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We’ve reopened in accordance with CDC, O.S.H.A., and State Dental Board guidelines to responsibly resume seeing our patients for regular dental appointments and treatment. We want to assure you of the measures we take to maintain a clean and safe environment so you can continue to receive needed dental care without fear or concern.
You might have thought – or hoped – you’d left cavities behind once you reached adulthood. Unfortunately, tooth decay quite common, a disease second only to the common cold. And decay isn’t the only culprit that can damage our teeth: habits such as tooth grinding, an accident or injury, and even aging can cause teeth to crack or become compromised, wearing down the outer enamel covering the nerves and leading to pain.
Not all tooth damage is painful. Some shows up just as a yellow, white, brown, or black spot on a tooth, or an entire discolored tooth. But when a tooth becomes sensitive to cold, hot, or sweet food or drinks, or when you feel a sharp pain as you chew or bite, that’s definitely a sign of trouble.
We sympathize that people are reluctant to visit the dentist at such times. But tooth problems that aren’t remedied lead to greater problems – typically, more pain and lost teeth. If a tooth is so damaged that it has to be extracted, you’ll have a hole in your smile that can impact how you speak and what you can eat. Such gaps also can lead to the surrounding teeth shifting out of position.
The good news is, our dentists in Cutler Bay, FL, have solutions for these issues that can return your smile to its healthy best.
As we live longer, our teeth are susceptible not only to age but cavities. More than 90 percent of Americans have had a cavity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta notes, and 1 in 4 adults has untreated cavities.
The pain from untreated cavities hampers our ability to sleep, eat, concentrate, and carry on in our daily activities. Fortunately, a dental filling is an easy and cost-effective treatment.
Some patients’ anxiety about visiting the dentist stems from worry about the process of getting silver-colored fillings, which required drilling away healthy tooth structure to make room for a filling. But modern dentistry has made fillings a lot easier. Thanks to composite fillings, our dentist in Cutler Bay will remove only the decayed portion. Composite fillings are made of tooth-colored material that is durable, fracture-resistant, and bonds chemically to your tooth, actually making it stronger.
What Is a Tooth Crown?
Fillings are best when decay affects only a small part of your tooth. If tooth decay hasn’t left enough healthy enamel to attach a filling, or if your tooth is cracked, then dentist will recommend a crown.
A dental crown acts as a cap for your tooth. A crown completely covering the tooth down to the gums and is custom made from dental porcelain that matches the shape, color, and translucency of your other teeth. Once in place, it reestablishes a damaged tooth’s appearance function as well as its function. It’s as durable as it is comfortable.
The Dental Crown Procedure
Crowning or capping a tooth usually takes two visits. First, the dentist will prepare the tooth to support the crown. If you have very little natural tooth left, the dentist will build up the core using filling material. Otherwise, some natural tooth enamel will need to be removed.
The dentist will take an impression of the prepared tooth to send to the dental lab for your custom crown. Before you leave, the dentist will attach a temporary crown to your tooth to protect it until your next appointment, when we will adhere the permanent crown in place.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
Both crowns and fillings repair and restore damaged teeth – but what if you’ve already lost a tooth to decay or an accident, or your tooth needs to be extracted? If you have a space in your smile, a dental bridge can fill it and restore your bite so you can smile with confidence and eat your favorite foods without worry.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
Like a crown, a dental bridge is fixed permanently in the mouth, unlike a removable partial denture. A bridge is constructed by two crowns that are custom-made to fit over the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth. These crowns then attach to a pontic, an artificial tooth crafted from the same material as a crown, so it blends in naturally with your other teeth.
Bridges can be three units, four units or more, depending on your needs. A three-unit bridge (two crowns and a pontic) is used to replace one missing tooth and restore your bite, for instance. A gap from two missing teeth would need a four-unit bridge (two crowns supporting two pontics).
Our office in Cutler Bay is glad to answer any additional questions you have about crowns, fillings, or bridges. Call us today at (786) 619-3434 to schedule an appointment.