Restorative Dentistry in Carmel, IN
Our team is dedicated to helping patients achieve and maintain their optimal oral health through regular preventive dental checkups and teeth cleanings, but even the most complete dental care routine can fall short. When this happens, our team is happy to offer restorative dentistry services that renew not just the function of teeth, but their appearance as well. At Kristoff & Associates Family Dentistry, we welcome patients from Caramel, IN and surrounding areas to contact our office to find out more or schedule an appointment.
Dental Crowns & Bridges
Dental crowns are a commonly used restoration that offer solutions to repair damaged or decayed teeth, improve the appearance of teeth cosmetically, restore teeth treated with root canal therapy, and replace teeth as part of fixed bridges or dental implant supported tooth replacement. A dental crown fits over the top of the damaged tooth, restoring shape and function and preserving remaining healthy dental structure. In most cases, the process requires two appointments to complete, but we also offer single visit dental crowns using the CEREC system. Regardless of how the crowns are placed, the process starts with a preparation of the tooth. We remove any decay and smooth damaged areas in order for the crown to be fitted comfortably. Then, we take an impression of the prepared tooth which is used by a ceramics lab or, in the case of CEREC, by our chairside milling unit to craft the dental crown. Patients receiving a same day crown then have their restoration placed immediately. Those who have chosen traditional dental crowns will need to be fitted with a temporary restoration and return to exchange it for their custom crown in a few weeks. Fixed bridges use dental crowns placed over surrounding healthy teeth to replace one or more lost teeth.
For years, silver-colored amalgam fillings have been the standard in restoring damaged or decayed teeth. Our team offers a more cosmetically appealing alternative: tooth-colored composite resin fillings. Sometimes referred to as direct fillings, the restoration is placed and shaped directly onto the damaged tooth and hardened into position, creating a solid bond between the composite resin and the natural dental structure. Unlike traditional fillings, which expand and contract due to changes in temperature, tooth-colored fillings provided added stability, preserving dental structure longer.
Dentures & Partials
Patients missing a number of teeth or a full arch can rely on the predictable results offered by removable partial and full dentures. Partial dentures, sometimes referred to simply as partials, are made from a series of replacement teeth set into a gum-colored base. Once completed, the partial fits into the damaged smile like a puzzle piece and clasps in place with support from the remaining teeth. Full dentures are similar to partials in that they are crafted by placing a full arch of prosthetic teeth into a gum-colored base. The full denture is held in place by natural suction between the malleable prosthetic base and the gum line.
Patients who experience severe toothaches or excessive sensitivity to heat and cold may be suffering from a root canal infection. This infection occurs when decay or trauma allows bacteria to access the inner pulp layers of teeth. The nerve systems of teeth are housed within the pulp, and when irritated by decay, they can cause severe dental pain. Our team offers comfortable, effective root canal therapy to relieve pain and restore damaged teeth. A small access hole is drilled into the tooth, and the damaged pulp and nerve are extracted. Then, the pulp is replaced with a biocompatible substance that provides similar support for the treated tooth, and the access hole is sealed. Finally, a dental crown is placed to restore the form of patients’ damaged teeth and protect teeth from further decay or damage.
In most cases, we strive to preserve natural teeth, but there are some instances when tooth extraction is the best solution to maintain overall oral health. The extraction process depends on the position and condition of the tooth, but in most cases, there are two basic methods. The first is to “pull” the tooth. Using forceps, a tooth is gently shifted back and forth until it is loosened and removed. Teeth that are not fully erupted need to be surgically removed. A small incision is made in the gums, and whenever possible, the whole tooth is extracted. However, in some cases, we need to break the tooth into smaller pieces before we’re able to extract. The most common reasons for tooth extraction include:
- Severe decay that may place surrounding teeth at risk
- Decay or infection that accesses the gums, causing infected sores and breaking down connective tissue
- In order to prevent more severe health consequences for patients who suffer from immune- compromising illnesses
- Wisdom teeth (also known as your third molars) that cause crowding, undo orthodontic treatments, and are often impacted (unable to erupt)