At Positive Dental & Vision, we strive to provide our patients with the information you need to make good healthcare decisions. In our FAQ’s pages, you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions we receive. Please note that these are general answers and each patient’s situation and medical treatment is different. When you come in for your visit, our Doctors will listen and spend as much time as needed to answer all of your questions.
Q: Why should I get a white composite filling instead of silver amalgam on my back teeth?
Amalgam fillings consist of silver, copper, mercury, and tin. Composites are composed of glass particles, resin, and a setting ingredient. Both types are durable and last roughly ten years, but composites are becoming the preferred type of fillings by dentists and patients alike.
With composite fillings, we’re able to match the material to the color of your teeth.
Also there is no hazardous metal waste to dispose of when replacing composite fillings. Many people today have chosen to replace their amalgam fillings with composite. We’d be happy to discuss that option with you at your next visit.
Q: What is TMJ disorder and how can I treat it?
TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint. Everyone has two of these in their mouth, one on each side of your jaw. These joints control movements such as eating, speaking, and yawning and are the source of TMJ disorder. The symptoms of TMJ disorder range from dizziness to headaches and back pain, to a clicking jaw and pain behind the eyes, neck, and shoulders.
Depending on the severity of the problem, different treatment options are available.
Most disorders can be treated with a plastic guard that fits directly over your teeth. We make those right in our Ft. Collins Dentist office from a mold of your mouth. This method focuses on the resting of the jaw, and has proven to be very effective in the majority of cases. If the plastic guard does not relieve the symptoms, then we will discuss other options with you including surgery.
Q: I’m missing a tooth. A dental bridge was recommended – what are my options?
A crown is used to restore a tooth, bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. There are three types of dental bridges, which are as follows:
A fixed bridge is made when adjacent teeth have crowns. We attach a false tooth to each crown making the bridge one unit. This restoration is permanently cemented in your mouth and does not come out as a retainer or dentures can.
This is similar to the fixed bridge, except that the false tooth is attached to one crown as opposed to two. This procedure is done primarily on your front teeth because there is less stress from biting forces.
In contrast to the previously mentioned bridges, the Maryland Bridge is not attached to connected teeth. Instead it consists of a false tooth that has small “wings” which are bonded onto the adjacent teeth.
This procedure is recommended when your adjacent teeth are healthy with no restorations. A Maryland bridge is most effective on your front teeth because there is less stress on those teeth.
Depending upon the individual condition of your teeth, we will recommend a bridge that best suits your needs.
Q: What is Root Canal Therapy?
Your tooth may have died; or the nerve or pulp chamber of your tooth is infected. The pulp tissue consists of nerve fibers, arteries, veins, lymph vessels, and connective tissues.
A root canal is performed to save the structure of your teeth.
During a root canal, the chamber is cleaned out and filled with a special dental material. This procedure results in a tooth that no longer experiences any sensitivity to pressure, heat, or cold.
A root canal is the only way to save your tooth if the pulp is infected. A tooth that’s been saved with a root canal becomes brittle over time. So a crown is required to provide your tooth strength and support.
Q: Is it possible that I have periodontal disease and do not know it?
The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Healthy gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. The gum line forms a slight v-shaped crevice called the sulcus where it meets the tooth. In healthy teeth, this space is usually three millimeters or less.
Periodontal diseases are infections that affect the tissues and bone that support teeth. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket that is greater than three millimeters. Generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the pocket depth and bone loss.
The enlarged pockets allow harmful bacteria to grow and make it difficult to practice effective oral hygiene. Left untreated, periodontal diseases may eventually lead to tooth loss.
Periodontal disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs, even in the late stages of the disease. Some indicators of periodontal disease to watch for are: gums that bleed easily or that are red, swollen, or tender, gums that have pulled away from your teeth, pus between the teeth and gums, loose or separating teeth, a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite, or a change in the fit of partial dentures.
Q: What are the benefits of veneers as a means of restoring my smile?
A: Porcelain veneers are among the most traditional aesthetic dental restorations available today. They offer the closest representation of the strength and beauty of your natural teeth.
Properly designed and bonded porcelain veneers create a beautiful smile that others will think you were born with.
Veneers both correct and enhance any cosmetic situation. Because porcelain veneers are customized for each patient, it’s important that the color, shape and size of the veneer is carefully planned in order to achieve a natural looking and aesthetically pleasing smile.
The process involves first removing a thin layer of your tooth. Then a custom porcelain tooth facing is be bonded to your tooth. The porcelain veneers replace dark or discolored teeth, fix fractured and chipped teeth, and straighten crooked or misaligned teeth without the need for braces. This procedure also close gaps and can increase the length and size of your teeth that have worn down with time. The result is a healthy, beautiful smile that improves your confidence and overall appearance with natural looking teeth.