These days, many patients come to our Greensboro dental office with questions about mercury in their old fillings. We’ve been amalgam free for 20 years and will gladly remove these so you can have new natural looking fillings. We also perform dental implants along with the following restorative services:
Click a topic below to read more information.
A Stable Solution that Renews Your Smile
If you've lost teeth due to accident, injury, or gum disease, we can create a permanent bridge to restore your solid smile. A bridge not only fills the gap, but it also prevents repositioning of remaining teeth. It can also correct a misaligned bite, improve chewing function and speech articulation, and provide internal structure for the face to give you a more youthful appearance.
What is a Fixed Bridge?
First of all, a bridge is a prosthetic tooth (or teeth) that attaches on one or both sides to teeth prepared with dental crowns. A fixed bridge is permanently joined onto the neighboring abutment teeth (crowned teeth) and consists of three basic units: the false tooth or teeth (called a pontic) and two abutment crowns. The style of bridge we suggest will depend upon the strength and health the abutment teeth, as well as the location of the gap in relation to the rest of your dentition. If healthy adjacent abutment teeth aren't available, a surgically-implanted metal post, known as a dental implant, may offer a solid alternative. For a bridge that replaces many teeth, we may recommend a removable partial denture or implant-supported prosthesis. With proper care, a fixed bridge may last at least 8 to10 years.
If you have questions about crown and bridgework or any other dental prosthetic, call our Greensboro dental office. We will be happy to discuss the options and schedule your evaluation.
Dentures & Partial Dentures
A smile just isn't a smile if it's incomplete. Missing teeth cause a host of problems, from difficulty speaking and eating to low self-confidence to jawbone deterioration. Don't give up on your smile. Advances in dental materials and technology have made full and partial dentures more lifelike and comfortable than ever.
What is a Partial?
A partial denture, commonly referred to as simply a partial, consists of multiple teeth on a gum colored base. The teeth are not in a row, but rather spread across the base to fit like a puzzle with your existing teeth. A partial is normally secured with clips or brackets, but unlike a bridge, a partial is removable.
What is a Denture?
A full denture is a complete top or bottom row of teeth mounted on a gum-colored base. Dentures can be closed or open palate, and they require denture adhesive to hold them in place.
Implant-Supported Dentures and Partials
Dental implants are small titanium posts anchored into the jawbone. If you prefer a secure full or partial denture and do not want clips or adhesive, then consider implant-supported dentures. In a brief surgery, an implant dentist can secure a few dental implant posts to hold your dentures in place. With implant-supported dentures, you won't have to worry about slippage, and your prosthetic will feel safe and sound.
Your teeth contain several layers: the outer protective enamel, a secondary layer of sensitive dentin, and an inner pulp that contains components commonly referred to as the "nerve" of the tooth. Each pulp chamber branches off, forming canals that lead toward the tooth root tip. These infamous root canals provide a means for the tooth to absorb what it needs from the blood and get rid of toxins or other unnecessary materials via the blood stream. A deep cavity, traumatic injury, or tooth fracture can make the canal susceptible to bacterial infection, which can kill the pulp, stimulate increased blood flow, and create pressure within the tooth. This can cause severe tooth pain and may initiate bone degeneration, tooth loss, and even more acute pain. If you see a dentist in the earliest stages of this condition, the tooth may be saved with a root canal. Otherwise, it should be extracted and replaced with a prosthetic.
Easy Does It
Will root canal therapy hurt? Not with today's advanced analgesics and technology. In fact, the entire process can be so comfortable that many patients doze off. Oftentimes, root canal therapy can be completed in a single appointment. We simply clean out the diseased canal, fill it canal with a biologically-inert substance, seal it from further infection, and you're on your way. While some patients experience post-procedural soreness or slight tissue inflammation, these are controllable with over-the-counter analgesics. Follow-up care involves thorough home hygiene and regular dental visits for cleanings and check ups.
If you're missing a tooth, you have two options: replace it or don't. If you don't replace your tooth, you face all kinds of complications with your diet and appearance, and recent studies show that a missing tooth greatly increases your chances of losing more teeth. There are several options available for replacing a missing tooth. Research shows that dental implants are the only sure way to prevent surrounding teeth from increased stress and trauma.
Why should I replace a missing tooth?
A tooth has two parts: the crown and the root. When a tooth falls out, the section of the jaw that supported the tooth has no purpose, so it withers and atrophies. Your remaining teeth are then supported by a weakened jaw. A missing tooth also increases the workload of remaining teeth, and to balance the load, teeth shift, which can cause spaces between teeth, food impaction, and promote decay. After about four to eight years, remaining teeth will begin to fall out as well. Up to 19% of adjacent teeth are lost as the result of a missing tooth. That's five more lost teeth if you started with a full set!
What are my replacement options?
The most popular options are: partials, bridges, or implants. Let's review them.
Removable partials have clasps that attach to surrounding "abutment" teeth, which must carry the weight of the replacement. Because the missing tooth's root is not replaced, the jawbone begins to atrophy. Some people with removable partials complain of discomfort and increased sensitivity. A study conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) shows that removable partials actually cause patients to lose up to 30% more teeth. This option is popular because it is the least expensive.
For fixed bridges, the abutment teeth are reduced and fitted with caps to support the replacement tooth or teeth. As with a partial, the missing tooth's root is not replaced, so the jawbone begins to atrophy. Bridges usually last about 10 years. After this time, surrounding teeth begin can to decay and may require root canal therapy. According to the ADA, patients with fixed bridges lose up to 10% of their remaining teeth.
Dental implants are the ideal tooth-replacement option, because they replace the missing tooth's root as well as the crown. Dental implants do not require support from adjacent teeth, and they keep the jawbone strong because it has a purpose - to support the tooth's root. With dental implants, patients do not experience increased tooth decay or sensitivity as with bridges. With regular oral hygiene, dental implants can last a lifetime. Dental implants have a success rate of 90 to 98%, and can also secure dentures, partials, or bridgework.
Dental implant candidates must be in good health and have adequate bone structure. Your dentist will evaluate your specific case to determine which replacement option is right for you.