Many of us avoid searching out necessary dental care due to a significant anxiety around tolerating a dental procedure. There is nothing right or wrong about experiencing this, it is just a common obstacle that needs to be adequately addressed to help people achieve what they otherwise would desire. Fortunately, there are ways of helping the patients, such as: short appointments, show-and-tell, relaxing music, etc. But by far the more effective way of managing this situation is with using a mild dose of a common sedative. The dose would not be strong enough to put you to sleep, but enough to help you feel more relaxed. The patient’s emotions are easier for them to cope with, and enjoy the added benefit of not remembering the appointment very much. They have a better experience.
Cavities can get started in a person’s tooth for a variety of reasons which may or may not be in a person’s control. If the decay can be detected in its earliest stage, then a simple filling can be the best therapy. Today, tooth colored fillings are by far the more commonly used material. These new materials are more esthetic, strong, stable, and comfortable.
Dr. Cunnington recommends restoring a tooth with a crown if the damage or decay to the tooth requires more support than a filling can provide. The crown can be made to be tooth colored or gold. Each type of restoration has its benefits and the team at Cunnington Dental can discuss with you the pros & cons of each option. When restoring the tooth, first the damaged & decayed parts will be removed & replaced with a supporting material. Then the tooth will be shaped to receive the crown. An impression of this tooth & the surrounding teeth will be made, and a custom made temporary crown will be fabricated to fit precisely on the tooth. When the crown comes back from the lab, the temporary crown is removed, and the permanent crown is fitted and cemented to the prepared tooth. The Cunnington Dental team keeps your comfort in mind every step of the way.
Sometimes the tooth decay will work its way down to the pulp, or nerve, of the tooth. This infection will need to be removed before the tooth can be restored. The procedure is to carefully remove the pulp inside the tooth and then replace it with a biocompatible material. The biology of the tooth will now be healthy and stable and the tooth is then typically restored with a crown. Root canals have gotten a bad rap in the past, but with the modern techniques today, the procedure is usually no more dramatic than a filling.
Sometimes a tooth is broken down beyond repair, and it needs to be removed. Today we have implants that can be placed to replicate a tooth’s root. It is titanium & looks similar to a threaded screw. The description is more dramatic than the experience of receiving an implant. Once again, if you’ve had a filling, then getting an implant is no problem. It takes a few months for the implant to become strong, and then a crown can be made to fit on it. Your tooth will look, function, and feel like a regular tooth.
If, for some reason, an implant is not a good option, and there is a good tooth in front of behind the missing tooth, then a dental bridge can be made. The front and back teeth are prepared for crowns, and then a single casting is made for all 3 teeth, and cemented to place. Other than a little more effort in cleaning around this restoration, it too feels, functions, and looks like regular teeth.