Dentistry Bend, OR
Taking care of your mouth is essential for keeping it happy and healthy. Much of your oral care takes place at home. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. These habits are essential for eliminating plaque and bacteria buildup from your teeth to prevent serious issues like cavities and gum disease. In addition to taking care of your mouth at home, maintaining your oral health also requires professional dental care. Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend - Thomas E. Wold, DMD is here to help.
In addition to brushing and flossing every day at home, the ADA also recommends that you have your mouth professionally cleaned and examined twice a year, or once every six months. These visits might not seem like much, but they are essential for helping you to protect your mouth from serious oral health complications.
Cleanings are performed to help you thoroughly clean your mouth. Even if you brush and floss properly every day, there are some regions of your mouth that are more difficult to reach than others. Even if you think you have completely cleaned your mouth, some areas still have lingering buildup. Plaque and bacteria continue to accumulate, which can lead to cavities and gum disease despite good oral hygiene practices.
Additionally, plaque can harden into tartar, a substance that cannot be removed no matter how often you brush. With cleanings, we can help you completely clean your mouth. We can help you to eliminate all buildup, including the most stubborn tartar, from your teeth. We are also able to clean the areas of your mouth that you might not otherwise be able to thoroughly clean on your own.
Exams are also essential for the prevention of serious complications. Even if you think your mouth is perfectly healthy, it is still important to have biannual exams. This is because many oral health issues do not exhibit symptoms in their earliest stages. By the time symptoms begin to appear, the issue has worsened. During your dental exams, we take a close look at all of the structures inside your mouth. We check your teeth for signs of chips, cracks, decay, cavities, and wear.
Your gums are assessed for signs of gum disease, including redness, swelling, gum recession, and the formation of periodontal pockets. We also check your intraoral tissues for early warning signs of oral cancer. By detecting issues in their earliest stages, we can provide you with immediate treatment to prevent more significant issues. In many cases, the treatments needed in the early stages are much less invasive.
Cavities are a common dental issue faced by individuals of all ages. When plaque and bacteria acids sit on your teeth, they begin to erode your protective tooth enamel. This erosion leads to weak spots, which eventually lead to the formation of small pits. These pits are the cavities. Without treatment, they can grow larger and deeper, compromising the strength of the tooth and your oral health.
Fillings are a common treatment for cavities. We fill cavities with composite fillings. These fillings are an alternative to traditional amalgam. Composite is made up of a mixture of fine glass, plastic, and other materials. Unlike amalgam, it does not contain any metals nor does it contain any mercury. It is also naturally tooth colored, instead of the silver color of amalgam. Composite fillings not as strong as amalgam, but they can still withstand most normal daily wear and tear. Because they are tooth-colored, they are perfect for treating cavities at the front of the mouth, where amalgam would create aesthetic concerns.
When you are faced with tooth damage, it is essential that you schedule an appointment right away, even if you think the damage is no big deal. Minor damage may only require a small cosmetic treatment. However, more significant damage might require something stronger.
A crown is a dental restoration that is used to treat damaged teeth as well as decayed teeth that cannot be treated with a filling. It resembles a small cap in appearance and is made to fit completely over the affected tooth, encasing it entirely. It functions to prevent further damage, prevent infections, and restore strength to the tooth so that it can function normally. Crowns are excellent solutions for teeth that have more significant cracks and chips, larger amounts of decay, or for teeth that have received a root canal.
Crowns can be made from a few different types of materials. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. Metal crowns, for instance, are the strongest crowns available. They also require the least amount of enamel removal from your teeth. However, they are gold or silver, which can cause aesthetic issues. Ceramic crowns, on the other hand, provide the greatest aesthetic benefits, but they are not as strong as metal. They are also a great option for those who are allergic to metal.
Tooth loss can happen for many reasons. Some of the most common causes include gum disease and facial trauma. Even a single missing tooth needs to be replaced. A bridge is a common treatment used to replace a missing tooth. There are a few different types of crowns, including cantilever, Maryland, and fixed. Fixed bridges are the most commonly used. This particular bridge consists of a replacement tooth, or pontic tooth, that fills the empty space left behind by your missing tooth. The pontic tooth is secured into place in your mouth with two dental crowns. The crowns, which are on each side of the pontic tooth, anchor the restoration into place on your adjacent healthy teeth. It is bonded into place and is not removable.
With a bridge, all of the functions of your missing tooth are restored. You can bite and normally chew, as well as speak normally. Your oral health improves, and your bite pressures are evenly distributed. This helps to prevent damage to your adjacent teeth. A bridge also functions to help your adjacent teeth stay in alignment, preventing them from shifting into the empty space. Bridges, like crowns, can be made from many different materials, including metal, porcelain fused to metal, and porcelain. Porcelain bridges are often the most popular solution because they can restore the aesthetics of your smile, in addition to the functions of your missing tooth.
Root Canal Therapy
Your teeth are incredibly strong, but they are not indestructible. Issues like tooth decay, facial trauma, and biting down on something very hard can all cause significant damage. If the damage is deep enough, bacteria are then able to enter into the affected tooth. They take up residence inside the canals and begin attacking the soft tissue, or pulp, in the tooth. When the pulp is irritated, it becomes inflamed, which can then lead to a very painful toothache. Without treatment, an infection inside of a tooth only grows worse. Bacteria can even begin to spill out through the root of the tooth, leading to the formation of an abscess.
Root canal therapy is a treatment used to restore an infected tooth, eliminating the infection and preserving the tooth. With this treatment, you avoid the need for tooth extraction and replacement. A root canal begins with a small hole in the top of the infected tooth. Next, small tools are used to remove the pulp and nerve. The entire interior of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected.
The tooth is filled with a material called gutta percha, which helps to seal the canals to prevent new infections. Finally, once your root canal is complete, a crown is placed on the tooth. The crown aids in preventing further infections and restoring the strength to the tooth so that it can continue to function as normal. Root canals have a very high success rate, and a treated tooth can often go on to last a lifetime.
are a modern alternative to tooth replacement options like bridges and dentures. Unlike traditional treatments, which sit above your gums, dental implants involve the use of small posts that are surgically implanted into your jawbone. The posts function as replacement tooth roots, holding your replacement teeth securely in place. This is possible due to a process called osseointegration. Osseointegration is a completely natural process in which your bone gradually fuses to the posts. When this happens, the posts become strong and stable. Your teeth are then secured into place on the posts. They will not shift around or fall out. You can eat, speak, and smile with confidence. With dental implants, we can replace a single tooth, several teeth, and even an entire arch of teeth.
Getting dental implants is a bit more involved than the process for more traditional treatments. Implants require surgery. After your implants are placed into your jaw, you are provided with temporary teeth. These teeth are used until you have fully healed. The recovery period after implant surgery varies from patient to patient but typically takes a few weeks to several months. Once you have fully healed from implant surgery, we then take impressions of your mouth. These impressions are used to design and create your final dental restorations. Once these teeth have been completed, they are secured into place using small screws.
Gum disease is a common dental issue. It begins as a result of a bacterial infection inside of your mouth. Bacteria cause your gums to become irritated, which triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system. Your gums begin to swell. Eventually, the tissue begins to pull away from the teeth, leading to periodontal pockets. Your gums begin to recede, and the bacteria begin attacking the jawbone and periodontal ligaments. You may soon be faced with loose teeth and tooth loss.
Periodontal therapy is a treatment performed to stop the progression of gum disease and restore your oral health. It involves a treatment called scaling and root planing. This treatment is like a deep cleaning for your teeth. Scaling is the process of scraping the visible surfaces of your teeth, including along and just below your gum line. We use a tool called a scaler to eliminate even the most stubborn buildup. Root planing is the smoothing of your root surfaces. By eliminating buildup from your tooth roots, your gums can begin reattaching.
In some cases, a single scaling and root planing are not enough to help stop gum disease. In these cases, periodontal maintenance may be recommended. This is a series of regularly scheduled exams and cleanings to help your mouth to continue healing.
If you play sports, especially contact sports, you know the importance of wearing protective gear. In addition to shin pads, knee pads, and a helmet, you should also have a mouth guard. A mouth guard is a special oral device that is made to be worn over your teeth while you play sports. It is meant to protect your teeth from damage, displacement, and avulsion. It also helps to protect your intraoral tissues and your jawbone, as well as reduce your risk for concussion.
There are several different types of mouth guards available. We recommend a custom fit mouth guard for the best protection. While you can find mouth guards in most sporting goods stores, custom mouth guards are custom made just for you. We make your mouth guard against an impression of your mouth. This enables us to create a mouth guard that will provide you with optimal protection. We also use the highest quality materials, so you can play confidently knowing that you are protected.
Dental implants are a popular solution for tooth replacement. However, to be placed successfully, you need to have enough bone mass remaining in your jaw. After tooth loss, your bone begins to lose mass and weaken. If the bone is not strong enough, it will not be able to properly support your implants. In your upper jaw, bone loss creates an additional complication. Placing implants in your upper jaw, near the back of your mouth can lead to damage to your sinus cavities.
There is a small amount of bone separating your jaw from your maxillary sinus cavities. When you lose bone mass here, the area thins. An implant may puncture the sinus cavity, which can then lead to chronic sinus infections and other issues. A sinus lift is a procedure performed before implant placement to protect your sinus cavities. During the procedure, the floors of your sinus cavities are lifted, and bone grafting material is placed underneath. This creates more space between the jaw and the cavities and provides greater stability for dental implants. After you have healed from your sinus lift, you are then able to receive your dental implants.
Your teeth are incredibly important. They aid in eating, speech, and a beautiful smile. They also play a crucial role in the health of your jawbone. For these reasons, it is always the preferred solution to save damaged or decayed teeth so that they can remain where they are. However, this is not always possible. In some cases, the damage may be too severe, and the only way to restore your oral health is to extract your teeth.
An extraction is the removal of a tooth from your mouth. This can be done in one of two ways. Simple extractions are fairly straightforward. This process involves loosening the tooth and lifting it free. A surgical extraction is necessary in more complex cases. With this type of extraction, incisions are made in your gums so that we can completely remove the tooth from its socket. Extractions are needed for many reasons, including extremely damaged teeth, excessively decayed teeth, and impacted teeth. Teeth may also need to be extracted before orthodontic treatment to correct issues with overcrowding.
Oral Hygiene Routine
Your mouth has many important responsibilities. With your mouth, you can bite, chew, speak, and express a wide array of different emotions. There are many different components in your mouth that allow you to perform these functions. For your mouth to perform at its best, it is essential that you take good care of it.
It is our goal to provide you with the best quality of care to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend - Thomas E. Wold, DMD at (541) 389-0261 today.