Tooth decay and other dental problems are less prevalent than ever before. Thanks to improved awareness of proper home care, water fluoridation and effective preventative treatments. However, problems still do occur that require treatment.
Thankfully, technology and methods are constantly improving, offering more effective, less invasive methods to keep your smile healthy. Our patients need not put off treatment for fear of discomfort or inconvenience. The best way to minimize the severity of problems and the treatment required is to catch problems early with regular check-ups.
Also known as white fillings, composite fillings are a plastic material designed to build up and match the colour of your teeth. They can restore a decayed tooth or repair a defect. Although they are often used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, they may also be used on a back tooth when the restoration is small or may be visible. As a general rule, they are less durable than metal or porcelain dental work but are often an excellent solution where the amount of tooth being replaced is small.
How Are White Fillings Done?
Like silver fillings, composites can be prepared and placed in one visit. After the decayed portion of the tooth is removed, your cosmetic dentist will use a very mild acid solution to “etch” the tooth surface, cleaning it for the next step. A bonding agent is brushed onto the prepared tooth, followed by several thin layers of the tooth-coloured composite. Once the composite filling is placed, the material is chemically hardened or cured, with a special light, and polished.
There are many reasons why most dental patients choose white fillings over metal fillings. The mercury in amalgam fillings is sometimes viewed as potentially toxic, and many patients feel that the white composite fillings represent a more advanced technology. Composite fillings are also less likely to contribute to tooth fracture than their metal counterparts. However, the most common reason for choosing white fillings over silver fillings is aesthetic – white fillings look more like teeth.
“Dentures” are a removable dental appliance that replaces missing teeth and tissue. When patients lose many or all of their teeth, dentures allow them to chew appropriately and speak as they usually would.
Dentures also support a natural-looking smile and facial structure, preventing the sunken lower facial features resulting from loss of teeth and gum tissue.
Complete dentures replace all teeth in an arch – the upper (maxillary) arch and the lower (mandibular) arch. Partial dentures replace some of the teeth when some natural teeth remain.
Creating your perfect set of dentures may require several appointments over several weeks. Your dentist will take precise moulds and measurements. After the dentures are fabricated, additional fittings and adjustments may be necessary to ensure proper fit, function and appearance. Your dentist will also guide you to optimal care and cleaning.
Removable partial dentures generally consist of replacement teeth that are attached to gum-coloured plastic bases. Depending on your case, your denturist will design a partial denture custom to your mouth. A partial denture can have a metal framework and clasps that connect to your teeth, or it can have other connectors that are more natural-looking. In some cases, a removable partial denture is created to attach to your natural teeth with devices called “Precision Attachments.” Precision attachments are generally more aesthetically pleasing than clasps.
Your natural teeth may need crowns, which are sometimes required to improve the fit of removable partial dentures, and they are typically required with attachments. Partial dentures with precision attachments usually cost more than those with clasps. Please book a consultation with our office to find out which type is right for you.
An inlay restoration is a custom-made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-coloured porcelain. Porcelain inlays are popular because they resemble your natural tooth. A porcelain inlay is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist.
Inlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Inlays are an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings. Also, they are more conservative than crowns because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of inlays.
As with most dental restorations, inlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.
Reasons for inlay restorations:
Broken or fractured teeth
What Does Getting an Inlay Involve?
An inlay procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate impressions (moulds) that will be used to create your custom inlay and a temporary restoration.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and old filling materials. Space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to fit an inlay restoration properly. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while a dental laboratory is made by your inlay.
At your second appointment, your new inlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.
You will receive care instruction after your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new inlay.
An onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-coloured porcelain. Porcelain onlays is popular because it resembles your natural tooth. An onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown. Porcelain onlays is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist.
Onlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in their preparation. Onlays are essentially identical to inlays, with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.
As with most dental restorations, onlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.
Reasons for onlay restorations:
Broken or fractured teeth
An onlay procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate impressions (moulds) that will be used to create your custom onlay and a temporary restoration.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and old filling materials. Space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to fit an onlay restoration properly. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your onlay is made by a dental laboratory.
At your second appointment, your new onlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.
You will receive care instruction after your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new onlay.
Athletic Mouth Guards
Athletic mouth guards (sports guards) should be worn during certain activities to minimize the risks and severity of concussion, jaw and tooth traumas. We offer a wide range of athletic appliance options and can customize our selection to meet the individualized performance needs of our patients.
Night guards are worn while you sleep to reduce the stress and wear on your teeth. They are preventative appliances that can eliminate the heavy unconscious tooth-on-tooth forces experienced during the night. There are many options for patients, including a choice of upper or lower jaw appliances. In some cases, even if you are not aware of signs or symptoms, your dentist will be able to diagnose signs of progressive wear and will suggest a night guard to prevent the development of additional signs and symptoms (like jaw soreness and headaches).
TMJ is an acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint (the joint connecting the jaw to the skull.) Because the temporomandibular joint involves many elements: muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, connective tissue, and the teeth. TMJ can affect all of these elements, causing a wide range of symptoms:
Headaches, especially in the morning
Earaches, especially in the morning
Migraines, especially in the morning
Tinnitus (ringing sound in the ears)
Neck and shoulder pain
Cracking, popping or grating sounds when opening or closing the mouth
Jaw pain or tenderness
Trouble or discomfort biting or chewing
Anything that places undue strain on the temporomandibular joint may contribute to TMJ. These include, but are not limited to:
Bruxism (unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth)
Trauma such as a blow to the jaw
Degenerative joint disease such as osteoarthritis
Excessive nail biting or gum chewing
Misalignment of the jaw or teeth (bad bite)
The first step in treatment is to thoroughly examine the patient’s jaw and history to determine what’s causing TMJ. Treatment may include one or more different approaches depending on the cause:
Orthodontic treatment: If the TMJ is thought to stem from a bad bite, orthodontic treatment to correct the misalignment may also cure TMJ and bring other cosmetic and health benefits.
Splints (mouth guards) – if bruxism is causing TMJ, nighttime mouth guards can reduce clenching in some patients.
Biofeedback – bruxism may also be treated with nighttime biofeedback using a headband that detects clenching and grinding and sounds an alarm that prompts the patient to stop clenching or grinding without waking up.
Relaxation therapies – bruxism may be caused or worsened by periods of high stress; TMJ treatment may include therapies to reduce or deal with stress.
Root Canal is the specialty of treating infected or dead pulp inside the tooth. This also includes assessment and treatment of the nerves within the tooth. If the soft tissue inside the tooth becomes infected or decays, endodontic treatments such as a root canal and root amputation may be necessary.
Call Smile Solutions Dental Centre today to learn more about root canal treatment in White Rock and if this course of action is necessary for you.
Cracked teeth have many types of symptoms, including pain while chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold, or even the release of biting pressure. It is also common for pain to be inconsistent and not constant, making it harder to diagnose the cause of discomfort.
Chewing causes movement of the cracked pieces of your tooth, and the pulp inside the tooth becomes irritated. At the same time, when biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, resulting in sharp pain. Eventually, the pulp will get damaged, and the tooth will be in constant pain, even when the jaw is relaxed. It is possible that cracks can lead to infection of the soft tissue within the tooth, which can potentially affect the bone and gum surrounding the problem area.
Types of Cracks
Craze lines: These are tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel of the tooth. These cracks are more common in adults. These types of cracks are superficial and are usually of no concern.
Fractured cusp: When a cusp becomes weakened, a fracture may result. The cusp may break off or be removed by a dentist. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, so a root canal is not necessary. Your dentist will usually restore the tooth with a full crown.
Cracked tooth: This type of crack extends from the tooth's chewing surface and vertically migrates towards the root. In some cases, the crack may extend below the gum line. It is possible for the crack to extend further into the root. Damage to the pulp is commonplace. In this case, root canal treatment is usually necessary. A cracked tooth that is not treated will worsen, resulting in the loss of the tooth. Therefore, early detection is essential.
Split tooth: A split tooth is usually the result of an untreated cracked tooth. It can be identified by a crack with distinct segments. This type of tooth can never be saved intact. Yet, the position and extent of the problem will dictate whether any portion of the tooth can be saved.
Vertical root fracture: A vertical root fracture begins at the root and extends towards the tooth's chewing surface. Unfortunately, they show minimal symptoms and may go unnoticed. Treatment involves endodontic surgery in which a portion of the tooth can be saved by removing the fractured root. Otherwise, the tooth will have to be extracted.
Root Canal is the term used to describe the treatment of the internal portion of an abscessed tooth, dead tooth or a tooth damaged and exposing the nerves. The most common term for this procedure is a root canal treatment. A tooth is like a hollow tube open at the tip of the root and closed at the other end, the crown (the part that we see in the mouth). If the nerves and the blood vessels in this hollow tube get damaged, the treatment required is a root canal. The process is the cleaning of the internal hollow of the tooth and then the placement of special root canal filling, thus retaining the tooth in the mouth. If a damaged tooth requiring a root canal treatment is left untreated, the eventual treatment will be the extraction (removal) of the tooth.
A tooth becomes abscessed due to a bacteria invasion of the internal part of the tooth (the pulp). The rapid growth of bacteria produces pressure and hence extreme pain.
Quite often a tooth may be dead. The content of the pulp chamber dries up, leaving a void in the hollow of the tooth. Usually, heat can cause pain in such a dead tooth. Most often, a dead tooth is detected on an X-ray of the root of the tooth. Most dead teeth are a result of trauma (blow to the tooth).
Tooth with Exposed Nerve
Often an accident may cause a fracture of the top of the tooth. If such a fracture exposes the tooth's nerves, the only option is usually a root canal treatment. A minor nerve exposure may be treated with a particular medication and a filling.