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Preventative Dentistry
Nearly all Americans will experience some form of tooth decay in their lifetimes. Untreated tooth decay progressively erodes the infected tooth and causes more serious problems. Since bacteria cause tooth decay, forgoing treatment risks spread to neighboring teeth, multiplying dental health issues. It is very important to remove the decay, clean the area, and restore the tooth with a filling.
To ensure overall oral health, missing or damaged teeth need to be replaced or restored.

Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are applied after tooth decay has been removed and the remaining tooth is cleaned. Instead of traditional silver fillings, composite fillings consist of a clear crystalline substance that is applied in layers and hardened with extremely bright light. Composite fillings offer several advantages:

• They look better than traditional fillings
• Their application is less intensive, which reduces the risk of tooth fracture
• Composite fillings bond directly to the tooth surface
• They are environmentally friendly; they contain no mercury

Crowns
Crowns, or 'caps', are used for restoring severely decayed or fractured teeth. First, the damaged portion of the tooth is removed. Then, a unique mold is taken and used to manufacture a crown out of gold or porcelain to fit the healthy remaining tooth structure almost perfectly. The crown is then fixed into place with special cement. Crowns provide the following benefits:

• They restore the tooth's original shape and size
• They help prevent decay from forming on the underlying tooth
• They add strength to the tooth's structure
• They are very durable

Crowns help prevent the need for root canals and tooth extraction by reducing the risk of tooth fracture and tooth decay.

Bridges
Bridges serve to replace one or more missing teeth. First, the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared to receive crowns. Then, a false tooth is attached between the two crowns. Once the crown-false tooth-crown combination is cemented into place, it 'bridges' the gap left by the missing tooth. Bridges offer several benefits:

• They look like new teeth
• They are a durable mouth fixture
• They prevent surrounding teeth from shifting to fill the gap
• They restore a more natural bite and chewing ability

For these reasons, bridges are a good investment compared to dentures. If a bridge is not possible, or the adjacent teeth don't need crowns, dental implants may be the best alternative.

Root Canal
In cases of severe damage or decay, the tooth's soft interior (housing the nerves and blood supply) may need to be removed. Root canals replace the infected interior –or 'pulp'- with a rubber-like substance that fills and seals the interior once it has been emptied. Following a root canal, the tooth most often must be crowned to prevent fracture. Root canal advantages include:

• Preventing tooth death and the need for extraction
• Relieving pain associated with tooth pulp infection
• Reducing discomfort caused by hot or cold liquids
• Stopping infection from spreading

A root canal can help prevent future tooth extraction and the need for more expensive bridge or tooth implant procedures.

Implants
Implants permanently replace missing teeth by surgical attachment to the jawbone. After the implant is installed, an artificial tooth is attached, effectively replacing the missing tooth. Because of required healing time, there is a delay between the implant surgery and the attachment of the artificial tooth. Implants provide several advantages over dentures and less permanent tooth replacement solutions:


• They are very durable, nearly undetectable, and the closest thing to real teeth
• They help prevent teeth from shifting to fill gaps
• They improve bite and chewing ability
• They prevent associated jaw joint issues
• They reduce the sunken look caused by missing teeth
• They can be used to anchor a bridge to natural teeth

While implants are more expensive than bridges and dentures, the long-term health benefits and a natural looking smile make them a smart long-term investment.
 







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Use These Tips to Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist
If you have a fear of the dentist, a routine cleaning can become a major source of stress and anxiety. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways that you can work to overcome your dental fears.

Talk to Your Dentist
If you are fearful about your dental procedure, tell us during your appointment. This will help us decide the best approach for your appointment, and you'll feel more in control of your exam when everyone is on the same page.

Learn about the Procedure
Knowledge is power, so knowing exactly what will happen during your dental procedure can leave you feeling more comfortable. It is your right to understand the work that is going to be done on your teeth.

Ask about Sedation Dentistry
Many dentists recommend the use of laughing gas and other sedation methods for nervous patients. Contact us about potential options that could help you feel more comfortable about your appointment.

Work on Your Breathing
Practicing yoga and meditation outside of the dental office can assist you with your dental appointments. Breathing techniques can help you to relax when you are sitting in the dental chair.

Prioritize Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry is a helpful way to prevent major dental problems that may involve more time spent in a dental chair. The more often that you go in for regular cleanings, the less likely it is that you will experience a greater dental problem that requires extensive treatment.

If you are living with dental anxiety, contact our office today for more tips on how to deal with your fears.





Asai Dentistry | www.asaidentistry.com | 503-646-4600
11786 SW Barnes Road, Suite 340, Portland, OR 97225



 

 

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