“Blessed are they who hold lively conversations with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called dentists.” -Ann Landers Does the word “dentist” send you
Everyone deserves a healthy, beautiful, painless smile. Restorative dentistry helps us to give you just that, reducing or eliminating any issues that are causing you dental pain and discomfort.
Using today’s advanced dental techniques
The dentists at Trillium Dental will work with you to restore one tooth, several teeth, or provide you with a full set of custom-fitted dentures. From dental bridges to extractions, from crowns to implants, and more, our dentists and staff are committed to helping your mouth feel, look, and function better.
Restorative dentistry procedures are important in maintaining your overall oral care, helping you to prevent plaque build-up and the problems plaque can cause. Filling empty spaces in your mouth will also help keep your teeth properly aligned, and prevent any further damage. At Trillium Dental, we also know how missing teeth can affect more than your health, and we are here to support you with methods that will also result in improved appearance and self-esteem.
If you have damaged or missing teeth, you may need a bridge. Dental bridges literally bridge the gap caused by one or more missing teeth, where one or more artificial teeth are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support. Bridges are very durable and can last a lifetime with extra care and by practicing good oral hygiene.
Our dentists will use a bridge to replace your missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Here’s how it works: a dental bridge usually consists of two bridges for the teeth on either side of the gap. The two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth and secure the false tooth or teeth in between. These false teeth can be made from gold, alloys, composite resins or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges can also be supported by natural teeth and by implants.
Bridgework is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and esthetics.
It is important that a missing tooth is replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated properly and in a timely manner, the teeth surrounding the gap will begin to shift inward. Since teeth use their neighbors for support, if one is missing they begin to fall and shift into the open spaces. This may worsen your bite due to changes in pressure and can eventually result in problems with the jaw such as TMJ.
Are you missing one or more teeth and want a permanent replacement solution? A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth, helping to restore its shape, size, strength or to improve its appearance. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but also can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape, and alignment. When a crown has adhered into place, it will fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
Our dentists at Trillium Dental may use a crown to replace a large filling when only minimal tooth structure remains. It then works to protect a weak tooth from fracturing and, when necessary, to attach a bridge or to restore a fractured tooth. In addition, a crown may be used to cover a dental implant, a discolored or poorly shaped tooth or a tooth that has had root canal treatment.
If you are considering a dental implant, you may be able to benefit from an implant crown. An implant crown is a composite reproduction of the lost tooth that is placed over a dental implant or post. The implant crown replicates the original tooth in shape, size, strength, and appearance. When the crown has adhered into place, it will fully encase the entire visible portion of the dental implant.
Crowns may be used to:
If you have lost some or all of your teeth due to gum disease, decay or accidental impact, dentures can dramatically improve your smile. A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and their surrounding tissues. Our dentists may suggest full dentures or partial dentures, depending on how many natural teeth you have lost and the condition of your existing teeth.
There are two types of dentures available, including partial and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while complete dentures are used to completely replace all teeth. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve your smile!
Correctly placing dentures takes skill and experience. Many people who wear dentures or partial dentures have difficulties with slipping, eating or sores that all stem from the apparatus being poorly constructed or ill-fitting. Our Lansing dentists will provide high-quality full dentures and partial dentures that will fit correctly, remain comfortable, pain-free, stable and not move around when you eat.
Our full and partial dentures are custom-made using quality materials that look natural and are durable. We will make sure they are the right shape, color, and size for a natural look and that the bite is correct so that you can talk and eat properly. Aligning the dentures correctly will also give you a more attractive look and prevent premature wrinkles around the lips or at the corners of the mouth.
Our dentists at Trillium Dental may recommend the use of full dental implants to stabilize your dentures. This has the added benefit of deterring bone loss, which can cause eventual difficulties with wearing dentures, jaw problems and even change the appearance of your face, giving it a sunken look.
Our dental professionals are experts in crafting and placing dentures and implants and will ensure that your implants secure your dentures to create the most natural fit and feel possible.
We can provide several types of dentures:
- Complete: These replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position. You can have them on your upper or lower jaw or both.
- Partial: Suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining that will improve chewing ability, provides support for facial muscles and greatly enhances the facial appearance and smile.
- Immediate: These are inserted immediately after the removal of your remaining teeth. To make this possible, the dentist takes measurements and makes the models of your jaws during a preliminary visit.
- Overdenture: A removable denture that fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth or implants. The natural teeth must be prepared to provide stability and support for the denture.
The denture process takes about one month and five appointments. Once the initial diagnosis is made, an impression and a wax bite are created to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position. Then, a ‘try-in’ is placed to assure proper color, shape, and fit and finally, the patient`s completed denture is placed, following any minor adjustments.
Over time, adjusting the denture may be necessary. As you age, your mouth naturally changes, which can affect the fit of the denture. Your bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink, resulting in a loose-fitting denture. Loose dentures can cause various problems, including sores or infections. Dentures that do not fit properly can be adjusted. Avoid using a do-it-yourself kit to adjust your dentures, as this can damage the appliance beyond repair. Glues sold over-the-counter often contain harmful chemicals and should not be used on a denture. Instead, our dental team is here to help make sure you receive the ongoing care that you need.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth substitute that replaces missing tooth roots. Dental implants restore lost chewing ability, improve appearance, end embarrassment, and give real self-confidence to patients who need them. Because of proven success, preservation of existing teeth and no susceptibility to dental decay (cavities), dental implants are a great answer to missing teeth.
While there are several types of dental implants available, the most widely accepted and used option is the osseointegrated implant. Made of titanium, our dentists place these cylindrical bars into the bone, allowing them to lay undisturbed while the bone heals around them, successfully fusing them or locking them in like an anchor. This forms a structural and functional connection between the living bone and the implant. A variation on the implant procedure is the implant-supported bridge or implant supported denture.
Individuals missing one or more teeth looking for a permanent replacement solution may opt to use an implant crown. An implant crown is a composite reproduction of the lost tooth that is placed over a dental implant or post. The implant crown replicates the original tooth in shape, size, strength, and appearance. When the crown adheres in place, it will fully encase the entire visible portion of the dental implant. If you are considering a dental implant, our dentists can help you decide whether or not you need an implant crown.
Root canal treatment — or endodontic therapy — is necessary when a cavity is neglected, allowing it to penetrate all the way to the pulp. Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone, which would be considered an abscess.
By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.
Our dentists at Trillium perform root canal or endodontic procedures to save teeth that are badly decayed by removing the pulp and nerves and then sealing the cleaned area. Without treatment, infection and abscesses can form on the tissues surrounding your teeth.
Signs that a root canal is needed:
- A tooth’s color darkens
- You experience severe tooth pain when chewing
- Gum tissue near a tooth is swollen, sensitive or pimpled
- Heightened and prolonged hot or cold sensitivity
- Nerve damage and other side effects
Damage to the nerve and pulp can come from decay, large fillings, cracks or chips in a tooth and even trauma to your face. A tooth’s nerve function provides sensory responses to hot and cold temperatures. The removal of the nerve does not affect the primary functions of the tooth. When a tooth’s nerve or pulp is damaged, bacteria can form in the root canal — causing infection identified by various symptoms, including bone loss around the root, swelling of your face or drainage into your gums. If you have an infected tooth it can be very painful and you should seek immediate medical attention from our experienced dentists at Trillium Dental.
The loss of a single tooth can have a major impact on your oral health and physical appearance. Although our dentists will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, it is sometimes still necessary to extract a tooth.
A tooth may need to be extracted in the case of:
- Severe decay
- Advanced periodontal disease
- Infection or abscess
- Orthodontic correction
- Mal-positioned teeth
- Fractured teeth or roots
- Impacted teeth
Before a tooth is removed, we will first take an x-ray to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. Based on the degree of difficulty, we may refer you to a specialist called an oral surgeon.
For a simple extraction, we will first apply a local anesthetic to prevent pain and discomfort. The tooth will be loosened with a tool called an elevator and then removed with dental forceps. Once the procedure is complete, the area may be closed with one or two stitches.
It is critical to keep the extraction area clean to prevent infection. We will provide you with dry, sterile gauze to bite down on for 30-45 minutes to limit bleeding while clotting takes place. For the next 24 hours, you shouldn’t smoke, rinse your mouth vigorously, or brush the teeth directly next to the extraction site.
A certain amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected following an extraction, which can be minimized with a painkiller and ice packs applied to the face for 15 minutes at a time. After a routine extraction, discomfort should lessen within three days to two weeks. If you experience prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever, contact us immediately.
If you experience trouble or soreness when opening and closing your mouth, clicking or popping of your jaw, and headaches, then you may be experiencing TMJ. Problems with the temporal-mandibular joint, or TMJ, may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, oral trauma or excess muscle tension.
Problems in this area can cause:
- Trouble or soreness when opening or closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Pain in the jaw muscles
- Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face
Dental treatments for TMJ can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting your bite, or filling gaps between teeth. Our knowledgeable dentists and staff can help you determine which option is best for you. Through proper evaluation and fitting, we can help alleviate misalignment of your bite and subsequently correct these issues.
In some cases, a plastic mouthpiece may be used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. A bite splint is a restorative device used to support, protect, or immobilize oral structures that have been loosened, replanted, fractured or traumatized.
We offer bite splint therapy options for:
- Treatment of temporomandibular (TMJ) joint disorders
- Patients dealing with issues from night-time teeth grinding
- Mouth or jaw problems resulting from bite misalignment
If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.