What are Dental Implants? A dental implant is a tapered post, usually made of titanium, used to replace a tooth’s natural roots. When a tooth becomes damaged or decayed and needs to be extracted, the entire tooth (crown and roots) are removed. This leaves a space in the mouth which can be uncomfortable and hinder many everyday activities such as chewing and speaking properly. A dental implant is the closest you can get to natural healthy teeth.
How long does the implant process take? The dental implant process can be broken down into 3 phases which can take between 5-8 months to complete.
Phase 1 – Evaluation and preparation. This includes a CT scan where the dentist will evaluate your bone levels and see if you’re a good candidate for an implant. Once you’ve been cleared for an implant you will have the tooth extracted and bone grafting placed (if necessary). Phase one can take anywhere from 3-6 months to complete. Once the area is healed you can proceed to phase 2.
Phase 2- Placement of Dental Implant. This procedure takes about 1-2 hours to complete. Once placed the area needs to heal. During this time the titanium post that was placed will heal and merge with the surrounding bone tissue. The healing process can take anywhere from 3-6 months.
Phase 3- The crown is placed. Once the implant site has healed an impression or scan is taken and a tooth is created in the size shape and color that fits your mouth specifically. Once the crown is made it is placed and the implant process is over.
NO SEDATION REQUIRED. OVER 90% OF DR SMOOT’S IMPLANT CASES ARE COMPLETED UNDER LOCAL ANESTHETIC. Every patient is different and healing times vary based on each case. Please contact our office for a consultation where we can answer any questions you may have.
What is a root canal? When a tooth becomes cracked or decayed and bacteria infects the inner pulp (nerves and blood vessels) these nerves will have to be removed and the canal cleaned in order to protect the tooth. Opting for a root canal when necessary can improve your overall dental health and smile. Many times patients believe this procedure to be difficult and painful. However, performing a root canal usually eliminates the pain of an aching tooth. In most cases the procedure is similar to having a filling placed. The number one benefit of root canal therapy is being able to save a diseased tooth from extraction.
Many times patients are concerned with the color of their filling. Our office is pleased to offer composite tooth colored fillings. There are several benefits to choosing a tooth colored filling. White fillings are more esthetically pleasing and are ideal for front teeth. White fillings are very versatile and can be used not only for filling cavities but repairing broken, chipped, or worn teeth. White fillings generally require very little tooth structure to be removed in order to place thus preserving more of your natural tooth.
Cosmetic dentistry refers to any dental work that is done to improve the appearance, shape, and size of the teeth, bite, and gums. There are several options when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. Our office offers composite bonding, crowns, porcelain veneers, custom whitening trays and implants. With our many options to choose from we are able to meet the needs of all our patients.
CROWN & VENEERS
What is a crown? A crown is a tooth shaped “cap” that is placed over an existing tooth to restore its shape and improve strength as well as enhance appearance. Crowns can be made from many materials including gold, porcelain and porcelain fused to metal. Our office utilizes all porcelain crowns in most cases however we will take the time to choose with you the best crown for your tooth.
Why do I need a crown? •When a large portion of a tooth has chipped away or destroyed due to tooth decay •Large crack present in the tooth •Large filling in the tooth that has not left much of the original tooth or is in jeopardy of becoming loose •Help strengthen a tooth that has had a root canal •Restore an implant •Support a bridge
How do I care for my crown? Maintain good oral hygiene through flossing, brushing and regularly scheduled dental cleanings. Wear a custom fit bite-guard if you clench or grind your teeth. This will protect both the porcelain and your teeth. Studies show that the most common cause for damaged crowns is clenching/grinding. Refrain from chewing ice, hard candy and using your teeth to open bottles.
Veneers Dental veneers, also referred to as porcelain veneers, are thin custom made shells of tooth colored material used to cover the front surface on a tooth. There is a strong bond between the tooth and Veneer allowing the tooth to function normally and feel natural. Veneers greatly improve the overall appearance of discolored or irregularly shaped teeth. Veneers can be cared for in the same way you would care for a crown. Maintaining good oral health as well as avoiding problem food which can cause them to chip or crack can help your veneers last longer.
EXTRACTION / WISDOM TEETH
There are many reasons why one would need to have a tooth extracted. Our goal is to help you fully understand your situation and treatment options so that you’re comfortable with the choice you make. The main reason for an extraction is a damaged or diseased tooth. Once a tooth is damaged past the point of fixing it is necessary to have that tooth extracted. Holding on to an infected tooth can cause more health problems down the road. Our office also offers wisdom tooth services. Wisdom teeth need to be extracted when they cannot enter the mouth properly. They may come in sideways, partially, or remain trapped under the gum. This may cause discomfort, headaches, as well as risk of infection. Coming in for a simple exam and panoramic x-ray can help us diagnose and treat any wisdom teeth trouble you may be having. In most cases, we are able to extract the wisdom teeth right here in our office.
Visiting our office for regular dental cleanings is very important to the health of your teeth and gums. Maintaining a proper cleaning schedule can help prevent cavities, monitor existing conditions, and treat any new conditions that arise. We recommend cleanings every 3-6 months based on the condition of your gums. When brushing at home you are only able to get 65% of the plaque removed. The remaining plaque, if not removed, can harden into tartar and cause cavities. members of our hygiene are ready to help you establish a regular dental routine.
One way our office can help you relax is with the use of Nitrous Oxide more commonly known as laughing gas. Simply request this service when making your appointment to ensure a relaxing and stress free visit.