Dental Treatments Available at Maxus Dental
Research has shown that almost everybody has a 95% chance of experiencing some tooth decay. When tooth decay does occur, it is highly important to remove the decay, clean the tooth and repair the tooth with some type of restoration. In addition, lost or missing teeth need to be replaced to protect your overall oral health.
What are composite fillings?
Composite fillings are tooth-colored quartz-like materials that are used to fill teeth that have cavities caused by tooth decay. Once the decayed material has been removed and the tooth is cleaned, the composite filling is placed on the tooth, layer by layer. Every layer is hardened with the use of a “curing” light before the next one is applied. The dentist shapes and polishes the tooth to produce a virtually invisible restoration.
When are composite fillings needed?
Patients who have tooth decay, those who want to replace their traditional silver amalgam fillings, and individuals who want to maintain a beautiful smile need composite fillings.
What are the advantages of using composite fillings over silver fillings?
Composite fillings are not just aesthetically pleasing. They are also non-toxic and eco-friendly, as they do not contain mercury (silver amalgam fillings contain a variety of metals, including traces of mercury). Moreover, they bond directly to the tooth’s surface, making them stronger. Composite fillings protect the tooth from fractures because healthy tooth structure does not have to be removed prior to the placement of a composite filling.
What are the disadvantages of using composite fillings?
Composite fillings cost more than amalgam fillings because composite material is more expensive. Plus, the process is more difficult and takes more time. Composite fillings also last less than half as long as amalgam fillings. However, this investment will go a long way and the money you initially spend on composite fillings will be offset. You will not only enjoy different health benefits, but your chances of having fractured teeth will also be reduced significantly.
What are my alternatives?
Inlays/onlays offer outstanding long-term stability and may be used as an alternative to composite fillings. If there is extensive decay, crowns or inlays/onlays have to be used.
Root Canal Therapy
- Infected or sick tooth due to decay or injury
- Chronic tooth pain from contact with hot and cold liquids
- Pain from pressure or biting down
- Danger of infection spreading
Inside each tooth is a pulp chamber that contains the nerves and blood supply for the tooth. When the pulp becomes infected due to decay or injury to the tooth, the pulp must be removed from the center of the tooth and the canals of each root. Once the infected pulp is removed, the remaining chamber is filled with a rubber-based material to seal it off.
All teeth that have had root canal therapy must be protected with a tooth-like artificial covering known as a crown (see crown section.) This is because teeth that have had the pulp removed are more susceptible to fracture.
Root canal therapy is an excellent way to save a tooth that would otherwise die and need to be removed.
If a tooth is sick, there are no disadvantages to root canal therapy. On rare occasions, however, root canal therapy may need to be redone to ensure that all of the infection has been removed.
The only real alternative is to remove the sick tooth. However, this will require a dental implant or bridge to fill the empty space and prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth. These solutions will ultimately cost more than the root canal therapy, and they will never equal the quality of keeping your natural tooth.
A common sleep disorder that is often overlooked is sleep apnea. Millions of Americans suffer from it, but many people don’t even know they have it. Although relatively harmless in most cases, sleep apnea can lead to serious health risks if left untreated. At New Smiles, we team with medical professionals to diagnose and treat sleep apnea, helping you sleep like a baby once again.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is characterized by sudden, interrupted breathing during sleep. This happens repeatedly as the person sleeps, sometimes occurring hundreds of times in a night. Common sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Waking up with a very sore or dry throat
- Loud snoring
- Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
- Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
- Sleepiness while driving
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
- Forgetfulness, mood changes, and decreased interest in sex
- Recurrent awakenings
What are the two main types of sleep apnea?
- Obstructive sleep apnea. The most common type of sleep apnea. Caused when the tongue, tonsils, or other tissues in the back of the throat block the airway.
- Central sleep apnea. Although the airway is not blocked in this type of apnea, the brain doesn’t always signal the body to breathe when it should.
What happens when sleep apnea is left untreated?
Sleep apnea must not be left untreated, as it can lead to serious cardiovascular effects on the body, diabetes, and even death. As you fall asleep and stop breathing, the oxygen level in your body decreases and carbon dioxide builds up. This high concentration of carbon dioxide is detected by chemoreceptors in the bloodstream. The brain is then signaled to wake you up and to breath. When this happens your heart rate speeds up placing a tremendous load on your heart, increasing your likelihood for heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. Even without the cardiovascular problems, sleep apnea affects a person’s performance during the day and can lead to automobile accidents.
What can be done to treat sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can be treated in several ways. Minor treatments can be as simple as sleeping on your side, rather than your back. For some patients, removing the tonsils can treat sleep apnea. Treatment for those with moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea, can be continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). CPAP treatment includes patients wearing a mask hooked up to a machine that delivers a continuous flow of air into the nose. CPAP treatment can be very beneficial. Unfortunately, CPAP use is only 50% effective due to compliance. Another alternative is oral appliance therapy (OAT). At New Smiles, we can manufacture an OAT dental device that keeps your airway open during sleep to treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Find out what works best for your condition through an initial consultation with our dentists.