Preventative Dentistry
Nearly all Americans will experience some form of tooth decay in their lifetimes. Untreated tooth decay progressively erodes the infected tooth and causes more serious problems. Since bacteria cause tooth decay, forgoing treatment risks spread to neighboring teeth, multiplying dental health issues. It is very important to remove the decay, clean the area, and restore the tooth with a filling.
To ensure overall oral health, missing or damaged teeth need to be replaced or restored.

Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are applied after tooth decay has been removed and the remaining tooth is cleaned. Instead of traditional silver fillings, composite fillings consist of a clear crystalline substance that is applied in layers and hardened with extremely bright light. Composite fillings offer several advantages:

• They look better than traditional fillings
• Their application is less intensive, which reduces the risk of tooth fracture
• Composite fillings bond directly to the tooth surface
• They are environmentally friendly; they contain no mercury

Crowns
Crowns, or 'caps', are used for restoring severely decayed or fractured teeth. First, the damaged portion of the tooth is removed. Then, a unique mold is taken and used to manufacture a crown out of gold or porcelain to fit the healthy remaining tooth structure almost perfectly. The crown is then fixed into place with special cement. Crowns provide the following benefits:

• They restore the tooth's original shape and size
• They help prevent decay from forming on the underlying tooth
• They add strength to the tooth's structure
• They are very durable

Crowns help prevent the need for root canals and tooth extraction by reducing the risk of tooth fracture and tooth decay.

Bridges
Bridges serve to replace one or more missing teeth. First, the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared to receive crowns. Then, a false tooth is attached between the two crowns. Once the crown-false tooth-crown combination is cemented into place, it 'bridges' the gap left by the missing tooth. Bridges offer several benefits:

• They look like new teeth
• They are a durable mouth fixture
• They prevent surrounding teeth from shifting to fill the gap
• They restore a more natural bite and chewing ability

For these reasons, bridges are a good investment compared to dentures. If a bridge is not possible, or the adjacent teeth don't need crowns, dental implants may be the best alternative.

Root Canal
In cases of severe damage or decay, the tooth's soft interior (housing the nerves and blood supply) may need to be removed. Root canals replace the infected interior –or 'pulp'- with a rubber-like substance that fills and seals the interior once it has been emptied. Following a root canal, the tooth most often must be crowned to prevent fracture. Root canal advantages include:

• Preventing tooth death and the need for extraction
• Relieving pain associated with tooth pulp infection
• Reducing discomfort caused by hot or cold liquids
• Stopping infection from spreading

A root canal can help prevent future tooth extraction and the need for more expensive bridge or tooth implant procedures.

Implants
Implants permanently replace missing teeth by surgical attachment to the jawbone. After the implant is installed, an artificial tooth is attached, effectively replacing the missing tooth. Because of required healing time, there is a delay between the implant surgery and the attachment of the artificial tooth. Implants provide several advantages over dentures and less permanent tooth replacement solutions:


• They are very durable, nearly undetectable, and the closest thing to real teeth
• They help prevent teeth from shifting to fill gaps
• They improve bite and chewing ability
• They prevent associated jaw joint issues
• They reduce the sunken look caused by missing teeth
• They can be used to anchor a bridge to natural teeth

While implants are more expensive than bridges and dentures, the long-term health benefits and a natural looking smile make them a smart long-term investment.
 







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Managing Stress to Reduce Bruxism
Bruxism is more common in people who are incredibly stressed out. They clench their teeth together, leaving the teeth and surrounding tissues to pay the price. If you have been struggling with jaw clenching, teeth grinding, or a lot of stress lately, then it may be a good time to think about strategies to cope with stress. Here are a few tips to help you keep your stress levels down.

Schedule What Parts of Your Life You Can
If you create a schedule for the parts of your life that do not often change, you will have more structure and feel like less things are coming up unexpectedly. This lets you plan better, manage time better, and reduce your overall stress. Put what days you know you need to go to the bank or store on the schedule, and plan your trips in the way that makes the most sense for giving yourself a sense of structure.

Evaluate Major Stressors in Your Life
Certain aspects of our lives may cause more stress than others, such as work, health, relationships, or finances. The amount of stress something causes may not always be constant, but if you are noticing a certain part of your life causing more stress lately, it may be time to evaluate that aspect and find ways to manage or avoid that stress.

Protect Your Teeth if You Can't Keep Your Stress Down Yet
One of the more common struggles people face is stress that is out of their hands. If you are currently experiencing this kind of stress, the best strategy is to protect your teeth. If you grind your teeth frequently, contact our office today, and we can discuss fitting you for a mouth guard to protect your teeth from the stress of clenching. This way your teeth stay safe even if life is still stressful.





Asai Dentistry | www.asaidentistry.com | 503-646-4600
11786 SW Barnes Road, Suite 340, Portland, OR 97225



 

 

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