White Fillings (Tooth-Colored Fillings)
A dental “filling” is simply a restoration that will replace a damaged or broken part of a tooth. A damaged tooth can be a result of dental decay, a fixed tooth, or an old filling that is in need of repair. We can replace old, broken-down amalgam/metal fillings that contain traces of mercury with white fillings (composites) to restore your smile and teeth to a more natural look and feel.
With today’s advancements in dental materials, you will no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of unsightly metal fillings. Eliminate the dark, black appearance of your teeth with modern, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials. These tooth-colored fillings actually bond to the tooth, which also strengthens the tooth.
Restoration is a term used in dentistry to describe restoring the function of the tooth by replacing missing or damaged tooth structure.
Tooth restoration using composite bonding is a common solution for:
Often used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.
Composite bonding has many advantages:
Composite bonds stain more easily and therefore require proper care and regular cleaning. In order to ensure the longest possible duration of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily. Common staining elements include coffee, tea, tobacco, foods, and candy.
A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged, or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin, or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:
Numbing the tooth to remove the decay or cracks in or around it
Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown
Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks)
Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the permanent custom-made crown is being created
Applying the permanent crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the permanent one onto the tooth
After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place
This process generally consists of 2-3 visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums, and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.
A bridge is a dental restoration that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge is like a crown, but the crowns are connected for support. A bridge has the two teeth next to space for retention. It is cemented in place and is non-removable. A bridge may be necessary to prevent:
Veneers are thin, semi-translucent coverings typically attached to the front side of the tooth. Veneers are also known as Laminates. Veneers are customized from porcelain material and permanently bonded to your teeth. Veneers are a great solution to improve the appearance of your smile.
Common problems that veneers are used for include:
Veneers are a great aesthetic solution to your smile that may even help you avoid orthodontic treatment. Subtle changes to your smile can be achieved with veneers, and in most cases, veneer application is completed in only two office visits.
Your teeth will naturally darken over time. Changes in the color of your teeth can be caused by such factors as the food and beverages consumed (like coffee, tea, and soda). Other known factors for discoloration may include childhood medications or illnesses, tobacco use, or improper oral hygiene. Tooth discoloration can also be a natural part of aging.
If you're looking for a fast way to dramatically whiten your teeth, Zoom! Chairside Whitening System may be the answer for you.
In just 2 hours, this safe and effective system can give you the instant results you've been wanting. A specially designed light activates the Zoom! Whitening Gel to gently break down stains on your teeth to put the sparkle back in your smile! Also, with the new Zoom! System, our patients experience up to 67% less sensitivity than with the previous Zoom! System.
Zoom! Whitening is very safe while under the supervision of a trained dentist. It is one of the safest procedures in cosmetic dentistry. However, we do not recommend this procedure for pregnant women or children under age 13.
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You will be given some post-whitening care instructions after your procedure. It is important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen post-whitening to preserve your bright, white smile. We also recommend occasional touch-ups with the Zoom! Take-Home Gel. Your smile will always be brighter than it was before the procedure, but by following these simple instructions, you can retain your results for a long time!
Although the Zoom! System can help almost anyone; it may not be as effective in every case. We can determine if tooth whitening is a possible option for your case.
Another option for whitening your teeth is by using the take-home method. This process can essentially give the same results as the Zoom procedure, except it may take longer and is much more dependent on patient compliance. The take-home method involves taking impressions of your teeth. A dental assistant will then make customized whitening trays that will intimately fit your teeth. A gel is placed into the trays and worn for a specified period of time (dependent on concentration strength) each day for a period of 2-3 weeks.
If you are interested in having a whiter, brighter smile ask us which system may be most effective for you.
A root canal is a procedure that removes diseased tissue from the inside of the tooth (canal), sterilizes the canal space, and replaces it with a strengthening filler.
A cavity is the result of superficial decay of the enamel of the tooth. Left long enough, this decay can burrow into the deeper reaches of the tooth, causing extensive damage to the tooth structure. When the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling, dentists can perform a root canal (or endodontics), preserving the tooth and retaining its original integrity; thereby, saving a tooth that in the past would have to have been pulled.
The procedure usually involves the following steps:
Most back teeth (molar) root canals in our office are referred to as a root canal specialist (Endodontist). Molar teeth generally present more complicated root anatomy and anatomical variances than front teeth. Due to the complicated nature of these teeth, an Endodontist attends extra training after Dental School to be better equipped to treat molars. We may also refer you to an Endodontist if a previous root canal has become re-infected or if a diagnosis to a toothache cannot be attained.
Dentures and Partials
A denture, by definition, is an artificial replacement of one or several teeth (partial denture) or all of the teeth (full denture) of either or both jaws. Simply, it is a prosthesis designed to replace missing teeth. As stated before, there are two types of dentures: complete and partial. Complete dentures cover the patient’s entire jaw replacing all upper teeth or lower teeth, while partial dentures replace only some missing teeth.
Periodontal disease, injury, and tooth decay can all cause a loss of your natural teeth. However, we can bring back the smile on your face with dentures to restore your missing teeth.
With improved technology and updated materials, dentists can now make them appear more natural and more comfortable for the patient.
Because a denture or partial denture is a prosthetic, there is a learning curve associated with getting comfortable with them. At the initial delivery, chewing and speaking can be difficult. This is normal, however, and this learning curve is different for everybody. For some, it can take days; for others, it can take months. It is important to communicate with Dr. Pascia if you are having problems adjusting to your new dentures.
TMJ Consultation and Night Guards
We offer a TMJ exam and consultation that evaluates the joint tissue in the “hinge” of the jaw. Possible problems include swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue or damaged joint tissue (which cushions the jaw bones during the opening and closing movement of the mouth). Common pain relievers and cold compresses can provide temporary relief for most cases of TMJ.
For more serious cases of TMJ, we will recommend alternate treatments. Often, we will suggest using a custom-designed bite splint to reduce teeth grinding since a lot of TMJ issues arise from grinding and/or clenching of the teeth. In some cases, we will instruct you to use orthodontic appliances or retainers to alleviate discomfort or redirect positioning of the TMJ joint. For the most severe cases of TMJ, a referral to a TMJ specialist may be necessary.
Extractions and Oral Surgery
A dental extraction is simply the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Both of our Doctors provide surgical and non-surgical extractions. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons including, severe tooth decay, infected teeth, fractured teeth or for orthodontic procedures.
Wisdom teeth removal is also a common procedure performed in our office. Your third molars are more commonly called "wisdom teeth." Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occurs.
In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.
To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several, or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, we have the equipment and training needed to perform such extractions with an absolute minimum of discomfort. Ask our staff for more information regarding tooth extractions if you feel you may need one.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide (N2O) is simply a gas that can be breathed in to lower the level of anxiety. It has no color, smell, and no serious complications if used properly. It produces a pleasurable, euphoric feeling after 3-5 minutes of inhalation. Patients may feel a little lightheaded, and some patients get “the giggles” (hence the name “Laughing Gas”). Because nitrous oxide is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during the visit. Nitrous Oxide is always mixed with Oxygen (O2). Patients always receive at least 30% Oxygen, which is more than we breathe in natural air.
Common reactions include a tingling sensation, warm sensation, a feeling of well-being, euphoria, and sometimes sleepiness. There is no “hangover” effect. The gas is eliminated from the body within 3-5 minutes after the gas supply is discontinued.
You can safely drive home and do not need an escort. Inhalation sedation, such as nitrous oxide, is extremely safe.
It has only a few possible minor side effects and has no ill effects on the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain. As good as nitrous oxide is in alleviating anxiety, it is not for everyone. You are welcome to talk to Dr. Pascia for more information about this product and whether you would be a good candidate for its use.
Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell your dentist about any medications or medical treatments you are receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, your dentist will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre and post-sedation instructions.