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If your teeth feel sensitive when you eat or drink cold, hot, or sweet foods or beverages – or if your teeth hurt when you chew or bite – or you might have a cavity. Cavities affect adults, too, especially as we keep our natural teeth longer as we age. But even an injury or accident to a tooth or habits such as tooth grinding can damage the outer tooth enamel, leading to tooth pain.
Although pain or sensitivity is a common sign that something’s wrong, tooth decay has quieter signs, too. Perhaps your teeth feel fine, but one of your teeth is discolored, or you’ve noticed a white, yellow, brown, or black spot on your tooth.
Please don’t ignore such symptoms. Tooth problems that aren’t treated only grow worse – typically leading to more pain and possibly losing the affected teeth. Aside from sapping your confidence, a hole in your smile affects how you speak and what you can eat. Such a gap also can cause the surrounding teeth to shift out of position, resulting in more problems.
Fortunately, our dentists in Hialeah, 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 grownups. More than 90 percent of Americans has had a cavity, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and 1 in 4 adults has untreated cavities.
The pain of untreated cavities interferes with our ability to eat, sleep, and concentrate. Fortunately, a dental filling is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways 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 with modern dentistry, our dentist in Hialeah only needs to remove the decayed area of an affected tooth, not create a hole big enough for the filling, as older amalgam (silver-looking) fillings required. Nowadays, dentists use composite fillings, which chemically bond to your tooth. Composite fillings are made of tooth-colored material that looks natural, and they’re quite durable, even making your tooth stronger.
What Is a Tooth Crown?
When decay affects only a small part of your tooth, dental fillings are the best treatment. But a tooth that is severely damaged, cracked, or decayed 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 to match the shape, color, and translucency of your other teeth. It completely covers the tooth down to the gums, strengthening the underlying tooth and restoring its normal function.
The Dental Crown Procedure
Crowning or capping a tooth usually takes two visits. First, our dentist in Hialeah must prepare the tooth to support the crown properly, either by shaping the healthy tooth material or building up the interior 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 permanent crown is adhered in place at your next appointment.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
Fillings and crowns fix problems in damaged teeth. But if you already have a space in your smile because of a missing tooth, or if your tooth must be extracted, 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 adhered in your 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 blends in with the rest of your teeth. It’s made of the same dental porcelain as a crown.
Bridges come in varying lengths, depending on your needs. One missing tooth typically needs a three-unit bridge (two crowns and one pontic) to fill the gap. If you have two missing teeth, a four-unit bridge consisting of two crowns supporting two pontics can restore your bite.
If you have additional questions about fillings, crowns, or dental bridges, we’re glad to help. Call our office in Hialeah today at (305) 921-0481 to schedule an appointment.