General Dentistry

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Our practice can typically provide every type of dental service without having to refer you to other specialties. This flexibility saves you time and keeps your total dental care within one practice! Our emphasis is on total preventive care for our patients. Total care begins with regular hygiene visits, regular check-ups and continued home oral health routines. We want our patients to maintain excellent dental health to avoid costly procedures.

Our practice also provides the highest-quality cosmetic dentistry for restoring mouths that have been damaged by dental disease, injury and common problems. Our primary goal for our patients is to achieve and maintain optimum oral health through advancements in techniques and technologies and by maintaining scheduled dental exams. To see the benefits and results of cosmetic dentistry, please visit our Patient Gallery page!

Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark. Implants arose from the patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures. Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant’s usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions, including:

  • Single tooth replacement
  • Anterior replacement
  • Posterior replacement
  • Full upper replacement

Implant As a Treatment Option
If the missing tooth space has no surrounding teeth, the dentist may decide an implant is the most appropriate treatment choice or option.

Post-Implant Care
Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken dental implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.

Root Canals

A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth, reshapes the canal and replaces it with strengthening filler.

A cavity is the result of superficial decay of the enamel of the tooth. Left long enough, this decay can burrow into the deeper reaches of the tooth, causing extensive damage to tooth structure. When the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling, dentists can perform a root canal (or endodontics), preserving the tooth and retaining its original integrity. Therefore, we can save a tooth that in the past would have to be pulled. Root canal therapy can be necessary as a result of trauma.

The procedure involves:

  • The patient undergoes anesthesia.
  • A dental dam is used to isolate the tooth.
  • The tooth is opened to allow for removal of infected or dead dental pulp.
  • The tooth is comprehensively cleaned, including any cracks and canals.
  • With special tools, the doctor reshapes the canals.
  • The tooth is filled again with cutting edge biocompatible filling material.
  • A temporary covering is used to cover the access opening.
  • Patients MUST have a permanent restoration on the tooth after root canal therapy.

Tooth Extractions

Your third molars are more commonly called "wisdom teeth." Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.

In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.

To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. Ask our staff for more information regarding tooth extractions if you feel you may need one.

Crowns

A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials.

The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:

  1. Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
  2. Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
  3. Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
  4. Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the permanent custom-made crown is being created.
  5. Applying the permanent crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the permanent one onto the tooth.
  6. After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.

This process generally consists of a minimum of 2 visits over a two to three week period. However, most crowns at MK Distinctive Dentistry are done utilizing the CEREC System, completing them in one visit without uncomfortable impressions. These crowns are the made of the same material as lab-made crowns.

Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last for over a decade.

Bridges

A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent:

  • Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
  • Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.

The treatment plan for a bridge usually requires 2 trips to your dentist. Specifically, it involves:

  • Numbing the surrounding teeth with a local anesthetic and cleaning plaque or decay.
  • Reducing the teeth so that the crowns can be fitted.
  • Making a mold or impression of the teeth in order to create a customized permanent impression (this generally takes two to three weeks).
  • Fitting the patient with a temporary bridge until the permanent bridge is ready for placement.
  • Removing the temporary bridge and replacing it with the permanent one.
  • Adjusting the bridge for the proper bite and fit and permanently bonding it into the mouth.

There are three main types of bridges, namely:

  • The fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
  • The “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.
  • The Cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.