A crown or “cap” is a dental restoration that completely covers the visible part of your tooth. Crowns are held in place with special cements, which bond them to the underlying tooth structure. Crowns are an attractive, time-tested option used for the teeth that have been severely damaged or weakened by decay, trauma, root canal treatment or large fillings.
Crowns may also be attached to dental implants to rebuild and enhance your bite and your smile. Crowns usually take two appointments to complete; during the first appointment the tooth is prepared, an impression taken and a temporary crown fabricated and placed; the second appointment (usually a few weeks later) is when the new crown is tried in, adjusted and permanently cemented. To learn more about our CEREC Same Day Crowns, click here.
Also called a Fixed Partial Denture, this restoration is used to replace a missing tooth by joining or “bridging” the teeth on either side of the missing tooth, called “abutment” teeth.
The abutment teeth are prepared to accommodate the material used to restore the missing tooth. This is a two-appointment procedure as it takes the lab a few weeks to fabricate the final bridge restoration. In the meantime, an acrylic temporary bridge is placed.
Treatment for Gum Disease
Also known as “periodontal disease” this is a process caused by long-term build up of plaque and tarter that leads to the recession of gum tissue and loss of bone surrounding and supporting the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease will cause loosening and the eventual loss of teeth.
Plaque is full of microorganisms (bacteria). This sticky bio-film will remain attached to the teeth for around 24 hours before it is calcified and turns into a hard material called tarter. Tarter build up around teeth will attract more plaque and eventually grow in size causing the gums and bone to recede.
This process can be stopped early (before the tarter builds up below the gum-line) by brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings. If the build up of tarter extends below the gum-line, more aggressive treatment, such as Scaling and Root Planning or Periodontal Surgery may be needed.
We eat food every day and not all of us are fastidious about keeping our teeth cleaned; everyone has gum disease to some extent. To determine the extent of gum disease and the appropriate treatment, you will need to have a complete examination with a full set of radiographs. It is important to know that periodontal disease is painless until near the end. Its very similar to high blood pressure; prevention and being pro-active is the BEST way to treat gum disease!
Implants are a wonderful option for replacing missing teeth, whether they be single teeth, multiple teeth or the entire dentition. Implants are also an excellent way to secure complete dentures from “flopping around” in the mouth. Implants are an excellent alternative to bridges and partials for missing teeth because they feel and work most like our natural dentition. Implants are biocompatible titanium anchors that are positioned in the jaw bone underneath the gums. They are usually done in two phases; first you will see an oral surgeon to have the implant placed. After a few months of healing, we will fit a custom restoration on top of the implant post to replace your missing tooth or teeth. Every case is different, so you should ask Dr. Beck if you have any specific questions about your own mouth and dental implants.
Endodontic Therapy “Root Canals”
The root of a tooth encloses the nerve (pulp) and blood vessels which provide vitality and hot/cold sensations. When tooth decay (caries) or trauma of tooth structure (such as fracture or long term grinding) reach the pulp, the tissues become irreversibly inflamed and the nerve (pulp) dies. When this happens there are only two choices for treatment: pull the whole tooth or keep the tooth and remove the diseased pulp tissue.
Endodontic or “root canal” therapy is a procedure that removes the infected pulp tissue, cleans and disinfects the inside chamber and seals it up with an inert material preventing further infection. It is very important to know that almost every tooth that has had endodontic therapy will need a crown placed to keep it from fracturing and having to be extracted. The reason; accessing the pulp chamber and removing the pulp tissue and reshaping the canal weakens the tooth and a crown reinforces the structural integrity and provides for normal esthetics and function. To learn more about root canal treatment, click here.
Composite restorations (or white fillings) are a restoration that are composed of acrylic plastics and quartz fillers. These restorations differ from amalgam (silver or mercury) fillings in that they are held in place by a bonded resin rather than mechanical retention.
These materials have evolved to the point that they will last as long and are as durable as silver fillings. This is just the basics, there is so much more to restoring your teeth properly. Your dentist in Portland Oregon, Dr. Todd Beck will be happy to go over all your options and help you decide the best material to restore your teeth.
There are times when a tooth cannot be restored due to extensive decay or trauma. When this is the case, the tooth must be extracted. Depending on location and the extent of damage to the tooth, a surgical approach may be necessary.
After the area is thoroughly anesthetized, the gum tissue is reflected and bone removed from around the remainder of the tooth to facilitate its removal. The surgical area is cleaned and the gum tissue sutured back into place to allow complete healing.