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Dental Procedures

 

CLEANINGS (Preventative Care)

It is important for you to visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings. This allows us to find problems earlier on and to prevent problems for you in the future. It also helps to maintain the health and whiteness of your teeth. Our hygenists here at Bengtson Family Dental are experienced in cleaning and taking x-rays of patients' teeth.


FILLINGS

Fillings are used in an area of the tooth where there is a cavity or decay. 

In this procedure, the decay is cleaned out of the affected teeth and filled in with resin. We perfer to use a white resin filling, but we also offer traditional fillings at patient's request.


CROWNS
Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage creating a nice smile.

It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first appointment, all decay is removed from the tooth and the tooth is shaped to fit the crown and a temporany crown is worn. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits the crown is made, usually of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy, all ceramic material, or gold. In the second appointment, the temporary is removed, and the permanent crown is adjusted as needed, then cemented in place.


DENTURES 
There are different types of dentures, but they share their common function: dentures replace teeth that have become loose or been lost due to bone loss. When bone loss around the roots of teeth is great enough to loosen them or let them fall out, it's time for dentures. No one enjoys losing their natural teeth, but with the use of a denture you can still eat and talk regularly.

For this procedure, the entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The loose teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fitted to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth, depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take some getting used to. But once accustomed to the dentures, all the normal functionality and appearance return to carry on as usual. Often implants can used to further stabilize the dentures.


IMPLANTS 
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth.

In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted by an oral surgeon into the bone and allowed to heal. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, Dr. Bengtson works to attach the replacement tooth on top of the shaft.

This permanent solution has the advantages over bridge work that it does not stress the surrounding teeth for support, and should the tooth wear out, another can simply be replaced on the shaft.

Implants can also be used as support as part of an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages such as the following:

  • First, there is no adjustment period to acclimatize the patient who, once the work is done, only feels teeth, not metal supports intruding into the mouth. 
  • Second, this slows the bone loss occasioned by missing teeth. 
  • Third, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating. 
  • Lastly, best of all, they don't have to be taken out all the time!

Dental implants can also be used to support and retain a denture, especially a lower denture which often is loose and difficult to wear. Implant supported dentures can greatly help a patient to be able to eat and to wear their dentures.


ROOT CANAL TREATMENT 
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to the pulp of the tooth. Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early. Furthermore, sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy. Once this occurs, the pulp becomes infected and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (abscessed tooth.) By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful.

Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include the following:

  • Sensitivity to hot/cold or sugary foods
  • Pain
  • Swelling 
  • Pain to biting or pressure
  • Bad taste in the mouth 
  • Trauma (accident)
However, sometimes there are no symptoms that are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.

A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.


BRIDGES 
A bridge is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.

It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a negative chain reaction. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and with one missing, they start to "fall". As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they need to be extracted.


TMJ 

TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it's where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. 

Problems in this area can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Pain in the jaw muscles
  • Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face

Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem.  If issues persist a referral to a TMJ specialist is often recommended.

 

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Phone: (507) 647-5313  |   Email: dbteeth@mnval.net        |   Fax: (507) 647-4091