Composite Resin Fillings:
In the past dentists used gold and silver restorations to repair decayed teeth. Our office does all of our restorative work using composite fillings which are tooth colored to ensure a beautiful natural looking smile. Composite resins are our restoration material of choice for several reasons. Their cosmetic properties are great because we can match the color of the filling to that of the tooth. This type of filling fits extremely well. By building up the material in layers, and curing as we go, the filling actually strengthens the tooth structure, whereas, amalgam (silver) fillings can weaken the tooth over time. Placement of composite fillings also requires less removal of the tooth structure than silver fillings. In some cases, we can perform this treatment without anesthesia. Coverage of composite fillings by insurance companies is our only obstacle. Unfortunately, most insurance companies downgrade to the amalgam rate and pay less for composite resin fillings; especially in posterior teeth. It is regrettable that insurances do not share the same philosophy as us when it comes to composite resin fillings but we hope in time this problem will be resolved.
A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form. “Root canal” is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal. A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory — to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
Extraction is performed for positional, structural, or economic reasons. Teeth are often removed because they are impacted. Teeth become impacted when they are prevented from growing into their normal position in the mouth by gum tissue, bone, or other teeth. Impaction is a common reason for the extraction of wisdom teeth. Extraction is the only known method that will prevent further problems with impaction. If this is the case and your tooth is impacted you will be referred to an oral surgeon. Teeth may also be extracted to make more room in the mouth prior to straightening the remaining teeth (orthodontic treatment), or because they are so badly positioned that straightening is impossible. Extraction may be used to remove teeth that are so badly decayed or broken that they cannot be restored. In addition, some patients choose extraction as a less expensive alternative to filling or placing a crown on a severely decayed tooth.