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Comprehensive Care - FAQs

  1. What is aesthetic and restorative dentistry? As the term implies, restorative dentistry focuses on solutions that truly restore comfort and function for the long term as compared to short-term crisis-oriented repairs. In restorative dentistry the aesthetic component is always an important consideration in planning the outcome.
  2. What problems can aesthetic and restorative dentistry address? With proper study and planning, virtually any dental circumstance can be addressed with an eye toward enhanced comfort, function and aesthetics. Proper application of today's dental technology can yield results thought to be miracles just a few years ago.
  3. What makes a good aesthetic and restorative dentistry? A good aesthetic and restorative dentist understands that long lasting cosmetic enhancements are derived from an abiding respect for the physiologic environment in which they must function.
  4. What can be done if I have stained or discolored teeth? Depending upon your circumstance the solutions range from simple bleaching, porcelain or composite veneers, full coverage crowns or even a combination of all three.
  5. What if I don't like the excessive or uneven display of my gums? Soft tissue re-contouring or minor orthodontics can very effectively reestablish the symmetry of the gum line and, in cases where the color of the teeth is already acceptable, the teeth themselves may require no additional treatment.
  6. What if I have missing teeth? Missing teeth destabilize bite relationships and lead to tooth drift and even eventual tooth loss. To overcome this problem, the use of implant supported replacements, fixed bridges, orthodontics, or removable prosthetic replacements can provide the solution.
  7. I have crooked teeth but I don't want to wear braces. Are there other options? Very often the use of removable orthodontic appliances (which can be worn part time) can provide an answer. The judicious use of full coverage crowns or veneers can also be utilized to generate a more orderly appearance.
  8. What can you tell me about amalgam (silver) fillings? Amalgam fillings were the standard for restorative care for decades and they are very serviceable repairs for minor decay. Bonded composite resin is a much superior restorative material and has been the standard in my office for the past twenty years. I rarely find the need to use amalgam.
  9. What can be done about uncomfortable dentures? There are so many variables that can lead to discomfort in denture wear that the cause must be examined and uncovered before a specific recommendation can be made in this regard. Yet, there are solutions.
  10. What is full mouth rehabilitation? In general usage the term full mouth rehabilitation was applied to those plans of treatment in which virtually every tooth received some form of reconstruction or restoration. In truth, every single restorative case should be evaluated comprehensively so that even the most minor reconstruction incorporates the correction of any factor that would enhance long-term oral health.
  11. What is neuromuscular dentistry and can it relieve headaches or TMJ (temperomandibular joint) pain? Most TMJ pain is actually pain in the muscles associated with movement of the lower jaw and the pain is derived from bite imbalances that lead to muscular imbalance. Neuromuscular dentistry addresses those bite discrepancies and corrects them.
  12. What is bonding? Bonding, sometimes called adhesive dentistry, is the use of restorative materials that bond to healthy tooth structure. Bonding can be utilized in virtually every type of restoration yielding very aesthetic results, reducing sensitivity, and improving appearance.
  13. How long will bonding last? Bonding is typically very durable, though thermal cycling (alternating hot and cold foods or drinks) can eventually weaken the bond and require rebonding.
  14. What is cosmetic contouring and what can it do for me? Cosmetic contouring refers to the reshaping of enamel surfaces to create a more pleasing appearance without altering the functional components of tooth surfaces.
  15. What are implants and who needs them? Implants have become a highly predictable method of replacing missing teeth and they are also frequently used to replace teeth that have become terminally infected with periodontal disease.
  16. What is a bridge? Like implants, a bridge is utilized to replace missing teeth and to restabilize bite relationships, though a bridge attaches to teeth adjacent to missing teeth whereas an implant stands on its own.
  17. Silver fillings are too visible; what are my other options? Bonded composite resin or bonded porcelain restorations yield highly aesthetic results and are often literally undetectable.
  18. What is a composite restoration? Composites are non-metallic resins that are tooth colored and bonded to healthy tooth structure to restore areas of decay or structural breakdown.
  19. What are veneers? As opposed to full coverage crowns that cover the entire visible surface of a tooth, veneers are partial coverage restorations typically designed to restore facial surfaces for enhanced appearance.
  20. What is the difference between direct or indirect veneers? Direct veneers are composite resin built up directly on the tooth at chairside. Indirect veneers are fabricated in a laboratory setting following the preparation of teeth to receive them, meaning that some form of provisional restoration is worn while the indirect veneers are being fabricated. Both are bonded to the treated teeth.
  21. My teeth are too short; can I make them longer? Any such alteration of tooth structure is a procedure mat must be studied on mounted diagnostic models on the teeth and jaws in order to determine precisely what physiologic possibilities exist.
  22. Is laser dentistry truly painless? In today's world many dental procedures are painless thanks to high speed equipment and technologies such as lasers. However, there is no technology that totally eliminates the use of local anesthetics.
  23. Which is better; in-office bleaching or at-home bleaching? While in-office bleaching is rapid it does not tend to produce the same longevity as at-home bleaching simply because when done at home the bleach stays in contact with the tooth surface longer. At-home bleaching is also considerably more economical.

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Larry E. Landers, D.D.S 155 College Street, Suite 2 Macon, Georgia 31201 Ph: 478-741-3688 Fax: 478-741-0912
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