Peabody Restorative Dental Care
One of the biggest mistakes our patients make when it comes to caring for their smiles is postponing treatment. Oral health concerns like tooth decay and gum disease begin as relatively minor issues that are easily corrected with minimally invasive procedures, but left untreated, they progress and can cause significant damage leading to countless time and money spent on restorative care. We encourage patients to contact our team right away if they experience toothache, chips, or other pain or discomfort that indicates they may be in need of dental restoration. The sooner we begin treatment, the more likely it is we’ll be able to offer conservative treatments.
Fixed bridges are a natural feeling and functioning tooth replacement solution that restores one to three consecutive missing teeth. These semi-permanent dental prosthetics renew the natural smile line and maintain the appropriate bite alignment preventing additional damage, dental drift, or further tooth loss.
Bridges are known by many names including fixed bridges, crown and bridge, and others. This popular tooth replacement option uses existing healthy teeth to support the prosthetic, and the process typically requires two visits to the Peabody, MA dental practice of Spiro Saati, DMD. During the initial visit, we’ll remove a small amount of enamel from the teeth on both sides of the gap. Then, we capture dental impressions that are sent to a lab where the crown and bridge prosthetic is crafted. Finally, we place a temporary crown and bridge to protect the prepared teeth and maintain alignment until patients return for their custom restoration. At the second appointment, we exchange the temporary for the permanent restoration leaving patients with beautiful, natural looking smiles.
Dental crowns are perhaps the most versatile restoration solution offering long lasting, beautiful results for a number of oral health concerns including:
- Renewing the shape and strength of severely decayed or damaged teeth
- Concealing or correcting misshaped teeth or other cosmetic irregularities
- Protecting and strengthening root canal treated teeth
- As the finishing touch for implant supported single tooth replacement
- As part of fixed bridge tooth replacement
The placement process is simple. Patients should plan for two visits to our Peabody, MA practice. During the first appointment, we prepare the remaining tooth to receive the crown by removing damaged or decayed areas and smoothing the enamel. Then, we capture impressions of the individual tooth and the surrounding bite that are used by our trusted dental lab to craft quality restorations that perfectly restore the natural shape of the smile. Until the final product is completed and returned to our office, a temporary crown is placed to protect the prepared tooth. At the follow up visit, we exchange the temporary for the custom crown crafted from one of a number of high quality materials including metals, gold, porcelain bonded to metal, and all-ceramic. We typically recommend porcelain bonded to metal and ceramic crowns as these offer the most natural looking results.
Do I Need to Care for My Crown Differently than Other Teeth?
Caring for your crown does not involve much change compared with at-home hygiene, but proper care extends the life of the crown allowing it to stay in place and healthy for ten or more years. Some important oral hygiene tips to keep in mind when caring for your crown include:
- Flossing around the crown where it attaches to the tooth is essential to prevent bacteria and plaque buildup from accessing the tooth below the crown
- Wearing a nightguard to protect crowns from teeth grinding and clenching is essential
- Avoid eating brittle foods, ice, or hard candy which can more easily chip crowns than natural dental enamel
Partial & Full Dentures
Patients with extensive tooth loss have depended on partial and full dentures for centuries. In fact, archaeologists have found various innovative forms of partial and full dentures in skeletal remains that are thousands of years old. George Washington is famous for having a set of dentures rumored to be made of wood in the 1700s, but his actual denture is much more interesting crafted from a number of different metals, human, and animal teeth. Needless to say, dentists and patients alike have recognized the need to replace missing teeth especially following extensive tooth loss for a very long time. Luckily for our Peabody, MA patients, modern tooth replacement solutions are much more predictably crafted and comfortable.
Partial Dentures are composed of a series of replacement teeth set into a thin, gum-colored base. These replacement teeth fill the gaps in patients’ smile like a puzzle piece, and are held in place with metallic clasps. Full dentures are made from an entire row of replacement teeth set into a malleable base that blends with the gum line. Denture bases are shaped to fit over the jaw and gum tissue staying in place through natural suction or with a small amount of denture adhesive.
How are Dentures Made?
Receiving partial or full dentures is an extensive process because we want to ensure patients receive the highest quality results. The entire treatment takes about a month and as many as five visits.
- 1st visit – at the diagnosis appointment if we notice patients have a number of missing teeth or extensive damage we may recommend beginning the denture creation process.
- 2nd visit – after we determine a denture is the best solution, we take a number of mouth and jaw measurements and impressions that are critical to ensuring the denture fits comfortably and maintains natural bite alignment and facial shape.
- 3rd visit – In some cases, we’ll provide a temporary set of dentures to ensure optimal fit, color, and shape.
- 4th visit – patients are given their custom denture. In most cases, there is an adjustment period where patients get used to the way their denture looks and feels even if they’ve been able to wear a temporary restoration.
- 5th visit & beyond – after a predetermined adjustment period, we invite patients to return to our practice. Our team will review any questions or concerns patients experienced during their adjustment period, and we may decide to make additional changes to improve comfort.
The supportive structures of teeth are naturally shaped a little like a hill or ridge. When one or more teeth are lost, there is no longer stimulation for the jawbone and gum tissue. Over time, this tissue breaks down resulting in indentations in the natural shape of the jaw. Ridge augmentation is a procedure that replaces this lost structure restoring the natural shape of patients’ smiles, and providing a better support for tooth replacement.
Soft Tissue Grafts
Soft tissue grafts are used to replace or add gum tissue to areas where it is lacking. While many patients don’t think of how lost gum tissue affects their smiles, there are a number of oral health concerns that may arise if this tissue is not replaced including dental sensitivity to changes in temperature, increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease, and tooth loss. Cosmetically, patients whose gums do not evenly cover teeth often express discontent with how specific teeth appear to be different lengths. Those patients with “gummy” smiles often feel that their teeth appear stubby or too short. Those with too little gum tissue feel their smiles are “toothy.” Whatever the reason, the team at Spiro Saati, DMD in Peabody, MA are here to help.
Grafting may be recommended in a number of situations including:
- Replacement of lost gum tissue following periodontal disease
- Restoration of gum tissue volume following tooth loss before replacing teeth
- Correction of uneven gum lines that make smiles appear uneven
- To replace gum tissue that has been lost, shrunken, or was just lacking initially
- To reduce dental sensitivity that occurs when the roots of teeth are exposed
How Does Soft Tissue Grafting Work?
Gum tissue grafts start by obtaining additional soft tissue. We always try to use patients’ own tissue typically removed from the palate. If this is not possible, we use replacement tissue from a donor or even synthetic gum tissues. We then carefully position the additional soft tissue and use stitches to hold the graft in place. Over the course of several weeks of healing, we provide patients with special mouth rinses to encourage faster healing and natural incorporation of the new tissue as well as to reduce the amount of time it takes for the tissue to heal.
Root Canal Therapy
Patients who experience infection or trauma that effects the inner most pulp layer of teeth, know how painful this can be. Each tooth’s nerve system is housed within the pulp, so when damage reaches this inner layer, the result is a severe toothache and sensitivity to temperature fluctuations. Root canal therapy allows our skilled dentist to remove the damaged tissue and restore form and function to the tooth. If you have a severe toothache, sensitivity to temperature changes that lingers, or notice discoloration on a specific tooth, contact us right away so we can begin treatment.