As your trusted dentist, Christopher A. McConnell, DDS will partner with you to achieve your smile goals and give you a bright, dental future. We use digital images, personal explanations, and videos to help patients understand treatment options. Armed with accurate information, you can make choices that will give you a healthy, attractive smile to last throughout your life!
When people think of repairing teeth, fillings usually come to mind first. But there are also other types of restorations, such as crowns. The two main ways of making a resoration are called direct and indirect restorations. And there are different materials to choose from, each with different benefits.
Direct Restorations- Fillings are used to repair a tooth damaged by decay. With direct restorations, the dentist puts the filling material right into the tooth, When you get a filling, the dentist first removes the decayed part of the tooth. Then the dentist cleans the area and fills the cavity. Most of the time, this happens during a single visit.
Common Dental Filling Materials:
Indirect Restorations- Instead of being made directly in the tooth, indirect restorations are made in a lab and then placed on the tooth. The cost of indirect restorations is generally higher due to the number and length of visits required, and the extra cost of having the restoration made in a dental lab.
Indirect Retorations include:
It can be embarrassing to have spaces in your mouth where teeth are missing. Some people lose teeth due to injury, tooth decay, or periodontal disease (infection of the gums and bone surrounding teeth.) Others may not have had all their teeth grow in. Whatever the reason, dental implants can help replace missing teeth.
If you want a dental restoration that looks and feels as though its really part of your mouth, dental implants may be right for you. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root. Your jawbone fuses with the implant to provide a secure platform for a prosthesis (artificial tooth). If you are missing many teeth, several implants can be used to support a particular or complete denture.
To learn whether you are a good candidate for dental implants, you will have a dental evaluation. The eval includes a dental exam, a dental and medical history, and imaging tests. As part of the exam, the health and structure of your mouth are studied. This helps the dental team understand where to place implants.
If you are a good candidate for implants, the dental team will talk with you about a treatment plan. You'll also discuss the costs and time that may be involved.
If you snore, you may know about nightly jabs in the ribs and grumbling from your bed partner. The noise you make can disrupt their sleep and your own. It may be a sign of a more serious problem called sleep apnea.
For simple snoring or mild to moderate apnea, a special oral appliance may help. The dentist works and consults with your physician to build and fit an oral appliance just for you.
Your doctor can discuss with you the various treatment options for snoring and sleep apnea. Treatment can help you breathe freely again so you get a good night's sleep.
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If your teeth are discolored, tooth whitening may help. "Whitening" is any process that makes teeth look whiter. Whitening may be safely performed in a dental office or at home. There are two major groups of whitening products:
Chemical-containing whiteners or bleaching products, which change the color of teeth by removing deep and surface stains
Whitening toothpastes that do not contain bleach and remove surface stains only
Here are some options for whitening teeth:
In-office whitening- done in the dental office; these products are much stronger than the take-home bleach products, since in-office products have more hydrogen peroxide
Whitening toothpastes- contain ingredients that help remove surface stains only. Unlike tooth-whitening bleaches, whitening toothpastes do not affect stains below the tooth's surface
Home-use bleaching whiteners dispensed by dentists- the dentist will makes special bleaching trays for your upper and lower teeth. The bleaching gel is placed in the trays, which are worn for shot periods of time
Signs and symptoms
Temporomandibular disorders can have many different signs and symptoms that range is severity. Specific symptoms may include:
changes in bite
pain in or around the ear
tender jaw muscles
clicking or popping noises in the jaw
difficulty opening or closing the mouth
pain when yawning or chewing
jaw joints that feel as if they are "locked", "stuck" or they "go out"
How the jaw joints and muscles work
The two temporomandibular joints work together in a delicate balance with muscles, ligaments, cartilage and your jaw bones. When a problem prevents these parts from working together properly, pain may result.
eating softer foods
avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails
practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation
Exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles
Medications prescribed by your dentist, for example muscle relaxants or anti-inflamatory drugs
Night guard or bite plate to decrease clenching or grinding of teeth
Bite adjustment and/or orthodontics
When we eat or drink anything that contains suger ( candy, soda, juice, etc.) bacteria turn the sugar into acids that can attack tooth enamel. Over time, repeated attacks may result in decay. The good news is that there is a way to protect your teeth and prevent decay: Dental Sealants.
How do sealants work?
A dental sealant is a plastic material that is applied to a chewing surface of a back tooth. The sealant material flows into the pits and grooves in the teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel by "sealing out" plaque and food.
How are sealants applied?
Sealants are easy to apply and it takes only a few minutes and steps. First, the teeth are cleaned and prepared to help the sealant stick to the tooth. the sealant is then "painted" onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds to the tooth and hardens. Sealants are generally clear or white and cannot be seem when you smile or talk.