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Teeth help to keep us healthy by allowing us to eat and chew the foods we enjoy.
Teeth help us to look younger. Our teeth, gums and bone support the facial structures and keep them from sagging and caving in. Without teeth to support our facial tissues, we would appear much older.
Teeth help build our self-esteem and confidence, by giving us an attractive and youthful smile.
Investing in your teeth is an investment in your health. Aren’t you worth it?
Cracks in Heavily Restored Teeth
DIAGNOdent Laser Cavity Screening
DIAGNOdent is a revolutionary new way for our doctors to find even the smallest areas of tooth decay and cavities. By using the advanced DIAGNOdent technology, our doctors are able to treat small cavities and areas of tooth decay before they become larger issues requiring multiple procedures. DIAGNOdent is a quick, comfortable process that helps our doctors keeps your smile healthy and happy for a lifetime.
How does DIAGNOdent work?
DIAGNOdent uses a precise scanning system to scan over all of your teeth while sending out an audio signal and registering a digital read-out identifying where there may be cavities developing in the small spaces between, on, and around your teeth. It is measuring the fluorescence within each tooth’s structure. Clean, healthy teeth will show little to no fluorescence, which will result in very low scale readings. Unhealthy teeth will show a higher level of fluorescence, and will return elevated scale readings. This is how our doctors are able to detect where treatment is needed. DIAGNOdent is comfortable, and takes only a few short minutes to scan your entire mouth for cavities and decay. Detecting tooth decay as early as possible helps eliminate the number of costly treatments that you may need down the line. It also helps treat small problems before they become serious dental cases requiring multiple office visits.
Not all cavities are noticeable without the help of the advanced DIAGNOdent laser screening.
Most tooth decay begins in the tiny cracks and grooves of you tooth’s surface. By the time the cavities are noticed, it’s often because there is a much larger problem, and the cavity itself was never seen or felt by the patient. With the widespread use of fluoride, many of these cavities never make it to the tooth’s surface, and instead begin eating away at the tooth from the inside out. The DIAGNOdent laser helps locate these small areas of decay.
Prefabricated Post and Core with Crown
- When a tooth is fractured or decayed leaving very little tooth structure, a foundation must be created in order for the tooth to be restored. The first step in this procedure is root canal treatment.
- Once root canal treatment has been completed, some of the root canal filling material is removed and a prefabricated metal post is fitted and cemented into the canal of the root.
- The post provides retention for a core filling material which is usually bonded to the post and remaining tooth structure. The post and core creates a foundation upon which a crown can then be fabricated.
- In this ‘see-through’ demonstration, all of the various components can be seen. The crown is cemented over the core providing a final functional and esthetic restoration.
Esthetic Post and Core with Crown
Over time, fillings in teeth start to deteriorate and require replacement. This individual had tooth colored fillings placed in the two front teeth several years ago. These type of fillings can become stained and discolor over time, creating an esthetic concern. They can be replaced with new fillings to match the existing tooth color, helping them to blend into the teeth once again!
Fillings may also require replacement if decay exists around them. These tooth-colored fillings are discolored around the edges by decay of the tooth structure around them. Once decay starts around a filling, the bacteria spreads rapidly, getting underneath the filling and destroying tooth structure. These failing restorations must be replaced quickly to prevent further destruction of the tooth and to help prevent additional treatment.
Progression of Tooth Decay
Teeth can require crowns for a variety of reasons; fracture, decay, weak large fillings, discoloration, esthetics, and some teeth with root canals. A crown is placed over a tooth and therefore, a certain amount of the original tooth must be removed to provide space for the crown to restore the tooth to its proper size and shape. Placement of a crown generally requires 2 appointments. During the first treatment appointment, the tooth is shaved down to create the ideal space for the new crown (cap). A mold is made of this prepared tooth and a plastic temporary crown is placed until the next appointment. Using the mold, a dental laboratory will fabricate the final crown to the proper size, shape and color. During the second treatment appointment, the crown is fitted on the tooth, the color is verified and the bite is adjusted. Once these steps have been completed, the crown is cemented over the prepared tooth. The diagram to the right shows a “see through” image demonstrating how the crown fits over the prepared tooth, as well as the real appearance of the final restoration.
- The old silver amalgam fillings are unesthetic in appearance. There is a great deal of controversy about silver fillings that contain mercury.
- Some dentists and patients prefer not to use this type of filling material and they may choose to replace existing mercury fillings with white fillings.
- Porcelain inlays have been used to replace the deteriorating silver restorations. They are created to replace the correct anatomy of the tooth.
- The color of the porcelain inlay can be created to match the natural tooth color and with the bonding cements which are used, the inlay blends seamlessly with the tooth structure. The result is a beautiful, natural looking restoration.
What is a Bridge?
- This existing bridge requires replacement. There is wear on the biting surfaces and the tissue has shifted, exposing the metal around the edges of the bridge.
- Once the old bridge is removed, the teeth are prepared for a new bridge. The outer layer of the teeth must be removed to accommodate the metal and porcelain used to fabricate the bridge.
- The bridge is made in a laboratory using molds made of the prepared teeth. The bridge has a metal substructure over which porcelain is bonded. The color of porcelain is chosen to match the existing teeth.
- The bridge is adjusted and fitted over the teeth. It is then cemented into place.
Three Unit Bridge
Why Crown (Cap) a Tooth
- In many cases, teeth that have had a root canal treatment will require a crown. This discolored front tooth has very little internal tooth structure remaining and requires a crown to reinforce it.
- This lower molar tooth has a large fracture. Teeth such as this will require a crown to prevent further fracture and breakdown, and may require a root canal and a post and core.
- When teeth have large fillings within them, (generally more than 50% of the tooth), they commonly fracture. An artificial crown is recommended to protect and reinforce the remaining tooth structure, and restore its natural appearance.
- Replacing an existing crown is required when the crown and/or tooth starts to deteriorate. In this example, there is bacteria around the edge of the crown, causing the tooth to decay and discolor. A new crown is required.