Dental Services in Eagan, MN
A dental cleaning is a procedure performed by your dentist or a dental hygienist. Dental cleanings take about 45 minutes and should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. If left untreated, plaque can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A typical cleaning involves removing excessive plaque and we also polish your teeth to brighten your smile.
Sealants are utilized to fill slim grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing your teeth. In some instances, the enamel of your tooth can have fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, maybe not because the individual doesn’t clean, but because they’re too slim to enable even one bristle into them. To avoid cavities developing over time, the dentist will apply a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to remove all the plaque on the tooth and keep your teeth healthy.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that’s matched to the color of your tooth enamel, to the front of your tooth. This procedure might be performed because of tooth decay, or to alter the tooth alignment, remove gaps between teeth, or for other cosmetic purposes.
Initially, the area of the enamel surface is roughened. Next, a gel is used so the resin will stick to the area of the enamel. Then a composite is put on the enamel and the bonding agent is hardened using an intense light. Finally, the dentist will shape and polish the bonding material to give a lustrous finish.
When tooth decay causes tooth damage, a filling is used to bring the tooth back to its previous shape and function. If you have a tooth needing a filling, the dentist will first remove the decay on the tooth, then clean the decayed area, and then apply a filling material to the tooth to remove the cavity created by the decay. Fillings help prevent future decay in the area, but also can be used to close any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter and develop further decay.
The filling material can vary including plastic, porcelain, silver, and gold. You and your dentist will discuss what material will work best for your particular situation, depending on the extent of repair needed, wherein the filling will be located, and cost. Descriptions of various fillings:
- Silver fillings, called Amalgam, are a less expensive choice than gold and are well tolerated in your mouth. However, because of their darker color, they are more noticeable than say porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in the front teeth.
- Plastic resins known as composite resins are made to the exact color of your specific natural tooth color, providing a more natural appearance.
- Gold fillings are custom made in a laboratory to ensure exact tooth shape and size and then cemented into place. Gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many dentists consider it the best filling material. Gum tissues tolerate gold very well and the filling may last more than 20 years.
- Fillings that are called inlays or onlays are made of porcelain. These fillings are also custom created in a lab and are then bonded to the tooth. Porcelain can be matched to the exact color of the tooth; they resist staining but are about the same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration typically covers most of the tooth, making the filling almost undetectable.
A crown or “cap” will be used if the decay or a fracture has caused significant damage to a large portion of the tooth. Decay that has reached the tooth nerve may need to be treated through a root canal procedure or through a procedure called pulp capping.