At some point you may face the need for the most basic of dental problems-cavities. If left unaddressed, cavities can cause widespread tooth decay and oral pain. When a cavity is removed, ensuring the infected portions of the tooth no longer remains, it can leave an open space that not only threatens the structural integrity of the tooth but can make it easier for infection. A composite resin filling fixes this by replacing the lost tooth structure. At our practice we only offer tooth colored fillings which make for a more aesthetically pleasing restoration.
A Crown is a dental cap that covers a damaged tooth, restoring not just its appearance but also improving strength and functionality. Cemented permanently in place, a crown can then be cared for and maintained as easily as a regular tooth. Our crowns are typically made of a porcelain and ceramic mix. This mix provides strength for the tooth but also makes a more natural look.
A Bridge fills the space left by a missing tooth. It is a single unit containing two crowns and a Pontic or fake tooth. The two crowns attach to the teeth on either side of the missing tooth allowing that Pontic to fill the space of the missing tooth. Bridges are a permanently cemented into your mouth and are very easy to maintain.
COMPLETE AND PARTIAL DENTURES
A complete denture is used when all of the teeth are missing on either the upper or lower arch of the mouth, or if all teeth are missing on both arches. A partial denture can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. This is used when there are remaining teeth for the partial denture to attach to. Both complete dentures and partial dentures are removable. Anything other than your natural teeth is a compromise. You may want to consider attaching your denture to dental implants so that you get the proper function.
A dental implant is another option that can be used to replace missing teeth. It is essentially a screw placed in the bone. Once the screw has healed the crown can be placed on top. Most offices refer this type of treatment out to an oral surgeon, but at Weddington we are able to do dental implants here in the office. Most of the time, dental implants are the BEST option for replacing teeth. They are very strong and act as a normal tooth does.
There are numerous options for implant supported dentures.
PORCELAIN FIXED OVERDENTURE
If all of your upper or lower teeth are missing you have the option of having dental implants placed, the number will be determined by Dr. Graichen, then a custom porcelain denture fabricated to attach the these implants. The denture would remain in place but could be removed by Dr. Graichen if needed for cleaning and maintenance. This option may be more costly but it gives a better appearance.
ACRYLIC FIXED OVERDENTURE
If you are missing all of your upper or lower teeth, you may be interested in the acrylic overdenture. This overdenture is also supported by implants, but has a custom bar that attaches or screws to your implants that allows the patient to remove the overdenture for cleaning.
SNAP ON ACRYLIC DENTURE
If you are missing all of your upper or lower teeth this may be the option for you. A small number of dental implants are placed, and your acrylic denture is made to snap onto the implants. This allows the denture to be more stable than a standard denture. This denture can be removed and snapped in by the patient. This would be the least costly option.
ROOT CANAL THERAPY
A root canal is a procedure that is needed when the nerve of a tooth has become irreplaceable, infected, and diseased. Symptoms can include pain, severe sensitivity, and swelling. The dentist will numb the area so you are comfortable during treatment. The infected nerve is carefully and gently cleaned and then filled. The good news is that the tooth remains intact and functional! After a root canal, a crown is needed to protect the tooth and restore form and function.
If a tooth becomes damaged or diseased to the point that it cannot be healed with fillings or crowns, it may have to be completely removed through an extraction. Extractions may also be prescribed if a child’s baby teeth are not falling out on their own, hindering permanent teeth from growing in properly.
When teeth are extracted you lose part of the bone that supported that tooth. Bone grafts are recommended for most extractions. When the tooth is extracted bone chips are placed in the site where the tooth was extracted. This allows the bone chips to fuse with your natural bone making the site more stable for any type of restoration you may choose to replace the missing tooth. It also allows for quicker healing with less bleeding and less pain.
DENTAL EMERGENCY CARE
We know that dental emergencies happen at all hours of the day and night, weekends and holidays. We care about you as our patient and make every effort to ensure that all of your needs are met. Should a dental emergency arise, we have an after hours number that you can call 704-525-3939.