tooth wear if used for long periods of time.
On the other hand, bleaching products are capable of actually altering the natural tooth colour . They are usually peroxide based and the concentration in over the counter bleaches is lower than the ones dispensed by your dentist. One should also be aware that bleaching does not work in all cases, and will not whiten existing fillings or crowns. It is best to consult your dentist to determine if bleaching will be effective for you in brightening up your smile.
Veneers and Bonding
Bonding and Veneers are used to close spaces or change the shape and colour of a person's teeth.
Veneers have become more popular recently with the shows like Extreme Makeover. They are thin acrylic or porcelain shells that are attached to the front surface of a person's teeth. They can also be used to correct minor crowding or spacing problems. Veneers however, may require preparation of the front surface of the teeth in question to ensure proper contouring and esthetics.
Bonding on the other hand is usually quicker the material used is the same as ones used in white fillings ie . resin . However resins are not as strong as veneers nor do they last as long. They are usually used in small fractures or in small space closures.
It is best to contact your dentist to determine what the best solution for your esthetic needs.