Our Dental Blog

Posts for tag: restorative dentistry

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
July 02, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

No one wants to lose a tooth, but it happens. Maybe it's that tooth that had multiple fillings, two root canals, and then, it just failed. Or, a cardental implants accident knocked out a tooth, and your dentist could not save it. Whatever the reason for your smile gaps, dental implants can address them with lifelike appearance and outstanding oral function. Dr. Carol Cunningham places dental implants at Gentle Art of Dentistry in Decatur, IL.

The amazing dental implant

It really is wonderful because this artificial tooth offers numerous benefits which other tooth replacements cannot. Placed directly into a patient's jaw bone, one or more dental implants:

  • Restore normal biting and chewing
  • Protect the size and density of bone and gum tissue
  • Look just like the real thing
  • Feel just like the real thing
  • Last for decades
  • Rarely need replacement
  • Do not need anchorage to adjoining natural teeth

How can a dental implant consisting of a titanium screw, metal post, and porcelain crown do all that? The secret operative is a natural process called osseointegration.

Research shows that human bone is attracted to the titanium metal in the implant. After implant surgery, the bone adheres to the device, creating an immovable foundation for the rest of the artificial tooth. Only a healthy natural tooth is stronger than a dental implant, and osseointegration practically guarantees success, says the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

Dental implants are versatile

As sad as it is, sometimes people lose more than one tooth. Accidental loss, gum disease, and decay rob people of the smiles which once made them feel confident in their appearance, speech, and ability to bite and chew.

Dr. Cunningham in Decatur carefully evaluates her patients who have lost teeth. Visual inspection and X-rays tell her if a patient has enough jaw bone to accept one or multiple implants as needed. Yes, today's implants, placed in strategic locations in the jaw bone, can accept prosthetics such as fixed bridgework or even a full set of dentures.

Keeping implants healthy

Recent dental implants have rougher surfaces than earlier devices. This roughness speeds osseointegration which is key to implant success.

Also, proper hygiene is key--daily and meticulous flossing around implant sites and twice daily brushing with a low abrasive toothpaste keeps gums pink and intact.

Finally, what you put in your mouth determines implant health. Eat a low-carb, high-fiber diet, and drink plenty of water every day. Also, avoid tobacco--both the smokeless variety and cigarettes, too. Tobacco contains toxins which harm gums, and the heat from cigarette smoke actually burns soft oral tissues and degrades underlying bone.

You'll love your dental implant

So lifelike, comfortable, and functional, the dental implant helps millions of people regain their smiles. For an implant consultation with Dr. Cunningham, please call her office in Decatur, IL, at (217) 422-7448.

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
December 11, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

You know your tooth should feel and look better, too. Maybe it's chipped or it has undergone a root canal procedure. Why not ask your dental crownsdentist, Dr. Carol Cunningham, at Gentle Art of Dentistry for help? Trust her years of experience in premiere restorative dentistry. She may offer you a great option to restore your tooth--a dental crown.

Give your tooth a second chance

Plenty of life's situations compromise the health of a tooth--trauma from a fall, deep decay, infection and even congenital defect. Your first impulse may be to pull the tooth and replace it. However, Dr. Cunningham and her professional colleagues would rather spare the tooth to avoid smile gaps that affect oral function and personal appearance.

Visual inspection, X-rays and expertise tell your dentist if a tooth can be crowned. What's a dental crown? it's a tooth-shaped restoration that covers remaining healthy tooth structure. Made according to oral impressions, a crown can protect and strengthen a failing tooth, preserving it for years.

The crown procedure

It's simple and comfortable. Dr. Cunningham uses local anesthetic to make the area around the tooth numb. She then prepares and shapes the remaining structure to accept the crown and also takes oral impressions. Oral impressions help the dental lab accurately craft the crown.

Patients wear a temporary cap while they wait for the permanent restoration to return from the lab. When it's ready, Dr. Cunningham removes the temporary cap and bonds on the new crown. Most crowns are so accurately crafted that they match in color, fit and bite right away with little to no adjustment.

The lifespan of a crown

Dental crowns made of porcelain or porcelain fused to metal in Decatur last about a decade or more. Dr. Cunningham asks her patients to floss around their restorations daily and also to brush twice a day according to guidelines set by the American Dental Association.

She also asks patients to come to Gentle Art of Dentisry twice yearly for cleanings and check-ups. Being gentle with a crown helps it last, too. For example, wear a bite guard if you grind your teeth, and avoid chewing extra-hard foods such as peanut brittle, taffy and ice cubes.

A final word...

Crowns have been around since the early twentieth century. Their application has widened over the years to include restoration of dental implants and supporting fixed bridgework. Some crowns even may be crafted in one dental visit.

So if you'd like to keep that worrisome tooth, look into a dental crown from Decatur, IL dentist, Dr. Carol Cunningham. Call the office today for your convenient appointment: (217) 422-7448.

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
June 02, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

How dental implants from Decatur can restore your smile.dental implants

If you are haunted by an incomplete smile because you have lost teeth, there is a solution. If you have a difficult time eating the foods you love because you are missing teeth, there is a solution. The solution is dental implants! Dental implants are the modern, state-of-the-art way to bring back the smile you’ve lost. Dr. Carol Cunningham at Gentle Art of Dentistry in Decatur, IL, wants to introduce you to restoring your smile with dental implants.

If you are missing teeth, there are conventional treatments like bridges, partials, and dentures, but all of these treatments have one thing in common: they may not look or feel as natural as your own teeth. Dental implants are the most natural-looking tooth replacement available. In fact, they are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. There are many other reasons why dental implants are the treatment of choice for missing teeth. Consider these important facts about dental implants:

  • Dental implants are stable and won’t move around because they are firmly embedded in bone
  • Dental implants can help your overall health and are easy to care for because you can brush and floss them just like your natural teeth.
  • Dental implants are long-lasting and can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance
  • Dental implants can’t decay or stain like natural teeth can, and this makes them much more easy to maintain.

Dental implants are highly successful with a success rate of over 95 percent, according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Dental implants are a conservative treatment because only the implant space is treated, not the teeth around the implant.

Dental implant treatment begins with a simple in-office procedure to place the implant screw. After a healing period, the implant screw is capped with a beautiful implant crown. To find out more about the dental implant procedure, please visit the dental implants page on the website at http://www.gentleartofdentistry.com/dental-implants.html.

To find out more about dental implants and other dental treatments, call Dr. Cunningham at Gentle Art of Dentistry in Decatur, IL. Don’t be haunted by your missing teeth, check out dental implants by calling today!