Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry
At Pinellas Family Dental, we provide the full range of restorative and cosmetic procedures. Our goal is to provide you with the finest quality restorations that will meet your satisfaction for many years to come, in both their function and appearance.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one esthetic concern of most patients, we offer both in-office tooth whitening and take home whitening kits. In-office whitening with the Zoom! light, provides fast results. The most popular method is a relatively inexpensive home tooth-whitening kit that will whiten teeth dramatically over a few applications. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.
Gone are the days when patients always had to go to the orthodontist to straighten their teeth. We offer both Invisalign and ClearCorrect aligner technology. With either of these systems, we can straighten your teeth using a series of clear, removable aligners that are customized for your mouth and treatment plan. Each aligner moves your teeth just a little bit at a time until you eventually get straight teeth. The aligners are not more expensive than traditional braces and are easily popped in and out of your mouth for eating, drinking, and cleaning your teeth.
We use composite (tooth colored) filling to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, and wear. Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of your existing teeth, and once they are done, you will not see that your tooth was filled. If you are esthetically concerned about older metal fillings or if metal free dentistry is one of your objectives, we can remove your old metal fillings and replace them with composite. Composite fillings are very durable and will last many years, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful restoration.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and function. When crowns are cemented into place, they fully encase the visible part of the tooth that is above the gum line. Crowns can be made of all porcelain, porcelain fused to gold, porcelain fused to zirconium, or all gold. The best crown material is often determined by the forces of your bite and esthetic considerations. Porcelain crowns appear totally natural and can be color matched to your surrounding teeth. We may recommend tooth whitening to remove stains on your natural teeth prior to shade-matching your new porcelain crown. Many times a provisional (temporary) crown is made to cover a tooth, while a stronger, totally natural-looking crown is made in a dental lab. Because the enamel of the original tooth has to be completely removed for a crown, our dentists prefer to do a more conservative porcelain onlay or porcelain veneer restoration when possible.
A dental veneer is a very thin piece of durable, tooth-shaped porcelain that is bonded onto the front of a tooth. Veneers are often a treatment option for creating a cosmetically beautiful smile when teeth are slightly crooked, misshapen, not of uniform color and size, severely discolored or permanently stained, too large or too small, spaced unevenly leaving space between teeth, worn or chipped. No anesthesia is required during the procedure because the front faces of the teeth are only lightly buffed to allow for the thickness of the veneer. A mold or impression of the teeth is taken and the veneers are custom made for you in the lab. After fabrication of the veneers, they are bonded on your teeth. We carefully shape your veneers to provide for optimal function and lasting results.
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay, infection or injury. In order to stop pain and save the tooth, the pulp (living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed. The empty root canals are filled with medicated dental materials and a crown is placed to restore the tooth to full function. The signs and symptoms of tooth root infection or injury include severe toothache pain, sensitivity to hot and cold, and swelling, tenderness or abscess on the gum tissue surrounding the tooth.
If you have one or more teeth that require extraction, we con perform the procedure in-house. You will not need to go to an outside specialist.
Replacement of Missing Teeth
There are multiple ways of replacing missing teeth. All treatment options will be discussed with you and a treatment plan will be created with you that takes into consideration your objectives and oral health circumstances. We want you to be fully informed about the functional and esthetic considerations of each method, as well as the procedure and cost involved so you can make the choice that is most appropriate for you.
A fixed dental bridge is a non-removable appliance used to replace missing teeth. A traditional fixed bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth and one or more prosthetic teeth that are suspended between the two crowns. Porcelain dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years. They provide more stability than a removable bridge but are not as stable as prosthetic teeth placed on dental implants.
A removable bridge (partial denture) is designed so it can be removed by you for cleaning. It is held in place by clasps but is not as stable as a fixed bridge or prosthetic teeth placed on dental implants.
Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing on an upper or lower arch. This type of denture fits over your entire gum tissue on the upper or lower arch. Many patients have the few remaining teeth they have extracted and then use an over-denture for eating, speaking and smiling. Because over-dentures can slip, causing irritation and social ill ease, more and more patients are choosing to have their complete dentures stabilized on a few mini-implant posts.
Dental implants are the recommended standard of treatment today for the replacement of missing teeth. The anchors placed in the jawbone receive a post on which your prosthetic tooth or bridge are placed with resulting stable retention. Oftentimes over-dentures can be retained on four or more small implants. These artificial tooth roots are usually made of titanium but when metal-free dentistry is a primary objective of the patient, there is a ceramic zirconium option.
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable so they last many years. The benefits include:
- One or more missing teeth can be replaced without affecting adjacent teeth.
- Restoring missing teeth with dental implants resolves joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
- They provide the opportunity for having a “fixed” prosthetic tooth, bridge or denture that is immobile and does not have to be removed to be cleaned. This is more functionally stable and comfortable. So comfortable, you may come to think of your prosthetic teeth as your own natural ones.
- Dental implants restore fully functioning chewing, digestion, and speech. There is no slipping or discomfort. You will be able to eat all the foods you enjoy.
- Dental implants restore a confident smile and can restore or enhance facial features.
Dental implant therapy requires a number of visits. X-rays and impressions are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for the implant(s). While the area is numb, the implant anchor(s) will be surgically placed by an oral into the bone and then time will be allowed for the bone to heal around the anchor(s). Depending on the type of implant, a second minor surgery may be required to place the post that will hold the artificial tooth on the anchor. With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time. The prosthetic tooth, teeth, bridge or over-denture are custom fabricated and fitted to the post portion of the anchors after the healing period. Once these artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, they provide excellent stability and function like real teeth.
In some cases, the area of bone to receive the implant needs augmentation via a bone grafting procedure and/or sinus augmentation. In some cases, the soft gum tissue at the site of the implant may need augmentation. Your dentist at Pinellas Family Dentistry will examine you in collaboration with a specialist, and together they will plan your treatment for best health, function and esthetics. You will be fully informed about the treatment, options and costs, so you can make an informed decision that brings you happiness for years to come.
Cosmetic Periodontal Procedures
Crown lengthening and gum grafts are procedures available for recontouring gum tissue around teeth to create a more symmetrical and beautiful smile. These are performed by our in-house periodontist, Dr. Paul Bivens.
Crown lengthening is usually performed to correct a gummy smile or to expose more of a tooth. It is an excellent way to remove excess gum tissue and create a fuller attractive smile.
Gum grafts also are used to repair receding gum tissue and cover roots after periodontal disease has been treated.