Restorative Dental Care
When a filling is required, Dr. Jarvis or Dr. Goldwyn and their team can provide aesthetic tooth colored/bonded restorations. Closely matched to the color and shape of your surrounding teeth, this procedure protects your teeth while providing a beautiful smile.
If you have received fillings over the years, Dr. Jarvis or Dr. Goldwyn will closely monitor them for any signs of failure. After years of use, fillings can start to break down at the edges, which can lead to new decay or weakening of the surrounding tooth structure. We can exchange failed fillings with restorations that look and feel like your natural teeth.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations
Tooth-colored/bonded restorations are natural-looking fillings that prevent further tooth decay while strengthening weakened teeth. Generally completed during one office visit, this bonding procedure can significantly improve the appearance of a tooth. Composite restorations come in a variety of shades to match the color of the actual and surrounding tooth structures.
Disadvantages of Silver Fillings
There are many disadvantages to silver fillings. The edges of the filling can wear down, weaken, or break, which can result in recurring decay or fracturing of the tooth. The metal of silver fillings expands and contracts over time, which can cause cracks in teeth. These kinds of fillings can also corrode and cause stains on your teeth and gums.
Root Canal Therapy
No treatment can replace the benefits of a natural tooth. However, your tooth may need root canal (endodontic) treatment for it to remain a healthy part of your mouth.
A tooth is made of pulp (also known as nerve tissue) on the inside and enamel and dentin on the outside. A root canal is necessary when the pulp, the nerve inside the root, develops infection.
The infection can have a variety of causes, including a crack in the tooth, repeated dental work, or deep decay. A tooth that has been injured may also sustain pulp damage even when there are no visible signs on the outside of the tooth. Without treatment, pulp infection can result in pain or lead to an abscess.
A root canal is a treatment that will save your damaged tooth. In this situation, a tooth is restored through removing the infected nerve tissue, treating any remaining infection, and filling the empty root canals with medicated dental materials. Antibiotic treatment may also be required in conjunction with root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy usually involves one office visit for Dr. Jarvis or Dr. Goldwyn to complete. If Dr. Jarvis or Dr. Goldwyn feel that the complexity of a root canal warrants it, they may refer you to a recommended specialist. Afterwards, it is essential that you return to have a crown or other restoration placed over the tooth to protect it. For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, but any pain can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications as needed.
Our goal at Southwest Portland Dental is to provide dental work that is imperceptible. We exchange existing crowns and fillings with restorations that look and feel like your natural teeth.
Crowns generally support damaged teeth and fix functional chewing problems. Crowns are constructed from materials such as high-grade porcelain, ceramic, or porcelain bonded to gold.
Fitting a crown requires two visits to Southwest Portland Dental. Initially, Dr. Jarvis or Dr. Goldwyn will get rid of any decay, building a solid foundation for a permanent crown. Dr. Jarvis or Dr. Goldwyn will then shape the tooth as needed and fit the tooth with a temporary crown.
On the subsequent visit, Dr. Jarvis or Dr. Goldwyn will remove the temporary crown, replacing it with a permanent crown. Once adjusted, if necessary, the permanent crown will be cemented into place and you have a new beautiful looking tooth.
Replacing Missing Teeth
Success in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth requires the presence of all of your teeth. Tooth loss is often attributed to age, but no matter the reason, lost teeth must be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Missing teeth can cause stress for the gums and other oral tissues, resulting in a number of potentially harmful disorders.
Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss. These options include dental bridges, dental implants, and removable partial and full dentures.
One of the worst side effects of missing teeth is an increased risk of gum disease. This trend can be minimized with a dental bridge, which is used to replace missing teeth. The bridge attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth.
A fixed bridge involves the placement of crowns on the abutment teeth, or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth. Dental bridges can be made using porcelain, gold, or a combination of these materials.
Fitting a dental bridge usually takes two appointments to complete. Dr. Jarvis or Dr. Goldwyn will first prepare the teeth on either side of the space by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin. A bridge must be constructed precisely to guarantee correct bite and to match the opposing teeth, so impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab. Between appointments, a temporary bridge will be provided to protect the teeth.
Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge. Fixed bridges are cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth.
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. Good dental care of these teeth is critically important, as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.
Dental Implant and Prosthetics
Dental implants are an increasingly popular way to replace missing teeth. They not only support crowns, bridges, and dentures, but they also take the place of the roots themselves.
Dental implants are fixtures of titanium, which are surgically placed into your jaw bone. The implant acts as an anchor for a crown or denture. When a crown is placed on an implant, most people cannot even tell it is an implant because the look and feel are so natural.
While dentures and removable partials are usually loose and unstable, implants provide you with dental replacements that are natural looking and very functional. Implants look and feel better than their removable counterparts and offer the same force for biting as bridges that are fixed. Best of all, they will last a lifetime if properly maintained.
A dental implant requires no alterations to the adjacent teeth. Diligent daily oral hygiene is required for implants to stay clean and healthy. It’s also important to regularly visit Dr. Jarvis or Dr. Goldwyn for routine follow-up appointments and cleanings to keep your new smile healthy and bright!
Removable Dental Prosthesis
Dentures can replace missing teeth and can be utilized depending on your personal needs:
Partial Dentures – A removable partial denture attaches to your natural teeth with clasps that keep them in place, completing your smile by filling out the spaces created by missing teeth. Partial dentures are constructed of synthetic replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases connected by a metal framework. Your natural teeth are used as stable supports for removable partial dentures.
Overdentures – Giving dentures more stability and better fit, an overdenture is a type of denture that is placed over dental implants and typically snaps onto the implants.
The alignment of your jaw will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges shrink due to teeth extraction. Dentures will wear over time, and will need to be replaced or realigned in order to maintain proper jaw alignment. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for any changes or potential gum disease.
Oral Surgery/Tooth Extractions
Dr. Jarvis or Dr. Goldwyn may determine with you that one of your teeth needs to be extracted, which can occur for a variety of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), in preparation for orthodontic treatment, or have broken and cannot be repaired. A tooth may also be severely decayed or have advanced periodontal disease.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems involving shifting of your teeth, your ability to chew, and problems with your jaw joint. To avoid these complications Dr. Jarvis or Dr. Goldwyn will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
During a tooth extraction, Dr. Jarvis or Dr. Goldwyn will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and surrounding gums with a local anesthetic. During the extraction process, there will be a sensation of pressure but no pain, as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves. Detailed post-operative instructions will be given after the appointment along with any necessary pain prescriptions.
Periodontal disease progressively destroys the gums and jaw bone which support your natural teeth. Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque, the yellowish film that sticks to your teeth along your gum line.
Bacteria found in plaque irritate your gums which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. Prolonged irritation causes the gums to separate from the teeth leading to the formation of pockets (also known as “spaces”). As periodontal disease progresses, gum tissue and bone that hold teeth in place deteriorate, which leads to tooth loss if left untreated.
Plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar) if not consistently removed each day. Periodontal disease is best prevented by thorough daily brushing and flossing of your teeth, along with regular routine visits to see the hygienist.
Southwest Portland Dental
1616 SW Sunset Blvd., Suite B