REGULAR EXAMS AND CLEANINGS
Regular exams are important in maintaining your oral health. During your regular exam, we will:
- Check for oral problems that you may not feel or see
- Scan for cavities or other signs of tooth decay
- Check your teeth and gums for gingivitis or periodontal disease
- Provide thorough teeth cleaning
Your regular exam will take about one hour. Each regular exam includes X-rays, intraoral pictures, detailed teeth cleaning, in which we will polish, clean, and rinse your teeth to remove any tartar and plaque that has built up on the tooth's surface. Dr. Korte will then examine your teeth for any decay or problem areas and do an oral cancer screening.
Visiting our office every six months gives you the chance to talk to the doctor about any questions you may have about your oral health. Regular exams are offered by appointment only, so please contact our practice today to schedule your next dental exam and teeth cleaning.
Composite materials are used to conservatively repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During your appointment, a white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling is bonded with your tooth and, choosing from a variety of tooth-colored shades, made to closely match the appearance of your natural teeth.
Composites can also be used as tooth fillings instead of amalgam materials. Many patients prefer composite fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than the silver amalgam fillings. Composite fillings can be used either on the front or back teeth.
Placing a composite is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and can usually be completed in one visit to our office. However, composites can get stained and are easier to break than other cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or get damaged, immediately contact your doctor. The composite can generally be easily patched or repaired in one visit.
A bridge may be used to replace missing teeth, which helps maintain the shape of your face and reduce stress on your bite.
A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, literally bridging the gap left by those missing teeth. Your bridge could be made of gold, metal alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these. It is then attached onto surrounding teeth for support.
How long the bridge would last depends on where it is attached — the adjacent teeth via crowns or the bone where the abutment implants are fused. Therefore, it's very important to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong.
Crowns are restorative prostheses used to improve your tooth's shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used to repair and restore teeth that are broken, worn, or have significant tooth decay.
A crown is a tooth-like "cap" that is cemented to cover the remaining portion of your tooth above the gum line. It effectively becomes your tooth's new outer structure. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are often preferred because they are as translucent as natural teeth and are very strong.
Dentures are natural-looking replacement teeth that are removable. They come in one of two types: full and partial. Full dentures are given to patients when all of the natural teeth have been removed. Partial dentures, on the other hand, are used to replace missing teeth where a significant number of natural teeth remain. They have a metal frame that attaches to specific natural teeth. Just like natural teeth, dentures need to be properly cared for. Use a gentle cleanser when brushing your dentures, keep them moist when you're not using them, and clean your tongue and gums as well.
There are times when extracting a tooth is necessary. Sometimes, a baby tooth has long or misshapen roots that keeps it attached when it should be falling out. In that case, the tooth must be extracted to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. Or, a tooth may have decayed so badly that it needs to be removed to protect the surrounding teeth from decay. Infection, orthodontic correction, or an impacted wisdom tooth can also require the removal of a tooth.
Once a tooth has been removed, the adjacent teeth could shift and make chewing difficult or otherwise affect your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, your dentist may recommend that you replace the extracted tooth.
If you have missing teeth, you have to have them replaced. If you do not have all your teeth, the act of chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and make you feel discomfort. Also, when teeth are missing, your cheeks would sink inwards and cause your face to look older. Implants are a great teeth replacement solution that, if properly maintained, could last a lifetime!
An implant is a prosthetic tooth whose root is made of metal and the top part is made of porcelain that looks just like your natural tooth. It's composed of two parts: the titanium implant functions as the missing root, and the tooth-colored crown that is attached to the top of the implant. With an implant placed, you can smile confidently, knowing no one will ever suspect you have a replacement tooth.
Aside from tooth replacement, implants can also be used to secure dentures that tend to shift out of place when you talk or chew. For patients who want to replace their removable partial dentures with something more stable and permanent, implants can replace missing teeth or support bridges, so you have a more natural-looking smile.
Fluoride effectively prevents tooth decay and cavities. A fluoride treatment takes only a few minutes to accomplish. You may need to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months, depending on the state of your oral health or your doctor's recommendation.
If you often wake up with headaches, earaches, or jaw pain, or you unconsciously clench or grind your teeth, you might have a condition called bruxism. Many people who grind their teeth do not know they do so because it often occurs while they are sleeping. If not addressed, bruxism could lead to cracked, broken, or even lost teeth.
There is an easy, non-invasive way of treating bruxism: nightguards. Nightguards prevent the damage that teeth-grinding causes. Custom-made to fit your teeth, a nightguard is inserted over your top or bottom arch to prevent the top and bottom teeth from grinding against each other.
In the past, if you had a tooth with an infected and inflamed nerve, you'd probably need to lose that tooth. When a tooth has a crack or a deep cavity, bacteria can enter and infect the pulp tissue, causing it to get inflamed inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected pulp is not removed, pain, swelling, and infection of neighboring teeth and oral structures can occur. Not only could this injure your jawbones, but also cause illnesses that threaten your overall health.
Today, with root canal treatment, your tooth can be saved. A root canal treatment requires one to two dental appointments. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems with the nerves of the teeth) will first make small holes on the affected tooth to access the infected tissue. Next, the tissue will be removed, and the interior of the tooth will be cleaned, filled with a medicated filling, and sealed. Finally, a crown is placed on top to further strengthen the tooth.
Sometimes, your toothbrush can’t clean those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for your toothbrush to get into the grooves and crevices on the top of your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can have plaque form in them, leading to tooth decay.
Dental sealants are plastic resin applications that bond and harden as they cover the deep grooves on your tooth's top surface. The sealant makes the tiny grooves smooth and less able to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes more efficient and effective in preventing tooth decay.
Sealants are usually applied on children's teeth to help prevent tooth decay after the permanent teeth have erupted. However, adults can also have sealants applied on their healthy teeth. And while sealants are applied more on "permanent" teeth than on "baby" teeth, every patient has unique needs such that sealants are applied on a case-by-case basis.
While sealants can last from three to five years, it is not uncommon for adults to have sealants from their childhood that are still intact. That said, a dental sealant is effective only when it is fully intact. So, if your sealants chip or completely come off, schedule an appointment for your teeth to be re-sealed.
You don’t have to hide your smile because of your gapped, chipped, stained, or misshapen teeth. Veneers can help correct your teeth's imperfections and create a more confident, beautiful smile. Veneers look natural, and they are an excellent solution for patients wanting to make minor changes to the look and feel of their smile.
Veneers are thin shells that are custom-made using tooth-colored materials such as porcelain, and designed to cover the front of your teeth. To prepare your teeth for veneers, your dentist will make an accurate model of your teeth. This model will be sent to the dental technician who will fabricate your veneers. Before placing your new veneer, your dentist will need to prepare your tooth to achieve the desired look.
When placed, your veneers should look like your natural teeth. And while veneers do not stain easily, your doctor may still recommend that you avoid staining substances like coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco to maintain your beautiful new smile.
WISDOM TEETH EXTRACTION
Wisdom teeth are the last molars to erupt at the very back of your mouth. These teeth usually appear in their late teens or early twenties, but they may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it often needs to be extracted. If it is allowed to stay, it could causes gum tenderness, swelling, or severe pain.
Wisdom teeth are usually removed from patients in their late teens or early twenties because the teeth's roots most likely have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is still less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier and the recovery time shorter.
To remove a wisdom tooth, your dentist will first numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Since the impacted tooth may still be in the gums and your jaw bone, your dentist will need to remove some of the covering bone to extract the tooth. To keep the amount of bone to be removed with the tooth at a minimum, your dentist will often "section" your wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone. Once your wisdom teeth have been removed, the area will begin to heal. Depending on how difficult the extraction is, healing time varies. Your dentist will advise you on what to expect and what to do to have a comfortable, efficient healing process.
Call us at 402-489-3115 or schedule an online appointment with Dr. Korte for a consultation at our office in Lincoln, NE.