Dental Treatments

Dental Information

Silver Fillings

Most people recognize dental amalgams as silver fillings. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50 percent of the compound, is used to combine the metals together and to provide a strong durable filling. 

 

For more information from the American Dental Association on the effects and use of mercury in silver fillings, click here. > Read More

 

Composite (tooth-colored) Fillings

Dr. Dennis Iverson uses natural-colored materials to restore teeth that have cavities. Other options include composite materials, such as resin, as well as lab-made porcelain inlays, inlays and crowns. > Read More

 

What is a Bridge?

A bridge is a dental restoration that fills the space where one or more teeth are missing. The bridge restores your bite and helps keep the natural shape of your face. Before you get a bridge, your dentist wants you to know more about the steps involved. He or she can advise which type of bridge is best for you.

 

Why Do I Need a Bridge?

A missing tooth is a serious matter. Teeth are made to work together. When you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth may tilt or drift into the empty space. The teeth in the opposite jaw may also shift up or down toward the space. This can affect your bite and place more stress on your teeth and jaw joints, possibly causing pain.

 

Teeth that have tipped or drifted are also harder to clean. This puts them at a higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease.

 

When a tooth is missing, the bone may shrink. If that happens, it may change the way the jawbone supports the lips and cheeks. Over time, this can make your face look different. > Read More

 

What is a Crown?

A crown is a cover or "cap" your dentist can put on a tooth. The crown restores the tooth to its normal shape, size and function. The purpose of a crown is to make the tooth stronger or improve the way it looks.

 

Why do I need a crown?

You may need a crown if you:

• have a cavity that is too large for a filling

• have a missing tooth and need a bridge

• need to cover a dental implant

• have a tooth that is cracked, worn down or otherwise weakened

• have had root canal treatment-the crown will protect the restored tooth

• want to cover a discolored or badly shaped tooth and improve your smile! > Read More

 

What is a Root Canal?

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Years ago, diseased or injured teeth often were pulled. But today, even if the pulp inside one of your teeth is injured or infected, the tooth often can be saved through root canal (endodontic) treatment. Endodontics (end-o-DON-tics) is the branch of dentistry that deals with treating diseases or injuries to the dental pulp. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in root canal and other endodontic treatments.

 

What happens if the dental pulp is injured?

The pulp is soft tissue inside the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. When the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, it dies. The most common causes of pulp death are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, problems with large fillings, or serious injury to the tooth. All of these can allow bacteria to enter into the pulp.

 

Why should the pulp be removed?

If the problem pulp is not removed, the tissues around the root of the tooth can become infected, often resulting in pain and swelling. Even if there is no pain, bacteria can damage the bone that anchors the tooth in the jaw. Without treatment, the tooth may have to be pulled.

 

Removing a tooth can create problems

When a tooth is pulled and not replaced, the teeth around it may shift from their normal position. Shifted teeth may make biting and chewing difficult and may make it harder to clean your teeth. They may also make it harder to clean your teeth. Areas that are not cleaned well are more likely to get gum disease.

 

Root canal treatment can prevent these problems by saving your natural tooth. A natural tooth is almost always better than a replacement tooth. Nothing looks, feels or functions like the natural tooth--and being able to chew and enjoy your favorite foods will keep you healthy and confident. Also, a root canal is usually less expensive than a replacement tooth.

 

If you have lost some or all of your natural teeth, dentures can replace your missing teeth and improve your quality of life. With a little practice, dentures can make eating and speaking easier. You can smile freely without feeling embarrassed.

 

Dentures can be made to look like your natural teeth. There may be only a small change in how you look. Full dentures may even give you a better smile. Dentures also support the cheeks and lips so the face muscles do not sag and make you look older. > Read More

 

Types of Dentures

Complete dentures have replacement teeth fitted into a plastic base. The base is made to closely match the color of your gums. If you still have some natural teeth, they will be removed before your dentures are placed. > Read More

 

Patient education content ©2016 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. "ADA" and the "ADA" Logo are registered trademarks of the American Dental Association.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Click on a topic below

Please reload

Many more topics are provided in the Patient Education Center

  • Healthy Smile Tips
  • Dental Care for Kids
  • Cosmetic Treatments
  • Replacing Teeth