Your dental health is important, and our patients’ safety is our top priority. 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. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and all CDC guidelines very closely.
We all know that tooth pain signals a problem. A sharp pain when you chew or bite or sensitivity to cold, hot, or sweet foods or beverages can indicate a cracked tooth, damage in the outer enamel covering a tooth’s nerves – or tooth decay.
Tooth decay, or a cavity, has other symptoms, too. You might not have pain in your teeth, but if you’ve noticed an entire tooth that’s discolored – or a white, yellow, brown, or black spot on a tooth – that’s a sign of decay.
We understand that people often are reluctant or nervous to treat a cavity. But tooth decay is quite common, affecting more than 90 percent of adults over age 40. Unfortunately, ignoring it can lead to more serious issues, such as losing one or more teeth. One quarter of adults over age 60 have lost teeth primarily because of decay, which saps your self-esteem and affects general nutrition and quality of life.
The good news is, our dentists in Plantation, FL, can address these issues and present you with the best way to repair your tooth and restore your healthy smile.
As we live longer, our teeth are susceptible not only to age but cavities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta notes that 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 eat, sleep, concentrate, and carry on in our daily activities. Fortunately, a dental filling is a simple and cost-effective way to repair such a damaged tooth.
Some patients’ anxiety about visiting the dentist stems from worry about drilling. But modern dentistry has made fillings a lot easier. No longer does a dentist have to drill away healthy tooth structure to make room for a filling, as with older silver-colored (amalgam) fillings. Rather, our dentist in Plantation will remove only the decayed portion and fill it with a composite filling. This durable, fracture-resistant, and tooth-colored material bonds chemically to your tooth, actually making it stronger.
What Is a Tooth Crown?
Fillings are best when decay affects just 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 will 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. It reestablishes a damaged tooth’s function as well as its appearance once it’s in place. 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 affected tooth to fit inside the crown. If you have very little natural tooth left, the dentist will build up the interior, using filling material to support the crown. Otherwise, some natural tooth enamel will need to be removed.
But once the tooth is prepared, the dentist will take a mold 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 the permanent crown is ready. At your next appointment, we’ll adhere the permanent crown in place.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
Both crowns and fillings repair and restore damaged teeth – but what if your tooth needs to be extracted, or you’ve already lost a tooth to an accident or decay? A dental bridge can fill a space in your smile and restore your bite so you can smile with confidence and eat your favorite foods without worry.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
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 but natural-looking tooth that fills in the space.
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, for instance. A gap from two missing teeth would need a four-unit bridge (two crowns supporting two pontics).
Our office in Plantation is glad to answer any additional questions you have about fillings, crowns, or bridges. Call us today at (954) 246-4871 to schedule an appointment.