At the office of Dr. Elaine Godbee Lett, we offer a variety of services to care for your mouth. If you have any questions or would like more information on how we can care for your teeth and mouth, please contact us today.
Crowns – A tooth can lose its normal shape and size for a variety of reasons. A crown covers your tooth to help restore its original shape and size. Crowns can also be used to make teeth stronger and look better. Crowns have a variety of uses. In some cases that require a large filling, there isn’t enough tooth remaining to keep the filling in place. A crown can strengthen the tooth and hold the filling. Crowns can also protect teeth that are weak, or help fix ones that are broken. Discolored or misshaped teeth can be covered by a crown, as can dental implants.
Bridges – Bridges can solve the issue of missing teeth. Similar to dentures, bridges replace gaps in your smile with artificial teeth. Bridges can be made from a variety of materials including porcelain, gold, and alloys. Bridges can be removable or fixed. Removable bridges can be taken out and cleaned by patients, whereas fixed bridges have to be removed by a dentist. Bridges can be implanted to the jaw or under the gums. With so many options, it is important to consult with your dentist about which type of bridge is best for you.
Implants – Dental implants are roots placed in your mouth for either permanent teeth to be placed on or ones that you can remove. Dental implants are done to improve a patient’s smile and usually their self esteem. Having missing or bad teeth can be quite embarrassing. Dental implants also can be done to improve oral health. Many people find it easier to eat with dental implants. Their speech can also be improved. Dental implants are also more comfortable because they are made to become permanent.
Fillings – Dental fillings are used to fill cavities and repair cracked or broken teeth. Fillings can be done with gold, porcelain, or silver amalgam, but is most commonly done with materials called composite resin fillings that are designed to match the color of your teeth. Additional steps are required for tooth-colored fillings because it requires multiple layers and a special light to dry and harden the area around the filling.
Dentures – Removable dental replacements, or dentures, are a common service that we provide for our clients. We provide both complete dentures (for when all teeth are missing) and partial dentures (for when some teeth are missing). There are both conventional and immediate dentures. Conventional dentures are made after the teeth have been removed and are placed 8 to 12 weeks after removal. Immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed.
Cosmetic Dentistry – A beautiful smile is one of the most sought after features in cosmetic medicine. People from all backgrounds and professions want a white, straight smile, and we can help make it a reality. Whether through minor adjustments or major changes, cosmetic dentistry aims to help people feel good about the way their teeth look. There are many procedures that can improve your teeth and correct issues such as discoloration, chips, gaps, or irregularities. Common options include bonding, veneers, bleaching, reshaping, and crowns. In addition to cosmetic improvements, these procedures can help solve other oral problems as well.
Veneers – Veneers are thin shells intended to cover the front side of teeth to hide stains, chips, decay, or irregularities. A dental technician uses a model created by a dentist to make a custom shell out of special materials. Because veneers require removing some enamel, they are usually permanent. Your dentist will typically recommend avoiding food and drink that will stain your veneers. Veneers can chip or crack, but overall the results are worthwhile and many people are thrilled with their new smile.
Teeth Whitening – One of the most common desires patients have is whiter teeth. When considering your options it is important to consult your dentist to make sure you have all the facts and understand how they may affect your teeth and mouth. Options for teeth whitening usually include whitening toothpastes, at-home bleaching, and in-office bleaching. Of course effectiveness, safety, and results vary greatly between products, so consult with your dentist if you are considering these choices.
Extractions – An extraction is performed to remove a tooth, whether because of disease, crowding, or damage. When extractions are required, the area around the tooth will be numbed and your dentist will remove the tooth. A small amount of bleeding is normal, as your mouth will replace the removed tooth root by forming a blood clot in the area. Caring for your mouth after an extraction is very important. Your dentist will outline how you should care for the area of the extraction. It is important to allow your mouth time to heal, so avoid activities like smoking, drinking through a straw, or eating foods that may aggravate the area.
Gum Treatment – Gums are the tissue that surround and support your teeth. Gum disease is when this tissue becomes infected and is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, which is also called periodontal disease. Plaque (the bacteria on teeth) is constantly forming, so regular dental care is important to preventing buildup that affects the gums. If you experience bleeding or swollen gums, gums that are pulling away from your teeth, bad breath or taste, loose or changing teeth, you may have signs of gum disease.
Root Canal – A root canal is a procedure used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. Although normal tooth decay can become increasingly worse and eventually lead to a root canal, often times blunt trauma can cause the tooth to die as well. Your dentist will remove the dead nerve from the tooth and then seal it off to prevent another infection or abscess from forming around the tooth. If the nerve is not removed the infection will continue to climb deeper into your gums, often causing swelling, pain, and discomfort.