Gingivitis is a gum condition associated with bleeding of the gums. Prevention is the best approach. With routine dental cleanings, we remove any plaque or tartar build up around your teeth and gums that may contribute to gum disease and tooth decay if left untreated. These are usually performed at a minimum of twice a year (every six months).
Periodontitis is an infection of the gingival tissue (gums) including bone loss around the teeth. When gingivitis is left untreated and bacterial levels are not properly addressed, it will progress into periodontitis. Periodontitis has been linked to heart disease and strokes, preterm low birth weight, and poorly controlled blood sugar in diabetic patients.
When decay is diagnosed on a tooth, there are various forms of treatment, including tooth colored restorations called composite fillings. These white fillings allow teeth to look natural when people talk, laugh or smile. This type of treatment only requires one visit, during which the tooth is prepared and restored. An advantage of composite fillings, as compared with other dental restorations, is that they require less of the healthy part of a tooth to be removed to hold the filling in place.
A crown, or "cap," is used when a tooth breaks or decay becomes too extensive to repair with a more simple type of restoration. Sometimes a crown is recommended for a tooth that has had a root canal treatment.
Dental crowns are a common dental restoration. Dr. Costabile or his associates may recommend placement of a dental crown if you have a deep crack in your tooth that is causing you pain due to heightened sensitivity. Some of the other common reasons that patients of our Buffalo, Minnesota dental practice might require a crown include:
Veneers are a conservative cosmetic dental procedure that involves the placement of a porcelain "shell" on the front surface of the tooth in order to mask color or shade, a misshapen appearance, or a chip or fracture of the tooth. It is bonded to the tooth with a type of resin cement.
Multiple veneers can close a gap on teeth, lengthen teeth that have been shortened by wear, fill the spaces between teeth caused by gum recession, provide a uniform color, shape, and symmetry to make the teeth look beautiful and straight.
The root canal of a tooth is where the living nerves and blood vessels lie within the inner anatomy of a tooth. When a tooth sustains damage such as: deep decay, fracture, or any other type of injury, the nerve may be affected and die. When this happens, an infection may form due to bacterial growth within the area.
Bleaching or teeth whitening is another type of cosmetic procedure used to brighten the appearance of a person's teeth. Over time, the mineral composition of a person's teeth changes and they become darker, thus whitening can be a conservative approach to creating a younger appearance of one's smile. It can also be used to remove staining that has accumulated through the years due to different diets, smoking or even some antibiotic therapies.
Invisalign is a system of clear orthodontic aligners. In certain treatment scenarios, it may be a desirable alternative to traditional metal braces. They are a series of clear aligners that are optimally worn between 22-24 hours per day and changed every 2 weeks. They are removed only to eat, brush and floss your teeth. Because they are made of a clear material, they are virtually invisible. Attachments, which are small tooth colored composite build ups bonded to the patient's tooth may be required to accomplish the desired tooth movements.
Oral Surgery (Including Tooth Extractions) typically involves the removal of a patient's tooth in a process known as tooth extraction. It is usually required when the patient's tooth is severely decayed, broken, or infected and no further restorative option exists for the tooth. In order to replace the missing tooth, there are options such as an implant, a bridge, or a removable prosthetic device.
Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and are designed to blend in with your other teeth. They are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile. In fact, the development and use of implants is one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years.
Dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) is a special type of x-ray equipment used when regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficient. Your doctor may use this technology to produce three dimensional (3-D) images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone in a single scan.
Dental cone beam CT is commonly used for treatment planning of orthodontic issues. It is also useful for more complex cases that involve:
- Surgical planning for impacted teeth.
- Diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
- Accurate placement of dental implants.
- Evaluation of the jaw, sinuses, nerve canals and nasal cavity.
- Detecting, measuring and treating jaw tumors.
- Determining bone structure and tooth orientation.
- Locating the origin of pain or pathology.
- Reconstructive surgery.