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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
November 06, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

You have dental symptoms you can't ignore. Can your family dentists in West Columbia, SC, save that tooth? Dr. Peter Stoltz or Dr. Brookeroot canal Stoltz at Three Fountains Family Dental can tell you what's best for your tooth and your overall oral health. A root canal procedure may be an option. Learn here about what signs tell your dentist that you need one and also about details of this common dental treatment.

Signs you need a root canal

Root canal therapy--also called endodontic therapy--has been a reliable treatment for a long time. Removing diseased pulp from a tooth's interior chamber and up to four root canals (hence, the name), endodontic therapy relieves symptoms and brings new life to a compromised tooth. The American Association of Endodontists, dentists who specialize in this procedure, say that Americans undergo 15 million root canals annually, and most succeed.

Why would you need a root canal? A dental abscess is a leading cause. A deep injury is another. Additionally, your family dentist in West Columbia, SC, may choose root canal therapy to prevent extraction when a tooth has multiple restorations, and the structure above the gum line is weak.

So, your team at Three Fountains Family Dental urges you to seek advice if you have some or all of these symptoms:

  • Throbbing toothache
  • Redness and swelling at the gum line
  • Extreme sensitivity to pressure, heat or cold
  • Drainage from the tooth
  • Bad breath
  • Darkening of tooth enamel

Dr. Stoltz will examine and X-ray your tooth to confirm a diagnosis and to determine if your tooth is a candidate for root canal therapy.

The root canal procedure

A root canal procedure removes diseased interior tooth pulp and damaged tooth enamel, disinfects and fills the tooth and restores it with a porcelain crown. Your dentist usually uses a local anesthetic to numb the tooth.

Dr. Stoltz cleans the root canal with several tiny metal files. The dentist also disinfects the chamber and adds a material called gutta-percha to seal it. Your dentist repeats the treatment on the other root canals and places a temporary filling or crown over the tooth. Dental impressions go to a trusted lab where the new crown is fabricated.

You go home for a week or so of healing and eating a soft diet. Most people experience pain relief after a root canal procedure.

On your return appointment, Dr. Stoltz checks the site, removes the temporary restoration and bonds the new crown in place. Your tooth looks and feels great and will serve you for many more years.

Find out more

If you have concerning dental symptoms, don't wait. A root canal procedure may help you regain and keep good oral health. Call Three Fountains Family Dental for an appointment: (803) 755-0039.

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
October 30, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
AdvancesinPorcelainVeneersImproveBothStrengthandAppearance

One of the best restorative options for slightly deformed, misaligned or stained teeth is a porcelain veneer. Composed of thin, laminated layers of dental material, the veneer is bonded to the outside of the tooth to transform both its shape and color to blend with other natural teeth.

Veneers are more than a technical process — they’re works of art produced by skilled artisans known as dental lab technicians. They use their skills to shape veneers into forms so life-like they can’t be distinguished from other teeth.

How technicians produce veneers depends on the material used. The mainstay for many years was feldspathic porcelain, a powdered material mixed with water to form a paste, which technicians use to build up layers on top of each other. After curing or “firing” in an oven, the finished veneer can mimic both the color variations and translucency of natural teeth.

Although still in use today, feldspathic porcelain does have limitations. It has a tendency to shrink during firing, and because it’s built up in layers it’s not as strong and shatter-resistant as a single composed piece. To address these weaknesses, a different type of veneer material reinforced with leucite came into use in the 1990s. Adding this mineral to the ceramic base, the core of the veneer could be formed into one piece by pressing the heated material into a mold. But while increasing its strength, early leucite veneers were thicker than traditional porcelain and only worked where extra space allowed for them.

This has led to the newest and most advanced form that uses a stronger type of glass ceramic called lithium disilicate. These easily fabricated veneers can be pressed down to a thickness of three tenths of a millimeter, much thinner than leucite veneers with twice the strength.  And like leucite, lithium disilicate can be milled to increase the accuracy of the fit. It’s also possible to add a layer of feldspathic porcelain to enhance their appearance.

The science — and artistry — of porcelain veneers has come a long way over the last three decades. With more durable, pliable materials, you can have veneers that with proper care could continue to provide you an attractive smile for decades to come.

If you would like more information on dental veneers, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Veneers.”

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
September 22, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
DontBreakItLikeBeckham

During his former career as a professional footballer (that's a soccer star to U.S. sports fans) David Beckham was known for his skill at “bending” a soccer ball. His ability to make the ball curve in mid-flight — to avoid a defender or score a goal — led scores of kids to try to “bend it like Beckham.” But just recently, while enjoying a vacation in Canada with his family, “Becks” tried snowboarding for the first time — and in the process, broke one of his front teeth.

Some fans worried that the missing tooth could be a “red card” for Beckham's current modeling career… but fortunately, he headed straight to the dental office as soon as he arrived back in England. Exactly what kind of treatment is needed for a broken tooth? It all depends where the break is and how badly the tooth is damaged.

For a minor crack or chip, cosmetic bonding may offer a quick and effective solution. In this procedure, a composite resin, in a color custom-made to match the tooth, is applied in liquid form and cured (hardened) with a special light. Several layers of bonding material can be applied to re-construct a larger area of missing tooth, and chips that have been saved can sometimes be reattached as well.

When more tooth structure is missing, dental veneers may be the preferred restorative option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They can not only correct small chips or cracks, but can also improve the color, spacing, and shape of your teeth.

But if the damage exposes the soft inner pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment will be needed to save the tooth. In this procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed and the tooth sealed against re-infection; if a root canal is not done when needed, the tooth will have an increased risk for extraction in the future. Following a root canal, a tooth is often restored with a crown (cap), which can look good and function well for many years.

Sometimes, a tooth may be knocked completely out of its socket; or, a severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted (removed). In either situation, the best option for restoration is a dental implant. Here, a tiny screw-like device made of titanium metal is inserted into the jaw bone in a minor surgical procedure. Over time, it fuses with the living bone to form a solid anchorage. A lifelike crown is attached, which provides aesthetic appeal and full function for the replacement tooth.

So how's Beckham holding up? According to sources, “David is a trooper and didn't make a fuss. He took it all in his stride." Maybe next time he hits the slopes, he'll heed the advice of dental experts and wear a custom-made mouthguard…

If you have questions about restoring damaged teeth, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma and Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “Children's Dental Concerns and Injuries.”

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
September 07, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
ThinkYoureTooOldforOrthodonticsReadThis

You’ve lived most of your life with crooked teeth and an imperfect smile. You feel you should have done something about it years ago, but now you’re approaching your golden years — what would be the point?

Here’s the point: there’s a growing trend of older adults undergoing orthodontic treatment. People are discovering the life-changing benefits of straightening their teeth — even if they’re no longer teenagers.

So, what’s really holding you back?

I’m too old to have my teeth straightened. Not true — teeth can be straightened at any age, not just during childhood or adolescence. If anything would prevent orthodontic treatment it would be the state of your oral and general health, not your age. Your teeth’s supporting bone must be reasonably sound and healthy; likewise, systemic problems like bleeding disorders, leukemia and uncontrolled diabetes can make orthodontics difficult. But if you and your mouth are reasonably healthy, you can have your teeth straightened.

It’s too much to spend just to look better. Yes, orthodontic treatment can transform your smile — but it can also improve your oral health. Misaligned teeth are harder to keep clean, increasing the risks for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease; they also don’t work well together so chewing is more difficult. By correcting your bite, you can reduce your chances of dental disease and improve overall mouth function.

I’d look silly at my age in braces. Self-consciousness about wearing these traditional appliances is common at any age. It’s understandable — the glint of metal is the first thing people see when you smile. But there’s a good chance you may be able to wear an alternative appliance that’s barely noticeable: clear aligners. These are a series of removable, clear plastic trays that you wear in sequence to gradually move your teeth. Not only are they less noticeable than braces, you can take them out for special occasions.

Don’t let these or other excuses keep you from a more attractive smile and healthy mouth. Visit your dentist for an examination to see if orthodontics can work for you.

If you would like more information on transforming your smile through orthodontics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”

By Three Fountains Family Dental Inc
September 05, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Say goodbye to those unsightly gaps between teeth when you say hello to dental implants.dental implants

It’s amazing how even just losing one permanent tooth can completely alter the look and shape of your smile. Of course, untreated tooth loss can cause a variety of complications for your smile, from shifting teeth to bone loss. Luckily, our West Columbia, SC, dentists, Dr. Peter Stoltz and Dr. Brooke Stoltz, offer one tooth loss replacement that could prevent these complications and give you back a healthy tooth.

What are dental implants?

This artificial tooth root might not look like much at first glance, but this tiny metal post is actually going to replace the roots of your missing teeth. How? Our West Columbia restorative dentist will surgically place the implant into the jawbone to allow the titanium implant to fuse together with the bone and tissue over the course of a couple months. Just like a real tooth root, the implant will provide a long-term, reliable structure from which to support an artificial tooth (e.g. dental crown).

What should I expect when I get dental implants in West Columbia, SC?

It’s important to understand that getting implants is a process. You won’t get your restoration in just a couple of visits to our office. It can sometimes take several months or more to get your new teeth, particularly if you want to replace several or all of your missing teeth. Here are the common stages of getting implants:

  • Diagnosis, X-rays and treatment planning
  • Surgically placing the implant
  • Placing the abutment (which connects the implant with the dental crown) on top of the implant
  • Securing the dental crown or restoration over the abutment

Who should consider getting dental implants?

If you want a restoration that will truly last you the rest of your life then you should strongly consider getting dental implants. No other restoration acts and functions like real teeth in the same way that implants can. Plus, implants can replace several teeth and even support full dentures.

Of course, in order to deem you an ideal candidate for treatment we need to make sure you are healthy enough. This means running a series of X-rays and talking to you about your lifestyle and habits to make sure that you are right for this restorative dentistry.

Are you ready to find out whether getting a dental implant is the best way to replace your missing tooth for life? If so, then it’s time you called Three Fountains Family Dental in West Columbia, SC, restorative dentist today.