Restorative Care

Restorative Care - Gallagher

Restorative Care

Gallagher Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers restorative dentistry services. Restorative dentistry is an oral health care specialty that restores the teeth after damage or tooth loss due to gum disease or injury. Some of the tools used by the dentist for restorative dentistry include crowns, bridges, onlays, and implants. Crowns are tooth-shaped caps placed over the natural tooth and may be used to protect teeth that are fractured or as part of a dental bridge or implant. A bridge is a fixed or temporary replacement tooth between two crowns typically used to replace missing teeth. Onlays are similar to crowns but cover only a portion of the tooth. Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth.

Dental Bridges

Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry offers procedures for dental bridges. Missing teeth can affect a person’s appearance and self-confidence, causing a person with missing teeth not to smile as often because the teeth play an important role in giving shape to the face. Missing teeth cause the face to appear less full and symmetrical. Eating and talking are sometimes difficult for those who have lost teeth due to injury, tooth decay, or other oral health issues. Bridges typically last up to 15 years, giving patients a long-term solution to their missing teeth.

What happens during the procedure for bridges at Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry?

Bridges are a combination of crowns, also known as caps, and a replacement tooth. The first step of the procedure is to place crowns on both sides of the gap where the tooth is missing. The natural teeth are contoured by removing some of the enamel from the surface of the teeth. Some individual treatment plans require dental implants for the bridges. Next, the dentist makes an impression of the teeth. The impression is used to develop the crowns, bridge, and replacement tooth. While the bridge is being created at a lab, the dentist may provide the patient with a temporary bridge. For the final step in the procedure, the bridge is inserted into the mouth, and the dentist checks the fit of the new bridge. The dentist may use a special cement to permanently adhere the bridge in the mouth.

When can normal activities resume after the procedure for bridges?

In general, patients in Eden Prairie, Minneapolis and surrounding areas of Minnesota are able to return to their normal activities immediately after their procedure for bridges. Some patients may need to adjust to eating and speaking with their new bridges.

Is there any pain associated with the procedure for bridges?

The most common symptom reported by patients is mild discomfort. Over-the-counter pain medications may help the patient remain comfortable. The fit of the bridge should be comfortable and not cause mouth irritation. Patients who experience soreness or other symptoms should contact Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry for a follow-up appointment.

Dental Lab Crowns & CEREC

Dental Lab Crowns

Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry offer lab crowns.  Lab crowns, also known as caps, are shaped like teeth to fit over the natural teeth.  Crowns (caps) help protect teeth that have been weakened by tooth decay or cracks.  Teeth that have been worn down, poorly shaped or discolored may also need crowns.

What happens during the first procedure for crowns at Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry?

The dentist reshapes the sides and top of the tooth to make room for the new crown to fit.  In cases when the patient has lost part of the tooth due to decay or injury, the dentist will use a special material to build-up the tooth surface.  After the tooth has been prepared for the crown, the dentist takes an impression.  The impression is then sent to the lab to make the patients crown.  Typically it takes two to three weeks.  The dentist will place a temporary crown until the permanent crown is complete.

During the final appointment, the dentist checks the fit of the permanent crown and administers local anesthetic.  Using special cement, the dentist adheres the permanent crown to the natural tooth.

When can normal activities resume after the procedure for crowns?

Patients, who receive temporary crowns, should avoid sticky and hard foods.  Chewing should be done on the opposite side of the mouth if possible.  When flossing the temporary crown, slide the floss from between the teeth rather than lifting it out of the teeth.

Is there any pain associated with the procedure for crowns?

Some patients may experience mild discomfort after the procedure.  The tooth may be sensitive to hot/cold.  If this happens the dentist may need to adjust the bite of the new crown.

CEREC

Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry is proud to offer the CEREC procedure to our patients. CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics also known as CEramic REConstruction or some refer it as a “same day crown”. This system allows us to design and make our own crowns, inlays or onlays here in our office. This means the dentist will prepare the tooth and cement the permanent one all in the same appointment.  Without a CEREC machine a crown is done in two appointments with impressions/molds taken and sent to a lab to be made. This would mean the patient would have to wear a temporary crown for about two weeks and return to have the permanent restorations cemented.

The first step before any dental treatment is a thorough examination and the dentist will determine the appropriate treatment for each tooth.  If a tooth is in need of a crown the dentist can then determine if it is eligible for a CEREC or “same day crown”

What to expect during this procedure

To make the procedure more comfortable the dentist may administer local anesthesia to the area. The tooth/teeth are then prepared by removing any old filling material or crown that may be present then all decay is removed. If excessive decay was removed, it may be necessary to rebuild the foundation of the tooth or what is known as a “build-up” this makes for a stronger base for the crown.  After the tooth is completely prepared the dentist will take the CEREC camera wand and take 3D images of your teeth. Once the crown is designed on the computer it is then sent to a milling unit in the office. The machine then sculpts the restoration from a block of porcelain.  After it is completed the dentist will check it for proper fit and then permanently cement the restoration. In our office we also have two types of porcelain one type that requires an extra step after the crown in made.  These crowns are fired and glazed in a special oven we have. The dentist will pre-determine if your tooth requires one type over the other.

After care

There is little to no down time needed for CEREC or “same day crowns” Since the crown will be permanently cemented that day you will be able to chew with it right away.  However, if you are still numb from the local anesthesia wait until you have full feeling back to eat.  We do not want you to chew/bite your lip while still numb. It is normal if you have slight tenderness around gums after the numbness wears off.  This is from the preparation of the tooth and is temporary. If any discomfort becomes painful please call the office.

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Composite Fillings

Small holes form in the surface of the tooth, causing a cavity. If untreated, the cavity may lead to further damage. Fillings help repair a tooth that has been damaged by tooth decay. Composite fillings are made from materials, plastic or glass, which closely match the color of the patient’s natural teeth. Patients should note that some insurance companies cover composite fillings only for front teeth, while other insurance companies may not cover composite fillings at all.

What happens during the procedure for composite fillings at Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry?

Our dentist administers local or topical anesthesia to the teeth, gums, and area around the affected tooth. Using a special drill, the dentist removes the decay from the tooth. The hole is filled with composite material.

When can normal activities resume after the procedure for composite fillings?

The gums and teeth are typically numb after the procedure for composite fillings. Patients should exercise caution when eating and drinking until the numbness resolves.

Is there any pain associated with the procedure for composite fillings?

Many patients may experience discomfort during the procedure as a result of the drill removing the decay from the tooth. Our dentist may administer additional anesthesia to help the patient remain comfortable during the procedure. After the procedure the composite fillings, some patients experience mild discomfort. The discomfort should resolve within one day, and over the counter pain medications may help the patient remain comfortable.

Empress Restorations

Our procedure for Empress Restorations typically requires two to three appointments. During the first appointment, our dentists take photos and make impressions of the teeth. The photos and impressions are sent to a lab where the Empress crowns, inlays, or veneers are manufactured. Our dentists may administer topical or local anesthesia to prepare the teeth for the Empress restorations, and also shape the teeth and remove any decay and fillings from the teeth.

During the second appointment, the Empress restorations are adhered to the natural teeth using special cement. This appointment may take up to an hour as our dentists ensure that the Empress restorations fit properly. A third appointment is required to ensure the fit of the Empress restorations, as well as to address any comfort issues that our patients may experience.

When can normal activities resume after the procedure for Empress Restorations?

After the first appointment, some patients may feel numb from the anesthesia. We suggest our patients exercise caution while eating and drinking until your mouth is no longer numb. After the Empress restorations have been permanently adhered to your teeth, you may need time to adjust to the changes, especially when eating, drinking, and speaking.

Is there any pain associated with the procedure for Empress Restorations?

During their first appointment, some of our patients report mild discomfort. We ensure that our patients speak with our dentists during the procedure about any discomfort they experience. Our patients may experience mild soreness after the first appointment. If our patients experience any discomfort after the third appointment, please contact us, we are here to help.

Endodontics

Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry recommends endodontics procedures for patients with cracked teeth.  Endodontics is a specialty for the diagnosis and treatment of oral health concerns in the root canals of the teeth.

What causes cracks in the teeth?

While teeth are designed to withstand enormous amounts of pressure, teeth may crack under certain conditions; for example, chewing on hard objects, such as ice, raw popcorn kernels, and pens may cause the teeth to crack. Clenching and grinding the teeth may also cause cracks.

What are the signs of cracked teeth?

Cracked teeth have been fractured into smaller pieces. Certain activities cause the pieces to move and rub together. Patients who report sharp pains while chewing or sensitivity to hot and cold, may have cracked teeth. The discomfort may subside and return.

How do endodontics repair a cracked tooth?

Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the type of fracture in the tooth. Craze lines are tiny fractures in the enamel, or surface, of the tooth. These tiny lines can be seen on the surface of the tooth but do not cause pain. Craze lines typically do not require treatment. The cusp is the pointed part of the chewing surface of the tooth. When the cusp is fractured, a piece of the tooth may fall off, or a dentist may need to remove the broken cusp. When the fractured cusp is removed from the tooth, the pain typically resolves. In most cases, a fracture to the cusp of the tooth does not damage the pulp inside the tooth, and endodontics procedures are not required. In these cases, the dentist may use a crown to repair the tooth.

Endodontics is required for cracked and split teeth. Teeth are considered cracked when the crack extends from the chewing surface toward the root of the tooth. If the crack extends into the root, the tooth is considered untreatable and must be extracted. If the crack does not extend into the root below the gums, root canal treatment is used to repair the crack. A crown is placed over the tooth to keep the crack from splitting the tooth. If a tooth splits, the tooth may need to be extracted. In some cases, endodontics can be used to save a portion of the split tooth.

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is used to treat damaged or infected area in the pulp of the tooth.  Significant tooth decay, cracked teeth, trauma or having several dental procedures done to a tooth may result in a root canal.  Once the pulp or nerve of the tooth is damaged, patients may experience symptoms such as tenderness, swelling, temperature sensitivity or an abscess that drains.  Most often these teeth can be treated in the office; however we often consult with a group of experienced Endodontists (root canal specialists) in some cases.

Fixed Dental Bridges

Patients who are missing teeth rely on Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry for fixed bridges. Left untreated, a missing tooth may result in the neighboring teeth shifting position, loss of bone, and gums vulnerable to gum disease or trauma. Fixed bridges work by using the neighboring teeth as anchors for a replacement tooth. Fixed bridges are designed with structures that hold the replacement teeth between two crowns.

What happens during the procedure for fixed bridges at Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry?

Procedures for fixed bridges typically require two to three appointments. During the first appointment, the abutment teeth, natural teeth on each side of the missing tooth, are shaped to hold the crowns. The dentist administers local anesthesia for the procedure of shaping the abutment teeth. After the abutment teeth are shaped, the dentist makes an impression of the teeth, which is sent to a lab where the fixed bridge is designed and manufactured. The dentist may provide the patient with a temporary bridge. During the second appointment, the dentist checks the fixed bridge for fit, and the crowns of the fixed bridge are permanently attached to the abutment teeth. Typically, anesthesia is not required for the second appointment. The dentist may use temporary cement during the second appointment to give the patient time to adjust to the fixed bridge. In these cases, a third appointment is required. During the third appointment, the dentist checks the fit of the fixed bridge, makes the necessary adjustments and permanently adheres the crowns to the abutment teeth.

When can normal activities resume after the procedure for fixed bridges?

Patients may resume their normal activities immediately after their procedures for fixed bridges. Patients may need time to adjust to eating, drinking, and speaking with their fixed bridges. Patients who receive anesthesia during their appointments should exercise caution when eating and drinking until the numbness resolves.

Is there any pain associated with the procedure for fixed bridges?

Patients may experience mild discomfort while the dentist prepares the abutment teeth for the crowns. Patients who experience discomfort after their fixed bridges are in place should contact Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry for follow-up appointments.

 

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Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry

At Gallagher Family Dentistry, we believe in quality dental care and always providing service with a smile.

Thank you for choosing us to take care of your teeth!