Crowns and Bridges
X-rays are used to record the shadows of the oral tissues on film, commonly referred to as x-ray
films or radiographs. These are excellent diagnostic tools to discover problems that are small
early on. Panoramic x-rays show us all the teeth and root lengths as well as the sinuses or TMJ
joints. Bitewing x-rays show us in between the teeth-these are decay detecting films. The
Bitewing x-rays should be done once a year and the panoramic x-ray once every five years-unless
problems occur which require them more frequently.
Cleaning or prophylaxis is a series of procedures whereby calculus, stain or other particles are
removed from the clinical crowns of teeth. The teeth are also then polished and flossed.
Dentures (also known as dental plates), can be defined as a set of artificial teeth, which are used
when a patient has lost real teeth on the mandibular arch, the maxillary arch, or both. Patients can
become entirely edentulous (without teeth) due to severe malnutrition, genetic defects such as
Dentinogenesis imperfecta, ineffective oral hygiene or trauma. Dentures can help give the
edentulous patient better masticatory (chewing) abilities, as well as enhance their aesthetic
appeal by providing the illusion of having natural teeth, providing support for their lips and cheeks,
and correcting the collapsed appearance commonly seen between the nose and the chin.
Removable partial dentures are for patients who are missing only some of their teeth on a
particular arch. Fixed partial dentures, better known as crowns and bridges, are also for patients
missing only some of their teeth, but these are more expensive than removable appliances, and
they are contraindicated in certain instances.
Conversely, complete dentures are worn in patients who are missing all their teeth in an arch (i.e
the maxillary or mandibular arch).
A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide
variety of reasons. Tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to prevent restoration is
the most frequent indication for extraction of teeth. Extractions of impacted or problematic wisdom
teeth are routinely performed, as are extractions of some permanent teeth to make space for
Root canals are the long passages full of soft tissue deep within the dentin of a tooth, adjoining
the pulp chamber. In dentistry, a pulpectomy is an endodontic treatment to cure an infection of
the root canal; informally a root canal. A root canal, coupled with internal tooth bleaching, is also
used to fix teeth that have blackened because of infiltration of decayed soft tissue into the dentin
in the teeth, most often seen in frontal incisors that have been injured through a sudden impact.
Dental fillings are inserted as restorations in the treatment of dental cavities, after drilling out the
cavities. The purpose of drilling is to remove the enamel and dentin that has had its structural
integrity compromised by the invasion of acid-producing bacteria. However, once the infected
hard tissues have been removed, the resulting cavity preparation must be filled in order to
restore structural integrity to the tooth. This will prevent further damage to the tooth and hopefully
avoid the eventual need for the tooth to be extracted.
Amalgam (also called silver filling)
Composite resin (also called white or plastic filling)
Glass Ionomer Cement
Apicoectomy is a surgical procedure that attempts to remove infection, usually the result of a
failed root canal surgery, from the tip of the tooth root (apex), the are where nerves and blood
vessels enter the tooth and travel through a canal inside the root, and into the pulp chamber,
which is inside the crown, or the part of the tooth visible in the mouth. During root-canal
treatment, the canals are cleaned, and inflamed or infected nerve tissue is removed.
Root-canal systems are very complicated with many small, off-shooting branches. Sometimes,
even after root-canal treatment, infected debris can remain in these branches and possibly
prevent healing or cause re-infection later.
When a root canal fails it is usually due to an unusual and undetectable tooth anatomy, small
accessory and lateral nerve canals that cannot be instrumented, cyst formation or a cracked
tooth. Most of these failed root canals can be saved, with the exception of a severely cracked
The resulting infection of a failed root canal may be present in the absence of pain and X-ray
evidence is usually required to diagnose the problem. An infection shows up on an x-ray as an
unresolved black circle around the tooth. Sometimes a fistula, or pimple, might be present in
An apicoectomy, sometimes called endodontic microsurgery because the procedure is
performed under an operating microscope, is usually performed only after a tooth has had at
least one root-canal procedure and usually a second root-canal treatment.
Frenectomy is the surgical procedure for removing a frenum. A frenum is a fold of tissue that
passes from the movable lip or cheek to the gum.
If a frenum by its position, interferes with the normal alignment of teeth or pulls the gum away
from the tooth resulting in recession a surgical procedure is required to remove it.
An impacted tooth is when a tooth fails to fully emerge through the gums.
Crowns or Bridges are restorations that are fabricated in a lab that reproduces the entire
surface anatomy of the clinical crown and fits over a prepared tooth. Sometimes we connect
these crowns to replace missing teeth with what is called a bridge.
Whitening or Bleaching is the use of chemical oxidizing agents(sometimes used with an
external lighting source) to lighten tooth discolorations caused by aging, stains or general
discolorations. Several different types are available.
1. "White Strips" or brush on agents can be used for minimal stains or bleaching
2. "Home Bleaching" is a stronger bleaching agent whereby trays are specially made and
contoured to fit on your teeth and applied daily for 1-2 weeks.
3. "Zoom" Whitening is the strongest and most efficient bleaching available. This procedure
is done in -office and is used with a special light source to get the best results.