Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a filling?
There are two types of fillings we offer here at our office, amalgam (silver) or composite (tooth colored).
Silver (amalgam) fillings: Although white composite resin fillings are used almost exclusively by our office, there may be unique circumstances that call for a silver (amalgam) filling. Typically, silver fillings are placed on back teeth (molars).
White fillings: White fillings are used almost all of the time in our office. They are an attractive, durable alternative to silver (amalgam) fillings. White fillings are made of a strong composite resin that is matched to the surrounding tooth color. In the past, white fillings were placed only on front teeth, but recently a stronger more durable material has been developed that can withstand the chewing pressure of back teeth.
What is a root canal?
When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected or abscessed, Root Canal Therapy is the only way to save the tooth. A tooth can become abscessed as a result of deep decay, a cracked tooth, or trauma to the tooth. The only alternative to Root Canal Therapy is an Extraction.
During Root Canal Therapy, the tooth is "numbed" (just like having a filling). Then the unhealthy nerve is removed and medication is placed in the tooth to treat the bacterial abscess (infection). After the infection is removed and treated, a filling is placed in the roots where the unhealthy nerve was.
A tooth that has undergone Root Canal Therapy is more brittle and must be crowned to give the tooth sufficient strength. The tooth is cared for in the same way as other natural teeth.
What is a crown?
A crown fits over the entire top of the tooth above the gum line. Crowns cover, protect, seal and strengthen a tooth. A crown is needed when a filling just will not work. A crown may be made of gold, white porcelain, or porcelain fused to gold. There are many situations that may call for a crown, we will discuss and explain these situations to you when they arise, together decide which type of crown best fits your need.
What are implants?
Dental Implants have been used successfully for many years. The implant itself is a post that is surgically placed in the jaw. A prosthesis (artificial tooth or teeth) is then attached to the post. Dental implants and the restorative process are performed in our office.
- Dental implants are the most advanced tooth replacement system ever devised.
- Dental implants never develop decay.
- Dental implants never require root canals.
- Dental implants preserve the jawbone, which can prevent premature aging.
What is gum disease?
According to the American Dental Association, at least 60% of adults in the United States have moderate-to-severe gum disease! No doubt, you've heard some of the terms: Plaque, Tartar, Calculus, Gingivitis, Periodontitis, Periodontal Disease, Gum Disease. But what does it all mean? Quite simply, Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease) starts when plaque and tartar (calculus) are allowed to accumulate at the base of your teeth. The bacteria in the plaque leads to an infection in the gums (gingiva) called Gingivitis. Left untreated, the infection spreads to the tissue and bone that holds your teeth in place, a condition called Periodontitis. Because of the bacterial infection associated with Periodontitis, tooth abscesses are also common.