Fillings - A filling is the most common form of tooth restoration. The decay is removed and a filling material, either silver amalgam or tooth-colored composite is placed directly into the prepared tooth, carved to resemble the original form and then cured or allowed to harden to restore function of the tooth.

Crowns - A crown is a lab-created tooth-shaped "cap" that covers the entire visible portion of a tooth.  A crown can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials.  A crown may be recommended for several different reasons, some of which are listed below:

  1. To restore a tooth that does not have enough tooth structure left to secure a filling after the decay has been removed.
  2. To restore a fractured or broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.
  3. To restore a tooth that has a large filling that is breaking down, leaking or requiring replacement.
  4. To cover a tooth that has been treated with a root canal.
  5. To cover a dental implant.
  6. To hold a bridge in place.

Bridges - A dental bridge literally bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth.  A bridge is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap (these two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth) and a false tooth/teeth in between (these false teeth are called pontics).  A bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials.  Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.

Veneers - These thin shells of porcelain are bonded directly to the the surface of the teeth.  Veneers have the ability to correct gaps between your teeth, cover permanent discoloration and correct teeth that are misshapen.  The ultra-thin porcelain is virtually invisible so that even in direct sunlight, they will take on the natural color and translucency of a natural tooth. 

Inlays/Onlays - Dental inlays and onlays are restorations used to repair posterior teeth that have a mild to moderate amount of decay.  The goal is to retain as much healthy tooth structure as possible, yet provide a long term restoration.  A lab created, bonded onlay/inlay allows us to restore teeth with minimal tooth reduction.  They can also be used to restore teeth that are cracked or fractured if the damage is not severe enough to require a dental crown.  Inlays and onlays are ideal when a filling isn't enough and a crown is too much.

Sealants - A dental sealant is a preventive procedure where a thin plastic coating is applied to the grooves on the chewing surface of posterior permanent teeth.  Most tooth decay, especially in children and teens, occurs on these surfaces.  A sealant provides a protective shield to help prevent cavities from developing.

Extractions - Extractions are preformed for a variety of reasons, including severe tooth decay, periodontal disease, the anatomy of a tooth has failed or if a tooth is severely broken.  Teeth are sometimes extracted to allow more room for other teeth, most often in conjunction with orthodontic therapy.

Partial Dentures - A removable partial denture (RPD) benefits a patient who is missing some of their teeth by replacing those teeth that have been lost.

Complete Dentures - A complete denture, whether upper or lower or both, benefits a patient who is missing all of their teeth by replacing the entire upper arch or lower arch with a complete denture.

Partials and Dentures can help patients in a number of ways:

  1. Function - chewing ability is improved by replacing missing teeth with denture teeth.
  2. Aesthetics - the presence of teeth provide a natural facial appearance and wearing a denture provides support for the lips and cheeks and prevents bone loss that occurs after losing teeth.
  3. Phonetics - by replacing missing teeth, especially anterior teeth, patients are better able to correctly pronounce letters they would otherwirse struggle with.
  4. Self-Esteem - Patients feel better about their facial appearance.

Implant Supported Dentures - Our office provides transitional dentures along with implant supported dentures.  A denture supported by implants snaps onto the implant post which provides a firm, stable fit.  Implant supported dentures can be used in both the upper and lower arches.

Bleaching - Dental bleaching, also known as tooth whitening,  is a common procedure in general dentistry.  As a person ages, the adult teeth often become darker due to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth as the enamel becomes less porous.  Teeth can also become stained by bacterial pigments, food and drink, tobacco and some medications.  Custom bleaching trays will be made in our lab to perfectly fit over your teeth.  You are sent home with bleaching solution that is to be worn at night inside the trays while you sleep.  Our technique provides peak whitening in only 12 days of consecutive use.  Touch-up kits are available as needed.

TMJ Therapy - TemperoMandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder is a term usually used to describe pain and inflammation of the jaw joint. TMJ disorders develp for many reasons.  You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your jaw joint.  Or, you may have damaged your jaw due to an injury or disease.  Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, jaw pain, headaches and clicking or grating noises when you open and close your mouth.  A very successful treatment option is a lab-created occlusal splint - an acrylic appliance that fits over your top teeth to establish harmony between your muscles and joints.  Regular wear of an occlusal splint (usually at night) relieves pressure on your joint and allows the muscles to relax, alleviating pain associated with TMJ disorder.

Oral Sedation - At our practice, comfort is our biggest concern. If you fear dental injections, have sensitive teeth or just dread dental procedures in general, talk to us about your concerns prior to your scheduled operative appointment.  We offer anti-anxiety medications, along with Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) so you can feel calm and relaxed in the dental chair while we work on giving you a healthy smile.

CARTER FAMILY DENTISTRY | 1874 N. Hunter's Ridge | Suite 01  | Fayetteville , AR 72701 | (479) 442-5092
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