Our Services

Bone Grafts

Bone grafts are sometimes an essential step when getting dental implants. A bone graft can lengthen the process by a few months, so we perform them only when necessary. 

Your Southlake dentist will use a bone graft if your jawbone is too weak or thin to support a dental implant. The tooth bone loss is typically caused by aging, missing teeth, or periodontal disease. If left untreated, the mouth and jaw can begin to sag, and surrounding teeth are prone to breaking and weakening. 

During a bone graft, the healthy piece of bone to replace the old bone is usually taken from somewhere on your body, often the rib. The graft can also be made out of synthetic material. It is placed into the mouth and will begin fusing into the jaw. The bone is strong again, and you can safely start the dental implants procedure. However, we recommend you wait three to six months before we place your dental implants. This time allows for healing and for the bone to fuse with the jaw completely. 

If you are interested in dental implants and would like to know more about bone grafts, call our office today to schedule an appointment. 

Deep Cleaning

A deep cleaning is necessary for people who have deep enough tartar buildup for the gums to become infected. The gums become red, puffy, and infected and can be extremely painful. They might even bleed when you brush and floss. Your gums will look like they have receded. 

Unlike your regular teeth cleaning, a deep cleaning focuses more on the outer surface of your teeth’s roots and under the gumline. This procedure isn’t as painless as regular cleaning and usually warrants a local anesthetic to numb your gums. 

A deep cleaning will help your gums heal and prevent uncomfortable and unhealthy infections. This procedure is also called periodontal scaling because the surface of the teeth are scaled, or scraped, by a special tool. This tool scrapes the plaque away from both above and below the gumline. 

Next, your dentist will perform root planning, massaging the roots with the special tool to flush trapped bacteria. Your gums will be a little sore after the procedure and might bleed when brushing. Sensitivity is normal.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

 

Root Canal

Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to this pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy, also. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.

A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.

Implants

A dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth as a result of injury, periodontal disease, or any other reason. A dental implant is a metal post that a periodontist or oral surgeon surgically positions into the jaw. Once in place and bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and generally last 10-20 years. They are also a more favorable approach than bridgework because they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.

To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.

Partial Dentures

A removable partial denture is a device used when one or more natural teeth still remain in the upper or lower jaw. They usually consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base, which is held in place in the mouth. A fixed partial denture acts the same as a removable denture, but it is cemented into place using the adjacent teeth for support. This fills the space created by missing teeth, as well as creates a support for remaining teeth to prevent shifting.

New dentures may feel awkward or loose for the first few weeks until the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place and you are comfortable eating and speaking. This may require some practice, but soon you will adjust and enjoy the benefits that a full mouth of teeth can provide.

Dentures

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures available, including partial and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while complete dentures are used to completely replace all teeth. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve your smile!

Crowns & Bridges

Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged, or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown, also referred to as a cap, is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment.

Crowns may be used to:

  • Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • Restore a fractured tooth
  • Attach a bridge
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

A bridge is an ideal method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support, hence the name. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or aesthetics.

It is important that a missing tooth is replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward. Because teeth use their neighbors for support, if one is missing they begin to “fall” and shift into the open spaces. This may worsen the bite due to changes in pressure and can eventually result in problems with the jaw such as TMJ.

Bridges and crowns are made by first taking an impression of your mouth. The impression is sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge will be custom made to fit your mouth and match your natural tooth color. A temporary crown or bridge will be placed into your mouth until your permanent crown or bridge is made. When the permanent crown or bridge is ready, it will be cemented into place.

Bridges and crowns are very durable and can last a lifetime with extra care and by practicing good oral hygiene.