Tag Archives: restorative dentistry

Composite Fillings: Aesthetic and Functional Tooth Restoration

Tooth decay is an all-too-common problem that affects countless individuals around the world. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers several solutions for restoring the health and appearance of decayed teeth. One of the most popular and versatile options available today is composite fillings.

What are Composite Fillings?

Composite or tooth-colored fillings are made from plastic and glass particles. They have become the preferred choice for many because they seamlessly blend with the natural color of teeth, providing a functional and aesthetic solution to cavities.

Benefits of Composite Fillings

Aesthetic Appeal: One of the most significant advantages of composite fillings is their ability to mimic the natural color and texture. This means that, unlike amalgam fillings, they don’t stand out or tarnish the appearance of your smile.

Bonding to Tooth Structure: Composite fillings bond directly to the tooth, which can help support the remaining tooth structure and prevent breakage.

Less Tooth Removal: As these fillings bond to the tooth, less removal of the original tooth is needed when preparing for the filling, preserving more of the natural tooth.

Versatility: Apart from treating cavities, composite resins are also used for cosmetic improvements like changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.

Improving Smile, Health, and Confidence

A healthy smile relates to one’s overall health and self-confidence. As the ADA details, composite fillings restore the functionality of decayed or damaged teeth and offer an aesthetic appeal that can enhance one’s smile. A natural-looking restoration ensures that one can laugh, speak, and eat without the consciousness of having visible fillings. This confidence in one’s appearance can translate to better self-esteem and a more positive self-image.

Moreover, you’re actively preventing further decay and potential dental issues by addressing cavities with composite fillings. Treating cavities ensures the mouth’s overall health remains optimal, further bolstering one’s overall health.

Caring for Composite Fillings

Once you have composite fillings, it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene to ensure their longevity:

Regular Brushing and Flossing: This will keep your fillings and the surrounding teeth clean, preventing further decay.

Avoiding Hard Foods: Biting down on hard foods can chip the filling. Avoiding or being cautious when consuming foods like hard candies is best.

Regular Dental Check-ups: Routine dental visits will ensure that your fillings remain in good condition and address any potential issues promptly.

Composite fillings represent a fantastic blend of function and aesthetic appeal in modern dentistry. They allow patients to restore their oral health without compromising the natural beauty of their smiles. If you believe you have a cavity or are considering replacing old amalgam fillings, composite fillings could be the perfect solution.

For expert advice and impeccable dental services, consider contacting Dr. Banik and his dedicated team at Carolina Family Dentistry. They’re committed to ensuring that every patient receives top-tier dental care tailored to their needs. Don’t wait any longer; step towards a healthier, brighter smile today! Schedule an appointment with Dr. Banik today.

6 Common Dental Crown Problems & How To Avoid Them

A dental crown can restore the normal size and shape of your natural teeth, make your tooth stronger, and improve your smile and confidence. Crowns can be used to attach bridges, protect a weak tooth, restore a broken tooth, cover an implant, or cover a discolored or badly shaped tooth. They do, however, still require daily oral care just like your natural teeth.

Common Problems

Dental crowns can last between five and fifteen years, but just like your natural teeth they can develop problems. There are six common problems that can develop with dental crowns:

  • Discomfort or sensitivity: It’s normal to have a little discomfort immediately following the placement of your crown, but it should go away after a few days. If you experience hot and cold sensitivity, your dentist may recommend a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
  • Chips: It is possible to chip your porcelain crown. If this happens, it can be temporarily repaired with composite resin, but it will likely need to be replaced.
  • Loosening: Your crown can become loose if the cement washes out from under it. Once it becomes loose, it can let bacteria in that will lead to tooth decay.
  • Falling off: Your crown can fall off if the tooth underneath it is decaying or if the cement underneath it washes away. If it does come off, clean the crown and the front of the tooth and replace it temporarily using dental adhesive or temporary tooth cement. Contact your dentist immediately.
  • Allergic Reaction: Crowns are made of porcelain and metals. If you are allergic to any of these materials you could have an allergic reaction. This is very rare.
  • Dark line: You may notice a dark line on the crown next to the gumline. This is the metal of the crown showing through. This is considered normal, but it is not cosmetically appealing. 

Care of Crowns

Your dental crowns don’t require any special care, just regular brushing and flossing. Make sure you avoid chewing ice, grinding or clenching your teeth, opening packages with your teeth, and biting your fingernails to prevent damage. Also, make sure to maintain good oral hygiene daily and see your dentist for regular check ups.

Dental Implants: What Works Best for Your Budget?

According to the American College of Prosthodontics, 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. If you’ve experienced tooth loss, you might think you’re stuck with a gap in your mouth forever. Luckily, dental implants can help, and they’re a comfortable and secure way to replace your missing tooth or teeth. You might be a candidate for this restorative dentistry procedure if you’re missing one or more teeth, have a full-grown jawbone, and have healthy oral tissues.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implant surgery is one option for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants typically comprise three parts:

  • Implant: This piece has a screw that serves as the root for your new tooth and is permanently attached to your jaw.
  • Abutment: This permanent connector holds and supports the tooth or set of teeth. If needed, the dentist can remove this part.
  • Crown: Also known as a prosthetic tooth, the crown is the part of the tooth you can see. It’s usually made from porcelain or zirconium, so it maintains durability and quality of appearance.

Why Would You Need Dental Implants?

The chief function of your jawbone is to support your teeth, so when a tooth is missing, the bone is no longer needed. The bone begins to atrophy and disintegrate, causing reabsorption and resulting in a sunken cheek appearance. Because the bone loss is permanent, you need a dental implant to replace this bone and serve as the new tooth’s roots.

What’s Involved With Dental Implants?

How the dentist performs the dental implant surgery depends on the type of implant you need, as well as your jawbone condition. You might end up with several procedures to ensure your new teeth remain secure. Because the implant supports your new teeth, the bone needs time to heal fully and tightly around the implant. As a result, the process might take several months to complete.

Dental implant surgery involves placing titanium implants into your jawbone to serve as the roots for your missing teeth. The titanium fuses to your jawbone so the implant won’t move, cause damage, or make noise the way dentures or bridgework might.

What’s the Difference Between Dental Implants and Dentures?

Dentures are prosthetic devices that support the surrounding hard and soft tissues left by your missing tooth. Complete dentures are used when you’re missing a majority of your teeth, while partial dentures are available if you still have some healthy natural teeth remaining. Dentures are removable and can be fitted in your mouth regardless of how much of your jawbone you have left.

When thinking about your budget, implants might seem costly, but that’s not necessarily the case. While the pricing for affordable implants depends on how many teeth you’re having replaced, the American Dental Association states you should expect to pay between $1,600 to $2,200 per tooth. A complete set of upper or lower dentures typically starts at around $1,600.

If you believe you’re a candidate for dental implants or want to learn more about the process, reach out to Carolina Family Dentistry. We can help you have confidence in your smile by replacing your missing teeth.

Scheduled For a Root Canal? Here’s What to Know Before You Go.

If you are unfamiliar with what a root canal procedure entails, chances are good that you have many questions about what will happen during a root canal. While root canals can be an undertaking, keep in mind that they help your overall oral health. For some people, going without this procedure may result in multitudes of other dental dilemmas as time goes on. Knowing both what a root canal is and what the procedure entails will better prepare you for the process.

What Is a Root Canal and Why Do I Need One?

The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) explains, “Root canal treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal, prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth. When one undergoes a root canal, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed.” The AAE also emphasizes that when the pulp, or the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected, root canal treatment is necessary. Other reasons for needing a root canal might include:

  • Deep decay
  • Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
  • Faulty crown
  • Crack or chip in the tooth

However, the positives when receiving treatment outweigh the negatives. Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages:

  • Efficient chewing
  • Normal biting force and sensation
  • Natural appearance
  • Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain

Does It Hurt? What To Expect During and After a Root Canal.

While there is some discomfort associated with a root canal procedure, modern techniques and anesthetics have made the process more comfortable. There may be tooth sensitivity for a few days, which can be remedied by using over-the-counter or prescription medications. Many patients have even been able to return to school or work shortly after the procedure.

Still Feeling Nervous?

Knowing what to expect can take the edge off when it comes to your root canal appointment. Generally, you can also prepare  with confidence by building a relationship with your dentist, who will tell you more about the specialist(s) you will be referred to in the future. Additionally, here are some tips on how to feel calmer about your dental visit.

Schedule an appointment with our team today to learn more about your overall dental care. Remember, preventative care is the best way to maintain your smile and reduce your chances of needing a root canal.

Braces and Clear Aligners: Which One is Right For You?

Braces versus Clear Aligners

Everyone wants a healthy, straight smile. If you have misaligned teeth, you have a few options to achieve the smile of your dreams – namely, braces or clear aligners. Both braces and clear aligners do a great job at aligning your teeth. However, since the two aren’t created equally, you might be wondering which option to use to align your teeth. This article will help you pick the best option for you.

Braces vs. Clear Aligners

Braces and clear aligners both straighten the teeth, but that’s about where the similarities end. 

Metal braces are brackets made of stainless steel that orthodontists affix to your teeth. They have wires threaded throughout the brackets, and tiny rubber bands connect them. Over time, and with regular adjustments, they force teeth to move to the ideal position.

On the other hand, clear aligners are a set of progressively tighter clear trays that are created to fit your team and are switched out every few months to adjust the way your teeth are moving. 

Advantages of Braces

  • Braces are versatile. Unlike aligners, they can be a treatment option for all cases.
  • Not all braces are created equally. There are different varieties and styles available. You can choose colored or non-colored ones or go for porcelain braces that aren’t as conspicuous as metal braces. 
  • Unlike aligners, braces are fixed to your teeth. Therefore, you can easily keep up with your treatment since you can’t remove them or decide when to wear them and when not to.
  • They are more effective compared to aligners since you wear them during the entire treatment.
  • They are ideal for people of all ages.
  • They are often more affordable than clear aligners.
  • Treatment can often be faster than with clear aligners. At Carolina Family Dentistry, we specialize in Six Month Smiles, a cosmetic braces system that can give you a straighter smile in as little as six months!

Disadvantages of Braces

  • Cleaning teeth with braces on can pose a challenge. If you don’t clean your teeth properly, they may end up damaged, forcing you to remove the braces earlier than recommended; thus, you won’t get the desired results.
  • Braces may have an impact on your diet. Your orthodontist will advise you against eating hard foods that may damage your braces. Additionally, you may have to avoid sticky or sugary foods since your teeth are more susceptible to decay when you have braces on.
  • Traditional braces are more conspicuous than clear aligners.
  • With braces, you may have to visit your orthodontist more frequently than with aligners for adjustments.

Advantages of Clear Aligners

  • Aligners are not as noticeable as braces.
  • You don’t have to change your diet when you get aligners because you can remove them before you eat.
  • You don’t have to change your daily hygiene routine with aligners; you can remove them and floss or brush your teeth as usual, which can result in less damage to your teeth.
  • Visits to the orthodontists are usually simpler and less frequent since the orthodontist pre-plans tooth movement.
  • Most patients have reported that aligners are more comfortable than braces since they are softer on the lips and cheeks. They are generally smoother than braces.

Disadvantages of Clear Aligners

  • You have to be very disciplined for aligners to work. Orthodontists recommend that you wear them for at least 22 hours every day for them to be effective. Therefore, you should only remove them when eating, brushing, or flossing your teeth.
  • Unlike braces, aligners can’t treat all conditions, specifically complex ones. Depending on your case, you may end up needing braces in the long run.
  • Aligners may be costlier than braces. If they don’t fall within your budget, you may have to reconsider other options.

Which Option Is Right For You?

Here are a few factors you should consider when deciding between getting braces or aligners:

  • Comfort: Which option would you be most comfortable with?
  • Compliance: how much effort do you want to make during the treatment?
  • Cost: what’s your budget?
  • Convenience: how often do you want to visit your orthodontist?
  • Cosmetics: do you want everyone to know about your treatment, or would you rather keep it on the down-low?

Choosing between braces and aligners is a big decision. Before making any decisions, we recommend that you speak with your dentist or orthodontist about the solution that is best for you. If you are looking to get braces or aligners, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our experts will give you the necessary guidance and walk with you every step of the way.

Restorative Dentistry

At Carolina Dentistry, Dr. Banik and his expert dental team provide general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. 

Through expert professional cleanings, we are able to treat the following dental conditions: 

  • tooth decay
  • weak, chipped, or broken teeth
  • discolored teeth
  • missing teeth
  • unattractive teeth
  • swollen, painful, and/or bleeding gums
  • gingivitis and periodontal disease

Specialty Services

Restorative dentistry refers to procedures that restore your teeth to their former usefulness. Our team also works with patients in order to assess their oral health and determine if additional services are needed including: 

  • dental implant bridges
  • dental implant crowns
  • dental fillings
  • root canals
  • tooth removal including some wisdom teeth and other painful teeth
  • periodontal (gum) therapy
  • jaw/TMJ problems

Other Dental Services

At Carolina Dentistry, we strive to give our patients our absolute best in order for them to have good oral health and overall well-being. To do this, we offer a variety of other services that are beneficial to our patients. 

  • Dental risk assessments – We understand that making the best decision when it comes to overall oral health can be complicated. By giving our patients a risk assessment, we can help to lay out all of your options and help to find a choice that is right for you.
  • Diet and Nutritional Counseling  – Did you know that you can prevent tooth decay by making smart and healthy food choices?
  • Product Recommendations – We know that the market is overwhelmed with an array of dental products. Our team would be happy to assist you in making the right choice when it comes to choosing the dental products that work for you

We strive to provide the best care possible in order to achieve and maintain a healthy mouth for a lifetime. Regular visits are extremely important to catch problems when they are small, easier to fix, and less costly. Don’t wait until it breaks or hurts!