Dental Fillings/Tooth Fillings
Salmon Creek Family Dental is an amalgam-free practice. When a filling is required, Dr. Nelson and his team can provide aesthetic tooth colored/bonded restorations. Closely matched to the color and shape of your surrounding teeth, this procedure protects your teeth while providing a beautiful smile. Is you need any restorative dental needs we are your family Dentist in Vancouver, WA.
After years of use, fillings can start to break down at the edges, which can lead to new decay or weakening of the surrounding tooth structure. If you have received amalgam or composite fillings over the years, Dr. Nelson will closely monitor them for any signs of failure and discuss any necessary treatment.
Root Canal Therapy
Dr. Nelson believes in saving natural teeth whenever possible, but there are times when a tooth has become infected and needs to be treated. Infection in a tooth can have a variety of causes, including repeated dental work, deep decay, or a crack in the tooth. A tooth that has been injured may also sustain pulp damage even when there are no visible signs on the outside of the tooth. Without treatment, pulp infection can result in pain or lead to a painful abscess.
Root canal therapy, also known as endodontics, removes infected pulp from the center of a tooth so that the infection is unable to spread to other teeth in the mouth. The empty tooth is then filled with medicated filling material and a crown as needed.
Root canal therapy involves one or two office visits for Dr. Nelson to complete. Afterwards, it is essential that you return to have a crown or other restoration placed over the tooth to strengthen and protect it. For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, but any pain can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Our goal at Salmon Creek Family Dental is to provide dental work that looks and feels natural. We replace existing crowns and fillings with restorations made from high-grade porcelain, ceramic, or porcelain bonded to gold that closely resemble your natural teeth.
Crowns support damaged teeth and fix functional chewing problems, and require two visits to Salmon Creek Family Dental. Initially, Dr. Nelson will get rid of any decay, shape the tooth as needed, and then fit the tooth with a temporary crown.
On the subsequent visit, Dr. Nelson will remove the temporary crown, replacing it with a permanent crown. The permanent crown will then be cemented into place and you have a new beautiful looking tooth.
Replacing Missing Teeth
Maintaining the health of individual teeth is necessary for success in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Missing teeth can cause stress for the gums and other oral tissues, resulting in a number of potentially harmful disorders.
Tooth loss is often attributed to age, but regardless of the reason, lost teeth must be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth.
Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss. These options include dental bridges, dental implants, and removable partial and full dentures.
One of the worst side effects of missing teeth is an increased risk of gum disease, which can be minimized with a dental bridge, a device used to replace missing teeth. The bridge attaches artificial teeth to natural teeth adjacent to the gap resulting from the missing tooth. Dental bridges can be made using porcelain, gold, or a combination of these materials.
A fixed bridge involves the placement of crowns on the abutment teeth, or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth. Fitting a dental bridge usually takes two appointments to complete. Dr. Nelson will first prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin. A bridge must be constructed precisely to guarantee correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, so impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab. Between appointments, a temporary bridge will be provided to protect the teeth.
Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge. Fixed bridges are cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth.
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. Good dental care of these teeth is critically important, as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.
Dental implants are an increasingly popular way to replace missing teeth. They not only support crowns, bridges, and dentures, but they also take the place of the roots themselves.
Dental implants are fixtures of titanium, which are surgically placed into your jaw bone. The implant acts as an anchor for a crown or denture to fit over. When a crown is placed on an implant, most people can’t even tell it is an implant because it is so natural looking.
While dentures and removable partials are usually loose and unstable, implants provide you with dental replacements that are natural looking and very functional. Implants look and feel better than their removable counterparts and offer the same force for biting as bridges that are fixed. Best of all, they will last a lifetime if properly maintained.
A dental implant requires no alterations to the adjacent teeth. Diligent daily oral hygiene is required for implants to stay clean and healthy. It’s also important to regularly visit Dr. Nelson for routine follow-up appointments and cleanings to keep your new smile healthy and bright!
Removable Dental Appliances
Complete or partial dentures can replace missing teeth and can be utilized depending on your personal needs:
- Complete Dentures – A complete denture is an appliance custom-fitted to your mouth, replacing natural teeth and giving support for the cheeks and lips. Complete dentures replace upper and lower teeth, resting directly on your jaw. These require multiple appointments, allowing Dr. Nelson to take impressions of your mouth and comfortably adjust the custom-made dentures based on your unique needs.
- Immediate Dentures – Immediate dentures are placed the same day when your teeth are extracted, allowing bone and tissue to heal.
- Partial Dentures – A removable partial denture attaches to your natural teeth with clasps that keep them in place, completing your smile by filling out the spaces created by missing teeth. Partial dentures are constructed of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases connected by a metal framework. Your natural teeth are used as stable supports for removable partial dentures..
- Implant Retained Dentures – Giving dentures more stability and better fit, an overdenture is a type of denture that is placed over dental implants and typically “snaps” onto the implants. This provides security and stability in cases where there is not much bone left in the upper or lower jaw.
The alignment of your jaw will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges shrink due to teeth extraction. Dentures will experience wear over time, and will need to be replaced or realigned in order to maintain proper jaw alignment. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for any changes or potential gum disease.
Oral Surgery/Tooth Extractions
Dr. Nelson may determine with you that one of your teeth needs to be extracted, which can occur for a variety of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), in preparation for orthodontic treatment, or have broken and cannot be repaired. A tooth may also be severely decayed or have advanced periodontal disease.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems involving your other teeth shifting, your ability to chew, and problems with your jaw joint. To avoid these complications Dr. Nelson will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
During a tooth extraction, Vancouver, WA dentist Dr. Nelson will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and surrounding gums with a local anesthetic. During the extraction process, there will be a sensation of pressure but no pain, as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves. Detailed post-operative instructions will be given after the appointment along with any necessary pain prescriptions.
Periodontal diseases progressively destroy the gums and jaw bone, which support your natural teeth. Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque, the yellowish film that sticks to your teeth along your gum line.
Bacteria found in plaque irritate your gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. Prolonged irritation causes the gums to separate from the teeth, leading to the formation of pockets. As periodontal diseases progress, gum tissue and bone that hold teeth in place deteriorate, which leads to tooth loss if left untreated.
Plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar) if not consistently removed each day. Periodontal disease is best prevented by thorough daily brushing and flossing of your teeth.