We Are Open – Safety is Our Top Priority!
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.
Sometimes problems with our teeth are painfully visible: a yellow, white, brown, or black spot on a tooth, or an entire tooth that’s discolored. Other times, they’re just painful: a tooth that is sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet food or drinks, or a sharp pain in your mouth when you bite.
Aging, accidents, cavities, and habits such teeth grinding all can damage our teeth. If you’ve noticed any of the above symptoms, you’re likely in need of a filling because of tooth decay. Tooth decay shouldn’t be taken lightly – it’s one of the most common of all diseases, second only to the common cold. If tooth problems such as decay are not identified and fixed, your tooth might have to be extracted. This causes not only a cosmetic issue but impacts how you speak and what you eat. Such gaps in your smile also can make your surrounding teeth shift out of position, causing more problems.
The good news is, our dentists in Naples, FL, have several solutions to address these issues and help restore your healthy smile.
You might have thought that you left cavities behind you when you entered adulthood. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, 1 in 4 adults has untreated cavities, and more than 90 percent of Americans has had a cavity.
Left untreated, cavities can cause pain that affects our ability to concentrate, sleep, and eat – and that’s just for starters. One quarter of adults over age sixty have lost all their teeth primarily because of decay. This affects not only self-esteem but contributes to poor nutrition.
Even though people dread treating a cavity, a dental filling is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to repair a tooth that’s been damaged by decay.
If your tooth has a cavity or if you have an old filling that needs to be replaced, our dentist in Naples doesn’t have to drill as much as you might think. The dentist will remove the decayed or affected area and fill it with a composite filling. This tooth-colored material doesn’t require the dentist to drill away healthy tooth structure to make room for the filling, as amalgam (silver-looking) fillings did. Rather, composite fillings chemically bond to your tooth, stabilizing it and strengthening it.
What Is a Tooth Crown?
Fillings are used 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, the dentist may recommend a crown.
A dental crown acts as a cap for your tooth. Completely covering the tooth down to the gums, a crown is custom made from dental porcelain that matches the color, shape, and translucency of your other teeth. Once in place, it reestablishes both a damaged tooth’s appearance and 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 fit inside the crown. This might involve removing some natural tooth enamel (at least 2 mm) or, if you have very little natural tooth left, the dentist will do a core build-up, using filling material to support the crown.
But once the tooth is prepared, the dentist will take an impression of it 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. Then the permanent crown will be adhered in place.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
Fillings and crowns restore and repair decayed and damaged teeth. But what if your tooth needs to be removed, or is already missing and now affecting your bite? A dental bridge can replace a missing tooth, closing a gap in your smile and reestablishing your teeth’s function.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
A dental bridge, like a partial denture, replaces missing teeth. But a dental bridge is fixed permanently in your mouth, whereas a partial denture is removable. A bridge is constructed from two crowns that fit over healthy teeth on either side of a missing tooth and support an artificial tooth called a pontic. The pontic is crafted from the same dental porcelain as the crowns, so it blends in naturally with your other teeth.
Depending on your needs, bridges can be made in varying lengths. One missing tooth, for instance, can be replaced by a three-unit bridge composed of two crowns and one pontic. Two missing teeth might need a four-unit bridge made of two crowns supporting two pontics.
If you have additional questions about dental bridges or crowns, call us today at (239) 206-4282. Our office in Naples is glad to help you schedule an appointment.