General Dentistry in Calgary
Dental Fillings and Cavity Care
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental diseases. One reason why brushing and flossing regularly is so important is because when bacteria and plaque are present along with traces of food, they produce acids which demineralize the tooth and consequently weaken it. Once the tooth is weakened enough, the bacteria can break through causing cavitation or what is more commonly known as a cavity. When a cavity appears, the tooth is in need of a filling because the tooth cannot repair itself, the site cannot be cleaned, and the bacteria will only continue to make the cavity larger if not treated.
In the past, gold and amalgam fillings were very popular. Both of these materials were good options for fillings but have been replaced by more modern technology. Today we use materials like composite resin, which is like a very durable plastic, and porcelain to restore teeth with decay. These modern materials can also be matched fairly accurately to mimic the color of your natural teeth.
It may be helpful to understand the difference between direct and indirect techniques.
Direct fillings are far more common and are the type most people are familiar with. During this procedure, the dentist will open up the cavitated site and remove all bacteria and infected tissue before placing the filling material during the same appointment. The material most commonly used is a composite resin and is often cured with a special light to give it strength.
Getting a simple dental procedure done should be a pleasant and efficient experience. At East Village Dental we make it our goal to provide you with the best possible experience, whether you’re getting a root canal or a simple filling.
Indirect restorations, on the other hand, are done in two visits. During the first appointment, the dentist will open up the site of decay and remove all infected tissue. They will then take an impression and fit you for a temporary filling while the dental laboratory fabricates your custom filling (usually made of porcelain). During the next appointment, the dentist will permanently cement the restoration. Specific types of indirect restorations may include inlays, onlays, veneers, crowns, and bridges.
There are many things which will influence the dentist’s choice for filling material and may include:
- Previous history of tooth decay
- Biting force
- Amount of tooth structure remaining
The durability and longevity of the filling is largely based on the type of material used, biting force and habits of the patient, level of oral hygiene, and the knowledge and expertise of the dentist.
Sometimes due to significant tooth decay, infection, orthodontic requirements, retained baby teeth, or periodontal disease, a tooth must be extracted. The dentist will provide evidence to back up their decision to extract the tooth and will also provide treatment options to replace the missing tooth. Once the tooth is extracted, the adjacent teeth will shift and may alter the patient’s bite, which is why the planning must be done carefully even before the extraction is done.
The extraction itself can be a relatively straightforward procedure but sometimes more complicated. The dentist uses a variety of tools that rotate and elevate the tooth out of the socket and detaching it from the ligaments that help hold it in place. The dentist sometimes sections the tooth to make it easier to remove in pieces.
It is important to discuss any questions or concerns with the dentist before the day of the procedure. We do offer nitrous and oral sedation for our patient’s comfort. We also give all our patient’s a list of post-operative instructions and a follow-up phone call the next day to see how you are doing.
Dentures can be an excellent way to restore the smile of an individual who has lost most or all their teeth. Dentures do not only restore aesthetics but contribute significantly to comfort, facial support, and functions like speech and eating. We offer opportunities to our patients to obtain custom-fitted dentures that help individuals regain a happy and healthy smile.
What are the different types of dentures available?
- Conventional Complete Dentures: Full dentures that replace all teeth for the upper or lower jaw once removed. These dentures are often constructed a few months after the last tooth was removed to allow for proper healing and a more accurate fit.
- Immediate Complete Dentures: Full dentures that are placed immediately after the last tooth was removed. These dentures allow patients to have a set of dentures right away without having to wait but often require several appointments for adjustments.
- Implant Retained Dentures: Dentures that are custom made to lock in place with implants using magnets.
- Partial Dentures: Dentures that replace some of the teeth but not all of them. Partial dentures are designed to introduce prosthetic teeth and tissues to replace the aesthetics and function of the missing teeth without disrupting the balance or function of the natural teeth that remain.
Dentures need to be maintained just like natural teeth and contrary to what many believe, a regular 6-month exam is still recommended for complete denture wearers. Tissue irritation and fungal infections are common to denture wearers that do not follow consistent hygiene practices at home or come into the dental office regularly. It is important to clean your dentures at home with hand soap and not toothpaste. Some toothpaste can be too aggressive when cleaning dentures and create excessive wear. If you are not wearing your dentures, it is best to keep them in water or a denture solution to keep them moist and prevent distortion. Even if you wear complete dentures, it is crucial that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your gums and tongue as well as use a soft denture brush to get rid of any tartar or plaque build up on the denture itself.