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Age, cavities, injuries and habits such as teeth grinding all can damage our teeth. Some damage may be visible as a white, yellow, brown, or black spot on a tooth, or the entire tooth might be discolored. You also may notice that your gums have receded or that your tooth wriggles.
Other times, you can feel something wrong when you eat. For instance, if you have a tooth that is sensitive to hot, cold or sweet food or beverages, the outer enamel covering the nerves in the teeth might be cracked or compromised because of dental decay. Another sign of a cracked tooth is a sudden, sharp pain in your mouth when you bite. Biting applies pressure, causing a cracked tooth to open and irritating the nerve inside; the pain subsides when you stop biting.
Even though many people are nervous about visiting a dentist, such symptoms should not be ignored. If a tooth problem is not identified and repaired, your tooth might have to be extracted. This causes not only the cosmetic issue of a hole in your smile but can affect how you speak and what you can eat. What’s more, if such gaps aren’t filled, your surrounding teeth can shift out of position, causing more problems.
Fortunately, our dentists in Hollywood, FL, have several solutions to address all of these issues and give you a healthy smile.
Cavities aren’t just for kids. More than 90 percent of Americans have had a cavity, and 1 in 4 adults has untreated cavities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Untreated cavities can cause pain, a poor appearance, and affect our ability to eat and concentrate. The good news is, a dental filling is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to repair a tooth that’s been damaged by decay.
If a tooth has a cavity, our dentist in Hollywood will remove the decayed area and fill it with a tooth-colored material called a composite filling. This material doesn’t require the dentist to drill away healthy tooth structure to make room for it anymore; instead, it chemically that bonds to your tooth, making it stronger. Composite fillings look natural and quite durable. They’re resistant to fracture and able to withstand the daily pressure of biting and chewing.
What Is a Tooth Crown?
Dental fillings are designed to treat decay that has affected just a small part of your tooth. If there is not enough healthy enamel to bond to a filling, then the dentist will recommend a crown instead.
A dental crown acts as a cap for your tooth. It completely covers the tooth down to the gums, strengthening the underlying tooth and restoring its normal function.
Our dentists in Hollywood will create a custom crown that matches the shape, color, and translucency of your other teeth. Once it’s in place, only you and your dentist will be able to tell that it’s not your natural tooth.
The Dental Crown Procedure
Crowning or capping a tooth usually takes two visits. First, we’ll prepare the tooth to fit inside the crown. If you have very little natural tooth left, the dentist may build up the tooth with a filling material to support the crown. This is called a core build-up.
After the tooth is prepared, the dentist will take an impression to send to the dental lab. Before you leave, the dentist will attach a temporary crown to your tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready. At your next visit, the dentist will adhere the permanent crown, made from dental porcelain.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
If you have a space in your smile because of a missing tooth, a dental bridge can fill that space. A dental bridge is a permanent solution designed to place an artificial tooth where the natural tooth no longer exists.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
Unlike a partial denture, which is removable, a dental bridge is fixed permanently in the mouth. A bridge actually includes two crowns that fit over the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth. These crowns will be attached to an artificial tooth called a pontic, which will fill in for the missing tooth. The pontic looks just like a crown but doesn’t have a real tooth supporting it.
If you have one missing tooth, you’ll need a three-unit bridge composed of two crowns and one pontic. If you have a space in your smile because of two missing teeth, you’ll need a four-unit bridge: two crowns supporting two pontics. Depending on your needs, longer bridges can also be created.
If you have additional questions about dental bridges or crowns, call our office in Hollywood today at (954) 246-4851 to schedule an appointment.