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Advanced Procedures

CROWNS
Crowns are another restorative technique to repair damaged teeth that are likely to break, or are too broken down to be restored with a filling. They restore tooth function and appearanc. They are commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns cover the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage.

BRIDGE

This is typically a replacement for one or two missing teeth, and is not removable.  It looks and feels like your own teeth. However, the adjacent teeth have to be shaved down in order to place a bridge.

IMPLANTS
This is the preferred option for a missing tooth. It is actually a titanium root replacement, to which a crown is attached. The adjacent natural teeth are not harmed or altered for this procedure.  Ask the doctors to explain why this is preferred instead of a bridge.

A very nice use of implants also is to help stabilize a loose denture. Many patients frustrated by dentures (particularly the lower one) can be helped by this technique.

ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity becomes very large and affects the nerve of the tooth (the "pulp"). Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy.Once this occurs the pulp may become infected, and can even extend through the root tip to the surrounding bone and gum (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.

SEALANTS

This is used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. Primarily in the back teeth, there are fine grooves or pits where cavities usually begin. A coating, or "sealant", is placed to cover the grooves and pits.

NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENTS
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for ones teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium (gum disease) may be as follows: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these signs may mean something is wrong. With the proper care, however, it may be possible to return them to a healthy state. This is where appropriate gum treatments come in. If you're having a problem, come in and see us so we can take care of it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to get it treated at the first sign of a problem.

TMJ TREATMENTS
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it's where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.

Problems in this area can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Pain in the jaw muscles
  • Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face

Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.

831 East Timber Creek Ste 1
Cordova, TN 38018
(901) 754-8080
Dr. David W. Smith, DDS and Dr. Alane Holliday, DDS    |     831 East Timber Creek Ste 1, Cordova, TN 38018    |     (901) 754-8080