Ensuring a Lifetime of Healthy Smiles
Tooth decay tends to travel along a predictable route. If it’s caught early on, our first line of defense is a filling. Further down the road, an extraction is necessary to restore your oral health. If you’re missing a tooth, you’ll want to replace it to prevent further issues and maintain your confidence. Explore how our treatments will keep your smile in the best of health for years to come.
Depending on your needs, fillings can be made to match the shade of your teeth or to withstand additional wear and tear. Tooth-colored fillings are made of ceramic and plastic compounds that resemble the appearance of natural teeth to blend seamlessly with your smile.
These composite resins are typically applied on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, but they can also be used on the back teeth depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay.
Oftentimes, fillings found in the back of the mouth are made of silver amalgam. The strength and durability of this traditional dental material makes it useful in situations where teeth must withstand extreme chewing forces.
Fillings can typically be placed within 20 minutes depending on the size. If the cavity is more complex, Drs. Johnson or Hurliman will recommend an inlay. This procedure is necessary when a tooth has too much damage to support a traditional filling but not enough to necessitate a crown.
Dental crowns are a restorative procedure used to improve your tooth’s shape or to strengthen a weakened tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are chipped, broken, worn down, or to support a large filling. They’re also used to complete your restoration following procedures such as a dental implant, bridge, and sometimes a root canal treatment.
A crown is a “cap” cemented onto an existing tooth that usually covers the portion of your tooth above the gumline. As a result, 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.
Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there’s insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Your crown is created in a lab from your tooth impression. This mold allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then crafted just for you so that your smile will function normally once the crown is placed.
There are times when it’s necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, so the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. An extraction may also be required to restore infected teeth, prevent issues with a wisdom tooth, or prior to orthodontic treatment.
The process of a tooth extraction is simple and can be completed within a few steps. Prior to beginning, our dentist will be sure to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. We understand that some patients have dental anxiety or a low pain tolerance which is why we also offer dental sedation for additional comfort.
Once you’re numb, your dentist remove the tooth and any infection. Depending on your case, sutures may be needed to close the socket. Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, causing problems with chewing or your jaw joint function.
Missing teeth can also cause your jawbone to deteriorate because it’s no longer receiving stimulation from chewing forces. To avoid these complications, your dentist may recommend that you replace the extracted tooth with a bridge or a dental implant.
A bridge is used to replace missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, and to alleviate stress on your bite. It literally bridges the gap of one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials and are bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.
A bridge replaces missing teeth with beautiful porcelain crowns that perfectly match your smile.
The success of any bridge depends on its foundation. Therefore, it’s very important to keep your teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong.
Restoring your smile with a bridge can typically be completed over the course of two appointments.
- Prior to beginning, we’ll numb your teeth and surrounding areas to ensure you’re pain-free throughout the process.
- The teeth surrounding the gap, called anchor teeth, will be prepared for dental crowns.
- Impressions will be taken and sent to the lab where your dental bridge will be crafted.
- When your new restoration is ready, you’ll come in for a second appointment where we’ll make any final adjustments and secure it in place.
- You’ll leave our office with your new beautiful smile!
Dentures are a sensible option to restore your ability to eat and speak again. We can replace any number of missing teeth with our denture solutions. There are two types of dentures: full and partial. Full dentures are recommended to replace an entire arch of missing teeth, while partial dentures can replace as little as one tooth. The path to dentures is simple, doesn’t require any needles, and is pain-free.
Within a few appointments, we can replace an entire arch of teeth.
- During the initial consultation, our Seattle dentist will examine your oral health and determine if you’re eligible for dentures.
- Any supplemental procedures or extractions will be performed to ensure you’re an ideal candidate for dentures.
- After healing is complete, you’ll choose the color and shape of your new prosthetic teeth and a mold will be taken and sent to a lab where your mock-up dentures will be crafted.
- When your mock-up dentures arrive, you’ll come into our office for an initial fitting and provide feedback on ways to improve the fit, feel, and look of your new dentures.
- The lab will set your new dentures in acrylic.
- You’ll come in for your final fitting where we’ll make any last adjustments.
- You’ll leave our office with your new, complete smile.
It will take some time to adjust to your new set of dentures. We recommend practicing speaking at home and slowly incorporating new food into your diet. Just like natural teeth, dentures need to be properly cared for. Use a gentle cleanser to brush your dentures, always keep them moist when they’re not in use, and be sure to keep your tongue and gums clean as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long after a tooth extraction can I get a bridge or a denture?
While you can receive bridges or denture restorations immediately after a tooth extraction, our dentists may want you to wait eight to twelve weeks before the fitting. This allows time for the swelling to diminish and for the area to be completely healed. When the area is free of inflammation, you’ll get a better fit on your new restoration.
How long do tooth-colored fillings last?
Tooth-colored composite fillings are designed to last anywhere from seven to 10 years, or possibly even longer with good oral hygiene. This means brushing twice a day and flossing daily, along with scheduling regular check-ups and dental cleanings at our Seattle office. By doing so, you’ll maintain healthy teeth and gums to last a lifetime.
What are the aftercare instructions following a tooth extraction?
Following a tooth extraction, you’ll want to follow a few tips to facilitate healing and protect the site, including:
- Avoid strenuous exercise
- Avoid smoking and using a straw for 72 hours
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen and apply ice as needed to address any discomfort and swelling
- Chew away from the extraction site
- Limit your diet to soft foods and avoid any foods or beverages that are too hot or cold
How much is a dental crown?
The cost of a dental crown varies depending on individual factors such as your dental health. Insurance typically covers a portion of the expenses. It’s best to check with your provider for specific details of your coverage.
For an accurate estimate, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists by calling (206) 682-3888. Then, we can examine your oral health and determine the best plan of action.
Keeping Your Smile in Optimal Condition
At Aesthetic Dental Associates, our dentists have the skills and expertise to offer a variety of treatments that will keep your smile healthy. Contact our office to schedule a consultation by calling (206) 682-3888. We’ll do our best to keep your smile in the best of health.