General Cosmetic Dentistry Serving Houston, Katy, Woodlands, Galveston, Bellaire, Cypress & Surrounding Harris County Area.
Dental fillings are among the most widespread and common general dentistry procedures. Tooth decay can destroy an entire tooth if left unchecked. Generally, dentists fill a tooth when 50 percent of the tooth has been destroyed. Traditionally, general dentistry practices involved the use of silver-mercury amalgam fillings to restore back teeth. This is no longer recommended. Silver-mercury fillings have all but been abandoned in the world of cosmetic dentistry, and they are falling by the wayside in many general dentistry practices as well. This is because metal of any kind expands and contracts in relationship to surrounding temperatures. This causes strain on teeth that can eventually crack enamel or completely fracture a tooth. Even if this does not occur, bacteria can get underneath a filling, and tooth decay can set in all over again.
Dentists from multiple specialties increasingly agree that there are much better materials to use for filling teeth. Composite materials can be made to mimic or whiten the color of teeth, and they can be bonded to the tooth in such as way as to provide support and strength. Where a filling can often weaken a tooth by 50 percent over a period of years, a composite filling made from resin or porcelain can actually strengthen a tooth up to 75 percent.
There are also a number of specific materials that can be used in lieu of the old silver-mercury amalgams that previously dominated the world of general dentistry.
One of these is materials is the dental crown.
A dental crown functions like a cap over a tooth, which is why it is frequently called a cap in general dentistry. Capping a cracked tooth prevents it from fracturing completely, because it actually creates an entirely new surface area for the tooth. Crowns in general dentistry can be gold or porcelain. Cosmetic dentistry avoids the use of gold because it is soft and unsightly. We at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center exclusively use porcelain dental crowns for two reasons. For one thing, they are incredibly hard and non-porous, so they will not break or stain. Secondly, the partly translucent nature of porcelain mimics the translucence of natural tooth enamel.
Porcelain crowns are custom-made from a mold to match the teeth of the individual patient, and often end up looking better than the patients original teeth.
Another alternative to amalgam fillings is the use of cosmetic dental inlays.
Inlays, like dental crowns, are made from porcelain. Unlike crowns, they do not cover the entire tooth surface, but rather fit over the cusp (tip) of a tooth. Dentists use specially fired porcelain to match the color of natural teeth so that the inlay will remain invisible to others. To ensure the best possible fit, the dentist first makes a temporary inlay, and then takes an impression which is in turn used to create the permanent, porcelain inlay. When it is ready, the dentist bonds it to the tooth and polishes it to ensure a cosmetic, natural, and healthy-looking appearance.
Onlays are similar to inlays, but are used for more substantial reconstructions. Many times they are used to repair the damaged portion of a tooth so that a crown will not be necessary.
A root canal is used in general dentistry to save a tooth that would otherwise have to be pulled, end up being abscessed, or even worse, fall out.
There are three parts to every tooth. The outer layer is the layer we all see, and is called the enamel. The middle, softer layer is called the dentin. The inner part of the tooth is called the tooth, and is where all the nerves, blood, and life-sustaining functions of the tooth occur (yesteeth are alive).
When the pulp is traumatized or infected, the entire tooth begins to die, and serious complications can result. General dentists long ago discovered that removing diseased pulp and thorough disinfection of the pulp chamber and the canals that connect it to the bloodstream and nervous system.
Although the tooth is technically dead, its normal function and cosmetic appearance can be restored through a number of cosmetic and general dentistry practices aimed at preventing tooth loss and subsequent re-infection.
Although general dentistry practices are found throughout Houston, the advantage of having general procedures performed at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center is the added value of improving the appearance of teeth as well as the medical condition of teeth.
Even better, the sophisticated technology we use makes a number of otherwise painful general dentistry procedures (such as periodontal treatments) much more comfortable and painless to experience.
If you are looking to improve your smile without diminishing it with visible orthodontics in the process, please call us at 1-888-790-0309 to schedule an appointment for this highly specialized and technologically advanced alternative to metal braces.
Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont and Midland Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic denistry services.