|Restorative Dental Care
At Hearon Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Tacoma, WA, our focus is on your dental wellness and general health. Research continues to show connections between a healthy mouth and a healthy body. Regular dental visits to catch dental disease early is one way to diminish the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and other life threatening illness.
When you have untreated dental decay, it's not just your health at risk, but it can affect the way you perceive yourself and how you believe others view you. Replacing missing teeth with a bridge or dental implant can take years off your smile and add renewed confidence.
Listed below are a few of the restorative services we provide to our patient community. To learn more about these procedures, call us today and speak to one of our knowledgeable staff.
Tooth Colored and Silver Fillings
Fillings are used to restore tooth damage caused by tooth decay. After removing the decay and cleaning the area the dentist adds filling material. Fillings are made from traditional amalgam (silver colored) gold, silver, or a composite (tooth colored). Composite fillings, in addition to being more esthetically pleasing, bond directly to the tooth surface unlike traditional fillings.
Dental bonding is composed of a ceramic resin that is brushed onto the tooth and hardened with intense light. Prior to bonding application the tooth surface must be prepared to accept the bonding. This is accomplished by roughening the tooth surface and applying a gel to micro-etch the surface. A primer agent is then applied so the bond will adhere properly.
Crowns are used to restore severely damaged teeth due to fracture or decay. After the tooth surface is cleaned and prepared the crown is placed to cover the remainder of the tooth. The crown strengthens the tooth structure and helps prevent future decay. Crowns also improve the tooth's look, shape, and alignment. 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
• Cover a dental implant
• Anchor a bridge
Bridges are used to replace a missing tooth in both a cosmetic and functional fashion. A bridge structure is one or more artificial teeth anchored in place by natural teeth, crowns, or implants, on each side of the bridge. Using a bridge to fill the gap from missing teeth helps restore proper bite and prevent teeth from shifting to fill the gap (which may lead to additional bite and jaw joint issues). Bridges can be constructed from gold, porcelain and metal, or all ceramic. Ceramic bridge color is made to match your natural tooth color. Material choice will depend on structural requirements, wear, and esthetics.
Implants may be the best option for replacing a single or multiple missing teeth. An implant is a metal post that is attached directly to the jawbone. After the bone and surrounding tissue has healed an artificial tooth is attached to the implant. Implants provide superior benefits compared to bridge work as they do not depend on neighboring teeth for structural support, although they are more expensive. Implants are the closest dental structure in durability to natural teeth and have greater cosmetic appeal. Implants are used to:
• Replace missing teeth
• Prevent teeth from shifting
• Correct bite issues due to missing teeth
• Help prevent jaw joint problems from altered bite
• Improve appearance (cosmetic reasons)
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.