General Dentistry Long Island
If you live on Long Island, Suffolk County, or in Brentwood and have issues with your teeth, gums, or anything in the facial or jaw area, you need someone who practices general dentistry. A general dentist and their team of dental assistants, hygienists, technicians, and therapists can help you and your children with prevention of dental problems, repair them, or replace missing teeth. Besides dealing with oral hygiene and dental health, general dentistry also includes cosmetic care such as teeth whitening and giving you a more attractive smile. Here are the general categories of American dental treatments offered by local dentists in our office and in the practice of dentistry.
When you are missing a tooth due to an injury, gum disease, or a dental abscess, your dentist in New York can fill in the gap with a bridge. This is a false tooth that is anchored to teeth on each side of the gap. The false tooth is called a pontic and can be made from materials like gold or porcelain to exactly match your other teeth. Bridges come in four types.
- Traditional: The traditional bridge consists of the false tooth and dental crowns cemented to the adjacent teeth.
- Cantilever: A cantilever dental bridge is a false tooth that is cemented to one other tooth.
- Maryland: A Maryland dental bridge is like the traditional in that a false tooth is supported by connecting to the two adjacent teeth. However, there is no crown involved. Rather, this technique uses a porcelain or metal framework bonded to the backs of each side tooth.
- Implant-supported: In this case, one or two dental implants are done in order to provide support for the false tooth. This is generally considered to be the strongest option and requires dental implants first of all and then placement of the bridge.
A crown is a cap for a tooth. You will need this when you have a cavity that is too big to fill, a worn and cracked tooth that is weakened, have had a root canal procedure, or your tooth is discolored or misshapen. You can choose from ceramics, metal alloys, porcelain, porcelain that is fused to metal, or composite resin to use as materials. The crown is made to match your teeth. The material used will vary according to which tooth (molar or incisor), any recession of gum tissue (oral health), how much tooth is visible when you smile, and which type you prefer.
Most oral health and dentistry troubles are not emergencies, but some require immediate attention and care. What are emergencies for which you need dental care immediately? If you are bleeding from your mouth or around a tooth, if you have severe pain, if you have lost or cracked a tooth, or if you have a severe infection, these are all emergent situations for which you need to contact us immediately and not wait to set up an appointment. Dental patients should call us to know what measures to take before coming in or to find out if their health is otherwise threatened in which they should go to the ER.
A filling is why many patients need general dentistry attention. Our dentists typically do a filling after finding a cavity. If you have old metal ones, we can remove them and give you a safe, modern filling in its place. The types of filling used today include amalgam and composite which are the most common and metal, ceramic, or glass ionomer.
Amalgam is used on back molars because this material is strong and often the best choice for chewing surfaces. This is the least expensive material but may be noticeable when you smile or laugh. Composites match your normal tooth color and are quite durable. They work well when the area is not subject to excessive stress. Dentists typically use this material for mid-size to small restorations. Metal fillings such as gold or silver amalgam last for ten to fifteen years before needing replacement but gold, which is ten times as expensive as silver, will be noticeable. Ceramic materials match your teeth but tend to stain and can be as expensive as gold. Glass ionomer is a glass and acrylic blend that releases fluoride to help with tooth protection. This material is less durable and will need to be replaced before five years.
Treating gum disease is a basic part of general dentistry. Otherwise healthy teeth can be lost due to recessed and diseased gums. General dentists in our office carry out cleaning and debridement which is deep cleaning to clean out bacteria on the dental roots. If the problem is especially severe we may suggest periodontal surgery.
If tooth decay burrows deep into a tooth it may result in a dental abscess. Your dentist will provide an anesthetic and drill the tooth in order to relieve the pressure of the infection (and the pain) and then clean out the abscess. This process usually requires more than one visit until the infection is cured and then the dentist will do a dental canal treatment. This involves cleaning out the canals where the nerve roots of the tooth lie and filling the canals. You will usually need a crown after this procedure.
Many patients with obstructive sleep apnea benefit from using a custom-fit device when they sleep. This keeps the airway open and prevents awakening (apnea). Ask your dentist about this treatment if you suffer from this problem.
Many people who suffer from headaches, neck pain, or facial pain have problems with their temporal mandibular joints. This is the joint on each side of your face where the jaw bone (mandible) connects with the side part of the skull (temporal bone). This may be a dental health issue related to tooth grinding or an imperfect bite and is dealt with in general dentistry.
There are times when an exam and x-rays show that a tooth is beyond repair. In that case, your dentist will advise that the tooth be extracted with anesthesia. Contact us if this is your dental care problem.