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Some of us expect our teeth to grow a little dingy as we age – that’s what whitening treatments are for, right? – but not all tooth discoloration occurs just from the passage of time. Tooth decay is a common disease, second only to the common cold, and one symptom is a white, yellow, brown, or black spot on a tooth, or an entire discolored tooth.
Decay, or cavities, also announces itself through pain. If you have a tooth that is sensitive to cold, hot, or sweet food or drinks, decay might have cracked or compromised your tooth’s outer enamel, exposing the nerves in your teeth. A sure sign of a damaged, cracked, or severely decayed tooth is a sudden, sharp pain in your mouth while you chew or bite. This causes pressure on a damaged tooth, irritating the nerve inside.
Although we understand the reluctance to address such symptoms, they shouldn’t be ignored. A tooth problem that’s not identified and repaired usually leads to a bigger problem – often, losing one or more teeth. This impacts how you speak and what you can eat, plus it can make you shy about your smile. It even can cause surrounding teeth to shift out of position.
Fortunately, our dentists in Pembroke Pines, FL, can address these issues and help give you a healthy, functional smile again.
As we live longer, our teeth are susceptible not only to age but cavities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, more than 90 percent of Americans have had a cavity, and 1 in 4 adults has untreated cavities.
The pain from untreated cavities hinders our ability to concentrate, eat, sleep, and carry on in our daily activities. Fortunately, a dental filling is a simple and cost-effective fix.
Some patients’ anxiety about visiting the dentist stems from worry about drilling. But thanks to modern dentistry, a dentist no longer has to drill away healthy tooth structure to make room for a filling, as those silver-colored (amalgam) fillings required. Rather, our dentist in Pembroke Pines will remove only the decayed portion and fill it with a composite filling. This tooth-colored material is fracture-resistant and bonds chemically to your tooth, actually making it stronger.
What Is a Tooth Crown?
Dental fillings are designed to treat decay on 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. By completely covering the tooth down to the gums, a crown strengthens the underlying tooth and restores its function.
Our dentists in Pembroke Pines will create a custom crown that matches the color, shape, and translucency of your other teeth. Once the crown is 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 support the crown. If you have very little natural tooth left, the dentist may build up the tooth with a filling material, or shape the remaining tooth structure.
Afterward, the dentist will take an impression of the prepared tooth to send to the dental lab. Before you leave, the dentist will attach a temporary crown to your tooth to protect it until your next visit. That’s when the dentist will adhere the permanent crown into place.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
Fillings and crowns help repair and restore damaged teeth. If you’ve lost a tooth because of decay, an accident, or an injury, you’ll likely need a dental bridge.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
A dental bridge adheres permanently in the mouth (unlike a removable partial denture). A bridge is composed of two crowns that fit over the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth. These crowns support a pontic, a natural-looking artificial tooth that fills in the space. The pontic looks and feels natural because it’s made from the same dental material as a crown.
Bridges are created in varying sizes to meet your needs. One missing tooth often uses a three-unit bridge as described above (two crowns and a pontic in the middle), for example. Two missing teeth can be replaced with a four-unit bridge composed of two crowns supporting two pontics.
Have additional questions about fillings, crowns, and dental bridges? Call our office in Pembroke Pines today at (954) 719-6278 to schedule an appointment. We’re glad to help you.