Maintaining good oral health helps retain a beautiful smile and ensures your well-being. Most people are familiar with proper oral hygiene and dental visits as the basics of ensuring good dental health. Unfortunately, many factors like age, trauma, and other medical conditions could cause dental complications like tooth decay, tooth loss, and tooth discoloration.

When you consult a dentist with an oral health complication, they recommend different procedures to treat and restore your tooth's function and outlook. Depending on your needs, these procedures may be classified into orthodontic, restorative, treatment, and cosmetic dental procedures. Undergoing a dental procedure can be nerve-wracking.

Therefore, you will need a dentist who puts you at ease for each procedure you undergo. At Washington Dental, we understand your oral health's impact on your well-being. Our Lomita Dentists utilize high-tech equipment to diagnose and develop treatment plans for your dental complications.

Restorative Dental Procedures

Restorative dentistry is a branch of dentistry that deals with the replacement and repair of damaged and missing teeth. This helps improve the function of your teeth and your oral health. A Lomita dentist could recommend one of the restorative dental procedures if you have the following dental complications:

  • Cavities

A cavity is a hole in your tooth that develops from tooth decay. Your tooth decays when food particles accumulate on the enamel and gums. These food residues form plaque and tartar, which promote the growth of bacteria. These bacteria produce acids that erode your tooth. Common types of tooth cavities include:

  1. Smooth surface. A smooth surface cavity is a cavity that slowly develops by dissolving the enamel.
  2. Fissure decay. Pit or fissure decay are cavities that form on the tooth's chewing surface.
  3. Root decay. This type of tooth decay occurs in adults with receding gums. When the gums recede, the tooth root is exposed to plaque and acid, which causes erosion. 
  • Missing Teeth

Tooth loss is a common dental complication. You can lose your teeth through trauma to the jaw, tooth decay, or gum disease. Tooth loss causes severe dental complications, including bone loss, shifting of remaining teeth, and tooth misalignment. Also, missing teeth could impact your ability to chew your food and speak correctly.

The risk of losing your teeth increases if you have poor dental hygiene or do not make regular dental visits. You must restore the missing teeth for restored function and overall dental health.

  • Cracked or Damaged Teeth

Cracked or damaged teeth are a common dental issue. You may end up with broken or damaged teeth from:

  • Excessive pressure from teeth grinding.
  • Biting or chewing hard foods.
  • Trauma to the mouth through an auto accident or a sporting injury.
  • Your tooth enamel weakens with age. Individuals over fifty are more prone to tooth breakage.
  • Large fillings that weaken the enamel.

Some cracks are clearly visible, while others require a dental visit for a more detailed assessment. Your dentist will recommend the right treatment depending on the tooth crack type and the damage's extent. Some of the symptoms of cracked or damaged teeth that you should look into include:

  • Pain when you bite or chew food.
  • Extreme sensitivity to cold, heat, and sweetness.
  • Pain that comes and goes.
  • Swelling of the gums around the affected teeth.

There are some restorative dental procedures that your dentist can recommend given your underlying circumstances:

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are a single material or combination of materials used for tooth restoration. Tooth fillings are used to fill parts of the tooth that the dentist has removed due to a cavity or decay. Additionally, the fillings can be used to repair cracked or broken teeth. Different dental filling materials are available. Some of the factors that could impact your choice of material include:

  • The extent of tooth decay or damage.
  • Your budget for the procedure.
  • Availability of insurance coverage. Most insurance providers will offer coverage for restorative dental procedures.
  • Recommendations from your dentist.

The most common types of fillings are made of silver or amalgam. These types of fillings are used for the molars. Although these fillings are not aesthetically pleasing, they are affordable and are covered by insurance. If you want to repair damaged front teeth, you can opt for a gold or ceramic filling.

Ceramic or composite fillings mimic the natural color of the teeth. However, you may need to cover the cost of this type of restoration. Some people prefer gold fillings because they are durable and aesthetically pleasing.

Root Canal Therapy

When bacteria from your mouth enter the pulp of your tooth, it can cause a severe infection. This results in a tooth abscess and serious toothache. You can save your tooth by undergoing a root canal. This process involved removing the infected part and cleaning and filling the space.

Some of the symptoms that indicate that you may be a good candidate for a root canal include:

  • Persistent toothache. Many dental complications cause toothache. You may need a root canal if you experience pain that radiates to the face and jaw.
  • Sensitivity to cold and teeth. You may need a root canal if you experience pain and discomfort when you eat or drink hot or cold foods and drinks.
  • Swollen gums. Pus could collect on the infected area of the tooth and cause swelling and gum tenderness. Removing the infected tooth through the root canal may ease the swelling.
  • Pain when you apply pressure to the tooth. If you experience pain when you chew or bite on food, it may indicate damaged nerves in the root pulp.
  • Loose tooth. Infection of the pulp could weaken the bones that support your teeth. This causes loosening of the teeth. A root canal could help clear the infection and save your tooth.

After root canal treatment, your dentist will give you some instructions that you can follow to ensure the procedure's effectiveness.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap to restore a decayed or worn-out tooth. Crowns can also be used to cover dental implants. A crown is made to fit the entire tooth. Your dentist could remove a part of the enamel to ensure the crown fits correctly. Your Lomita dentist could recommend dental crowns to:

  • Strengthen weak teeth.
  • Restore broken teeth.
  • Hold your dental bridge in place.
  • Cover stained or discolored teeth.
  • Cover your tooth after a root canal.
  • Support a cracked tooth.

The placement of a dental crown requires two dental appointments:

  • First Visit

At your first visit, your dentist will perform different procedures to prepare your tooth for a crown. This is done by removing some parts of the tooth enamel to make space for the crown. Your dentist will then take impressions of the tooth and send them to the lab for a custom dental crown. While you wait for your permanent crown, the dentist will place a temporary crown to protect the tooth.

  • Second Visit

For the second final visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and ensure that the permanent crown matches your natural teeth before bonding it to your teeth.

Orthodontic Procedures

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on straightening teeth and aligning your bite. Your tooth alignment and how they fit greatly impact your oral health. Ensuring proper upper and lower jaw fit prevents dental complications like excessive dental erosion, cavities, and gum disease.

Some of the signs that you may need orthodontic treatment include:

  • Overlapping teeth.
  • Overbite and underbite.
  • Open bite.
  • Crooked teeth.
  • Crowded teeth.

For treatment of these complications, your Lomita dentist could recommend the following orthodontic procedures:

  • Braces. Braces are devices used to straighten teeth and correct dental complications like crooked teeth, crowding, and severe gaps between the teeth. You could get traditional metal or ceramic braces, depending on your budget and aesthetic needs.
  • Clear aligners. Your dentist can recommend the use of aligners instead of braces. Unlike braces, the aligners are less visible and thus more aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, aligners can be removed, which gives your mouth some rest.
  • Retainers. You could use retainers to keep your teeth straight after removing the braces. Retainers are custom-made devices that you wear over your teeth. Even after your braces have aligned your teeth and corrected your bite, the teeth will require some time to become firm. The retainers ensure that your smile is not distorted. Depending on your dental needs, your dentist can recommend removable or fixed retainers.

Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Sometimes, you could visit a dentist and seek dental services when you do not have a dental problem. Cosmetic dental procedures focus on improving your smile and the appearance of your teeth. Common cosmetic dental procedures include:

Teeth Whitening

Your teeth may be discolored due to certain medical conditions, smoking, or overconsumption of dark-colored foods or drinks. Teeth whitening involves changing the shade of your enamel. You could purchase whitening toothpaste or other over-the-counter whitening agents.

However, if you have several cases of discoloration, professional whitening may be the best option for you. In-house tooth whitening involves the application of the bleaching agent and the shining of a laser light to activate the whitening properties.

Dental Bonding

Teeth bonding is a cosmetic procedure used to change your teeth' size, shape, and color. This cosmetic procedure uses composite resin, which mimics the natural color of your teeth, to:

  • Conceal cracks and chips on the enamel.
  • Hide tooth discoloration.
  • Close the abnormal gaps between the teeth.
  • Change your tooth shape.

Unlike veneers and other cosmetic procedures, your dentist will not remove part of your enamel for bonding. For this reason, the procedure is reversible. Dental bonding is suitable for individuals looking for a quick and affordable way to enhance their smile.

Tooth Contouring

Tooth contouring or reshaping involves the removal of small portions of your tooth enamel to correct cracked, crooked, and chipped teeth. Tooth reshaping is not suitable for all individuals. If you have severe dental complications, the procedure may not be effective. Some of the benefits of tooth contouring include:

  • The procedure is painless.
  • Immediate recovery allowing you to resume a normal diet.
  • Improves your smile and appearance.
  • Contouring is a conservative procedure that does not damage your tooth enamel.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a replacement tooth root that supports artificial teeth. If you have missing teeth, dental implants are an effective way to replace them and improve your smile. The placement of dental implants is a surgical procedure that involves screwing the implant into the jawbone to act as the tooth root. As the gum heals, the root will be permanently fused to the jaw bone.

Your Lomita dentist will assess your gums and jawbone to determine whether you are a good candidate for this restorative procedure. A strong and healthy jawbone is necessary to support the implants. Dental implants have gained popularity due to their ability to mimic the natural appearance and function of the teeth.

Pediatric Dentistry

Maintaining good oral health starts when your child’s first tooth develops. Without proper dental care, your child may be prone to severe complications like tooth decay and cavities at a young age. Pediatric dentists specialize in providing comprehensive dental care for children, including:

  • Oral exams. Your dentist will assess your child’s risk of dental caries and offer appropriate treatment.
  • Preventive dental care. You can ensure that your child’s oral health care is catered for by taking them for procedures like professional cleaning and fluoride treatment.
  • Dental counseling. Your child will receive counseling and education on proper oral; health and hygiene practices at their routine dental checkups. Ensuring that the child adopts these practices in their early years helps prevent potential complications in their teenage years and adulthood.
  • Early assessment and teeth straightening. Correcting improper bites and crooked teeth is more effective when it is done on young children and teenagers. Your dentist could recommend braces or aligners for the child.
  • Care for dental injuries. When your child suffers a dental injury from an accident or contact sport, they may need emergency dental care to restore the tooth and avoid further complications.

Find Expert Dental Care Services Near Me

Dental complications could cause pain and discomfort and impact your overall health. When you consult a dentist with different dental concerns, the dentist will assess your situation and recommend the appropriate type of treatment. Some of these procedures aim to prevent further complications, restore damaged or lost teeth, and improve your smile.

A competent Lomita dentist backed by a team of dental specialists is critical to your dental wellness. The dentist’s proficiency increases with more exposure and years of experience in the field. Therefore, you must be careful when choosing a dentist.  Our group of professionals at Washington Dental provides expert dental care services for all our clients. Contact us today at 310-326-5183 and allow us to take care of you.