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If your teeth hurt when you chew or bite – or if your teeth feel sensitive when you eat or drink cold, hot, or sweet foods or beverages – 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, also called bruxism, can damage the outer enamel, leading to tooth pain.
Although sensitivity or pain 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 seen a white, yellow, brown, or black spot on your tooth.
Please don’t ignore such symptoms. Tooth problems that aren’t fixed only grow worse – typically leading to more pain and possibly losing the affected teeth. Aside from sapping your confidence, a hole in your smile can impact how you speak and restrict what you can eat. It can cause your surrounding teeth to shift out of position, resulting in more problems.
Fortunately, our dentists in Winter Park, 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, especially as we keep our natural teeth longer. More than 90 percent of Americans has had a cavity, and 1 in 4 adults has untreated cavities, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The pain of untreated cavities hinders 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 because of modern dentistry, our dentist in Winter Park only needs to remove the decayed area in a tooth with a cavity, not create a hole big enough for the filling, as older amalgam (silver-looking) fillings required. Nowadays, dentists use a tooth-colored material called a composite filling. Composite fillings look natural, and they’re quite durable. Plus, they chemically bond to your tooth, making it stronger.
What Is a Tooth Crown?
When decay affects just a small part of your tooth, dental fillings are the best treatment. But a tooth that is severely decayed, cracked, or damaged 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. Custom-made from dental porcelain, it matches the color, shape, and translucency of your other teeth. By covering the underlying tooth down to the gums, it also strengthens that tooth and restores its normal function.
The Dental Crown Procedure
Crowning or capping a tooth usually takes two visits. First, our dentist in Winter Park must prepare your tooth to support the crown, either by shaping the healthy tooth material or building up the interior part with the same material used for dental fillings.
After the tooth is prepared, the dentist will make an impression mold of your tooth to send to the dental lab. Then the dentist will attach a temporary crown to your tooth to protect it until your next appointment, when the permanent crown will be adhered in place.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
Fillings and crowns repair problems in damaged teeth. But if you already have a tooth missing, 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 stays permanently 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 replacement tooth called a pontic, made of the same dental porcelain as a crown to blend in with the rest of your teeth.
Bridges are designed in varying lengths, depending on your needs. If you have one missing tooth, a three-unit bridge (two crowns and one pontic) can fill the gap, for instance. If you have two missing teeth, you’ll likely need a four-unit bridge consisting of two crowns supporting two pontics to restore your bite.
If you have additional questions about fillings, crowns, or dental bridges, we’re glad to help. Call our office in Winter Park today at (407) 901-4351 to schedule an appointment.