Restorative Dentistry | Dr. Ross Dixon
|Cavities »||Gum Disease »||Impacted Teeth »||Plaque »||Root Canal »||Toothaches »|
Providing Dentistry to San Diego Since 2000Restorative dentistry refers to dental techniques and procedures aimed at restoring your teeth to their previous natural state. When you have health dental issues related to decayed teeth from cavities, root damage, receding gums and plaque they need to be restored. Cosmetic restorations for discolored, chipped, broken, decayed or lost teeth are also done in our offices. A wide variety of procedures are used in restorative dentistry to bring back your smile to its original, natural beauty.
Learn About Restorative Dental Care
Cavities & Tooth Decay »
Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities, also called tooth decay or caries, are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, not cleaning your teeth well, frequent snacking and sipping sugary drinks.
Cavities and tooth decay are among the world's most common health problems. If cavities aren't treated, they get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. They can lead to severe toothache, infection and tooth loss. Regular dental visits and good brushing and flossing habits go a long way toward preventing cavities and tooth decay.
Types of Cavities
- Smooth Surface Cavity
- Pit & Fissure Cavity
- Root Cavity
Gum & Periodontal Disease (Gingivitis) »
Healthy gums are important for many reasons. Gingivitis and periodontal disease can lead to painful or loose teeth, and the ultimate loss of one or many teeth. Studies have shown a connection between gum disease and general health, especially cardiovascular health. Halitosis, or bad breath, can be the direct result of periodontal disease. The doctor and hygienist will diagnose the best course of treatment to establish and maintain healthy gums.
Contact our office to schedule a Periodontal Evaluation >>
Gum Disease Symptoms:
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
Impacted Teeth & Wisdom Teeth »
Teeth start to pass through the gums (emerge) during infancy, and again when the primary (baby) teeth are replaced by the permanent teeth. If a tooth fails to emerge, or emerges only partially, it is considered to be impacted. The most common teeth to become impacted are the wisdom teeth (the third set of molars).
An impacted tooth remains stuck in gum tissue or bone for various reasons. It may be that the area is just overcrowded and there's no room for the teeth to emerge. For example, the jaw may be too small to fit the wisdom teeth. Teeth may also become twisted, tilted, or displaced as they try to emerge, resulting in impacted teeth.
Symptoms of Impacted Teeth
- Bad breath
- Difficulty opening the mouth (occasionally)
- Pain or tenderness of the gums (gingiva) or jaw bone
- Prolonged headache or jaw ache
- Redness and swelling of the gums around the impacted tooth
- Swollen lymph nodes of the neck (occasionally)
- Unpleasant taste when biting down on or near the area
- Visible gap where a tooth did not emerge
Plaque is the sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. It makes teeth "feel fuzzy" to the tongue and is most noticeable when teeth are not brushed. Plaque develops when foods containing carbohydrates, such as milk, soft drinks, raisins, cakes, or candy are frequently left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay. Plaque can also develop on the tooth roots under the gum and cause breakdown of the bone supporting the tooth.
- Brush a least twice a day
- Get a check-up and teeth cleaning every 6 months
- Eat a balanced diet
- Use an antibacterial mouth rinse
Root Canal Therapy »
A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form. "Root Canal" is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth's nerve lies within the root canal.
Signs That A Root Canal is Needed:
- Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures (after the hot or cold has been removed)
- Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
- A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
Tooth Aches »
"Toothache" usually refers to pain around the teeth or jaws primarily as a result of a dental condition. In most instances, toothaches are caused by tooth problems, such as a dental cavity, a cracked tooth, an exposed tooth root, or gum disease. However, disorders of the jaw joint (temporo-mandibular joint) can also cause pain that is referred to as "toothache." The severity of a toothache can range from chronic and mild to sharp and excruciating. The pain may be aggravated by chewing or by cold or heat. A thorough oral examination, which includes dental X-rays, can help determine whether the toothache is coming from a tooth or jaw problem and the cause.