Having a tooth filled is a process most people have gone through at least once. However, if you had a tooth filled in the past, you may have a dark filling visible when you laugh or speak. Tooth-colored fillings, now available at your dentist’s office, allow you to restore your damaged or decayed teeth discreetly and without compromising the appearance of your smile. Find out more about tooth-colored fillings, what they are, and how they can benefit you with Dr. K. Michael Murphy, Dr. Alexandra Welzel, and Dr. Stephen Levy at Baltimore Uptown Dentist in Baltimore, MD.
What are tooth-colored fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings give your dentist the opportunity to restore your decayed tooth with composite resin materials which match your surrounding natural teeth. The process takes only minutes and almost always lasts less than an hour. Your dentist will remove the decayed parts of a tooth, then fill them back in with the resin material. Afterward, careful shaping with a dental drill and various bits allows your tooth to fit back into your smile’s bite correctly.
How can tooth-colored fillings benefit my smile?
Before tooth-colored fillings, restoring your decay-damaged teeth required that your dentist use darkly-colored materials like metal or amalgam to fill in the missing area of the tooth left behind by decay. This would cause a dark spot in the tooth, visible when patients would laugh or speak. Tooth-colored fillings eliminate this problem with the ability to be color-matched to the surrounding teeth, blending into the smile.
Do I need a filling?
As decay moves through a tooth, it eats away at the tooth’s enamel, leaving behind a hole, or cavity. Dentists remove this delayed portion of the tooth, which leaves behind a large piece of missing enamel, requiring filling materials to restore the tooth’s shape. If you have a cavity, chances are your dentist will fill it with a tooth-colored filling. Decay which has reached a tooth’s inner pulp chamber and infected the tooth’s nerve and soft tissue will require a more complex procedure called a root canal to clean the decay from inside the tooth.
Tooth-Colored Fillings in Baltimore, MD
Fillings are one of the most common dental procedures and most dentists perform several of them every day. If you think you could benefit from a tooth-colored filling, please contact Dr. K. Michael Murphy, Dr. Alexandra Welzel, and Dr. Stephen Levy at Baltimore Uptown Dentist in Baltimore, MD. Call (410) 235-1233 to schedule your appointment for a filling with your dentist today!
Do you miss your old smile? After tooth loss, it may seem like things will never be the same again. Fortunately, dentures can help restore your missing teeth and boost your self-confidence. Baltimore, MD, dentists Drs. K. Michael Murphy, Alexandra Welzel and Stephen Levy of K. Michael Murphy and Associates discuss denture options you'll want to consider.
Full dentures consist of a row of teeth attached to a pink base that resembles your gum tissue. The removable dentures rest against your gums and are held in place by suction and dental adhesive. Thanks to digital 3D impressions of your mouth, dentures fit better than ever today. The 3D technology allows a more precise fit, which prevents slipping and gum irritation. You'll receive full dentures after your mouth has healed completely following tooth extraction.
There's no need to wait for your mouth to heal when you wear immediate dentures. You receive the dentures as soon as your teeth are extracted in our Baltimore office. Prior to your extraction, an impression of your mouth will be made and sent to the prosthodontist who will create your dentures. Immediate dentures ease the transition to denture wear and enhance your appearance. Immediate dentures are often used as a temporary restoration. Once full healing takes place, they may be replaced with full dentures.
Partial dentures are an excellent solution if you've lost several teeth in a row. The removable dentures feature hooks that attach over teeth on either side of the gap.
Implant-supported dentures are the latest denture option. If you choose this type of restoration, small titanium posts will be placed in openings in your jawbone. The titanium implants bond to your bone, providing an exceptionally stable foundation for your dentures. Implant-supported dentures are connected to the implants via a metal framework. Although you may be replacing all of the teeth in your upper or lower jaw, you may only need as few as four implants per arch to anchor your dentures. Both removable and fixed implant-supported dentures are available. Implant-supported dentures are very comfortable, and unlike full or immediate dentures, don't reduce your biting power.
Restore your smile with dentures! Call Baltimore, MD, dentists Drs. K. Michael Murphy, Alexandra Welzel and Stephen Levy of K. Michael Murphy and Associates at (410) 235-1233 to schedule your appointment.
If your tooth is painful, cracked and discolored, you know it needs attention. Yet, you worry about what friends say about root canal therapy. Well, rest assured that Dr. K. Michael Murphy & Associates in Baltimore, MD perform comfortable root canals that cure infection, quell pain and preserve healthy tooth structure. Learn the signs you may need a root canal treatment and how your dentist performs it.
Your tooth is in trouble
If you exhibit the following oral symptoms, the health of your tooth is compromised and requires immediate attention:
- Bad breath
- Bad-tasting drainage
- Throbbing toothache
- Extreme dental sensitivity to temperature and pressure
- Tooth discoloration
- Visible chip or crack
- Jaw swelling
- Redness and/or a pimple at the gum line
Be sure to contact your dentist right away because your tooth likely requires immediate restoration.
So what is root canal therapy?
The American Association of Endodontists, dentists who specialize in root canal therapy, says that 15 million of these highly successful procedures save injured, infected or deeply decayed teeth annually. The principle is simple: remove the infected and injured interior tooth pulp and fill the tooth with an inert sealant called gutta percha. After it heals, place a porcelain crown over the tooth.
Could a root canal be that simple? Our dentists say that yes, it usually is. These experienced dentists evaluate their potential root canal patient with visual inspection of the tooth and with digital X-ray imaging. If a tooth is sufficiently intact, root canal therapy is a great option, sparing a damaged tooth from extraction and the many consequences associated with missing teeth (smile gaps, bone recession, poor chewing and more).
In a two- to three-visit procedure, your dentist will numb the tooth, drill an access hole and carefully remove the compromised interior pulp. This pulp contains blood vessels, connective tissue and nerves that are unnecessary to adult dental function.
Also, the dentist uses tiny metal files to debride the one to four canals inside the tooth roots. He or she instills antibiotics and fills the chambers with gutta percha. After a week or so, you return to Dr. K. Michael Murphy & Associates, and your doctor will cover your tooth with a beautifully lifelike crown. With routine dental hygiene at home and every visiting our officie six months for professional teeth cleanings, your restored tooth should last for the rest of your life.
Please contact us in Baltimore
Don't wait if you're concerned about a tooth. Give it the second chance it deserves. Contact Dr. K. Michael Murphy & Associates in Baltimore, MD right away. Quality, comfortable and compassionate care is their specialty. Call (410) 235-1233.
Like most people, you may think that your dentist only deals with repairing cavities, teeth cleanings, and other common dental issues. However, most dentists also specialize in other conditions more related to the jaw and neck than the teeth themselves. Sleep apnea, which can be potentially life-threatening, can be a scary diagnosis to receive. Luckily, your dentist can help you manage your sleep apnea with non-invasive dental appliances. Learn more about sleep apnea with Dr. Michael Murphy, Dr. Alexandra Welzel, and Dr. Stephen Levy at Baltimore Uptown Dentist in Baltimore, MD.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition affecting a patient’s breathing while they sleep. Though breathing is normal during awake hours, sleep apnea causes apneas, or pauses in breathing, during sleeping hours. The apneas occur due to one of three types of sleep apnea: obtrusive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), or a mixture of both, called mixed sleep apnea. OSA the more common version of this condition and occurs when an obtrusion blocks the airway. CSA occurs when the brain and lungs fail to communicate, causing apneas. Mixed sleep apnea occurs when a patient suffers from both OSA and CSA.
How can my dentist help with my sleep apnea?
While the most common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine worn while sleeping, it is not the only treatment. In more mild cases, your dentist may suggest a more conservative treatment called a dental appliance. Worn while sleeping, the appliance fits into the mouth and pulls the bottom jaw forward, eliminating the obstruction of the airway and allowing the patient to breathe normally.
Sleep Apnea Treatments in Baltimore, MD
Dental appliances come in all shapes and sizes. Your dentist is your best source of information for which style appliance will best work for your needs. If left untreated, sleep apnea can be a potentially life-threatening condition. If you notice that you snore excessively, wake during the night gasping or choking, suffer from insomnia, or awake feeling like you barely got any sleep at all, you should ask your dentist about sleep apnea and its treatments.
For more information on sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Murphy, Dr. Welzel, and Dr. Levy at Baltimore Uptown Dentist in Baltimore, MD. Call (410) 235-1233 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!
For those with badly shaped, stained or crooked teeth, veneers may be the answer. At K. Michael Murphy and Associates in Baltimore, MD, we improve teeth by covering their imperfections. These thin pieces of porcelain can change the color or shape of the teeth instantly.
About Veneers in Baltimore
Veneers are commonly used on uneven surfaces or unevenly spaced, crooked, chipped or discolored teeth. Little or no anesthesia is needed. They have a longer life expectancy and color stability than bonding and resist stains. They are made by a dental lab tech that works with a model provided by a dentist. They are irreversible as it is necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from the teeth to accommodate the veneers.
Veneers can mask defects such as injury, discolored fillings or other unsightly things. Patients with gaps in between their front teeth or those with worn or chipped teeth are great candidates for this cosmetic dentistry procedure. The veneer process requires a few appointments. First, diagnosis and treatment planning takes place, next preparation and lastly the bonding process. The teeth are lightly buffed in order to add the thickness of the veneer itself. A mold is taken of the teeth, which is sent to a lab to create the veneers.
During the bonding visit, the veneers are placed on the surface of the teeth. The fit and shade/color are checked too. A special cement is used with a laser to harden the material. A two-week adjustment period follows. After this period of time, a follow-up appointment occurs to make sure you are satisfied with your veneers.
To learn more about veneers in Baltimore, MD, schedule an appointment at our dental office by calling 410-235-1233 today.
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