Animal teeth & bones
These are just some things our human ancestors have used to restore “teeth,” according to historical and archeological records of ancient cultures.
They were doing the best they could at their times. Thankfully, we’ve made some big strides with regard to restorative dentistry. You can find today’s advanced services at our Marietta, GA dentist office, where we repair and rebuild smiles practically every day.
Whether you have tooth decay, you’ve lost all your teeth, or other problems in between those extremes, you can get your smile back along with the full function of your mouth.
One of the best things you can do to help yourself is to call 770-744-4619 to set up an appointment at Atlanta West Dentistry.
Now You See Cavities, Now You Don’t
None of us want cavities, but almost all of us (more than 90 percent) will have at least one. In fact, there’s a pretty high chance that you’ve already had one. If so, how did you fix that problem?
You probably got a dental filling.
Now, the question is this: what kind of filling did you get?
For decades, the only option many dentists offered were some kind of metal fillings. Gold and amalgam (mercury mixed with other metals) were the standards for many, many years.
Looking at these fillings strictly from a functional standpoint, they work well. After the decay is removed, metal fillings can protect your teeth against further decay. They also make it possible to bite and chew comfortably again.
From a cosmetic standpoint, however, metal fillings leave a lot to be desired. When they are new, they look bright, shiny, and metallic. In time, they can corrode, which can make them appear almost as bad as the cavities they were meant to replace.
In other words, whether old or new fillings can become a distraction for other people. That can leave you feeling self-conscious about smiling or speaking.
Nowadays, you do have another option for filling cavities and replacing old fillings. At our practice, we use a kind of resin to make tooth-colored fillings for our patients. This resin can be hardened, polished, and shaded, so that it looks like a natural part of your tooth. This resin also can be used to repair chipped, cracked, and broken teeth.
With this solution, you have a discreet way of fixing your smile and restoring the function of your teeth.
Pain, Pain Go Away
Taking care of tooth decay as soon as you notice it is the best way to deal with it (next to preventive care). However, decay can spread for some time before many people realize they have a cavity. It’s also true that some people will ignore the effects decay … until it begins to cause pain.
Any time your teeth hurt, there is a problem.
Bacteria that cause tooth decay will continue to eat away at your tooth as long as they are not removed. As the bacteria push deeper into the tooth, this can cause increased sensitivity, particularly to foods and drinks that are cold, hot, or sweet.
That sensitivity can lead to outright pain. This pain can be a constant, lingering sensation. It can come and go in waves. It also may make it difficult to bite or chew with your infected tooth.
There’s a reason we encourage patients to treat these kinds of problems as dental emergencies. The pain of a toothache is different from the pain of bumping your head. Toothaches don’t just go away on their own. The cause of those toothaches can spread to other parts of your mouth, however.
These are times with a root canal treatment can be the best thing you can do. Root canals have an unfortunate reputation, in part, because of the old ways these procedures were done. Today, you can have a pain-free, worry-free root canal with the help of sedation dentistry and the kind of advanced dentistry we provide.
A root canal treatment involves removing infected tissue from your tooth, filling it with a special material (called gutta-percha), and restoring the tooth with a dental crown.
This process ends the pain that comes with an infected tooth. It also allows you to smile confidently and eat comfortably once again.
Lost … but not a Lost Cause
If you don’t want cavities, then you really don’t want to lose teeth.
Yet, this too is a more common problem than many people realize.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the average American between 20 and 64 years old is missing three teeth (and that is not counting wisdom teeth that were removed). The NIH also reports that roughly 1 in 27 people in that age range have none of their natural teeth any longer.
Alligators and sharks can regrow their teeth, but this is not something that people can do. On the other hand, we can make prosthetic teeth that look, feel, and function as good as real ones for all practical purposes.
If you or someone you love is missing teeth, you aren’t doomed to spend the rest of your life with a gap in your smile. You also don’t have to settle for loose, slippery dentures.
As anyone who builds houses can tell you, you need a solid foundation. The same is true in tooth replacement, and dental implants are the solid foundation you need for your new “teeth.”
Implants take the place of the roots of lost and extracted teeth. They are placed directly in your jawbone. This allows them to provide far more stability than denture adhesives.
With your implants in position, you can support a full set of dentures, a dental bridge, or a dental crown. No matter how many teeth you need to replace, implants can help you feel like you’ve got a complete set of teeth again!
Don’t Give Up on Your Smile
Our goal at Atlanta West Dentistry is to help every patient maintain a healthy, natural-looking smile. Whether that’s done with preventive care or restorative treatments, we are happy to give you reasons to keep smiling.