General Procedures

Exams | Hygiene | Composite Fillings | Inlays and Onlays | Crowns | Bridges | Root Canals | Implants | Dentures

During your exam Dr Davidson will check your teeth and soft tissues for existing conditions visible to the naked eye. In order to see if there are any concerns between your teeth, or in the roots, x-rays will need to be taken. If there is extensive work to be done other information may be required, such as photos or study models. After the exam Dr. Davidson will provide you with a detailed treatment plan and risk assessment for your oral health.

Dental hygiene is focused on the health of your gums and the bone surrounding your teeth. It is during your hygiene appointment that the plaque and tartar, which build up over time, will be removed. Plaque is a soft and sticky substance, consisting of food debris and bacteria and, without proper oral hygiene, this plaque can turn into a hard deposit called tartar. Tartar causes the gums to become inflamed, this condition is known as gingivitis. If the gums are inflamed for a long period of time the bone surrounding the teeth can be affected, causing bone loss. In order to prevent these conditions it is highly recommended that you see your dentist for hygiene on a regular basis, the frequency of your visits will depend on the condition of your gums and bone. During your hygiene appointment you will also receive fluoride treatments which helps to remineralize teeth and prevent cavities.

Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are a durable, biocompatible glass and plastic mixture used to fill decayed teeth. This material allows the dentist to recreate tooth structure. Your new filling will look similar to your natural tooth.

Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are used to restore teeth in a conservative, long lasting and esthetic manner. They can be made from porcelain or gold, and are an excellent choice to restore the tooth back to its natural shape and function.

A crown is used to protect the remaining tooth structure when a tooth has a large filling, a crack or if it has had a root canal treatment. A crown can also be placed on an implant, to replace a tooth or can be placed to improve the look of a tooth. When a tooth has had a large filling or a root canal, the remaining structures are fragile and the biting forces of the opposing teeth can cause it to break. A crown distributes these forces evenly and reinforces the tooth so that it will not break as easily. There are three different types of materials that can be used to make a crown. Gold is usually used on posterior teeth because it is very strong and mimics the properties of natural tooth structure but may not be aesthetically pleasing. A porcelain over gold crown has a strong gold core covered in porcelain, which looks like natural tooth structure. An all porcelain crown is the most aesthetic choice; it can be made to look exactly like your natural tooth but is strong enough to withstand biting forces.

Bridges are used to replace one or more teeth in an area. The false tooth is called a pontic and is fused to two crowns that serve as anchors by attaching to the teeth on each side of the space and "bridging" them together.

Root Canal
A root canal treatment is required when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected and/or dies. Root infection can be caused by decay or trauma to the tooth. During a root canal the dentist will remove the dead nerve tissue, disinfect the nerve chamber and fill it with a natural rubber product called “gutta percha.” After a root canal the tooth can become brittle and should have a crown placed to prevent breakage.

An implant is an excellent option or replacing a missing tooth whereby a titanium post is surgically placed in the bone which can then serve as the support for a crown. Implants can also be used to support dentures and bridges.

Dentures are removable appliances used to replace missing teeth. A complete denture replaces all of the teeth in an arch. A partial denture replaces one or more missing teeth in an arch. Depending on the patients needs, dentures can be made of a combination of metal and plastic materials.

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©2011 Dr Pamela Davidson