Restorative Dental Services

Maine Restorative Dental Services

We have friendly, knowledgeable dentists and dental assistants that can get you back on the right track with restorative dental services. We use the latest in dental technology to offer our patients tooth-colored fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, and full-mouth restorations.

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Tooth Colored Fillings

Cavities develop in a tooth for a multitude of reasons. These include limited or no brushing and flossing at home, a high consumption of sugary or acidic foods, not visiting the hygienist/dentist for regular cleanings and check ups or if the teeth have deep fissures or grooves which are more susceptible to decay. If you don’t brush, floss and see your dentist regularly, tooth decay can set in and you could end up with a cavity.

We offer composite tooth-colored fillings that not only look natural but also bond to the tooth to make it stronger. Composite fillings are made of a plastic material that is strong and bonds to the existing tooth structure better then silver fillings. When decay is caught soon, it can easily be taken care of before the cavity becomes larger or even painful. By seeing the dentist and hygienist regularly, they can check for decay by taking yearly x-rays.

Crowns

A crown is needed in a variety of situations such as tooth breakage, tooth weakness, when there is a large amount of decay, over an implant or to help support a bridge. A crown is a restoration that covers, or “caps” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size. Crowns come in a variety of materials including metal, gold, porcelain fused to metal and porcelain. It is up to the patient and the dentist to choose the material that works best for the them.

Single crowns require two appointments with the doctor. During the first appointment, the doctor shapes or does a build up on the tooth in preparation for the crown. A digital scan of the area is taken and sent to the lab so the permanent crown can be fabricated. A temporary crown is made at the office and cemented on the tooth structure. This protects the tooth while the lab makes the permanent crown. In about three weeks the patient returns to the office and the permanent crown is placed.

Once the crown is finished and cemented over the remaining tooth structure, the root and crown become one unit. How long a crown lasts depends on the home care and chewing habits of the patient, and if a patient has a clenching and grinding habit. All of these factors are discussed with the doctor to ensure each patient gets the maximum lifespan out of each crown placed.

Bridges

A bridge is sometimes used to replace one or more missing teeth. Missing teeth can greatly affect your self-confidence and chewing function. Bridges can reduce the risk of gum disease, help correct bite issues and even improve speech.

At the first appointment, there are multiple procedures to be done. The first step includes an impression of the teeth that are opposite to the teeth being worked on. The impression is taken with our new state-of-the-art digital impression scanner which allows the lab to make an exact model of the oral cavity. The teeth that anchor the bridge are then shaped and made ready to fit the new bridge. A final scan is done on the finished preps of the bridge. Next, with the teeth biting together another scan is done for the bite. A temporary bridge is then fabricated chair-side which allows the patient to continue to gently use the teeth while the final bridge is being made at the lab.

Root Canals

In severe cases, the plaque that causes tooth decay eats its way through the enamel that forms the outer layer of the tooth. It attacks the soft core of tissue inside the tooth known as the pulp or nerve tissue. Symptoms include sensitivity to hot and cold, pain while eating, or sore gums around the effected area. If left untreated, the patient can begin to experience extreme pain, swelling and in some case infection. If any of these symptoms occur, a root canal may be needed to save the tooth.

During the root canal procedure, the doctor proceeds to remove the infected pulp tissue. After the infected pulp is removed, the nerve chamber is cleaned, shaped and sealed. Contrary to popular rumors, root canal therapy is quite comfortable and painless through the use of modern technology.

Extractions

There are a few reasons why an extraction is necessary. There may be additional teeth outside the normal 32 adult teeth in the mouth or the patient may not have enough room in their mouth to accommodate all their teeth without over crowding occurring. Also, if teeth are badly infected or broken and cannot be saved, removal may be the only option. In this case, if treatment is delayed, infection may spread to the blood stream which can lead to hospitalization or even death.

Once it’s determined an extraction is needed, the dentist takes steps to ensure that the patient is not in any pain during the procedure. This includes the application of a topical anesthetic followed by an injection of a local anesthetic to sufficiently numb the area.

Careful removal of the tooth is the next step. There are two types of extractions; simple or surgical. A simple extraction is when the entire tooth is removed all at once while a surgical extraction requires the removal of the tooth in various pieces and often sutures are placed. If sutures are placed a follow up with the doctor is usually required a week later to remove the sutures and check healing.

Full Mouth Restorations

Badly worn down teeth can be restored back to their normal shape and look to bring back a beautiful smile. A full mouth restoration starts with a consultation with the doctor. Once a treatment plan is in place, impressions of the patient’s oral cavity are taken and the road to a new smile begins.

Before the patient leaves the first appointment, they are shown a photo simulation which provides a preview of their new smile. A few weeks later a wax try-in appointment is scheduled to ensure a proper fit and make sure the patient is happy with the progress. If everything is looking great and working well, the final restoration appointment is made a few weeks later.

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