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5975 Roswell Road, Suite 229
Atlanta, GA 30328
404-252-7373
Dental Services
General Treatment
Cosmetic Dentistry
Cleaning and Preventive

Based on research results, there is a high probability that most of us will, at one point or another, be subjected to some form of tooth decay. When tooth decay occurs, it is important to restore the tooth by removing the decay, cleaning the tooth and repairing it. Additionally, in order to protect our overall oral health, it’s important to replace lost or missing teeth. In this section, we look at the various restoration options we apply at Sandy Springs Dental to protect and restore decayed, fractured, or missing teeth.

Click on a treatment option for more information.
Composite Fillings

The modern and esthetic alternative to traditional amalgam (silver) fillings.

Indications

  • Small to moderate decay on a portion of a tooth
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Desire to replace old-fashioned amalgam (silver) fillings
  • Desire to maintain a white, beautiful smile


The Treatment

A composite filling (also known as bonding) is a tooth-colored quartz-like material. After decay is removed, this resin material is layered into the tooth. Each layer is hardened with a blue light, and the final surface is shaped and polished to match the tooth. The final restorations are virtually invisible and are strong because they bond directly to the surface of the tooth. Additionally, they protect the tooth from fracturing because they don't require the severe "undercuts" (removal of healthy tooth structure) of a amalgam filling.

Bonding can be used as a cosmetic restorative procedure for teeth that are chipped, cracked, spaced or discolored. The bonding procedure can often be completed in a single office visit, and can improve the appearance of a tooth significantly. It’s a conservative and easily obtainable option of achieving a beautiful smile.

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Inlays and Onlays Indications

  • Extensive decay on a portion of a tooth
  • Large fillings that need to be replaced
  • Fractured teeth


The Treatment

The decay is removed and after the tooth is shaped, a detailed impression is made. This mold is sent to a dental laboratory that will create a porcelain (tooth colored) or gold restoration called an inlay or onlay.

Inlays and onlays are fillings that are made of cast porcelain or gold alloy. They are cemented or bonded into the prepared tooth replacing the critical area of the tooth. An inlay usually fits into the central biting surface of the tooth and may include one or more of the sides of the tooth. An onlay usually has a larger area of coverage, and most often includes one or more of the large cusps of a tooth.

In recent years, ceramic porcelain has become increasingly popular. This is due to the technical ability to match it to natural tooth color. Although the porcelain fillings are a ceramic glass material, they are impressively strong and resilient when used properly. Inlays and onlays are excellent alternative to crowns because of the conservation of healthy tooth structure.

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Crowns

To restore teeth with very large cavities, fractures, or loss of healthy tooth structure.

Indications

  • Badly decayed teeth
  • Fractured or worn teeth
  • Need to protect and strengthen teeth
  • Need to improve esthetics
  • Need to improve major bite problems


The Treatment

A crown (“cap”) covers the tooth and restores it to an ideal shape and size. Decay is removed from the tooth and an impression is made of the prepared surface. This impression is sent to a dental laboratory, which will create a porcelain (tooth-colored) or gold crown. A tooth-colored temporary crown will be placed on the tooth for a few days while the crown is being made. At the second appointment, the temporary will be removed and the permanent crown placed.

Crowns are strong and functional due to the fact that they are created in a laboratory. This protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure. Well-made porcelain crowns are truly esthetic and are often difficult to distinguish from a real tooth.

Crowns should be placed before the tooth is excessively decayed or fractured. Doing so will allow more restorative options and possibly prevent the need for root canal therapy or extraction. If removal of a tooth is prevented, the expense of a bridge or implant to replace the tooth can be avoided.

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Fixed Bridges

An excellent way to replace a missing tooth or teeth.

Indications

  • A missing tooth or teeth
  • Potential bite and jaw joint problems from teeth shifting to fill the space
  • The "sunken face" look associated with missing teeth
  • Desire to improve chewing ability
  • Desire for a more permanent solution than dentures
  • Desire to improve one's smile


The Treatment

A bridge is a single appliance that is typically attached to the tooth on each side of the space where a tooth is missing. An artificial tooth attached in the middle of the bridge fills in the gap where the missing tooth was. The teeth on either side of the gap are prepared for crowns (see crowns) and an impression or mold is made of the prepared area. This mold is used to create a porcelain (tooth-colored) or gold bridge in a dental laboratory. The bridge is then cemented onto the prepared surface of the teeth, effectively creating the appearance of a "new" tooth. It is not removable.

Unlike dentures, a fixed bridge is never removed. It is stable in the mouth and functions like natural teeth. By filling the gap and stopping the movement of other teeth, a fixed bridge is an excellent investment. It provides increased chewing efficiency, helps to avoid possible bite or TMJ problems, and can be highly esthetic.

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Root Canal Therapy

Treat an unhealthy tooth nerve in order to maintain the tooth.

Indications

  • A tooth that has decayed or fractured deep enough to contact the nerve
  • Worsening pain from contact with hot or cold liquids
  • Pain when biting down or pushing on tooth
  • Pain that is constant and throbbing
  • Swollen gum area, side of face, or bad taste in mouth
  • Pain that wakes one up at night


The Treatment

Inside each tooth is a canal(s) that contains the nerves and blood supply for the tooth. When the nerve becomes infected due to decay or injury, it must be removed from the canals of each root. Once the infected nerve is removed, the canals are filled with a rubber-based material to seal it.

All posterior teeth and some anterior teeth that have had root canal therapy must be protected with a tooth-like artificial covering known as a crown (see crown section.) This is true because teeth that have had root canal therapy are more susceptible to fracture and therefore should be protected. Root canal therapy is an excellent way to save a tooth that would otherwise die and need to be removed.

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Dental Implants

An excellent way to replace a missing tooth or teeth.

Indications

  • A missing tooth or teeth
  • Potential bite and jaw joint problems from teeth shifting to fill the space
  • The "sunken face" look associated with missing teeth
  • Desire to improve chewing ability
  • Desire for a more permanent solution than fixed bridges or dentures
  • Desire to improve retention of a denture
  • Desire to replace a missing tooth or teeth by means other than a bridge
  • Desire to improve one's smile


The Treatment

A dental implant is a fixture used to replace the root of a tooth. The implant is surgically placed in the jawbone and a porcelain tooth is attached to the top of the implant, creating a natural looking and undetectable replacement for the missing tooth. In the event that more than one tooth is missing, several implants may provide a base for a series of artificial teeth known as a fixed bridge (see fixed bridges.) Implants can even be used to secure a full set of removable dentures for people who have no remaining natural teeth. This can improve chewing ability by greatly increasing the stability and retention of the denture.

A dental implant with a crown attached on top is the closest thing to re-growing your natural tooth. There is no need to alter the teeth on either side as would be necessary to fill in the space with a bridge. Therefore, an implant can be cleaned at home with similar brushing and flossing techniques which increases longevity. Implants are durable and esthetic. The increase in retention, stability and chewing efficiency is dramatic when attaching a denture to two or more implants.

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Dentures Indications

  • Some or all of the teeth are missing
  • The inability to chew well
  • Increased stress on the remaining teeth
  • Less youthful appearance: cheeks sinking in, lips thinning, chin jutting out
  • The shifting of teeth resulting in bite problems
  • Increased stress on the remaining teeth


The Treatment

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals. Complete dentures replace all the teeth in a jaw and fit directly on the gums and supporting bone. Complete dentures can also be made to attach to dental implants. Partial dentures fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, resting partly on the gums and partly on the remaining teeth.

Whether some or all of the natural teeth are missing, there are several benefits from replacing them with complete or partial dentures. Replacing missing teeth helps to fill out the smile by giving support to the cheeks and lips. Also, a more youthful, vibrant appearance is achieved by supporting facial muscles. Speaking, chewing, swallowing and smiling are also improved. Partial dentures prevent teeth from shifting into the spaces created by the missing teeth. This helps prevent bite problems and decreases the likelihood of gum disease that is often associated with crooked teeth.

When a denture is attached to dental implants, especially the lower denture, its retention and stability are dramatically improved.

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Dental Emergencies

If you have a dental emergency, call Sandy Springs Dental at 404-252-7373. Most dental emergencies are treated at the time of your emergency appointment. Here are some practical tips for handling dental emergencies.

There are a number of simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to your teeth. One way to reduce the chances of damage to your teeth, lips, cheek and tongue is to wear a mouth guard when participating in sports or recreational activities that may pose a risk. Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth. Cut tape using scissors rather than your teeth. Accidents do happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.

Bitten Lip or Tongue

Clean the area gently with a cloth and apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. If the bleeding doesn't stop, go to a hospital emergency room immediately.

Broken Tooth

Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Use cold compresses on the area to keep any swelling down. Call Sandy Springs Dental immediately at 404-252-7373.

Cracked Tooth

This is a common problem. Click here to learn more about the treatment of cracked teeth.

Jaw-Possibly Broken

Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Call Sandy Springs Dental immediately at 404-252-7373 or go to a hospital emergency department immediately.

Knocked Out Tooth

Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse off the root of the tooth in water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that isn’t possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk and get to Sandy Springs Dental as quickly as possible. Remember to bring the tooth with you!

Objects Caught Between Teeth

Try to gently remove the object with dental floss; avoid cutting the gums. Never use a sharp instrument to remove any object that is stuck between your teeth. If you can’t dislodge the object using dental floss, contact Sandy Springs Dental.

Toothache

Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss or an interdental cleaner to ensure that there is no food or other debris caught between the teeth. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. If the pain persists, contact Sandy Springs Dental.

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