All of us would like to have perfect, pearly white teeth, but sometimes our genetics and a lifetime of bad habits result in dental problems. The good news is, Dr. Hollifield can correct these issues, restoring your teeth back to their ideal condition (or as close to it as possible). Dr. Hollifield’s restorative dentistry services include:
Tooth-Colored Fillings & Restorations
It used to be that a filling had to be an ugly grey color, forever marking the mouth with a sign of the cavity, but thankfully today’s tooth-colored fillings are not even noticeable. When the cavity has decayed the tooth to the point that it starts to lose shape, a filling is needed to avoid further deterioration. No filling lasts forever, but our composite resin fillings are very durable for small to mid-size cavities. While fillings are very common, remember good dental habits like regular brushing and flossing, plus regular dental visits, helps keep them away.
Missing teeth and uncomfortable dentures make it harder to enjoy life — harder to chew, harder to talk properly, harder to smile. Implants offer a permanent solution to lost teeth so you can get on with enjoying life.
The actual implant is a titanium post adhered to the jawbone. Once secured, it is the anchor the artificial tooth (or teeth) adheres to. Implants provide the foundation for replacement teeth to feel and look as natural as possible. Dr. Hollifield will work closely with an oral surgeon or a periodontist to complete the implant restoration.
A multi-step process, the ADA outlines the 3 phases to getting an implant:
- First, the dentist surgically places the implant into the jawbone. Your dentist may recommend a diet of soft foods, cold foods and warm soup during the healing process.
- Next, the bone around the implant heals in a process called osseointegration. What makes an implant so strong is that the bone actually grows around it and holds it in place. Osseointegration means “combines with the bone” and takes time. Some patients might need to wait until the implant is completely integrated (up to several months) before replacement teeth can be attached to the implant. Other patients can have the implants and replacement teeth placed all in one visit.
- Finally, it’s time for the placement of the artificial tooth/teeth. For a single tooth implant, your dentist will customize a new tooth for you, called a dental crown. The crown will be based on size, shape, color and fit, and will be designed to blend in with your other teeth. If you are replacing more than a single tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures will be made to fit your mouth and your implants. (Note: The replacement teeth usually take some time to make. In the meantime, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture to help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is ready.)
Crowns & Bridges
A crown may be recommended when you have a tooth that has a large defective restoration. It can also provide a surface for a needed filling when the tooth itself is too small to hold one. Crowns are also useful when covering dental implants.
A bridge is used to fill the space from a missing tooth, “bridging” the gap with a false tooth so the space is no longer noticeable. Dr. Hollifield will recommend either a fixed or removable bridge based on the condition of the surrounding teeth.
When you lose most or all of your teeth, dentures may be your best option. Full or partial sets of dentures can restore your quality of life. Without dentures, it is harder to eat, speak, and worst of all, smile. Dentures can make you look younger, even when you’re not showing your teeth, because they fill out your otherwise slack facial profile. Today’s dentures look very natural, and many people find that their dentures look much better than the old teeth they remember.
Dental extractions are recommended when a tooth needs to be removed due to decay, crowding or trauma. Dr. Hollifield will ensure you are as comfortable as possible, both emotionally and physically, whether it is a simple or complex extraction.
Root Canals & Endodontic Therapy
When the soft tissue inside your tooth (called the pulp) becomes diseased or inflamed, performing a root canal removes these nerves and can save the tooth. The primary causes leading to a root canal are a deep cavity, repeated dental work, a cracked or broken tooth or even invisible injury. Most root canals are simple, take just 1 – 3 visits, and can save your smile.