Common Concerns

Appearance

What’s causing this, and what can I do to whiten them?

Tooth discoloration comes in two varieties – internal and external.

Internal Discoloration

Discoloration: Internal discoloration can be the natural genetically determined color of your teeth or can be caused by certain drugs like tetracycline when taken while the teeth are forming.

Solution: These two types of discoloration typically don’t respond to simple teeth whitening procedures and often require veneers or crowns to resolve the problem.

Dead Tooth: Another internal discoloration results when the nerve inside a tooth dies and subsequently discolors an individual tooth.

Solution: Remove the dead nerve and bleach the inside of the tooth or cover the outside with a crown.

External Discoloration

Discoloration: External discoloration occurs over time as our teeth are exposed to foods and liquids of color which can stain.

Solution: This type of discoloration often does respond to simple teeth whitening procedures and products.

What can I do about my crooked teeth?

Crooked teeth are usually resolved one of two ways, Orthodontics or Dental restorations.

Orthodontics

(traditional wires and brackets or invisibly with plastic aligners)

Dental Restorations

(crowns or veneers are another alternative that provide a quicker solution for the problem)

Function

What dental solutions exist for missing teeth?

Missing teeth can be replaced with: Implants, Bridges and Removable Partial

Implants

Implants replace the entire tooth and are anchored in bone just like a natural tooth.

Bridges

Bridges attach to the teeth adjacent to the missing space and are permanently cemented in the mouth (these are more challenging to clean than an implant but function like an implant).

Removable Partial

Removable partial or complete dentures (not typically as natural feeling or as natural in function as implants or bridges).

How can I improve my ability to chew?

For those with insufficient teeth

Implants replace the entire tooth and are anchored in bone just like a natural tooth.

Bridges attach to the teeth adjacent to the missing space and are permanently cemented in the mouth (these more challenging to clean than an implant but function like an implant).

Full or partial dentures Removable partial dentures or complete dentures are not typically as natural feeling or as natural in function as implants or bridges.

For those with an uneven bite

With proper analysis on our part, we can discover if something simple like minor tooth smoothing or re-shaping will correct the problem or more significant measures like orthodontics (braces) are required. Note: Uneven bites are a significant contributing factor in many TMJ (jaw joint) disorders.

My teeth are worn, what can I do?

Worn teeth present compromises in function, appearance and in severe cases, comfort. Once the enamel layer is gone, the next layer (dentin) wears seven times faster than the enamel. It’s important to address a wear problem in a timely fashion. When caught early, before the enamel has worn through, simply eliminating the cause of the wear may be sufficient treatment. As wear increases, veneers or crowns are often required. In severe wear cases, root canals can be necessary as the wear invades and damages the nerve in the center of the tooth.

Discomfort

I’m experiencing tooth pain. What could be causing it?

Tooth sensitivity is commonly associated with one of the following:

Root exposure – gum tissue has receded exposing the more sensitive root surface.

Solution: Fluoride toothpastes for sensitive teeth, or the application of varnishes and desensitizing agents by a dentist.

Cracked teeth – Often times exhibit some form of biting pressure sensitivity in addition to cold sensitivity.

Solution: Depending on the severity of the crack, treatment solutions include a crown, the possibility of a root canal and, in severe cases, removal of the tooth.

Excessively High Bite: An excessively high bite on a dental restoration.

Solution: Shorten the tall restoration.

Nerve in the Process Dying: Here the cold sensitivity lingers for a longer time after the cold stimulus is gone and may even cause throbbing.

Solution: Remove the dying nerve.

I am having trouble with my jaw joint. Can anything be done?

The TMJ or temporomandibular joint can exhibit a variety of symptoms.

  • Joint noises (popping or clicking)
  • Restricted motion of jaw
  • Pain
  • Headaches
  • Inability to open or close jaw

The cause of these symptoms can be an injury, a disorder within the joint itself, but most often is related to a persons bite (how the teeth fit together). Only careful evaluation on the part of a dentist can determine the exact nature of the problem and appropriate treatment to resolve it.

Durability

I’m having problems with previous dental work. What could be wrong?

Dental restorations typically fail due to one or more of the following:

  • Weak or excessively thin restorations
  • A strong bite or nighttime clenching/grinding
  • An overly large filling in a tooth that really needs a crown (i.e., if more than 1/2 of the tooth is filling, the tooth needs a crown).
  • Harmful habits (i.e. chewing ice, half popped popcorn, etc.)