PROS: If you are missing teeth and having trouble speaking or chewing, or are noticing strain when biting, bridges may be the ideal procedure to help make your mouth healthy and beautiful again. Bridges literally “bridge” gaps between teeth by filling them with strong, natural-looking artificial teeth. Bridges are semi-permanent – they can only be removed by a dentist – and are comfortable and proven to strengthen teeth. A good bridge can last many years.
CONS: Remember that even a good bridge can fail after years of service. The main downside to a bridge, is that if either tooth on the sides of the gap are mostly healthy, the crown preparation that must be done to make the area ready to receive the bridge can destroy a lot of healthy enamel compared to a dental implant option (if possible). A patient also has to floss under the bridge with special flossing aids compared to normal flossing around a dental implant. If the bridge fails, all 3 teeth are now involved vs a dental implant when the other teeth beside the gap aren’t usually affected.
If you’re looking for a convenient way to straighten your teeth without advertising the fact that you’re receiving orthodontic treatment, consider Invisalign™. Invisalign invisible braces are the most innovative method available to get a beautiful, straight smile without traditional metal-filled braces. We can help with facilitating your consultation for this procedure.
PROS: Natural/“Tooth-Colored” Composite Restorations. Dental science has made many advances since metal fillings were invented! Today, if you need a cavity filled, Dr. Mark Sutherland can use a strong composite resin that looks much more natural and is much less noticeable than a metal filling. Of course, if it is a back tooth and you cannot see the filling easily, this esthetic reason does not matter as much. Composite fillings only take a single appointment to apply—which means you save time while improving the health of your teeth and the appearance of your smile! Well placed, a composite restoration usually lasts about 10 years.
CONS: Composite fillings do have a lesser life span than metal fillings, in general. Where people get into trouble using composite fillings are in the following situations:
Crowns are a type of dental restoration which, when cemented into place, fully covers that portion of a tooth which lies at and above the gum line. In comparison, composite fillings/inlays/onlays are dental restorations that are used to fill in or cover over just a portion of a tooth. Since dental crowns encase the entire visible aspect of a tooth, a dental crown in effect becomes the tooth’s new outer surface.
Crowns are used to rebuild broken or decayed teeth, to strengthen teeth, and as a means by which to enhance the cosmetic appearance of teeth. Crowns can be made out of porcelain/ceramic, gold alloy, or a combination of both. Dental crowns are often referred to as “dental caps”.
Many times when dentists talk about extractions, they’re referring to impacted wisdom teeth, which can cause discomfort, inflammation, infection, and even decay as they come into the mouth and push against other teeth. In cases like this—or in more extreme cases, where cysts develop around the wisdom teeth and jeopardize the health of the jaw bone—extraction will be the only viable option.
But when it comes to teeth other than your wisdom teeth, performing a tooth extraction is something that Dr. Mark Sutherland would consider only after doing everything else possible to save the tooth, including root canal therapy. If the tooth has been traumatized, is badly decaying, or there is excessive loss of bone around the tooth due to periodontal disease and the tooth is very mobile, then the dentist may seriously consider removing the tooth to preserve the health of the teeth surrounding it, as well as your entire mouth.
If you haven’t had access to the proper dental care for years—or for a lifetime—you may be suffering from worn, discolored, missing, chipped or otherwise broken teeth. Not only does this affect your self-esteem; it can also affect the way you speak and chew. But Dr. Mark Sutherland can help with full mouth restorative treatment. By combining a variety of dental procedures and techniques including periodontal and endodontic therapy, bridges, crowns, veneers and dental implants, Dr. Mark Sutherland can give you a beautiful, healthy smile of which you can be proud. Please view our SMILE GALLERY to see examples of what we have done in our own office!
If you’re flossing every day, and making sure you brush your teeth at least two times a day, you’re doing a great job of maintaining the health of your smile. But it’s still important to regularly visit Dr. Mark Sutherland so that we can help you maintain your overall oral health and work to prevent any potential problems.
Regular oral examinations and routine cleanings are just a few of the general care services offered at our practice. To help keep your teeth and gums healthy, we’re also happy to recommend and provide preventative hygiene services like fluoride treatments, treatments aimed at remedying gum disease, and even professional breath control treatments. Contact us to set up your appointment.
If you suffer from tension or migraine headaches, Dr. Mark Sutherland may have a way to help reduce the frequency and intensity of your headaches: Stabilization splints. Appropriate for headache sufferers—as well as those who may be experiencing tooth wear, jaw muscle pain, or those who simply want to protect their mouth’s surfaces during a time of healing –a properly-fitted stabilization splint is smaller and more comfortable than a traditional biteguard. Stabilization splints can prevent and/or reduce the intensity of jaw clenching while you sleep, which can minimize headaches and create a variety of other benefits:
Are stabilization splints the answer to your headache nightmares? Talk to Dr. Mark Sutherland to see if stabilization splints can help you live a happier, more pain-free life.
Gum disease doesn’t spring up overnight—it progresses slowly, and in many cases, you may not even realize you have it! Left untreated, gum disease can lead to larger issues, including tooth loss. Gum disease can happen even if you are vigilant about flossing, brushing and taking care of your teeth, which is why it is so important to get routine dental check-ups.
Gum Disease Treatment Therapies
Should your dental visit indicate the presence of gum disease, Dr. Mark Sutherland will work with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan. Depending on the disease’s severity, it may be necessary to consider more aggressive therapies that move beyond the surface of the teeth and below the gum line. For example, if there is a large amount of bacteria or plaque that is accumulating below the gum line, Dr. Mark Sutherland may suggest specific medications administered at the disease site, or additional treatments like curettage or root-planning.
Curettage is the name for the procedure where diseased soft tissue is removed from around the tooth. By removing the diseased tissue, we are removing a source of chronic infection and irritation and allowing proper healing to occur.
Root-planning is another aggressive gum disease treatment that involves removing and smoothing microscopic amounts of the tooth’s root surface. When this is complete, you are left with a clean, bacteria-free surface that promotes optimal healing of the soft tissue surrounding it.
Oftentimes, curettage and root-planning are done at the same time by our skilled hygienists. Local anesthesia is many times suggested as a way to minimize any discomfort. After the procedure is complete, our hygiene team will demonstrate the things you can do at home to maintain the oral gains created by your recent procedure. Over your next several appointments, Dr. Mark Sutherland will assess your current state of gum disease before working with you to determine if additional steps are necessary.
If your gum disease has progressed well below the gum line, we may recommend a consultation with a periodontist who specializes in gum disease-related surgery. For especially aggressive cases of gum disease, surgery may offer the best prognosis that allows for the gum and bone to fully heal.
Dr. Mark Sutherland performs dental implant restoration by attaching artificial teeth to implants anchored in the bone below the gum line. After the anchor has been surgically placed in the jawbone, excess bone and gum grow around the implant, holding it firmly in place.
Though both are considered Orthodontics, Orthopedics is usually initiated earlier in an effort to assure more favorable facial growth and jaw structure. It is known that only 18-20% of malocclusion in children is genetic. This implies that the remaining 80% of poor bites arise due to environmental factors i.e., poor tongue position, mouth breathing, allergies, or enlarged tonsils and adenoids. As these influences act upon the developing lower face almost from birth it is important to try to and counteract these negative influences early and allow for more normal development. Well timed functional therapy can have an astounding influence on your child’s development often discouraging mouth breathing, poor sleep habits and a slow physical growth pattern. Functional orthopedics is usually therapy of short duration, may involve removable appliances and often makes more extensive therapy (braces) unnecessary.
Functional Orthopedics are a great way to help younger patients avoid many of the conditions that have plagued their parents, such as, poor sleep habits, T.M.J. pain, sleep apnea, small lower jaws (weak chin profile), and proud upper teeth (buck teeth) that my lead to poor self-image.
Orthodontics, more classically involves the use of braces that are bonded to the teeth. These braces allow us to control the teeth more accurately so that we can fine tune their relationship to one another and create that beautiful smile.
Porcelain Restorations are very esthetic but must be used carefully. Conditions to be assessed are as follows:
Porcelain restorations are well-suited for restoring weakened back teeth and equally appropriate for restoring more visible tooth surfaces. They come in different sizes:
Porcelain restorations offer a strong, attractive alternative to traditional composite fillings; the reason:
Porcelain restorations are typically considered for teeth that need a major portion restored, or teeth that endure moderate chewing loads, porcelain inlays and onlays offer the protection more in the realm of a crown without the need for extensive tooth preparation. Made from the same strong, tooth-colored material as crowns and bridges, porcelain inlays and onlays are customized to match your tooth shape and shade—and are stronger and more durable than composite restorations. Life spans can generally last about 15 years or more (no warranty implied as there are so many factors which influence this).
If you’re interested in hiding tooth stains, fixing chipped or misaligned teeth, or simply creating a more beautiful and uniform smile, porcelain veneers may be a viable alternative to traditional crowns. Fashioned from a thin, strong material, veneers are intended to slide onto the tooth in order to create a beautiful, natural-looking smile that is easy to apply and long-lasting.
In the center of each tooth in our mouth is dental pulp, which supplies our tooth with nutrients and nerves. If something happens to that dental pulp—it is injured, infected, or is damaged in some other way—then the nerve within the pulp may die, eventually causing the tooth to die. Dentists will recommend root canal therapy as a way to save teeth that have received damage to their dental pulp and nerve.
Many suffer from Tempromandibular Joint pain or Tempromandibular Dysfunction. Symptoms include:
Treatment of these problems can be complicated. The cause can often be multi-factorial. Successful treatment may involve other professionals; Physiotherapy, Chiropractors, Massage Therapy, Cranio-mandibular specialists, and Physicians.
Meaningful treatment begins with proper diagnosis. We will do a thorough evaluation of your problem to determine the best way that we can help and the appropriate therapy.
Are you happy with the color of your smile when you look in the mirror? If ugly stains caused by coffee, tobacco, tea, soft drinks, or even wine have turned your white smile dull, you’ll be happy to know that there are a variety of teeth whitening options available. Dr. Mark Sutherland can discuss what options are available and help you to determine which one is right for your needs. Remember whitening your teeth with bleach does not work for all as their may be other intrinsic problems (within the tooth), that bleach cannot fix and then one must consider other options such as bonding, porcelain veneers or crowns, etc.
If you’re particularly fearful or anxious about visiting the dentist, or you need major dental work done, dentistry performed under general anesthesia—also called “sleep dentistry,” may be a comfortable and practical option for you (through referral).
Dental fear can lead minor tooth problems to become major oral health issues—and sleep dentistry can ensure you get the care you need without causing unnecessary stress or anxiety. Could sleep dentistry be a good option for you? Talk to Dr. Mark Sutherland about your concerns and you can decide together if your case is right for sleep dentistry. Depending on your unique situation Dr. Mark Sutherland may suggest either oral medication, or intravenous (IV) sedation at a colleague’s office.
Oral Conscious Sedation
If you suffer from dental phobia, you’re not alone—many of our patients have put off going to the dentist for months, years, or even decades because of the anxiety caused by a dental visit! One option we offer anxious patients—or patients who need a large number of procedures done during a single visit—is sedation dentistry, where we provide an oral sedative that is taken prior to the dental visit. Our highly trained staff will monitor your vital signs and your comfort level throughout the process and will make adjustments accordingly.
IV Conscious Sedation (referral required to colleague)
In dentistry, intravenous or IV sedation is used to create a conscious sedation or “twilight” state where your body and mind are completely relaxed, but you are not unconscious. IV sedation minimizes any feelings of discomfort or anxiety, while still allowing you to talk and respond to questions (e.g. “Are you still feeling comfortable?”) or to react to verbal cues (e.g. “Can you turn your head toward the right a bit?) while the procedure is occurring.
In most cases, you will have no memory of the procedure, and because of the level of relaxation that IV sedation creates, you will need someone to take you home after the procedure is complete. The sedation will begin to wear off once you are out of the office, and you should be able to take part in normal activities within the next day.
It is very easy to come in for impressions upon which we can make custom mouthguards. The thin layer of rubber will help distribute forces in the event of an impact injury and have been shown to help reduce dental trauma to your teeth. They are generally much smaller and more comfortable than ones you can “boil and bite” into from the local drug store.