general dental information

Information on Dental Techniques

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that a periodontist places into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.

 

While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support.

 

Dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling, you may forget you ever lost a tooth.You know that your confidence about your teeth affects how you feel about yourself, both personally and professionally. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don't feel secure. Perhaps you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, there is good news! Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Under proper conditions, such as placement by a periodontist and diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime. Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for implants.

 


 

The Zoom! In-Office Whitening System is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. It's safe effective and fast, very fast. In just over an hour, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. Zoom! Whitening is ideal for anyone looking for immediate results. The convenience of Zoom! in comparison to days of wearing trays and gradual whitening makes it the perfect choice for the busy individual.

The Zoom! Whitening procedure is simple and painless. It begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. The Zoom! clinician then applies the proprietary Zoom! Whitening Gel, which is activated by a specially designed light. Teeth typically become at least six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more. A five-minute fluoride treatment competes the procedure. You'll be amazed with the results. In most cases, teeth get even whiter the first few days after the procedure.

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What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic material, which are bonded to the front of teeth. This procedure requires little or no anesthesia, and can be the ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. Porcelain veneers are placed to mask discolorations, to brighten teeth, and to improve a smile. Highly resistant to permanent staining from coffee, tea, or even cigarette smoking, the wafer-thin porcelain veneers can achieve a tenacious bond to the tooth, resulting in an esthetically pleasing naturalness that is unsurpassed by other restorative options.

 

Why a porcelain veneer?
Porcelain veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns in many situations. They provide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth's color, size, or shape. Porcelain veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline, by an injury, or as a result of a root-canal procedure, and are ideal for masking discolored fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider porcelain veneers. Generally, veneers will last for many years, and the technique has shown remarkable longevity when properly performed.

 


 

What is a root canal procedure?
A root canal is a procedure done to save the damaged or dead pulp in the root canal of the tooth by cleaning out the diseased pulp and reshaping the canal. The canal is filled with gutta percha, a rubberlike material, to prevent recontamination of the tooth. The tooth is then permanently sealed with possibly a post and/or a gold or porcelain crown. This enables patients to keep the original tooth.

 

What is involved in root canal therapy?
Once your general dentist performs tests on the tooth and recommends therapy, he or she can perform the treatment or refer you to an endo-dontist (a pulp specialist). Treatment usually involves one to three appointments.

 

First, you will probably be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. A rubber sheet is then placed around the tooth to isolate it. Next, a gap is drilled from the crown into the pulp chamber, which, along with any infected root canal, is cleaned of all diseased pulp and reshaped. Medication may be inserted into the area to fight bacteria. Depending on the condition of the tooth, the crown may then be sealed temporarily to guard against recontamination, or the tooth may be left open to drain, or the dentist may go right ahead and fill the canals.

 

If you're given a temporary filling, usually on the next visit it's removed and the pulp chamber and canal(s) are filled with rubberlike gutta percha or another material to prevent recontamination. If the tooth is still weak, a metal post may be inserted above the canal filling to reinforce the tooth. Once filled, the area is permanently sealed. Finally, a gold or porcelain crown is normally placed over the tooth to strengthen its structure and improve appearance.

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What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is an appliance used to replace one or more missing teeth. These appliances are cemented into place and cannot be removed by the patient.

 

How is a dental bridge constructed?
As the name of this appliance implies, the bridge is made out of three pieces that fit into the open space in the mouth, "bridging" the gap. Most bridges are made of a pontic tooth (or false tooth), held together by two crowns (a "cap" that covers the tooth, approximating its normal size and shape). This trio is then attached (cemented) to the abutment teeth (the surrounding teeth of each side of the gap).

 

Who is a candidate for bridges?
Nearly everyone who has one or more missing teeth is a candidate for a dental bridge. However, the difference between proper and improper oral hygiene is, generally, what determines the success of the dental bridge.

 


 

What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth – covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance.

The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

What Types of Crown Materials are Available?
Permanent crowns can be either all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic




What are Dentures?

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals. Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position. Complete dentures are either "conventional" or "immediate." A conventional denture is placed in the mouth about a month after all the teeth are removed to allow for proper healing, whereas an immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed. The drawback behind an immediate denture is that it may require more adjustments after the healing has taken place.

 

Who needs dentures?
Candidates for complete dentures have lost most or all of their teeth. A partial denture is suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles. It will greatly enhance the facial appearance and smile.

 

What happens when you get dentures?
A dentist can make a full conventional denture when all teeth have been lost or all extraction sites have healed (up to eight weeks or longer.) The denture process takes about one month and five appointments: the initial diagnosis is made; an impression and a wax bite are made to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position; a "try-in" is placed to assure proper color, shape and fit; and the patient's final denture is placed, following any minor adjustments. New denture wearers need time to get accustomed to their new "teeth" because even the best fitting dentures will feel awkward at first. While most patients can begin to speak normally within a few hours, many patients report discomfort with eating for several days to a few weeks. To get accustomed to chewing with a new denture, start with soft, easy-to-chew foods. In addition, denture wearers often notice a slight change in facial appearance, increased salivary flow, or minor speech difficulty.


 

Tooth Colored Inlays are the treatment of choice for many patients.
Inlays are an excellent way to restore teeth with small to moderate decay, leaving a natural looking tooth surface and providing long-term durable restoration solutions, while limiting the amount of healthy tooth structure removed.

Porcelain inlays are an aesthetic alternative to silver amalgam fillings and look exactly like the rest of your natural teeth. Because inlays are made with porcelain, they are customized to your natural tooth shade and look like your natural tooth. Porcelain inlays are made from the same strong tooth colored material that is used for crowns and bridgework. A customized shade makes them virtually undetectable.

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Cosmetic Dentistry Can Give Anyone the Smile of Their Dreams

Thanks to advancements in modern dental care, a variety of options are available to help any person have a dazzling new smile more easily today than ever before.

 

Today's top cosmetic dental treatment options include:

 

Whitening - The most commonly prescribed cosmetic dental procedure, many whitening options are now available to consumers in a wide range of prices.

 

Bonding - An option for chipped or cracked teeth, bonding is a process in which an enamel-like material is applied to a tooth's surface, sculpted into shape, hardened, and then polished for an ideal smile.

Implants - A replacement for dentures, implants are a stronger, more attractive option for replacing missing or lost teeth. An anchor is placed in the patient's jaw, and a life-like ceramic restoration is built around it and matched to the original tooth color.

 

Veneers - An increasingly popular procedure, veneers are ultra-thin, custom-made laminates that are affixed directly to the teeth. They are a great option for closing gaps or disguising discolored teeth that did not respond well to whitening procedures.

 

 

 

Contact Dentistry of West Palm Beach
Victor Martel DMD

561-659-2111