Dr. Carlos A. Alonso, DDS
Restorative Dentistry: Some basic information
What is restorative dentistry?
Restorative dentistry is an approach that emphasizes the restoration of lost, damaged, or decayed teeth. It is a philosophy that promotes saving teeth that have been damaged as opposed to extracting or “pulling” teeth.
Why is restorative dentistry important?
It is important to restore damaged teeth because if they are left unrestored, teeth and gums can continue to deteriorate. When faced with the option to remove or restore a tooth, it is important to try to restore the tooth if possible because if the tooth is removed, a patient’s bite can change, chewing efficiency decreases, esthetics are compromised, and more stress is placed on the remaining teeth.
How is restorative dentistry treatment diagnosed?
Restorative dentistry begins with a comprehensive exam. This includes a new patient interview, x-rays and pictures of all of the teeth, a full evaluation of the gums, a full evaluation of the bite and jaw joints, an oral cancer screening, and a consultation to explain all treatment needs and treatment options. Dr. Carlos Alonso and his staff encourage questions by the patients and ensure that the patient has a full understanding of their oral health and what options the patient has to get back to health.
Restorative Dentistry Procedures:
Periodontics is a dental specialty that involves the tissues surrounding the teeth including the gums and bone. Periodontics involves the maintenance of the gum tissues as well as the restoration of diseased periodontal tissues. Periodontal procedures include cleanings, deep cleanings, antibiotic placement in the gums, and gum grafting procedures. The gums and bone surrounding your teeth are the foundation for your teeth so it is very important to keep them healthy with regular cleanings.
Endodontic procedures involve the pulp of the tooth as well as the tissue surrounding the root of the tooth. The pulp of the tooth contains the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue of the tooth. Endodontics is often associated with the term root canal. A root canal is typically performed when the pulp of the tooth has become infected. A tooth infection can be associated with hot or cold sensitivity, spontaneous throbbing, biting sensitivity, or swelling of the gum tissues around the tooth. A root canal gets rid of a tooth infection by removing the pulp tissue and sealing the canal with a biocompatible material.
If one of your teeth has been damaged by decay, you can return it to its original shape with a filling. This dental treatment is administered to an existing tooth and replaces part of the destroyed tooth. Dental fillings are also sometimes referred to as dental restorations.
Preventative dentistry is a branch of dentistry that involves preventing disease and keeping the oral cavity healthy. Preventative dentistry can include regular dental cleanings, night guard appliances to prevent the wearing down of teeth, sealants and fluoride to help prevent cavities, and regular dental check-ups.
Full mouth rehabilitation/full mouth reconstruction:
For some people, teeth break down at a faster rate and a full mouth reconstruction is needed to restore their mouth back to health. Factors that can increase the rate at which teeth break down include heavy grinding, low saliva levels leading to multiple cavities, poor hygiene leading to multiple cavities, and trauma. Patients with teeth that have become short due to heavy grinding, have cavities on many teeth, are missing multiple teeth, have cosmetic concerns, or have damaged teeth due to trauma are all possible candidates for full mouth reconstruction.
Full mouth rehabilitation is when every tooth is restored in order to bring a patient’s mouth back to health. Using a combination of cosmetic dentistry along with an understanding of the ideal bite and positioning for the jaw, all of the teeth are restored back to health. The types of restorations placed on the teeth typically involve porcelain dental crowns, metal crowns, porcelain veneers, porcelain fillings, bridges, or a combination of those. Other areas of dentistry that will be incorporated as needed include endodontics, periodontics, implants, orthodontics, and oral surgery.
TMJ Dentistry and Myofacial Pain:
The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. TMD is temporomandibular disorder and is when the jaw joints do not work properly. Symptoms of TMD or myofacial pain can vary from patient to patient, however, some of the more common symptoms include pain in front of the ear, mouth pain, limited opening of the mouth, and deviation of the jaw to either side when opening and closing. It is important to determine whether the cause of the symptoms is due to a problem with the joint (TMD) or a problem with the muscles (myofacial pain). Once this is determined, the proper treatment plan can be prescribed.
Dental anxiety is very common in today’s population. Many people become anxious when visiting a dental office. At Alonso Family Dental located in the Missouri City/Sugar Land area across from Sienna Plantation, we offer sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is a safe way to reduce anxiety in a dental office. We offer nitrous oxide which is commonly referred to as “laughing gas” as well as oral conscious sedation. Oral conscious sedation is where a patient will take a sedative at the beginning of an appointment in order to relax. Patients often fall asleep and do not remember any dental treatment. This is a wonderful alternative for those patients who are uncomfortable in a dental office.
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