General dentistry includes all the regular actions we take to restore the function of your teeth and keep them healthy. This includes repairing cavities, replacing missing teeth, extracting infected teeth and protecting damaged teeth from further harm.
Some of our general dentistry treatments include:
When your teeth develop a cavity, Smile Savers Dentistry will repair it with long-lasting and aesthetically attractive composite fillings. These fillings are safe, reliable and durable. They will not darken like an amalgam filling, so when you smile your teeth will look just like nature intended.
Our first step is to ensure that the area that needs work is thoroughly numbed to make the procedure as comfortable as possible. Then the decayed area will be precisely drilled, leaving a clean space into which to place the composite. Finally, the composite material will be placed and shaped to exactly fit your tooth and your bite. When the composite has hardened and bonded to your tooth, the cavity is fixed and your restoration is complete.
A crown is a like a new covering that fits over the entirety of a tooth above the gum. This protects a weakened, cracked or broken tooth or one that has received a root canal treatment. To begin your crown, the tooth is prepared by removing some of the outer surface. This is so that when the crown is placed, the final result will be the same size and shape as your other teeth. After this, a crown for your tooth is precisely molded from porcelain or a similar material and securely cemented to the prepared tooth.
When a tooth only needs partial coverage, it may get an “inlay” or “onlay.” These are both similar to a crown, but cover smaller surfaces of a single tooth.
A bridge is a replacement for one or more of your natural teeth that is anchored to healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth, or teeth. As with a crown, some of the material of an anchoring tooth (also called “abutment teeth”) must be removed to allow the bridge to fit tightly over them. Each abutment tooth then supports the replacement tooth or teeth in the middle.
In your first visit to our office, we will prepare the abutment teeth and create exact models that dental lab technicians will use to create your bridge. A temporary bridge will be placed until your finished bridge returns from the lab. In a second visit to Smile Savers Dentistry, your bridge will be securely cemented into place and its perfect fit verified.
When a cavity has penetrated deep into the soft core of a tooth, bacteria can make its way into the soft pulp at the center of the tooth. Trauma to the tooth can also create an opening for bacteria to invade the pulp. Either way, the resulting infection and inflammation usually causes intense pain. This pain may persist continually or may appear and disappear. The tooth must still be treated because infection is still present and can develop into a painful abscess that can spread infection to other parts of the body. For a lasting solution, the soft inner portion of the tooth must be cleaned out.
A root canal starts with the administration of anesthetic to the area around the tooth to be treated. A small opening is made in the tooth and the infected tissue is removed from the tooth all the way down through the canals that reach into the tooth roots. These areas are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and are then filled with material that is compatible with the human body. Finally, the opening is sealed shut. The tooth may then need to be protected by having a crown placed over it. When this is done, you can normally count on a root canal to last for many years.
Dental implants are one of the more recent innovations of the dental field – a way to create a permanent, natural-looking replacement tooth with a titanium anchor (known as the implant). With care, this dental implant can last a lifetime. Titanium is chosen for the root-like implant because it bonds so perfectly with the human bone.
The first step in the implant procedure involves placing the titanium implant in the correct location in the jaw. A small hole is drilled in the jaw and the implant is placed in it. It is given some months to heal and bond with bone before any further action is taken. When fully healed, a mount for the replacement tooth is added to the implant and the new porcelain (or similar material) tooth is mounted to it. When done, the tooth will look, feel and act just like your natural teeth. Implants are often the best method of replacing missing teeth and can last for decades.
In some situations, partial dentures are the right solution for missing teeth. Dentures are prosthetic teeth that allow a person to eat and function without doing more invasive procedures. At Smile Savers Dentistry, we provide patients with ValPlast dentures for maximum comfort and an excellent appearance.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in the back of your mouth. When there isn’t sufficient room in your jaw for them to come in straight, several problems can develop. You can suffer from pain, damage to the adjacent teeth and repeated infections in the gums covering the partially-erupted tooth. These problems may seem to come and go somewhat but be assured, once it is determined that your wisdom teeth are not going to be able to emerge normally, the best solution is to extract them. That will cut short the repetitive cycle of infections and pain that you might be suffering.
Dr. Stewart has a long history of providing excellence in every service he provides to his patients and wisdom tooth extractions are no exception. After anesthetics are administered to numb the area around the tooth, your tooth will be carefully extracted, being sure to not damage the bone of the jaw or neighboring teeth. Because of Dr. Stewart’s many years of experience, patients report excellent results from their wisdom teeth extractions at Smile Savers Dentistry.
Caring, Personalized Dentistry in Columbia, Maryland
We help patients of all ages achieve and maintain their ideal oral health and we would love to help you, too. If you need a dentist in Columbia, Ellicott City or surrounding areas of Maryland, call Smile Savers Dentistry at (410) 730-6460.