Restoring function, appearance, or both!
Running the gambit from fillings to implants, most of our regularly performed procedures are restorative. That’s because alongside regular cleanings and exams, restorative work is a cornerstone of maintaining a healthy mouth! Getting that filling done can prevent a root canal. Getting a root canal can prevent the loss of a tooth. Replacing a lost tooth can prevent bone loss and shifting teeth.
Common Restorative Procedures
Cavities, or dental caries (Latin for rottenness), are caused by acid from bacteria dissolving the hard tissues of your teeth. Enamel is the hardest substance in your body, so the acids that break it down are serious business! Once the hard tissues have broken down, the bacteria can reach further into the tooth, and may ultimately lead to an infection. Nobody wants to have a root canal, and having your cavities filled as soon as they're diagnosed significantly reduces your risk of needing one.
Here at Simply Smiles, our standard of care includes always filling teeth with tooth colored composite, never amalgam (silver fillings). Not only do they look much better, but they're also less susceptible to the recurrent decay that often pops up underneath silver fillings.
When a tooth is too decayed to be restored with a filling, is deeply chipped or cracked, or has had a root canal, we turn to crowns (also known as caps). Although crowns can be made from semi-precious metals, at Simply Smiles we prefer to use porcelain/ceramic crowns. These crowns can be shade matched to your natural teeth, so they'll blend right in!
Unlike getting fillings, getting a crown is a multi-visit procedure. On your first visit, we trim down the tooth, take impressions to send to the lab, and place a temporary crown on your tooth. The temporary crown let's you eat and carry on almost just like the permanent one will, except it's made of acrylic. That means nothing too hard, nothing chewy, and absolutely no gum! Doctor's orders!
After the lab gets your permanent crown back to us, you come in for your second visit. We take off the temporary, and cement in your real crown. Once you're happy with your bite and how it flosses, you'll be on your way!
Multi-visit procedure might sound a little intimidating, but you'll probably spend less than two hours total with us. Not so bad after all.
Got a dull ache in one of your teeth? Noticed that it's so uncomfortable to chew on one side that you only chew on the other? It’s possible one of your teeth is infected. This is when bacteria from your mouth enters one of your teeth and reaches the pulp at the heart of the tooth. That's right where all the nerves are! Those nerves extend right down into the root canals in the roots of your tooth. See where this is going?
Luckily, with quick treatment we can usually save an infected tooth with a root canal (also called endodontics). If your infection is more complex, or if the infection occurs in a tooth that has already had a root canal, we may refer you to a specialist that we know and trust.
During a root canal, the pulp and nerve of the tooth is removed and replaced with a composite material similar to what fillings are made from. The infection is removed along with the living core of your tooth. It's a serious procedure, but one that'll save your tooth!
Here at Simply Smiles, extractions are a last resort. We'd much rather restore your natural teeth than have you go through the long process of getting an implant or bridge.
However, there are times when a tooth is in such bad shape that there's no hope of restoring it. It has to be removed.
If you have a tooth removed, we usually that you have a bone graft placed at the same time. You see, after a tooth is removed, you lose bone in that area rather quickly. This turns into a big problem if you're planning on replacing that tooth with an implant. Implants need several millimeters of strong, healthy bone for support. Besides, the bone graft must be left to heal and integrate, a process that can take months. Getting an implant is already a time consuming process, so why make it any longer by waiting to have a bone graft?
Dental pain is miserable. That's why we make every effort to see patients in pain on the same day the reach out to us. If you have any kind of dental emergency, please call us at 941-921-4654.
Dental emergencies have a habit of flaring up at the worst possible times. They also don't seem to careabout office hours either. If you're a patient of record, and your having a true dental emergency, call 941-921-4654. At the end of the voicemail, there are instructions on how to reach the dentist outside of office hours. We care about you and will do our best to take care of true dental emergencies whenever they happen!