Our Restorative Care
Restorative Dentistry In Germantown, TN
Most Americans have had a cavity, and cavities lead to fillings. A filling is done to remove decay and replace the affected tooth structure. We call them fillings because new material fills the hole that decay left behind. These days, most teeth are filled with tooth-colored composite resin, making your filling virtually invisible to anyone who sees you smile. Our goal is to catch your cavity early enough, so we can treat it easily and painlessly. If not treated in a timely manner, decay progresses and will eat away more of your tooth structure. This can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, possibly leading to root canal treatment or extraction. Taking care of your fillings quickly will eliminate future, more costly treatment!
Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too compromised to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent breakage, as well as improving the look of your smile.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown itself. During this time a temporary crown is worn. In the second visit this temporary is removed. Then the permanent crown is adjusted as needed and then cemented in place.
This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically.
The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics. It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated quickly, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a whole chain reaction of movement. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and, with one missing, they start to "fall." As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they, too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.
FULL AND PARTIAL DENTURES
There are different types of dentures, but they share a common function; they replace teeth that have been lost or become loose due to bone loss. When bone loss around the roots of teeth is great enough to loosen them or let them fall out, it's time for dentures. Relax. No one enjoys losing their natural teeth, but you can still eat and talk regularly.
The entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed and which will remain. The loose teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fitted to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth, depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take some getting used to. But once accustomed to the dentures, all the normal functionality and appearance return and one just carries on as usual. Often implants can be used to further stabilize both full and partial dentures.
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a dental surgeon implants a small titanium shaft into the bone and it is allowed to set. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, Dr. Wilson then works to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft. This permanent solution has the advantage over bridge work that it does not stress the surrounding teeth for support, and, should the tooth wear out, another can simply be replaced on the shaft.
Implants can also be used as support as part of an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages. First, there is no adjustment period to acclimatize the patient who, once the work is done, only feels teeth, not metal supports intruding into the mouth. Second, this slows the bone loss occasioned by missing teeth. Third, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating. And, best of all, of course, implant bridges are fixed, so they don’t come in and out like a partial or full denture.