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If your teeth hurt when you bite or chew – or if your teeth feel sensitive when you eat or drink hot, cold, or sweet foods or drinks – you might have a cavity. Cavities affect grownups, too, especially as we keep our natural teeth longer as we age. But even an accident or an injury to a tooth or habits such as tooth grinding can damage the outer tooth enamel, leading to tooth pain.
Although sensitivity or pain is a common sign that something’s wrong, tooth decay has other, quieter signs, too. Perhaps your teeth feel fine, but you’ve seen a yellow, white, brown, or black spot on your tooth – or one entire tooth is discolored.
Please don’t ignore such symptoms. Tooth problems that aren’t identified and repaired only worsen – typically leading to more pain and possibly losing the affected teeth. Aside from sapping your confidence, a hole in your smile can impact how you speak and what you can eat. It also can cause your surrounding teeth to shift out of position, resulting in more problems.
Fortunately, our dentists in Cape Coral, FL, are able to address all of these issues and restore your healthy smile again.
You might think cavities are just for kids, but they’re also a problem for adults. More than 90 percent of Americans has had a cavity, and 1 in 4 adults has untreated cavities, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The pain of untreated cavities hampers our ability to concentrate, eat, and sleep. Fortunately, a dental filling is an easy and cost-effective way to repair a tooth damaged by decay.
Many people are nervous about treating a cavity and shudder at the thought of the dental drill. But modern dentistry has improved this process. If a tooth has a cavity, our dentist in Cape Coral only needs to remove the decayed part, not create a hole big enough for the filling, as older amalgam (silver-looking) required. Nowadays, dentists use a tooth-colored material called a composite filling, which chemically that bonds to your tooth. Composite fillings are quite durable, even making your tooth stronger, and look natural.
What Is a Tooth Crown?
If decay affects just a small part of your tooth, dental fillings are the best treatment. But a tooth that is severely cracked, decayed, or damaged doesn’t leave enough healthy enamel to attach a filling, requiring another option, such as a crown.
A dental crown acts as a cap for your tooth. It’s custom-made from dental porcelain that matches the color, shape, and translucency of your other teeth. By completely covering the tooth down to the gums, it also strengthens the underlying tooth and restores its normal function.
The Dental Crown Procedure
Crowning or capping a tooth usually takes two visits. Our dentist in Cape Coral must prepare the tooth to fit inside the crown, either by shaping the healthy tooth material or building up the part that will support the crown with the same material used for dental fillings.
The dentist then will make a mold of your affected tooth to send to the dental lab. Lastly, the dentist will attach a temporary crown to your tooth to protect it until your next appointment, when the permanent crown will be adhered in place.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
Fillings and crowns fix problems in damaged teeth. But if your tooth must be extracted, or if you’ve already lost a tooth, you may need a dental bridge to restore your smile’s beauty and function.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
A dental bridge is similar to a partial denture in that it replaces missing teeth, but it’s fixed permanently in the mouth. A bridge includes two crowns that fit over the healthy teeth on either side of a gap in your bite. These crowns attach to an artificial tooth called a pontic, which is made from the same dental porcelain as a crown and blends in with the rest of your teeth.
Bridges are designed in varying lengths, depending on your needs. A three-unit bridge (two crowns and one pontic) can fill the gap from one missing tooth and restore your bite. If you have two missing teeth, you’ll need a four-unit bridge consisting of two crowns supporting two pontics.
If you have additional questions about fillings, crowns, or dental bridges, we’re glad to help. Call our office in Cape Coral today at (239) 214-2982 to schedule an appointment.