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Biting and chewing your favorite foods should be pleasurable. But if you wince when you eat your favorite foods—or avoid a sensitive spot in your mouth when you chew—you likely have a cavity or a cracked or damaged tooth. Take heart: tooth decay is such a common disease, it’s second only to the common cold!
But that’s not the only cause of tooth trouble. Age, accidents and injuries, and habits such as teeth grinding (bruxism) all can hurt teeth by compromising the outer enamel that covers those inner nerves. Pain is a sure sign of trouble. So is sensitivity to certain hot, cold, or sweet foods or drinks. But tooth decay also can appear without painful symptoms. If your teeth wiggle or gums recede, one of your entire teeth is discolored, or you’ve noticed a white, brown, yellow, or black spot on a tooth, our dentists in Springfield, VA, can diagnose the issue and discuss how we can help.
We recognize that people sometimes feel reluctant to visit the dentist, but trust us—tooth problems that are ignored always get worse. Our goal is to keep you smiling bright.
One in 4 adults has untreated cavities, statistics show. Not surprisingly, more than 90 percent of Americans over the age of 40 have tooth decay.
A filling is one of the most cost-effective and easy ways to repair this decay. If you’re diagnosed with a cavity, our dentist in Springfield will use a tooth-colored composite filling to replace the decay. This restorative treatment bonds to a tooth’s natural healthy structure, actually making a tooth stronger.
But what if you have a severely decayed or damaged tooth and the composite resin can’t form a good bond? If those cases, our dentist likely will recommend a crown.
What Is a Tooth Crown?
A dental crown acts as a mini makeover for your tooth. It’s a tooth-shaped cap that completely covers the tooth above the gum line. Once adhered permanently in place, it strengthens the underlying tooth, allowing it to function normally again.
If you need to get a dental crown in Springfield, you’re in good hands. Our dentists will create a crown from dental porcelain that will match the color, shape, and translucency of your other teeth. A properly fit crown looks so natural and feels so comfortable, you won’t be able to tell it apart from your natural teeth.
The Dental Crown Procedure
To crown or cap a tooth takes two visits. During the first, we’ll need to prepare your tooth to fit inside the crown. This can involve shaping the remaining tooth enamel or building up what remains of the natural tooth material to provide the support that the crown needs.
The dentist then will take a mold of your prepared tooth to send to the dental lab, where your permanent crown will be made. We want your tooth to be protected until the permanent crown is ready, so we’ll attach a temporary crown before you leave our office.
At your next appointment, we’ll remove the temporary crown, then ensure that the permanent one fits well and looks good. We’ll adhere it in place with dental cement, and you’ll be able to eat and drink with it that same day.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
If you have a tooth too damaged to be fixed with a filling or crown that needs to be extracted, or if you already have one or more missing teeth, we can help you with designing and placing a dental bridge. A dental bridge covers gaps from missing teeth, restoring the function of your teeth as it repairs your smile.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
Like a partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth, but a partial denture is removable. A dental bridge, like a crown, remains permanently in your mouth. A bridge uses two crowns covering the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth to support an artificial tooth, called a pontic. Made of dental porcelain, the pontic adheres to the crowns, so it’s anchored securely and blends well with the rest of your teeth.
Depending on your needs, we can design bridges in varying lengths. If you have one missing tooth, we can make what’s called a three-unit bridge of two crowns and one pontic. For two missing teeth, we’ll craft a four-unit bridge of two crowns and two pontics. We also can work with you on longer bridges.
If you’re ready to make an appointment, or if you have additional questions about fillings, crowns, or dental bridges, please call our office in Springfield today at (571) 364-7212. We’re glad to assist you.