Restorative Dentistry

Fillings

Modern dentistry has allowed us the pleasure of combining beauty as well as strength when filling teeth. We take pride in “restoring” teeth to as close to their original strength and appearance with composite resins and ceramics. Since patient comfort is top priority, our doctors and clinical staff go the extra mile to make coming to the dentist a whole new positive experience. We offer movies and music for your enjoyment.

Tooth Colored Fillings

Now there’s a natural-looking alternative to silver-colored amalgam fillings. This material has been tested for several years and has been proven superior. When used instead of the traditional silver-colored amalgam fillings, the material provides a more attractive way to treat tooth decay, while strengthening your tooth.

Sealants

Dental sealants can play an important role in helping to prevent some forms of cavities. The procedure involves  bonding a plastic coating into the grooves of your tooth (the tooth’s pits and fissures). The net result is a smoother tooth surface, one which is less likely to trap food and plaque, as well as one which is easier to effectively clean with a toothbrush.

Root Canal

Root Canal therapy (endodontics)  treats disorders of the nerve (pulp) of the tooth. In the past, a tooth with a diseased or infected nerve had to be removed. However in 95% of these cases today, this is no longer true. Our doctors believe in saving teeth and thhe will make every effort to save yours. An opening is made through the crown into the pulp. The diseased pulp is then carefully removed. The Root Canal area inside your tooth is cleaned, enlarged and shaped. Then depending on each case, the Root Canal and pulp chamber may be permanently filled and sealed. Finally, the tooth is fully restored to chewing functions — often with a full crown.

Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and bridges are two restorative techniques that repair damaged or missing teeth. They restore tooth function and appearance. The use of crowns and bridges also avoids shifting teeth that can happen after a tooth is lost. By maintaining or restoring the patient’s bite and their smile the effects of the tooth damage or loss are reversed.

Dental Crowns

Crowns, or caps for teeth, look and function just like natural teeth. Dr. Harelick may recommend a crown if your tooth has enough decay that it cannot hold a filling, or if your tooth is cracked or broken and in danger of cracking down into the root if left unattended. A crown covers your tooth completely. It fits snugly at the gum and protects what remains of the natural tooth. Dr. Harelick may recommend a bridge be utilized to replace one or more teeth. These restorations are cemented onto the teeth and are referred to as “fixed” dentistry as opposed to a restoration of missing teeth with a removable appliance or partial denture.

You are eating dinner and suddenly you are holding half of one of your teeth in your hand. Weakened by a fracture or a large filling, the tooth is now in obvious need of repair.  Dr. Harelick may suggest a crown (an artificial replacement of the visible part of the tooth), to restore the function and look of the damaged one. Dr. Harelick recommends a crown when the size of a “filling” exceeds a certain proportion of the tooth. Crowns (also referred to as “caps”) can be made from several different kinds of materials, and based on location, esthetics, and cost, the right one to repair your damaged tooth can be selected.

We provide our patients with several types of crowns:

  • Conventional porcelain bonded to high-noble alloy (gold / platinum / palladium).
  • Pure All-Ceram, CAD / CAM milled substrate (Procera)
  • Ultra-High Gold PFM (Captek)
  • High Gold  Alloy (all metallic)

Dr. Harelick likes to use porcelain crowns that look very natural and don’t have a dark metal line. Porcelain crowns reflect light with a natural healthy glow.

Bridges

You have one or more missing teeth due to decay or an accident. This loss changes the look of your smile, your bite, and puts stress on surrounding teeth to compensate for the lost tooth. One option Dr. Harelick may suggest for replacing the lost tooth is with a bridge. The missing tooth is replaced with an artificial tooth connected between two crowns (caps) which are permanently cemented or bonded on the adjacent teeth.

Gum Treatment

Periodontal checkups are extremely important to prevent the loss of gum tissue and bone that support the teeth. In our office all new patients are given a comprehensive periodontal exam. Good gums are essential to overall oral health and important to overall body health. Good gums are the foundation for the teeth. There’s no use in building a house on a faulty foundation.

You may have Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease) and not realize it. This disease is the primary cause of the loss of teeth after 35. If caught in its early stages, however, periodontal disease can be reversed with proper care.  This inflammatory disease attacks the gums, bone and other supporting structures of the teeth.

The type of treatment you require depends on how advanced your particular case is. Treatments include Scaling and Root Planning, this procedure removes the calculus deposits from your teeth. Root Planning is the smoothing of the root surfaces so that the gum tissue can reattach to the tooth.

Fact:  80% of tooth loss is due to periodontal disease.

Did you know that you can have periodontal disease without any symptoms?

The probe on the diagram on the right measures the healthiness of the space between your tooth and gums.

You should have 3mm or less: that is a healthy gum

If you have 5mm, you may have early stage gum disease and need to be treated. Bleeding gums can be a sign that your pocket depth is increasing.

If you have over 7mm, not only do you have bad gum disease, you are in danger of losing your teeth! With gum disease – you will need to have the tartar and calcium deposits professionally removed.

Do you know why you floss? There are small germs that attack your gums and your teeth at the roots. They are always there, and they always want to chew at your mouth. When you floss, you disturb them. They take 24 hours to reorganize, and to begin eating again.  If you floss every day (once every 24 hours), you will never let them finish reorganizing, and they can never sit down to eat… your teeth!

Extractions

One of the main goals of modern dentistry is the prevention of tooth loss. All possible measures should be taken to preserve and maintain your teeth because the loss of a single tooth can have a major impact upon your dental health and appearance. However, it is still sometimes necessary to remove a tooth. Here are some of the reasons a tooth may need to be extracted.

  •  Severe Decay
  •  Advanced periodontal disease
  •  Infection or abscess
  •  Orthodontic correction
  •  Malpositioned teeth
  •  Fractured teeth or roots
  •  Impacted teeth