About Restoring Teeth in Fairfax, VA
Tooth decay is a common problem that affects people of all ages, including children. Eating anything that contains sugar will trigger your body to produce bacteria to break down that sugar and generates acid as a byproduct. Acid softens your enamel, the hard, outer layer of your teeth, dissolving the surface and creating holes. Restorative dental care repairs the damage done to your dentition and keeps your oral health in prime condition.
At Phoenix Smiles Dental Center, we believe that good oral health needs a strong foundation, so we offer a variety of restorative procedures to help you keep smiling. Call us today to find out how we can help you maintain optimal oral health.
CALL US:(703) 278-8866 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
Whether you require a small filling, a single crown, or a full arch of teeth replaced, our team offers a wide range of reliable and innovative solutions tailored to meet your needs. Restoration options at our Fairfax dental office include:
Fillings: Advancements in The Most Basic Restoration Option
If it has been a while since your last dental filling, you may be surprised how much treatment has changed. In the past, amalgam materials made of metals including silver, tin, copper, and mercury were used to fill in decayed areas. This alloy is very durable and inexpensive, but it’s dark in color, and the potential toxicity of the metals make it a less popular choice than the more modern composite resins.
Natural-colored composite produces a filling that is white and translucent, like natural teeth, so all you see is your smile, not your fillings. It blends in perfectly and requires less of the tooth structure around the cavity to be removed. Composites bond securely for a more durable restoration and a tight seal to prevent plaque buildup around the edges of the filling. It mimics the wear-resistance of the natural tooth and is easy to repair.
Common Restorations and Why They are Important
Fillings, crowns, bridges, and implants are common restoration options used to prevent future problems and bring back your natural smile. These treatments focus on the rehabilitation of dental structure to renew function first and aesthetics second.
Restorations procedures are important because:
- They can rebuild a tooth from root to crown.
- Bite issues can be corrected.
- Damage from decay is stopped before spreading.
- Chewing and speaking are more comfortable and more effective.
Restoring your teeth after trauma or decay is key to your overall oral health. By ignoring tooth pain or cavities, you increase the risk of spreading an infection that can lead to tooth loss or eventual systemic complications. When you visit Phoenix Smiles Dental Center regularly, we are able to catch problems early and treat any decay or trauma before it negatively impacts your smile.
Evolution of the Dental Crown
A crown is a prosthetic cap that covers a tooth to improve its strength and appearance. The use of crowns dates back more than four thousand years when they were constructed of gold and seen as a symbol of wealth and luxury.
Because gold is a soft metal, industry experts looked for a more durable material and came up with the porcelain crown in the early 1900s. Since then, we have seen tremendous progress in the techniques and materials used to fabricate better, stronger, and more natural-looking crowns. Although many famous musicians and athletes today still like to flash a gold-colored crown, the more practical choice is a natural-looking prosthetic made of porcelain and composite resins.
With advanced digital technology, crowns can be made with stronger materials more quickly and efficiently. They fit better, last longer, and are more biocompatible. Crowns are most commonly used to:
- Cover a large filling
- Restore a broken or cracked tooth
- Protect a tooth after root canal therapy
- Hold a dental bridge in place
- Complete a dental implant
The type of crown you need will depend on how badly your tooth is damaged and where it is located. Molars and back teeth need crowns made of a stronger material to withstand the force of biting and chewing. Visible front teeth are more appropriate for porcelain and composite that look more natural. At Phoenix Smiles Dental Center, we can skillfully evaluate your needs and provide a crown made with the right material for your optimal oral health.
Dental Extractions and Root Canals
In addition to accident or injury, one of the most common causes of tooth loss is a dental infection. With root canal therapy from our experienced team, we can help stop an infection in its tracks, save your tooth, and relieve discomfort.
If a tooth is badly infected or damaged, it can be treated with a root canal, or it may be extracted altogether. At Phoenix Smiles Dental Center, we provide both extractions and root canals. If you’re currently experiencing a toothache, it's important to have a comprehensive evaluation to decide which treatment is best for you.
Can My Tooth be Saved?
If a tooth can be preserved, a root canal is the preferred option. Keeping your tooth provides overall dental health benefits and is recommended if it can be maintained successfully. Usually, a tooth has to be extracted if the damage is extensive enough that it compromises oral health, and there is not enough tooth structure to save.
Comparing Root Canal and Extraction Procedures and Aftercare
With advanced dental technology and care from Dr. Akinbi, the root canal experience is comparable to a simple filling. However, a root canal is more involved than an extraction.
During a root canal, the interior of the tooth is cleaned of damaged pulp and filled with a biocompatible material that eliminates harmful bacteria and provides stability. A crown is placed over the tooth to improve its durability and appearance. The whole procedure takes at least two visits; one to clean out the infection and fill the canal, and another to place your custom restoration. Some discomfort is common, but over-the-counter pain relievers work for most patients.
Like the root canal, an extraction is performed while the area is numbed. This procedure only takes one visit, although it can take up to two weeks for your mouth to completely heal. Facial swelling and light bleeding are common for the first day or two, and over-the-counter medication is usually enough to manage pain.
Cost and Continuing Considerations
A root canal generally costs more than an extraction, simply because the procedure is more complex. However, after an extraction, you will need some form of treatment to replace the tooth. The cost of these treatments can vary, depending on if you choose a denture, bridge, or implant.
We recommend you always start with root canal therapy and try to save your original tooth. If the tooth can’t be saved it is very important to find a replacement option that works for you. If you choose to leave an empty gap, you may require more complex treatments later on, such as gum or bone grafting, or orthodontics. The most beneficial replacement option available with today’s modern technology is the dental implant.
Implant Restorations for Long-Term Oral Health
Implants are possibly the strongest and most reliable option for replacing teeth. Implant restorations consist of multiple parts that work together to mimic the entire tooth from root to crown. It can withstand full bite pressure and provides long-term dental health.
The Implant: A biocompatible titanium post that is surgically placed directly into the jaw, where it fuses to the bone after a four-month healing period. This part of the implant performs the same functions as a natural tooth root, keeping a prosthetic crown stable and stimulating the jawbone to prevent bone resorption.
The Abutment: A connective piece that fits over the top of the implant post and creates a sturdy connection between the post and the restoration. Abutments can be made to fit many unique dental situations. Even if an implant has to be placed at an angle, the abutment can be adjusted so that the final restoration will line up correctly with the rest of your teeth.
The Restoration: A custom prosthetic replacement placed on the abutment, designed to look just like real teeth, and is custom colored and contoured to match your surrounding dentition.
Traditional Tooth Replacement Options
Whether you are missing one tooth or several, Phoenix Smiles Dental Center can help. If a dental implant is either not affordable or not comfortable, we provide other options to renew your smile. We take the time to understand your goals for treatment so we can plan out the most economical and most beneficial design for your care.
Traditional prosthetics such as bridges, partials, and dentures effectively restore dental appearance and function. Conventional bridges use crowns anchored to adjacent teeth so a prosthetic tooth can fill the space of a missing tooth. A bridge effectively stabilizes your teeth so they will not shift, and provides a natural-looking smile.
Dentures consist of an acrylic base and porcelain teeth. The arches are custom designed to fit comfortably, using suction and dental adhesives to keep them from shifting out of place. Dentures keep the underlying structures of your mouth, including your gums, jawbone, and facial muscles, active and engaged. They can prevent the other teeth in your mouth from shifting, providing the strength and form needed for normal chewing and speaking.
Partial Dentures: These prosthetics consist of metal framework or clasps that link to your natural teeth and may require crowns on some teeth to improve the way they fit. Partial dentures are removed and cared for daily, typically taken out at bedtime and put back in when you wake up.
Full Dentures: If all the teeth are missing along the bottom, top, or both arches, we can custom make a complete set to replace them. Your new dentures may feel awkward at first, but the muscles of your tongue and cheeks adapt and learn to hold the prosthetic in place. Over time your mouth changes so you will need to visit our office at least twice a year for a checkup and examination of your dentures.
What to Expect When Receiving Bridges and Dentures
Initially, you’ll meet with Dr. Akinbi for a consultation. At our Fairfax dental practice, we recognize that no two patients are alike and customize the approach for you. After a full exam and comprehensive digital imaging, we will discuss your options and make sure you’re comfortable before moving forward with your bridge or dentures.
Next, your teeth will undergo preparation. Today's advanced dentures and bridges require less preparation than traditional prosthetics to retain as much natural tooth structure as possible. During the preparation stage, we reshape any teeth that may need crowns by removing a small portion to allow the prosthetics to fit comfortably. You’ll receive a temporary restoration until your permanent piece is ready.
We work with a reputable lab to complete your final bridge or dentures, then place your prosthetic and secure it in place. We can make any necessary adjustments and provide you with all the information you need to care for your new restoration.
Maintain and Enhance Your Oral Health with Restorative Dental Care in Fairfax
No one is immune to dental problems or trauma-related defects, and restorative care can improve the functionality of your teeth while helping you to retain as much of your natural dentition as possible. In addition to maintaining good oral homecare routines, the best thing you can do for your health is to schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings and repair damaged teeth with restorative dentistry. The team at Phoenix Smiles Dental Center in Fairfax is here to assist you with all your restorative dental needs. Contact us today for a complete evaluation and see how, together, we can improve your oral health.
CALL US:(703) 278-8866 REQUEST APPOINTMENT