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Cavities, injuries, bad habits such as teeth grinding, and aging all can inflict damage on our teeth. Some damage may be visible as a yellow, white, brown, or black spot on a tooth, or the entire tooth might change color. You also may notice that your tooth is loose or that the base of your tooth shows because of gum recession.
Other times, you can feel like something is wrong when you eat. For instance, if you have a tooth that is sensitive to cold, hot, or sweet food or beverages, the outer enamel covering the nerves in the teeth might be compromised or cracked because of dental decay. A sudden, sharp pain in your mouth when you bite may be another sign of a cracked tooth. Biting applies pressure, causing a cracked tooth to open. This irritates the nerve inside. The pain usually subsides when you stop biting.
We understand that many people feel nervous about visiting a dentist, but such symptoms should not be ignored. If a tooth problem is not identified and repaired, your tooth might have to be extracted. This causes not only an aesthetic issue of a hole in your smile but can affect what you can eat and even how you speak. What’s more, if such gaps aren’t filled, the surrounding teeth can shift out of position, causing other problems.
Fortunately, our dentists in Fort Lauderdale, FL, can address all of these issues and give you a healthy smile again.
Dental Fillings in Fort Lauderdale
Cavities aren’t just for kids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta notes that more than 90 percent of Americans have had a cavity, and 1 in 4 adults has untreated cavities.
Untreated cavities can cause pain, but they also lead to a poor appearance and affect our ability to eat and concentrate. A dental filling is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to repair a tooth damaged by decay.
First, our dentist in Fort Lauderdale will remove the decayed area and fill it with a tooth-colored material called a composite filling. Unlike filling material from years ago, composite fillings don’t require the dentist to drill away healthy tooth structure; instead, they chemically bond to your tooth, making it stronger. Composite fillings look natural and they’re quite durable. They resist fracture and are able to withstand the daily pressure of biting and chewing.
What Is a Tooth Crown?
Dental fillings treat decay that affects just a small part of your tooth. If you don’t have enough healthy enamel to bond to a filling, then the dentist will recommend a crown instead.
A dental crown acts as a cap for your tooth. Because it completely covers the tooth down to the gums, it strengthens the underlying tooth and restores its normal function.
Our dentists in Fort Lauderdale will create a custom crown that matches the color, shape, and translucency of your other teeth. Once it’s in place, only you and your dentist will be able to tell it apart from your natural teeth.
The Dental Crown Procedure
Crowning or capping a tooth usually takes two visits. First, our dentist at Galt Family Dentistry will prepare the tooth to fit inside the crown. This might involve building up the tooth with a material to support the crown if you have very little natural tooth left. This is called a core build-up.
Afterward, the dentist will take an impression of your tooth to send to the dental lab. The dentist will attach a temporary crown to your tooth before you leave to protect it until the permanent crown is ready. At your next visit, the dentist will adhere the permanent crown, made from dental porcelain.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge can fill a space in your smile because of a missing tooth. It’s a permanent solution designed to place an artificial tooth where the original, natural tooth no longer exists.
Unlike a removable partial denture, a dental bridge is fixed permanently in the mouth. A bridge actually includes two crowns that fit over the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth. These crowns attach to an artificial tooth called a pontic, which fills in for the missing tooth. The pontic looks just like a crown but doesn’t have a real tooth beneath it.
For one missing tooth, you’ll need a three-unit bridge composed of two crowns and one pontic. If you have a space in your smile because of two missing teeth, you’ll need a four-unit bridge: two crowns supporting two pontics. Longer bridges can also be created depending on your needs.
If you have additional questions about fillings, crowns, or dental bridges, call our office in Fort Lauderdale today to schedule an appointment.