Restorative Dentistry in Grand Island, NE
Our Grand Island dental practice offers a full range of restorative services, such as tooth-colored fillings, comfortable root canals, zirconia crowns, and natural-looking dentures. Most people will need some sort of restorative dentistry during their lives. Damage from cavities, infections, injuries, and aging all contribute to dental issues. Fortunately, modern techniques, biocompatible materials, and the latest in technology have made restoring your smile a very comfortable experience.
We only use tooth-colored bonded resins or porcelain materials for restorative dental work. We use a conservative, minimally invasive approach to your restorative care, seeking to save as much tooth structure as possible. If a crown best fits your treatment plan, then we create the crown with zirconia—the latest biocompatible material available for restorations.
Missing Teeth Replacements
Even a single missing tooth can lead to a number of oral health concerns. A missing tooth allows the remaining teeth to shift filling in the gap in the smile which can undo costly orthodontic treatment and cause patients’ bites to become uneven making chewing and speaking difficult. While a single missing tooth may not seem all together very serious, missing teeth increase the risk for gum disease, jaw joint disorders, and additional tooth loss. At Stec Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we offer a number of tooth replacement options including bridges, partial and full dentures, and dental implant supported tooth replacement.
Gum Disease Therapy
One of the most common restorative dentistry procedures we perform at our Grand Island office is gum disease therapy. Gum disease is a prevalent problem in America affecting more than 80% of the population. Gum disease therapy is a deep cleaning process that removes disease-causing bacteria from above and below the gum line. Clearing your gums of infection restores health to your smile. It’s a very important aspect of maintaining oral health!
Dental Crowns & Bridges
Crowns and bridges are the most commonly used dental restorations we offer. Dental crowns fit over the top of damaged teeth restoring their shape and protecting remaining tooth structure. We always start with the most conservative treatment options in order to preserve healthy natural structure. Some of the situations that may require dental crown restorations include:
- Dental damage too severe to be corrected using more conservative options like dental fillings
- As part of a root canal to protect treated teeth and restore their full strength and structure
- Purely cosmetic concerns that cannot be corrected with less invasive cosmetic procedures
- Dental crowns are placed over surrounding teeth to provide support as part of fixed bridge tooth replacement
Whatever reason patients need dental crowns, the process is the same. Patients should plan to visit our office at least twice over the course of about a month. During the initial visit, we prepare the tooth removing any damaged tissue. Then, we capture bite impressions that are used by our trusted dental lab to craft a custom restoration. While the custom restoration is being crafted, we place a temporary to protect the prepared tooth. Once we receive the final solution, patients return to our office to exchange the temporary for the permanent crown.
For years metal-colored amalgam fillings were the standard in care for minor dental decay, chips, and cracks. However, in addition to their noticeable dark or silver coloring within a patient’s smile, amalgam fillings actually present a number of oral health concerns. Amalgam expands and contracts with changes in temperature which can, over time, lead to additional dental damage including cracking or breaking the tooth or further decay as bacteria is trapped between the filling and the tooth enamel. Composite resin, tooth-colored fillings are an ideal alternative. They are cosmetically superior to amalgams, and because they are placed and shaped directly onto the prepared tooth, they form a strong bond with enamel seeping into even small spaces keeping out bacteria preventing decay. Additionally, composite resin expands and contracts at a rate much closer to natural tooth structure, so it is much less likely to cause future damage or break away from the tooth.
Dentures & Partials
Patients who have extensive tooth loss will likely need partial or full dentures to complete their smiles. Partial dentures are crafted from a series of replacement teeth scattered across a gum-colored base to fill the gaps between teeth, and they clip into place with metallic clasps. Full dentures combine a whole arch of replacement teeth with a more substantial base that is molded to create suction between the prosthetic and the gum line. For those patients interested in a more secure denture, we offer dental implant supported varieties.
Root Canal Therapy
The words “root canal” will strike fear into the hearts of even the bravest patients, but we have some good news about that. While the decay and infection that leads to a root canal is painful, the procedure itself is no more uncomfortable than other similar treatments like receiving a dental crown. The reason root canals are so painful is because the inflamed tissue directly affects the nerve system of the tooth which is housed within the inner, pulp, layer where root canal infections occur. The procedure itself actually significantly reduces discomfort in most cases. First, we create a small access hole through the top of the tooth to the pulp. Then, we carefully extract the entire pulp, nerve, and any other damaged tissue and refill the tooth with a biocompatible material that mimics the extracted pulp. We place a seal over the access point, and in most cases, we also attach a dental crown that protects the treated tooth restoring natural form and function.
In most cases, our Grand Island dentists work hard to preserve patients’ teeth, but unfortunately, this is not always possible. Some of the situations in which extraction may be necessary include:
- Severe dental decay that affects more than half of a tooth or has spread to surrounding teeth or gums
- Teeth that need to be extracted as part of orthodontic treatments to make room to shift the bite into its ideal alignment
- Teeth that are impacted, unable to erupt from the gum line
- Third molars, wisdom teeth, are the last to erupt in the smile, and the most frequently extracted teeth
- As preparation for the placement of partial or full dentures, we may need to remove one or more teeth
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Wisdom teeth, the third set of molars and last adult teeth to erupt in the smile, are the most commonly extracted teeth. By about the age of ten, we’re able to see these teeth beginning to develop on patients’ x-rays. At that point, we begin to make recommendations for whether patients will need to remove their wisdom teeth depending on the amount of available space, the direction the wisdom teeth are facing, and other indicators that the teeth will develop successfully. If it appears likely that the third molars will lead to oral health concerns, we often recommend extraction which takes place between the age of 17 and 21.