A crown is a full coverage restoration that is used when a tooth is no longer stable enough to accept a standard filling. It is most commonly done after a root canal or when a large filling cracks or breaks down. The less tooth structure remaining, the more likely a crown will be required. Because the muscles of the jaw are the strongest in the human body, the teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. A crown is placed over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protection.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. During the first one, all decay is removed and the tooth is prepared to accept the crown. Then an impression of the prepared tooth is sent to the lab for use in fabricating the crown. The crown is generally made of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy, all ceramic material, or gold. Between appointments a temporary crown is worn. During the second visit, the temporary is removed, and the permanent crown is adjusted as needed, and then cemented in place.
A denture is an artificial removable replacement for one or more missing teeth. If it is replacing all teeth in one arch (upper or lower), it is called a complete or full denture, while a partial denture is used when some natural teeth remain in the mouth. There are two types of complete dentures: conventional and immediate. The conventional one is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal. This may take up to two months after the removal of the teeth. An immediate denture is made in advance and placed in the mouth as soon as the teeth are removed. A reline is necessary sooner with an immediate denture. A partial denture replaces one to several missing teeth and is usually made of metal framework covered with gum-colored plastic. It fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and also prevents other teeth from shifting or changing position.
This is similar to a partial denture in that it literally bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth. However, a fixed bridge is cemented in the mouth and therefore is not removable. It is made with crowns on the teeth on either side of the gap with a false tooth/teeth in between. Once cemented in place, it prevents the teeth from drifting or shifting. It also restores your smile and your ability to chew properly. There are several types of fixed bridges: Traditional, Cantilever, and Maryland bonded bridges. The dentist will discuss with you which option is best for each individual case.
This is another option for replacing a missing tooth/teeth. An implant is surgically placed below the gums and, over time, fuses to the jaw bone making it very stable. After a period of healing time, it becomes a base for an individual tooth, bridge, or denture. Usually two implants are placed when being used to stabilize a denture. These implants are smaller than the traditional implants used for crowns and bridges. In order to be a candidate for this procedure, the patient needs to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. A thorough evaluation by the dentist will help determine this.
ROOT CANAL (ENDODONTIC) TREATMENT
Root canal treatment is a special dental procedure done to save a diseased or dying tooth. Inside each tooth is the pulp where the nerves and blood supply are found. When a tooth is injured or diseased, that pulp tissue dies, causing pain and often an abscess. The dentist cleans out the pulp and root canal with special instruments and then seals it to protect it. Because the tooth has no more nerve and blood supply, it is more brittle, and a crown is usually recommended for restoring the tooth. Dr. Mikesell does a majority of the root canals, but occasionally will refer the patient to a specialist, called an endodontist.
TEMPOROMANDIBULAR (TMJ) TREATMENTS
Two joints (TMJ) and several muscles and ligaments make it possible for the jaw to open and close the mouth. These joints are found on the mandible, or lower jaw which joins the temporal bone of the skull immediately in front of the ear on each side of the head. When these joints aren't moving properly, pain may arise. To find the source of the pain, the dentist will do an exam. Some of the conditions he may be looking for are:
- Difficulty in opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Pain in the jaw muscles
- Misaligned teeth
Often these TMJ disorder can be alleviated by having the patient wear a plastic removable bite splint. It is best to seek the advice of the dentist so he can determine the best treatment for each patient.
408 St. Joseph Avenue
PO Box 759
Suttons Bay, MI
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