When a dental filling is required, Dr. Arend or Dr. Rawley will give you different options for treatment. We want to provide you with the best information to make the right choice for you. The dental filling might be tooth-colored composite, silver amalgam, porcelain or gold. There are advantages and disadvantages to all these treatments that you can discuss with our staff.
Advantages/Disadvantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations
Tooth-colored/bonded restorations are natural-looking fillings that prevent further tooth decay while replacing lost tooth structure. Generally completed during one office visit, this bonding procedure can significantly improve the appearance of a tooth. Composite restorations come in a variety of shades to match the color of the surrounding tooth structures. The cost of tooth-colored composite dental fillings is greater than silver fillings, and insurance companies will not usually pay the difference on back teeth. Placement is more time consuming and difficult, often requiring the use of a rubber dam.
Advantages/Disadvantages of Silver Fillings
Silver amalgam fillings are strong, long lasting restorations that replace tooth structure lost to fracture or decay. They have been used safely for over 70 years, and are one of the most tested and studied materials. Silver amalgam fillings are less expensive than other options, with typically better insurance coverage. Placement of these dental fillings is generally easier and faster than composite fillings. Disadvantages of silver amalgam fillings include possible discoloration, occasional metallic taste, and minimal mercury content.
Root Canal Therapy
On occasion your tooth may need root canal (endodontic) treatment for it to remain a healthy part of your mouth. A tooth is made of soft tissue (nerve and blood supply) on the inside and hard tissue (enamel and dentin) on the outside. A root canal is necessary when the nerve inside the tooth develops infection. If a tooth becomes infected, Dr. Arend and Dr. Rawley can provide root canal (endodontic) treatment for it to remain a healthy part of your mouth.
An infection in a tooth can be caused by an existing or new crack in the tooth, repeated dental work, or deep decay. A tooth that has been injured by trauma may also sustain nerve damage on the inside with no immediate visible signs on the surface of the tooth. Without treatment though, infection can result in pain, swelling, and an abscess.
Root canal treatment thoroughly cleans and medicates the soft tissue space where the infected nerve was located. A biocompatible filling material is placed in the empty nerve space, sealing the tooth and root canals. Antibiotic treatment may also be required in conjunction with root canal therapy.
Our goal at East Portland Dentistry is to provide dental work that is imperceptible. We make every effort to provide you with restorations that look and feel like your natural teeth.
Crowns generally support damaged teeth and fix functional chewing problems. Crowns are constructed from materials such as high-grade porcelain, ceramic, porcelain bonded to gold, or full gold.
Fitting a crown requires two visits to East Portland Dentistry. Initially, Dr. Arend or Dr. Rawley will remove decay, shape the tooth as needed, and then fit the tooth with a temporary crown. On the subsequent visit we will remove the temporary crown, replacing it with a permanent crown and making adjustments as necessary. The permanent crown will be cemented into place as your beautiful new tooth.
Periodontal Disease & Scaling and Root Planing
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease or periodontitis, occurs when the bone and gums around teeth become infected. Gums can become inflamed as a result of bacteria, plaque, and tartar/calculus. Some of the symptoms associated with periodontitis are red, swelling and easily bleeding gum tissue. If the condition remains untreated, the gums separate from the teeth, resulting in periodontal pockets and loss of bone holding the teeth in place.
Dr. Arend, Dr. Rawley and the hygienists at East Portland Dentistry will routinely evaluate you for periodontal disease. If it is discovered that you have any periodontal concerns, we will formulate a treatment plan customized to you.
Oral Surgery/Tooth Extractions
Dr. Arend or Dr. Rawley may determine with you that one of your teeth needs to be extracted. The extraction may be done at East Portland Dentistry or you may be referred to a specialist. If you choose to have this done with Dr. Arend or Dr. Rawley, we can offer you the comfort and care you need, including medication to relieve the anxiety associated with this procedure.
Replacing Missing Teeth
Tooth loss can result in a deficiency with jaw support, joint health and esthetics. Lost teeth can be replaced to restore proper health and function of your mouth. There are many options for correcting tooth loss to fit all budgets and preferences. Some common treatments include dental implants, dental bridges, removable partial dentures and full dentures.
Dental Implant and Prosthetics
Dental implants provide a natural-looking and comfortable way to replace missing teeth. They can replace a single missing tooth or be a support for bridges or dentures. Dental implants are root shaped fixtures of titanium, which are surgically placed into your jawbone. The implant acts as an anchor for a crown, bridge or denture to fit over.
A single tooth implant requires no alterations to the adjacent teeth and often looks and feels like the original natural tooth. If you have a denture or partial that is loose, implants can provide you with a solid anchor to stabilize your appliance. They also help to maintain the jaw bone over the course of a lifetime.
Diligent daily oral hygiene is required for implants to stay clean and healthy. It’s also important to regularly visit Dr. Arend and Dr. Rawley for routine follow-up appointments and cleanings. Your implant restoration will periodically require replacement of some parts as they wear naturally with function.
A dental bridge can be used to replace missing teeth. The bridge attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. The bridge will only last as long as the abutment teeth that support it. Dental bridges can be made using porcelain, gold, or a combination of these materials.
Fitting a dental bridge usually takes two appointments to complete. Portland, Oregon dentists Dr. Arend or Dr. Rawley will first prepare the teeth on either side of the space. A precise impression is taken to fabricate your bridge in our dental lab. You will have a custom, well fitting temporary bridge to wear between visits. On your subsequent appointment to East Portland Dentistry, the new bridge will be checked and inserted, restoring the missing teeth to natural function.
A strict regimen of brushing, flossing, and regular checkups will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth healthy. Good dental care of these teeth is critically important, as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.
Removable Partial Dentures
A removable partial denture can be a good option to replace multiple missing teeth. This appliance attaches to your natural teeth with clasps and undercuts that keep them in place. Partial dentures are constructed of replacement teeth attached to gum-colored plastic bases connected by a metal framework. Like full dentures, bone loss in the areas of missing teeth occurs over time, making checkups, relining and repair necessary.
When loss of all the teeth in an arch occurs, one may require a full denture. A denture is an acrylic base with custom replacement teeth. It fits on the palate and dental ridges where the natural teeth used to be. Dentures are held in place by suction, learned muscle control, and dental adhesives.
Unfortunately, the alignment of your jaw will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges shrink due to tooth extraction. Dentures will wear and become loose over time, and will need to be replaced or relined in order to maintain proper fit and function. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for any changes or potential gum disorders.
Looking for the best Family Dental Care East Portland, OR has? At East Portland Dentistry we provide dental implants, full dentures, dental fillings, crowns, and bridges. Please call us today!