It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits the crown is made, usually of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy or all ceramic material. During this time a temporary crown is worn. In the second visit this temporary is removed. Then the permanent crown is adjusted as needed and then cemented in place.
The entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The loose teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fitted to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth, depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take some getting used to. But once accustomed to the dentures, all the normal functionality and appearance return and one just carries on as usual. Often implants can be used to further stabilize the dentures.
Implants can also be used as support as part of an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages. First, there is no adjustment period to acclimatize the patient who, once the work is done, only feels teeth, not metal supports intruding into the mouth. Second, this slows the bone loss that usually occurs when there are missing teeth. Third, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating. And, best of all, of course, they don't have to be taken out all the time.
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment option would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy. For root canal therapy we may need to refer you out to an Endodontic Specialist.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and, with one missing, they start to "fall." As this worsens, the bite changes in response to the different forces. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they, too, are lost.
Problems in this area can cause:
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.
Our entire staff is constantly improving their skills and knowledge by taking numerous continuing education classes. Dr. Roach is especially current on classes including cosmetic dentistry, endodontics (root canals), oral surgery, pediatric dentistry, prosthedontic dentistry, oral conscious sedation, periodontics, TMD(TMJ splints), and metal free dentistry. We annually have an onsiite course in Infection Control and OSHA regulations to ensure that we are doing everything above and beyond the standard of care to protect our patients and staff.