Implants may be the best option for replacing a single or multiple missing teeth. An implant is a metal post that is placed directly into the jawbone. After the bone and surrounding tissue has healed a crown is attached to the implant. Implants provide superior benefits compared to bridge work as they do not depend on neighboring teeth for structural support. Implants are the closest dental structure to natural teeth and have greater cosmetic appeal. Implants are used to:
• Replace missing teeth
• Prevent teeth from shifting
• Support for implant retained dentures or bridges
• Improve appearance (cosmetic reasons)
Fillings are used to restore tooth damage caused by tooth decay. Fillings are made from traditional amalgam (silver colored) gold inlay, or a composite (tooth colored). Composite fillings, in addition to being more esthetically pleasing, bond directly to the tooth surface unlike traditional fillings.
A root canal becomes needed when tooth decay is so badly neglected it reaches the tooth pulp. Once the pulp is infected it cannot heal on its own. Sometimes tooth trauma such as a fracture can lead to the need for a root canal as well. In addition to being painful, untreated infections can reach the root tip and compromise the entire immune system. Symptoms of pulp infections may be:
• Sensitivity to hot/cold
• Sensitivity to sweets
• Pain, especially when biting
• Bad taste in the mouth
A root canal procedure includes cleaning out the infected pulp, disinfecting the canals and filling the void with a rubber like substance to prevent further infection. Sometimes a crown is recommended to restore the tooth shape, look, and to strengthen the tooth structure.
Crowns are used to restore severely damaged teeth due to fracture or decay. The crown protects the tooth structure and provides support. Crowns also improve the tooth's look and shape. Crowns are used to:
• Restore a fractured tooth
• Restore a tooth severely damaged by decay
• Protect a tooth from fracture
• Cover a discolored or unattractive tooth
• Attach a dental implant
• Anchor a bridge
When a tooth is damaged beyond repair it may require removal.
A tooth may have to be extracted for many reasons:
• Severe decay
• Periodontal disease (gum disease)
• Fractured in such a way that it is impractical to repair
• Badly positioned (e.g. impacted wisdom teeth)
• Non-functional or poorly functional teeth
Dentures and implant retained dentures
Dentures are a "replacement" option for missing teeth or extracted teeth. An implant retained denture has better retention and support.
Reasons for a full denture:
• All Teeth missing in the same arch
• Restore chewing ability
• Restore a natural looking smile