At Metropointe Dental, we strive to provide the best comfort for our patients with the latest technological equipment available.
iTero is an intra-oral scanner that replaces conventional impressions. Thankfully, old-school impressions are no longer the only option. With state-of-the-art technology and the progressive dentist office that’s providing your treatment, making a great—and comfortable—first impression with the iTero ® scanner has never been easier. The iTero scanner allows your dentist to take a digital impression—a highly accurate, digital 3D image of the individual characteristics of your tooth surfaces and gum tissue. The iTero scanner is all about keeping you comfortable while delivering precise imagery, without the putty-filled impression tray that makes you gag! Not only is it more comfortable, but taking a digital scan for your new crown, bridge, or Invisalign ® aligners is quick, which allows you to spend less time at the dentist’s office and more time enjoying your new smile, without the Gag and Goop!
Straighten Teeth without Metal Braces
Invisalign takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using custom made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you simply wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movement our dentists plan out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You simply pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. The best part of the whole process is that most people won't even know you are straightening your teeth!
Perfect smile in a few days
Porcelain veneers are routinely used to cover teeth which are discolored, worn, chipped, or misaligned. Porcelain veneers, often alternatively termed dental veneers or dental porcelain laminates, are wafer-thin shells of porcelain which are bonded onto the front side of teeth in order to cosmetically improve their appearance. Typically veneers are difficult to stain, making veneers a very popular solution for many people seeking that perfect smile. Strong and very durable, veneers last from ten to fifteen years, and come in colors that will brighten dark teeth without the worry of them changing color.
Composite bonding can work wonders for your smile. Using materials that match the shade, translucency and the texture of your teeth, gaps between teeth can be closed, spots and discolorations can be eliminated, and your self-confidence can be enhanced through the improved appearance of your smile. Composite bonding is excellent for small defects in the teeth -- spots, chips, or gaps between teeth. For smile alterations involving an entire tooth or multiple teeth, porcelain is the material of choice. Bonding for teeth involves the use of composite resin tooth-colored filling material. This material can be used on the anterior (front) teeth or posterior (back) teeth. The procedure is sometimes referred to as bonding is because an adhesive agent is used to actually bond the resin to the tooth structure.
Tooth-colored fillings and Inlays
Tooth-colored fillings and inlays replace the gold and silver of the past with natural looking materials. In the 1970's, "white fillings" came into common use. These "tooth-colored fillings" were made of a plastic dental resin filled with microscopic filler particles and were called composites. When dental composites were first introduced, they could only be used in the front teeth, because they weren't strong enough to withstand the chewing pressure of the back teeth (in excess of 40,000 pounds per square inch). The composites of today have been vastly improved over the ones developed nearly forty years ago. They are strong, durable, and attractive. In 1999, the American Dental Association gave white fillings its seal of approval and now many insurance plans cover their use.
All Ceramic Crowns
It might come as a surprise, but “all-ceramic” crowns or “caps”, have been around for most of the past century. These restorations have no metal and are totally made of ceramic glass sometimes strengthened with a translucent material such as zirconium. They have always been a highly desirable cosmetic solution for front teeth even without the availability of modern bonding.Incorporating bonding with all-ceramic crowns can have the strength and beauty of unblemished natural teeth. Today teeth that have too much damage to be corrected with fillings or veneers can still be made white and natural with all ceramic crowns.
A solution to missing tooth
For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. But, today, dental implants are available. Implants are used to replace missing teeth. It is a "root" device made of titanium. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.
There are many advantages to dental implants. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.
Root Canal Therapy
To understand how a root canal works, we need to have a basic understanding of the anatomy of the tooth. A tooth is hollow, like our bones, and is composed of several layers. The outermost layer (above the gum-line) is called the enamel. Enamel is the hardest and most mineralized substance in the body. Beneath the gum-line, a substance called cementum covers the tooth roots. Under the enamel and cementum is the dentin. The dentin is about as hard as bone, and, unlike the enamel, dentin contains nerve endings. Beneath the dentin is the dental pulp. The pulp is a vascular tissue, composed of capillaries, larger blood vessels, connective tissue, nerve fibers, and cells including odontoblasts, fibroblasts, macrophages, and lymphocytes. The pulp is needed to nourish the tooth during its growth and development. After a tooth is fully mature, the only function of the pulp is to let us know if it is damaged or infected by transmitting pain.
How Does the Pulp become infected?
The most common way for the pulp to become infected is from an untreated cavity. A cavity is formed by acid in a rather unexpected way. Inside everyone's mouth is a legion of bacteria - they are completely normal and there is nothing you can do about them. Some of these bacteria metabolize (eat) carbohydrate-containing foods or beverages and make acid as a by-product. The acid is strong enough to eat through the enamel and dentin. If left untreated, it will eventually expose the underlying pulp to bacteria inside our mouths and it gets infected. The pulp can also get infected from trauma to the tooth. A blow to a tooth can cut off the blood supply to the tooth from our jawbone, and cause the pulp tissue to slowly die. Interestingly, a tooth that breaks within the enamel and dentin during trauma is less likely to need root canal in the future because the fracture may absorb the trauma, sparing blood flow to the tooth. A third way a tooth can become infected is if there is long standing periodontal (gum) disease around the tooth. Bacteria from the infected gums can enter the tooth through small opening on the root surface (accessory canals) and cause a retrograde infection. Whatever way the tooth becomes infected, the pulp eventually dies, and over time, will cause a painful dental abscess within the surrounding jawbone.
How will I know if I have an infected tooth?
A tooth that becomes sensitive to hot or cold food or beverages or hurts when biting down may indicate an infected tooth. A tooth that becomes discolored or that causes the gums to swell around a tooth may also indicate a dental infection. In some cases, a tooth will have no symptoms, but a dental exam and x-ray will reveal a tooth that requires root canal.
If the tooth is infected, why can't I use an antibiotic to treat it?
If a tooth has an infection of the pulp, the only options are root canal therapy or extraction. As the pulp dies, the hollow tooth becomes a reservoir for bacteria to hide from the body's immune system and any drugs that could fight the infection. In some cases, a dentist will prescribe antibiotics during or after treatment.
The ability to take decayed or missing teeth and restore them to provide you with a healthy and properly functioning mouth is called restorative dentistry. Over the past 50 years restorative dentistry has changed at an amazing pace. With the advent of dental implants, hybrid cements, and composite fillings, we in the dental profession can restore you mouth to an aesthetically pleasing and properly functioning mouth. That is why Dr. Patel and the entire team take over 200 hours of continuing education each year to keep up with the latest trends in restorative dentistry. We do all aspects of this field including: implant dentistry, crowns, bridges, dentures, and partial denture.
Though we take a great deal of pride in our restorative and cosmetic dentistry, the heart of our dental program is the continuing care program that we provide our patients. From the very first visit, you will have a thorough periodontal exam that will determine the health of your gums and bone. From this exam, you will be assigned an individual hygiene program that will either maintain or get your periodontal health up to healthy standards. You will continually be monitored to insure that you maintain healthy gums so that any restorative or cosmetic dentistry will last you as long as possible.
Ceramic Porcelain Fused to Gold
When the breakdown of teeth require a crown in an area of high biting force, a ceramic porcelain crown strengthened with a metal, typically gold, may be called for. These restorations have been improved over the forty years since their introduction to dentistry and can rival the cosmetics of an all ceramic crown when done properly.
When a tooth is missing or cannot be fixed, today we have the option of replacing it with an artificial tooth (implant) or constructing a restoration that spans the space of the lost tooth with an artificial tooth called a “pontic”. This is called a fixed bridge. It is always held by a minimum of two natural teeth and can have one or more replacement , pontic, teeth. Even though this technology has been in use for most of the last century there have been dramatic improvements in the cosmetics of fixed bridges. There are situations in which an implant cannot be done or will not produce the cosmetic result required, so it is nice that we have fixed bridgework as an option.
Tooth Colored Restoration of Back Teeth
Today people are aware that back teeth are very noticeable when we talk and especially so when we laugh. Seeing dark unsightly areas of metal can detract from what otherwise might be a perfect set of teeth. If this is your concern, relax. Now we have available several options to correct this. In the case of small areas of decay or replacement of fillings that are not overly large, directly placed bonded tooth colored resin fillings can make a tooth look like new. As back teeth receive a lot of heavy biting forces, large cavities and replacement of large old fillings could require the use of a porcelain ceramic or laboratory made resin ceramic inlay. While this approach requires two dental visits, the results can dramatically improve the health and attractiveness of back teeth.