Crowns are a restorative procedure used to improve your tooth's shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay.
A crown is a "cap" cemented onto an existing tooth that usually covers the portion of your tooth above the gum line. Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth's new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth. New Zirconia crowns are even stringer, which is especially good for grinders and clenchers.
Traditional dental restoratives, or fillings, may include gold, porcelain, or composite. Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic composite resins that mimic the appearance of natural teeth.
In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you'd probably lose that tooth. Today, with a procedure called "root canal treatment," your tooth can be saved. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. It is routine to process nowadays, not something to be feared.
Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems with the nerves of the teeth) removes the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. If your tooth has extensive decay, your doctor may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breaking.
There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth at risk of decay, so your doctor may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.
Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, causing problems with chewing or with your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, your dentist may recommend that you replace the extracted tooth.
We can only imagine what our bodies would look like without bones. This scaffolding provides support, form and protection to everything around it. The bone around your teeth, alveolar bone, serves to hold the teeth firmly in place. The particular height, shape, and density of this specialized bone can be compromised by gum disease, tooth removal, or other forms of trauma.
If bone shrinks away around your teeth, it never grows back. In some cases, bone can be encouraged to fill in with grafting materials placed by Drs. Freundlich & Homsi. Every situation offers a different scenario, but more options than ever exist to promote bone repair in the jaw. For example, when a tooth needs removal a large hole then exists in the bone. While it will fill in naturally, the site tends to shrink, drawing bone away from the area. Grafting materials can be placed simply at the time of tooth removal to help preserve the bone. Grafts prove especially beneficial if you'd like to consider an implant-supported replacement in the future.
Even previously collapsed areas can often benefit from specialized grafting material, bolstering nearly any part of the jaw bone. It's important to note: bone destroyed by gum disease often leaves significant defects around teeth. While some of these areas are grafting candidates, many of them experience irreversible bone loss and compromised support of the teeth. Controlling gum disease with your Friendly Dental team will serve your health much better than corrective surgical grafts.
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain in the jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
- Muscle spasms in the jaw area
- A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
What to do? Discuss with us first. Most common solution is a nightguard, either over the counter or custom made. There are many variations, including NTI, hard or soft or combination hard outside with soft lining.
In the meantime, try these ideas:
- Relax your face — remember the rule: "Lips together, teeth apart"
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid constant gum chewing
- Moist heat
- Soft diet
- Advil or Tylenol
If you often wake up with jaw pain, earaches, or headaches, or if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, you may have a common condition called “bruxism.” Many people do not even know that they grind their teeth, as it often occurs when one is sleeping. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, or even tooth loss.
There is an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism: nightguards. Nightguards are an easy way to prevent the wear and damage that teeth-grinding causes over time. Custom-made by your dentist from comfortable materials to fit your teeth, a nightguard is inserted over your top or bottom teeth.
Protecting your smile while playing sports is essential. Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums from injury. Choosing the right mouthguard is essential. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard from your dentist. We use PlaySafe mouthguards as they are the best materials and come in different thicknesses depending on the activity. They are also customizable as to multi-colors, names and logos.