ROOT CANAL THERAPY
Underneath your tooth's outer enamel and within the dentin is an area of soft tissue called the pulp, which carries the tooth's nerves, veins, arteries and lymph vessels. Root canals are very small, thin divisions that branch off from the top pulp chamber down to the tip of the root. A tooth has at least one but usually not more than four root canals. When the pulp becomes infected due to a deep cavity or fractures that allows bacteria to seep in, or injury due to trauma, it can die. Since the tooth will not heal by itself, without treatment, the infection will spread. The bone around the tooth will begin to degenerate, and the tooth may fall-out. Pain usually worsens until one is forced to seek emergency dental attention. The only alternative is usually extraction of the tooth, which can cause surrounding teeth to shift crookedly, resulting in a bad bite. Though an extraction is less expensive, the space left behind will require an implant or a bridge, which can be more expensive than root canal therapy. If you have the choice, it's always best to keep your original teeth.
During your root canal therapy, you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area (nitrous oxide or laughing gas is also available to aid in your relaxation). A rubber sheet is then placed around the tooth to isolate it. Next, a gap is drilled from the crown into the pulp chamber, which along with any infected root canal, is cleaned of all diseased pulp and reshaped. Medication may be inserted into the area to fight bacteria. Then the dentist will fill the canals. If the tooth is still weak above the gum line, a reinforcing post may be inserted above the canal filling to reinforce the tooth. Once filled, the canals are permanently sealed. Finally, a ceramic crown is normally placed over the tooth to strengthen its structure and improve function and appearance.
METAL FREE DENTISTRY
TOOTH COLORED, METAL FREE RESTORATIONS
In the past, traditional silver amalgam fillings with a large mercury content were placed routinely. They still constitute the majority of restorative dentistry performed in dentistry today. Since 1988, our office, with an increasing number of progressive dental practices, no longer places this type of restoration for a number of reasons.
- Toxicity-There is a significant controversy today about the mercury in the amalgam filling material. Mercury is a toxic poison and although still accepted by organized dentistry, we cannot see a good reason for placing a mercury containing restoration when today's alternative materials out perform silver fillings without the potential risks of mercury.
- Tooth Damage-Non-precious metal fillings corrode (rust) in the wet environment of the mouth. Over time, this inevitable corrosion causes serious expansion of the filling material, resulting in stress and fracture of the previously strong and healthy surrounding tooth structure. In simplest terms, silver fillings eventually "crack" the teeth they are placed in.
- Cost-The inevitable corrosion of silver fillings and the eventual fractures we see necessitate extensive treatment to restore the affected teeth. Although initially cheaper to place, a silver-mercury filling may be the most costly way to restore a tooth in the long run.
- Esthetics-Silver fillings initially look unnatural, and after their expected corrosion they are downright ugly. Today's bonded alternative materials blend into the teeth and give patients the natural esthetics they expect and deserve.
Before - with amalgams
Prep - removal of amalgam
After - replaced with resin
Tooth colored restorations or Directly Placed Resins are white filling material bonded directly into the tooth. They are used in areas where the strength of the remaining tooth is not in question and are placed in one office visit. Beside the esthetic and functional advantage of resin material there is a medical benefit for the use of non-metallic restoratives. With the increasing use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, metallic restorations are recognized as distorting factors that may hinder the diagnosis of head and neck MRI scans.
VALPLAST PARTIAL DENTURES
The Original and Time-Tested Classic Flexible Partial-Valplast's superior esthetics allow our patients natural tissue to appear through the material and match the basic shade categories (medium pink, light pink, and meharry).
Attractive tissue colored clasps eliminates the need for unsightly cast metal clasping. Valplast is truly a superior flexible and unbreakable material that is guaranteed for life against breakage.
A Premium Flexible Non-metal Partial Denture-that is:
- Superior Esthetics
- No Metallic Taste
- Minimizes Irritations to Tissue