Have you been considering a particular dental treatment but you aren't quite sure? It may help to see the results achieved by other patients with similar concerns. Take a look through our before-and-after smile gallery and imagine the possibilities for your own smile!
Using fluorescence to detect decay allows much earlier diagnosis and treatment. We have found that when we treat cavities detected with fluorescence, they are small and shallow. When we wait until there is a soft spot in the tooth (a "stick" with our instrument) the cavities are often quite advanced, and large, deep fillings need to be placed. Larger cavities require removal of more tooth structure and cause more inflammation inside the tooth. This can lead to sensitivity, a weakened tooth, or the need for root canal treatment. Those risks are significantly reduced by early detection and repair of decay.
This patient had multiple teeth with large, leaking, silver-colored amalgam fillings. The teeth also had multiple deep cracks, putting them at risk for fracture or extensive decay under the fillings. The patient decided to treat the teeth with crowns to prevent the spread of decay and prevent the teeth from breaking.
This patient was concerned about her broken tooth. Dr. Gray found that her upper molar was broken and new decay was present. Ideally, the tooth should be treated with a crown. However, this patient was unable to have a crown placed right away, so Dr. Gray removed the decay and placed a large tooth-colored filling to protect the tooth until the patient could have a crown placed. If this patient had waited to come and see us, the decay may have been extensive enough to require a root canal procedure, or even make the tooth impossible to repair.
Front teeth break for a variety of reasons. Sometimes there is a single traumatic event that causes a fracture. Many times, the tooth is subjected to a non-ideal force from other teeth when the bottom jaw moves around. This small force is repeated numerous times and eventually leads to fracture of the tooth. Fortunately, such damage can be repaired so that no one can tell the tooth was broken. We also examine how the other teeth may affect the filling and may reshape them slightly to prevent the fracture from recurring.
It's not uncommon to chip a front tooth. Fortunately, using the best modern dental materials, these chips can usually be repaired in such a way that no one will notice the tooth has a filling in it. Sometimes we can even make the repair without numbing the tooth!
Even if you buy the best car tires available and have them installed by the most skilled mechanic, constant use over time causes wear and eventual failure. Unfortunately, the same can be true of dental work. Sometimes old fillings break or debond and leave the tooth at high risk for sensitivity and new decay. The good news is that broken fillings can be replaced and will likely last many years--just don't wait too long, or new decay may begin and make the repair more invasive, difficult, and costly.