At Fallston Dental Care, we care about the health of your teeth, gums and jaw joints, and our doctors are committed to helping you achieve and maintain optimal dental comfort, function and appearance. Whether you need a crown, a bridge, dentures, implants, a root canal or treatment for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, we can help you transform your oral health.
To restore a tooth’s shape, appearance and function after a root canal – or in the case of a large fracture or cavity, broken cusp or excessive wear – our doctors can place a dental crown to cover the damaged tooth. Crowns strengthen the tooth and protect it from breakage.
If you need a crown, you’ll visit us for two appointments. At the first, we’ll remove any areas of decay and shape the tooth to accept the crown. We’ll also take an impression of the tooth and place a temporary crown. At your next visit, we will cement your permanent crown – made of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy, ceramic or gold – in place.
If you’ve lost some or all of your natural teeth from gum disease, tooth decay or trauma, dentures can improve your appearance and your health. Well-fitting dentures can make eating and speaking easier, fill out your facial appearance and make you feel more confident.
If you’ve lost teeth or have loose teeth, our doctors will examine your mouth and determine which teeth need to be removed. We will extract the damaged teeth and fit your dentures over or around your remaining teeth. Fallston Dental Care offers both complete and partial dentures.
Complete dentures are used when all teeth are missing or removed. There are two types – conventional and immediate.
- Conventional dentures are made after damaged teeth have been removed. These dentures are placed once the gum tissue has begun to heal, about eight to 12 weeks after tooth removal.
- Immediate dentures are made in advance and can be placed as soon as damaged teeth are removed. The disadvantage of immediate dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process, as bones and gums shift or shrink. They are often a temporary solution until conventional dentures are made. Each type is removable.
Partial dentures are removable sections of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored base. The partial denture is made from a metal framework of clasps or attachments that connect the base to the natural teeth.
There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, but normal function and appearance will be restored soon after placement. Dentures require daily care and regular check-ups. Your doctor can provide more information.
If you’re missing one tooth or several, and you’re looking for a more permanent solution that looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth, we offer dental implants.
An implant is a prosthetic tooth on a titanium shaft attached to the jawbone with a screw. While more involved than dentures, implants don’t need to be removed and can last a lifetime. Each implant is placed individually, so if one does sustain damage, it can be removed and replaced individually.
If you choose a dental implant, your doctor will surgically implant the shaft into your bone. The bone will grow around it, forming a tight connection and slowing or stopping bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set, we will attach the replacement tooth on top of the shaft. This permanent solution does not stress surrounding teeth for support.
Implants can also be used as support for a bridge, an alternative to partial dentures. And, we also offer mini dental implants. About half the diameter of traditional implants (and half the cost), they are used to stabilize lower dentures. Talk to your doctor to see which option is right for you.
Root Canal Treatment
If you’ve had deep decay, repeated dental procedures, large fillings, a crack or chip, or trauma affecting a tooth, the dental pulp – made up of nerves and blood vessels – may be damaged or infected. Signs include a severe toothache, prolonged sensitivity, tooth discoloration and/or gum swelling. Bacteria and damaged pulp remnants can lead to an abscess – a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of a tooth’s root; more widespread infection; swelling of the face, neck or head; bone loss and other complications. To prevent these problems, your doctor can perform root canal treatment.
Your doctor will first take an X-ray of your tooth to see the shape of the root canal (pulp-filled cavity) and determine if there are signs of infection in the surrounding bone. Then, he or she will use local anesthesia to numb the area and drill an access hole in the tooth. During the root canal treatment, your doctor will remove the damaged pulp, bacteria and other debris with files and a disinfectant solution.
When the tooth is cleaned, your doctor will apply medication to clear any infection. At the same time or during a follow-up appointment, the root canal will be filled with a sealing paste and a filling and then a crown will be placed, if needed.
If you’ve lost a tooth or several teeth, or have had them extracted, a dental bridge can fill the gap with false teeth, supported by crowns placed over your natural teeth or implants. Bridges can help restore your smile, prevent other teeth from shifting, preserve your bite and help you to speak and chew naturally.
At Fallston Dental Care, we offer bridges made from gold alloy, porcelain bonded to metal alloy or ceramic material. Talk to your doctor about which type is best for you, based on the strength, durability and appearance you desire.
At your first appointment, your doctor will prepare your “anchor teeth,” and take impressions. Your crowns and bridge will be created in a lab, and you’ll receive a temporary bridge in the meantime. At your next appointment, your bridge will be placed, adjusted for a proper fit and bite, and cemented into place.
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull in front of each ear. You use this joint when you speak, chew and yawn. Problems with your jaw and its muscles are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). These problems can lead to earaches, headaches, difficulty or pain when opening and closing the mouth, jaw clicking or popping, and soreness in the jaw and facial muscles.
Treatment for TMD depend on the disorder’s cause. Your doctor will determine which treatment is right for you, based on your symptoms and coexisting dental issues – such as missing teeth, a misaligned bite, evidence of tooth clenching or grinding (bruxism) or arthritis.
If you tend to grind or clench your teeth at night, your doctor can create a plastic splint or night guard – molded to your upper or lower teeth – to keep them in the right position. Or, you may need crowns, bridges or braces to fill gaps in your teeth to properly align your bite. For others, simply controlling stress and giving the jaw muscles some rest by eating soft foods and avoiding extreme jaw movements can alleviate symptoms.