Saving Your Natural Tooth

saving your natural tooth

Saving Your Natural Tooth

Nothing compares to the look, feel, and function of your natural tooth. Brushing and flossing on a regular basis, as well as dental checkups, can help you keep your teeth for a lifetime. Today on the blog, our dentist in St. Pete discusses why will always opt for saving your natural tooth in restorative dentistry.

Why We Want to Save Your Natural Tooth

Your teeth may get infected or diseased at times, necessitating further care. Treatments to save your teeth should always be considered when possible. You may think that having a tooth extracted is unnecessary. However, you will be aware that your tooth is missing. Importantly, this will have a detrimental influence on your quality of life.

Don’t get a tooth extracted because you believe it will be easier or less expensive. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift, impair your chewing abilities, and destroy your smile. Our Emergency dentist St. Pete explains that tooth extraction is frequently more painful than infection. Additionally, replacing an extracted tooth with an artificial one necessitates further dental visits, which can quickly add up.

Modern Endodontics

Modern endodontics advances in technologies, methods, and materials, providing you with a variety of treatment alternatives for preserving your natural teeth. It is critical to understand your options and how they will affect your tooth. Additionally, you should understand how it will impact your future dental health. When possible, it is always preferable to keep your original teeth. Thus, endodontic treatment should be your first choice for the best health and cosmetic results. Our team can assess your situation and provide the best treatment approach to help you save your teeth for life.

Here are some pointers to help you save your teeth:

When given the option of tooth extraction or root canal therapy, we will always recommend the root canal St. Petersburg. Our friends over at Kissing Camels Family Dentistry, dentist Colorado Springs, agree. This is because no denture, bridge, or implant will ever look, feel, or operate as a natural tooth. Thus, when you notice swelling or pain, take action right away. Most endodontists can accept emergency cases, even on weekends, ensuring that you are seen as soon as possible.

How to Save Natural Teeth With Endodontic Treatment 

Dr. Brian Leeson, the best St. Pete dentist, explains that when the inside of your tooth (the pulp) becomes inflamed or infected, it is usually a result of deep decay. It could also be recurrent dental procedures, faulty crowns, or a crack or chip in the tooth. If so, endodontic or root canal treatment is required. Even if your tooth has no obvious chips or cracks, trauma to the tooth might cause pulp injury. Untreated pulp irritation or infection can cause pain or lead to an abscess. When you have a root canal or other endodontic treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed. Then, the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected before being filled and sealed with gutta-percha, a rubber-like material.

Contact 4th St Today for Restorative Dentistry 

Contact 4th St Family Dentistry to discuss your options. If you are experiencing tooth pain or need restorative dentistry, we would love to assist.

Everything You Need to Know About Tooth-Colored Fillings

Everything You Need to Know About Tooth-Colored Fillings

Everything You Need to Know About Tooth-Colored Fillings

You’re probably hoping that when you go to see your Dentist in St. Petersburg that he won’t find a cavity. In fact, practically everyone has had a cavity or two at some point in their lives. Patients who have recently had a cavity were most often treated with a tooth-colored filling. Today on the blog, we discuss everything you need to know about tooth-colored fillings.

What Are Tooth Colored Fillings? 

Dr. Brian Leeson, the best dentist in St. Petersburg FL, explains that tooth-colored fillings are the current modern version of the old, silver fillings. They are formed out of a composite resin mix that fills and seals off a cavity after the damaged region has been removed. Tooth-colored fillings, as opposed to standard fillings, mix beautifully with your natural teeth to keep them appearing faultless. Given that tooth-colored fillings are one of the most popular procedures performed at 4th Street Family Dentistry, we thought we’d go over some of the most common questions people have about them.

How Much Do Tooth Colored Fillings Cost?

Many factors influence an individual’s cost for a composite resin filling no matter where you live. Our friends over at New Providence Dentistry, dentist in New Providence NJ, explains that the diameter of the cavity and if anesthesia is required are the two key components. We agree. Cavity treatment is a non-invasive procedure that may usually be completed in a single visit with only a local anesthetic. However, sedation, such as nitrous oxide (“laughing” gas) or oral-conscious medicine, is often recommended if you have dental phobias or a strong gag reflex. If you have dental insurance, your dentist in St. Pete should verify your coverage before billing you for the remaining amount. Many dental practices provide flexible payment alternatives or accept low-interest medical financing for customers who do not have dental insurance. For most patients, it is less expensive to repair a cavity with a composite resin filling than to ignore it until it worsens.

Why Get a Filling

In the long term, ignoring your dentist’s detection of a cavity and recommendation to get a tooth-colored filling might lead to additional suffering and more expensive treatments. When a cavity becomes too large for a filling, it can be corrected using an inlay. These treatments are larger than composite resin fillings but not as strong as crowns. They are precisely designed to cover the decaying portion of the tooth immediately after it has been prepared. If the decay has progressed to the pulp of the tooth, a root canal may be required.

When Root Canals Are Required

Root canal therapy takes the weakened pulp deep within the tooth, and the tooth is often sealed up with a customized crown. If you do not seek professional help, the infection may spread to the rest of your mouth and, eventually, enter your bloodstream, affecting your entire health. To summarize, the longer you wait to correct a cavity, the slower, more intrusive, expensive, and unpleasant the treatment will be.

Contact 4th St Family Dentistry Today

No one will notice that you have tooth-colored fillings because they blend in with the rest of your smile. Tooth-colored fillings are also a low-cost restorative alternative. Contact our St. Petersburg, FL dental office for more information on tooth-colored fillings.

Restorative vs. Cosmetic Dentistry

restorative v. cosmetic dentistry st petersburg FL

Restorative Dentistry vs. Cosmetic Dentistry

4th Street Family Dentistry offers both cosmetic dental care and restorative dental care. Cosmetic dentistry is mainly enhancing your smile and changing the general appearance of your teeth. As far as cosmetic dentistry is concerned, the focus here is on the art, not the actual science behind the procedure. In general, a St. Pete cosmetic dentist is actually a restorative dentist who has studied and trained extensively in the concepts of smile design and the use of dental materials that create the best possible smile for an individual. Check out the difference between restorative vs. cosmetic dentistry.

Determining Whether You Need Cosmetic or Restorative Dental Work

Although cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry do overlap, the main difference between the two is their focus and the level of dental expertise. A cosmetic dentist is one who goes beyond the process of restoration. If a restorative dentist stops helping an individual to achieve a set of fully functioning teeth, a cosmetic dentist will not only correct the functioning of the teeth but will also seek to achieve results that match the individual’s idea of a perfect smile. This requires quite some expertise and a very accurate level of finesse, as a cosmetic dentist needs to pay attention to even the smallest details, such as how many teeth a person should have visible while he/she smiles, etc.

Restorative Dental Treatments St. Pete

Restorative dentistry fixes structural problems. These problems include damaged or missing teeth. Restorative dentists use the below procedures to fix structural problem: 

Restoring your teeth and their proper functioning is where restorative dentistry comes to an end explains Dr. Cody Boals, dentist in Colorado Springs. If you want to make your smile better, seek the help of a cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentistry is completely concerned with the enhancement of your teeth. Cosmetic dentistry can eliminate these problems by helping you boost your overall confidence and appearance.

St. Pete Cosmetic Dental Treatments

All dental treatments that involve an esthetic improvement of your smile are considered cosmetic. They simply focus on the appearance of your teeth and help you restore their function and overall oral health. Some cosmetic dentistry treatments may include the following:

These are just a few examples of cosmetic dentistry procedures that you may be able to choose from. However, one major difference between cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry is the actual cost of treatment procedures, which may be a bit high for cosmetic dentistry treatments.

Contact 4th Street Family Dentistry 

You should also feel comfortable asking Dr. Brian Leeson any questions you are still unsure about. You and your St. Pete dentist will need to work together to find treatment options that will make your smile brighter and healthier. Contact us, today! 

How to Repair a Broken Dental Crown

4th Street Family Dentistry - How to fix a broken crown

How to Repair a Broken Dental Crown in St. Pete

Sturdy as they may seem, our teeth aren’t immune to damage. Your teeth are susceptible to tooth decay and physical trauma. That’s where dental crowns come in. Said to be the single most productive procedure performed in dental practices, dental crowns are effective ‘caps’ that are placed over damaged teeth to restore their shape, size, strength, and appearance.

Dental crowns are usually used when the tooth is too damaged for dental fillings to restore functionality properly. On average, dental crowns can last between five to fifteen years, depending on the amount of wear and tear and your oral hygiene practices. But did you know crowns can get chipped or broken just like regular teeth? If you notice a chip or fracture in your crown, contact 4th Street Family Dentistry for emergency treatment. 

Before you had your crowns installed, you probably had a conversation with your dentist in St. Petersburg, FL, to determine the type of crown that will work best for you. Crowns are usually made from a variety of different materials, and this determines how resistant they will be to damage. Ceramic and resin crowns are usually the least durable, while crowns made from base metal alloys, gold alloys, and porcelain fused with metal are highly durable.

Signs Your Dental Crown is Fractured or Broken

The best dentists in St. Petersburg, FL, will tell you that spotting a cracked or broken crown may not be easy, especially if you don’t visit the dentist regularly. Digital Doc, the maker of the best intraoral cameras, says that cracks may start out small, making it almost impossible for you to spot them with the naked eye. Seeing your St. Pete dentist twice a year will allow them to catch the issue and treat it while it’s still early.

If the crack isn’t treated soon enough, you may notice increased pain or sensitivity. The sensitivity will occcur while chewing, sensitivity to hot or cold foods, or bleeding at the affected tooth. A crown may break due to a blow to the face, a fall, grinding your teeth, wear and tear, or biting down on something hard. If your crown gets broken from physical trauma or chips off as you chew, contact an emergency dentist in St. Pete for treatment.

In certain circumstances, a painful crown may be a sign that the underlying tooth is the issue. If it can no longer support the crown, your dentist in St. Petersburg may have to extract it and install a dental implant to restore the tooth’s functionality.

What You Should Do if Your Dental Crown Breaks

While broken crowns aren’t usually considered an emergency, you may require emergency treatment if caused by a fall or blow to the face and cause intense pain. If you notice it, the first thing you ought to do is examine the area to see the extent of the damage before contacting a dentist in St. Pete for further guidance. Get a mirror and study the affected area if the broken crown is visible. Use your tongue to check for sensitivity. Are pieces of the crown missing or dislodged? Are there any jagged edges that may cut the inside of your mouth? Does the area feel sensitive to air or food?

While dentists don’t always recommend it, you may have to pull off the crown if there is a risk of swallowing it. If there is any bleeding, use a piece of gauze to gently apply pressure to the area. Dr. Ben Kacos, a sedation dentist in Shreveport, LA, says you can apply a little clove oil with a cotton swab or dental cement directly to the tooth surface if it feels sensitive. This will protect the remaining tooth and reduce the pain and sensitivity until you can finally see a dentist. 

Treatment for a Broken Crown

Make sure you see a dentist within 5-7 days of your dental crown breaking, even if it isn’t causing you too much pain. Leaving it for too long creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and leads to infection down the road. If you are afraid of brushing around the broken crown before your dentist’s appointment, you can use mouthwash or a saltwater solution after brushing to kill off bacteria.

The dentist will thoroughly clean and examine the remaining tooth and crown to assess the damage’s extent. If the crown is too damaged to be reapplied and the tooth is strong enough to hold a new dental crown, you will be fitted with a temporary crown while a new permanent crown is fabricated. Your St. Petersburg, FL dentist can also bond a composite resin to a porcelain crown to repair the crown if it has a minor crack or fracture. However, this requires a very specific porcelain repair kit, and not every dentist has it.

If it turns out that the underlying tooth was the problem, you may have to undergo a tooth extraction. Then have a dental implant installed once you heal. While they can be uncomfortable, broken dental crowns are entirely fixable. Whether through bonding with a composite resin or outright replacing them. Leaving a broken crown in could lead to more severe dental problems down the road. Are you looking for a dentist to fix a broken crown? Contact 4th Family Street Dentistry for emergency treatment today.

The Benefits of Dentures

benefits of dentures - St. Petersburg Fl

The Benefits of Dentures

Right from your childhood, your teeth play a crucial role in both your physical and social development. A strong, healthy set of teeth allows you to chew and eat properly. Similarly, a beautiful, aesthetic smile can help you conquer the world with confidence. However, teeth don’t always last a lifetime. So, you may find yourself considering tooth replacement options down the road.

Dentures are among the top teeth replacement options for people who’ve lost two or more teeth. Every dentist in St. Petersburg would advise you to have a missing tooth replaced as soon as possible. Not only will it restore both the aesthetic and functional roles of your teeth, but it will also save you from experiencing more severe dental issues.

Types of Dentures Your Dentist May Recommend

  • Full dentures – Are used when the patient has lost all of the teeth. They consist of a removable lower and upper arch with a row of porcelain or acrylic made teeth. 
  • Partial dentures – Can be used to replace either the lower or upper arch of teeth. They work better for people who haven’t lost all of their teeth.
  • Implant-supported dentures – These dentures are often used with patients who have only lost some of their teeth. A thin metal bar with posts attached to it is implanted onto your jawbone, right under your gums. Once your gums heal, a denture is clipped onto the posts.

Best Benefits of Dentures

If you are missing two or more teeth, you may be a suitable candidate for dentures, so contact 4th Street Family Dentistry today for a consultation. It may be the first step between you and a strong, healthy set of teeth.   

They Prevent Bone Loss

When your natural teeth are firmly implanted in your jaw, they constantly stimulate the jawbone, keeping it in a state of perpetual regeneration at a cellular level. When teeth are lost and aren’t replaced, the jawbone doesn’t receive stimulation, and as time passes, the process of constant regeneration will stop and reverse, resulting in bone loss. Over time, more and more of your jawbone will be lost, eventually resulting in changes in your face’s shape.

Restores the Function of the Teeth

Although teeth serve an aesthetic purpose, their greatest role is functional. They enable you to bite and chew your food. This ability is compromised once you have gaps in your teeth. All types of dentures are designed to look and work like the real thing, and once they are installed, you’ll be able to eat your food with ease. 

They Improve Your Speech

When you speak, your tongue pushes against the back of the teeth to help you make the right sounds and speak properly. If you have one or more missing teeth, you may find it hard to pronounce certain words, leading to self-consciousness and difficulty speaking with others. With dentures, your tongue will have an adequate surface to push against, allowing you to speak clearly and confidently.

They Restore Your Appearance and Give You Confidence

A clean, bright smile is a major confidence booster. Additionally, your teeth prevent your lips and cheeks from collapsing inwards. With gaps in your teeth, you may feel self-conscious. Dr. Kristina Neda, a dentist in Georgetown, KY, says that most of her patients opt for dentures because of how great the transformation is.

You Will Have Fewer Diet Restrictions with Dentures

If you are missing most or all of your teeth, the number of foods you can comfortably eat is severely limited. Not only will this impact the quality of life you lead, but it may also affect your health if you aren’t getting enough nutrients. With dentures, the range of food you can comfortably bite and chew. So, you’ll be able to eat a diverse, healthy, and balanced diet without much pain or frustration.

Dentures Protect Your Remaining Teeth from Extensive Wear and Tear

If you still haven’t lost all of your teeth but do not undergo restorative dentistry, your remaining teeth will take on way too much stress. Dr. Chris Green, a cosmetic dentist in Parker, CO, says that handling a load that was meant for 32 teeth will cause your remaining teeth to wear down faster over time. With a well-fitted set of dentures, the load will be spread evenly among your teeth, sparing your teeth from too much wear and tear and extending their lifetimes.

As you can see, there are so many benefits of dentures! If you have lost all or most of your teeth, dentures may be the best solution for you. Statistics show that at least 48 million Americans are missing all of their teeth, so you’re not alone. Search “St. Pete dentist near me” to see whether dentures can work for you. They are great at restoring tooth aesthetics and functionality, and they will ultimately prevent bone loss and preserve the structure of your face. Contact 4th Street Family Dental today for a consultation.

Dentures FAQ: St. Pete Dentist

dentures FAQ - 4th Street Family Dentistry

Dentures FAQ

Whether you need full dentures or partial dentures, 4th Street Family Dentistry can help. Restorative dentistry can help drastically improve your day to day life. We also understand that you may have plenty of questions about this next step on your oral healthcare journey. Dr. Brian Leeson hears all manner of questions from his patients who can benefit from dentures. In this article, Dr. Leeson answers dentures FAQ asked questions that might set your mind at ease about the dentures that can help restore your smile.

Do Dentures Look Fake?

Perhaps in years past, dentures looked incredibly fake. Today, your dentures can be designed to closely resemble natural teeth. Those around you will be hard-pressed to figure out that you’re wearing dentures unless you tell them. Just as you’d experience with crowns fitted by a cosmetic dentist, partial dentures can be matched to your surrounding natural teeth so that you get a perfectly seamless smile that you’ll be proud of.

What is the Dentures Process Like?

With standard dentures, it can take several weeks and a few appointments. Impressions will be taken, molds will be built, and several fittings will be needed to ensure a comfortable fit and a normal bite.

The process can vary between individuals, so it’s important to speak to your St. Pete dentist about the steps that may apply to you and your oral healthcare needs.

What Type of Dentures Can I Benefit From?

This is a highly individualized process. You may benefit from just a partial denture, or you may be better suited for a full set of dentures. You may be a good candidate for affixed dentures, or you may be better suited for removal dentures. Dr. Kristina Neda, a dentist who offers dentures in Georgetown, KY, says that what works for you will be based entirely on your personal preferences, budget, and the health of your teeth and gums.

How Do I Take Care of My Dentures?

Your dentures should be treated just like your natural teeth. Whether they are affixed or removable, you should brush them and use a quality mouthwash. This will help keep your dentures in tip-top shape and go a long way toward keeping them fresh and clean. Fresh breath is a must, and brushing your dentures after every meal will help you ensure that your breath is always minty fresh.

Do Dentures Hurt?

When you meet with the best dentist in St. Petersburg, FL, Dr. Brian Leeson, you’ll find that we take steps to ensure your comfort levels are maintained at every step of the process. If you need to have some natural teeth extracted before getting your dentures, you may experience some discomfort. It should not be overly painful, however.

Getting fitted for your dentures should offer mild discomfort at the most. Restorative dentist in Shreveport, LA, Dr. Ben Kacos, says there may be some minor irritation when you first wear your new dentures. This should fade quite soon, as your mouth adjusts to wearing the dentures.

If you experience anything more than irritation or discomfort, remember to reach out to your dentist so that we can find a solution to boost your comfort levels and minimize pain.

Will Dentures Change the way I Speak?

Missing teeth will alter the way that you sound when you speak. Wearing partial or complete dentures can help to improve your speech. If you do find that it’s difficult to pronounce some words when you’re wearing your new denture appliance, simply practice saying the words out loud. Repeating the words will help you to better accustom to saying them. If you find that you sound different from your new dentures in the first few days, don’t get discouraged. It just takes a bit of time to adjust to speaking with your new smile.

Am I a Candidate for Dentures?

Any person who is missing one or more teeth can benefit from some type of dental prosthetic. Partial dentures are important for those who have just a few teeth missing, as they can help keep your remaining healthy teeth from shifting around in your mouth. Dentures will improve your speech, your ability to chew and enjoy food. Also, they will provide facial support, which can go a long way toward improving your smile and your overall appearance. 

Are you ready to learn more about how you may benefit from dentures? Visit your dentist near me, Dr. Leeson, to understand the health of your teeth and your gums. If you have questions about the dentures FAQ above, contact 4th Street Dentistry. You may even be a good candidate for implant-supported dentures. 4th Street Family Dentistry can also serve as the go-to emergency dentist St. Pete patients turn to when there are dental emergencies.

Must-Knows About Dental Crowns

must-knows about dental crowns

Must-Knows About Dental Crowns

You may have undergone root canal therapy recently, or you may have teeth that are severely worn down. These and other conditions may have led your dentist in St. Petersburg FL to recommend you get a dental crown. However, you are hesitant because you have limited information about these restorations. Here is a brief guide on everything you need to know about dental crowns so that you can make an informed decision about the suitability of these restorations for your needs.

Dental Crowns Defined

A tooth can be divided into two main parts. The first part that is visible below the gum line in upper teeth and above the gum line in lower teeth is called the crown. The second part, hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root of the tooth.

A dental crown is a restoration that covers most or all of the visible parts of your tooth. Dr. Brian Leeson, who performs cosmetic dentistry in St. Petersburg FL, points out that dental crowns may also be called dental caps.

Terms Associated with Crowns

The Margin. A margin refers to the edge of a dental crown that comes in contact with a tooth that has been prepared for this restoration. Dentists in St. Petersburg FL say that margins have to be smooth and devoid of ledges so they can sit firmly on the tooth.

Cusps. These are the pointed segments on the teeth that tear and chew food. A dental crown is necessary to repair a tooth whose cusps have been damaged due to root canal therapy or a fracture.

Crown Preparation. This refers to the design made of a tooth once that tooth has been shaved to create room for a dental crown. Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport LA, asserts that the extent to which a tooth is prepared depends on several factors. Some of these factors include the extent to which the tooth is damaged and the material the dental crown will be fabricated with.

Temporary or Provisional Crown. As the name suggests, this is a crown that is designed to be used for a short time. This is during the time when the permanent crown is being made by a dental lab. However, practitioners of cosmetic dentistry in St. Petersburg FL may deliberately leave a temporary crown in place for an extended duration. This would be the case if you have tooth pain and the dentist wants to leave that provisional crown until the pain subsides.

When Would You Need a Dental Crown?

The experts at 4th Street Family Dentistry point out that many situations warrant the use of a crown to restore a tooth. The examples below show some of those situations.

When You Get a Large Filling. St. Pete dentists normally recommend a crown if you require a filling that covers at least half of the width of your tooth. A crown is necessary in this case because what is left of your natural tooth is normally so weak that it is likely to fracture. A crown restores strength to such a tooth.

Root Canal Therapy. After a root canal treatment, what is left of your tooth is likely to become brittle and fracture after the infected or dead tissue inside the tooth is cleaned out. To maintain the structural integrity of your tooth, Dr. Leeson will recommend a dental crown to be placed immediately after the root canal procedure.

Excessive Tooth Wear. Many factors, such as bruxism and GERD (gastrointestinal acid reflux), can cause teeth to be worn down excessively. As the teeth wear down, they become shorter and the best way to get them back to their normal size is by visiting 4th Street Family Dentistry to have crowns placed on those teeth.

Undesirable Appearance. If you are unhappy about the appearance of your teeth (due to discoloration, shape or gaps, for example), you may need dental crowns to fix those imperfections. Alternatively, the St. Pete dentist may opt for veneers as a better way to fix the cosmetic dental problems you face.

Steps to Getting Dental Crowns

First, the team at 4th Street Family Dentistry will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. When the anesthesia kicks in, Dr. Brian Leeson will shave down the tooth in order to make space for the crown.

Thereafter, the 4th Street Family Dentistry team will take an impression of the tooth using a digital scanner or a putty-like mold. This mold, together with the shade picked from a color guide, will be sent to a lab so that your customized crown can be fabricated.

Before you leave the dental office, the dental care team will place temporary crowns on the prepared teeth. This is so the prepared surfaces can be preserved and your teeth can be safeguarded from damage while you wait for the permanent crowns.

About two weeks later, you will be contacted by 4th Street Family Dentistry to return for your second visit. This is when the permanent crowns will be placed. During this visit, Dr. Leeson will remove the temporary crowns and replace them with permanent ones. Next, Dr. Leeson will inspect these crowns to confirm they fit well, have smooth margins, and don’t cause any bite problems. A special light is then used to cure the permanent cement used to attach the crown to your tooth.

Is the Procedure Painful?

The local anesthetic used as a crown is placed on your tooth ensures that the process is pain-free. When the anesthesia wears off, you may feel some discomfort. However, that can be alleviated with the pain medication prescribed by your dentist in St. Petersburg FL. You can then start enjoying the benefits of your brand new crown.

Still Have Questions?

Contact 4th Street Family Dentistry today and get answers to all your questions. Our experienced staff will go through all your options and recommend the best way to treat any dental issues you may have to achieve the smile of your dreams.