Restoring Decayed Teeth

Composite Fillings

When it comes to your smile, any slight imperfection stands out, most especially in your own point of view. We are all our own worst critics, so the minor chips, spacing irregularities, discolorations, or cracks can greatly affect your daily life, self-esteem, and confidence in a very negative way. 

At the dental offices of Dr. Joshua M. Ignatowicz, we understand how important it is to have a brilliant smile to maintain confidence and happiness. Our Henderson, NV, general dentist will evaluate the condition of your teeth and determine if you might be a candidate for composite fillings to repair your minor imperfections.

Are Composite Fillings right for me?

If you are dealing with minor imperfections in your teeth, you may be right for composite fillings. They are not intended to replace whole teeth or large portions of teeth–that would be better served with crowns or veneers. Composite fillings are priced moderately and depend on the size of the filling and the technique used by our Henderson, NV, general dentist to place it in the tooth (composites take longer than the amalgam).

It is important to note that composite fillings require a cavity that can be kept clean and dry during filling and they are subject to stain and discoloration over time. Your dental situation should be evaluated by an experienced dentist so that the best possible remedy can be found to suit your needs. 

Contact Our Expert Henderson, NV, General Dentist

Having a beautiful, healthy, shining smile is not just beneficial for your oral health. It increases your self-esteem and makes you more confident when meeting new people, greeting friends, and even giving presentations or leading meetings. When there are imperfections in your teeth, even minor ones, it can wreak havoc on all of these aspects of life. Contact our Henderson, NV, general dentist at the dental offices of Dr. Joshua M. Ignatowicz for more information on composite fillings and if they are right for you.

Crowns and Caps

As far as a dental restoration goes, crowns and caps are used synonymously. 

Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth. 

Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth’s function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth. 

Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns also serve an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.

Procedures

A tooth is usually reduced in size to accommodate a crown. An impression is taken and a cast is made of the existing teeth. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place. 

Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically applied only to relatively small areas.

Caring For Your Crowns

With proper care, a good quality crown could last many years. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.

Porcelain Crown – No Metal Showing

Root Canal Therapy

The pulp, or soft inner tissue is important during the tooth’s development. Once a tooth is fully mature, the tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth is nourished by tissues surrounding it. The pulp is normally surrounded and protected by a layer of dentin. 

Above the gumline, the dentin is protected by a layer of enamel; below the gum-line the dentin is covered by cementum. When a crack or cavity destroys these protective layers, the pulp is exposed to irritants and bacteria in your mouth. This can result in inflammation then infection, and, eventually, an abscess. Periodontal (gum) disease or a severe blow to the tooth can also damage the pulp. Endodontic therapy removes the damaged pulp and usually the tooth returns to a healthy condition. 

If an abscess was present before treatment the healing process may take up to 2 years.

Restoring Periodontally-Involved Teeth

Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment

Periodontal treatment guidelines stress that periodontal health should be achieved in the least invasive and most cost-effective manner. This is often accomplished through non-surgical periodontal treatment, including scaling and root planing (a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins), followed by adjunctive therapy such as local delivery antimicrobials and host modulation, as needed on a case-by-case basis. 

Most periodontists would agree that after scaling and root planing, many patients do not require any further active treatment, including surgical therapy. However, the majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain health. Non-surgical therapy does have its limitations, however, and when it does not achieve periodontal health, surgery may be indicated to restore periodontal anatomy damaged by periodontal diseases and to facilitate oral hygiene practices.

Scaling and Root Planning

Scaling is a type of cleaning that removes plaque and calculus from the teeth at and slightly below the gumline. Root planing smooths root surfaces, so the supportive tissues can better reattach to the tooth surface. Often, this will be done with local anesthesia so you can relax and feel nothing as we rehabilitate your gums. 

Antibiotics

Periodontal disease is a bacterial disease and the key to controlling or eliminating it is the effective reduction or elimination of the harmful bacteria. An adjunctive option to scaling and root planing may be provided in either pill form or applied directly to the infected area (gum pocket) in the form of antibiotic powder. An antibacterial mouth rinse also may be prescribed to help control the harmful effects of and reduce bacterial plaque. 

Occlusal Adjustment

An improper bite or a traumatic occlusion may increase bone destruction attached to such offending teeth. We may either choose to adjust your bite so that your teeth meet properly and function better or construct a custom bite guard or splint- a removable device that fits over upper or lower teeth – to protect teeth surfaces and relax tense jaw muscles.

Periodontal Surgery

If you’re diagnosed with periodontal disease, your periodontist may recommend periodontal surgery. Periodontal surgery is necessary when your periodontist determines that the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with non-surgical treatment. 

Pocket Depth Reduction

When supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, “pockets” form around the teeth. 

Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth like a turtleneck around your neck. When you have periodontal disease, this supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, forming “pockets” around the teeth. 

Over time, these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. As bacteria develop around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth will need to be extracted.

Crown Lengthening

What is Crown Lengthening?

Periodontal procedures are available to lay the groundwork for restorative and cosmetic dentistry and/or to improve the esthetics of your gum line.

You may have asked your periodontist about procedures to improve a “gummy” smile because your teeth appear short. Your teeth may actually be the proper lengths, but they’re covered with too much gum tissue. To correct this, your periodontist performs crown lengthening.

During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to one tooth, to even your gum line, or to several teeth to expose a natural, broad smile.

Your dentist or periodontist may also recommend crown lengthening to make a restorative or cosmetic dental procedure possible. Perhaps your tooth is decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient tooth structure for a restoration, such as a crown or bridge. Crown lengthening adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.

What are the benefits of this procedure?

Whether you have crown lengthening to improve function or esthetics, patients often receive the benefits of both: a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health – your keys to smiling, eating and speaking with comfort and confidence.

Soft Tissue Grafts

Are you teeth sensitive to hot or cold foods?

Periodontal procedures are available to stop further dental problems and gum recession, and/or to improve the esthetics of your gum line. 

Exposed tooth roots are the result of gum recession. Perhaps you wish to enhance your smile by covering one or more of these roots that make your teeth appear too long. Or, maybe you’re not bothered by the appearance of these areas, but you cringe because the exposed roots are sensitive to hot or cold foods and liquids. 

Your gums may have receded for a variety of reasons, including aggressive tooth brushing or periodontal disease. You may not be in control of what caused the recession, but prior to treatment your periodontist can help you identify the factors contributing to the problem. Once these contributing factors are controlled, a soft tissue graft procedure will repair the defect and help to prevent additional recession and bone loss. 

Soft tissue grafts can be used to cover roots or develop gum tissue where absent due to excessive gingival recession. During this procedure, your periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done for one tooth or several teeth to even your gum line and reduce sensitivity.

What are the benefits of this procedure?

A soft tissue graft can reduce further recession and bone loss. In some cases, it can cover exposed roots to protect them from decay. This may reduce tooth sensitivity and improve esthetics of your smile. Whether you have a soft tissue graft to improve function or esthetics, patients often receive the benefits of both: a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health – your keys to smiling, eating and speaking with comfort and confidence.

Contact us for an appointment!