Posts for: January, 2017
Most people (unless they're incredibly lucky) will undergo at least one (usually more) restorative dental procedures at some point in time. From filling cavities to whitening stained and discolored teeth, restorative dental treatments like porcelain veneers, crowns and dental implants help to preserve oral health, and restore function and the cosmetic appearance of damaged teeth. The dentists at Dunkling & Penney Dentistry in Burlington and Jericho, VT offer comprehensive preventive and restorative dental services to help prevent the onset of tooth decay and gum disease, and to repair the damage if and when it occurs.
Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry in Burlington and Jericho
Accidents, sports injuries, normal wear and tear over time and poor oral hygiene are typically the main causes of dental trauma and decay. Even with modern technology and impressive advancements in dental procedures, the best medicine and recipe for a healthy, beautiful smile remains good old-fashioned prevention. Dentists recommend a thorough oral hygiene routine at home (don't forget the floss) and regular checks ups and professional cleanings, generally every six months.
But accidents and the effects of time and aging happen, even with the best precautions and dental care. The most common restorative dental procedures are:
Dental Implants - a complete tooth restoration consisting of a titanium biocompatible implant that replaces the root of the missing tooth, which fuses with the surrounding bone tissue in the gums. Once the implant heals, the cosmetic crown is attached to complete the restoration. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or an entire set of dentures.
Porcelain Veneers - made of a razor thin layer of composite resin, which is bonded to the surface of the teeth, veneers are used to resize, reshape and whiten teeth.
Crowns and Bridges - a cap that is placed over a severely decayed or broken tooth to restore the function and cosmetic appearance, and to strengthen the remaining healthy portion of the tooth. Crowns can also replace missing teeth as part of a bridge. Caps are placed over the teeth on either side of the missing tooth (known as abutment teeth) to hold the replacement crown in place.
Bonding - similar to veneers, cosmetic bonding is used to correct minor cosmetic imperfections, to seal teeth after root canals and as an alternative to silver dental fillings.
Find a Dentist in Burlington and Jericho
Whether you are suffering from tooth loss or cosmetic damage to your teeth, there is a restorative dental procedure that is right for you. For more information, contact Dunkling & Penney Dentistry to schedule an appointment in Burlington or Jericho, VT today.
Did you see the move Cast Away starring Tom Hanks? If so, you probably remember the scene where Hanks, stranded on a remote island, knocks out his own abscessed tooth — with an ice skate, no less — to stop the pain. Recently, Dear Doctor TV interviewed Gary Archer, the dental technician who created that special effect and many others.
“They wanted to have an abscess above the tooth with all sorts of gunk and pus and stuff coming out of it,” Archer explained. “I met with Tom and I took impressions [of his mouth] and we came up with this wonderful little piece. It just slipped over his own natural teeth.” The actor could flick it out with his lower tooth when the time was right during the scene. It ended up looking so real that, as Archer said, “it was not for the easily squeamish!”
That’s for sure. But neither is a real abscess, which is an infection that becomes sealed off beneath the gum line. An abscess may result from a trapped piece of food, uncontrolled periodontal (gum) disease, or even an infection deep inside a tooth that has spread to adjacent periodontal tissues. In any case, the condition can cause intense pain due to the pressure that builds up in the pus-filled sac. Prompt treatment is required to relieve the pain, keep the infection from spreading to other areas of the face (or even elsewhere in the body), and prevent tooth loss.
Treatment involves draining the abscess, which usually stops the pain immediately, and then controlling the infection and removing its cause. This may require antibiotics and any of several in-office dental procedures, including gum surgery, a root canal, or a tooth extraction. But if you do have a tooth that can’t be saved, we promise we won’t remove it with an ice skate!
The best way to prevent an abscess from forming in the first place is to practice conscientious oral hygiene. By brushing your teeth twice each day for two minutes, and flossing at least once a day, you will go a long way towards keeping harmful oral bacteria from thriving in your mouth.
If you have any questions about gum disease or abscesses, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Periodontal (Gum) Abscesses” and “Confusing Tooth Pain.”
You have a winning smile except for one small flaw — one of your front teeth is chipped. In functional terms the defect is insignificant: your tooth is healthy and can still do its job. But with regard to your smile that chip is like a smudge on a masterpiece painting: it stands out — and not in a good way.
The good news is you have options to repair the chip and vastly improve your appearance. One option is to bond a custom porcelain veneer to the outside of the tooth to cover the chip. But that would also mean removing a slight bit of tooth enamel so the veneer won't appear too bulky. Although not as much as with a crown, the alteration still permanently affects the tooth — it will always require a restoration of some kind.
There's another choice that doesn't involve removing any of your enamel: composite resin. This treatment is a mixture of materials with a glass-like binder in liquid form that we apply to a tooth in successive coats. As we build up the layers we can match the tooth's shape, texture and various shades of its natural color. We're able to fill in the defect and make the tooth appear as natural as possible.
Unlike porcelain restorations, composite resins don't require a dental lab or a period of weeks to prepare. We can transform your simile in our office in as little as one visit.
Composite resin isn't the answer for every tooth defect. Teeth that have become worn, fractured or have undergone a root canal treatment are best treated with a porcelain restoration such as a veneer or crown. But where the defect is relatively minor, composite resin may be the answer.
To learn if you can benefit from a composite resin restoration, you'll need to undergo a dental exam. If we determine you're a candidate, we can use this state-of-the-art dental material to make your teeth look flawless.
If you would like more information on composite resins, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin.”