Dental Blog

Posts for category: Restorative Dentistry

By Elkhart Dental Center
November 08, 2018
Tags: Fillings  

Dental fillings can help resolve damage done by cavities and/or trauma. Your family dentist at Elkhart Dental Center in Elkhart, IN, Dr. Sangyoung Lee, provides tooth-colored fillings, as well as other types of dental restorations, to fix teeth.

What are fillings?

According to a 2000 report by the U.S. Surgeon General, most people have had at least one cavity by age 17.

Tooth-colored fillings are usually preferred by individuals who don't want visible fillings. They are also known as composite resin and made of plastic resin and a filler, finely ground glass-like particles. They fix issues such as chips and cracks, fractures, decays, discolored and stained teeth, and short teeth.

Fillings seal holes caused by cavities. A cavity results from bacterial plaque that produces acid and creates holes (cavities) in teeth. If not detected early on, serious issues may occur, like receding gums. Your Elkhart family dentist cleans and disinfects the cavity, then they seal it with the filling to protect the integrity of the tooth.

Composite is a popular and expensive choice that lasts longer, but doesn't require as much drilling compared to amalgam.

Caring for fillings

Dental fillings require the same care as all your teeth: Brush your teeth twice a day, after breakfast and before bed. Floss at least once before bed and maintain a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Drink water to help wash away food debris, and visit your family dentist twice a year for regular checkups and professional cleanings.

After your dentist has finished the procedure, your teeth will look natural.

Benefits of fillings

There are many advantages of tooth-colored fillings, like teeth that don't gray, natural-looking teeth that provide a beautiful smile, composite which strengthens your teeth, and sealed cracks which protect teeth from further decay.

Make sure you brush your teeth and floss every day to maintain a healthy oral regimen.

If you have any questions about tooth-colored fillings, don't hesitate to call your family dentist at Elkhart Dental Center, Dr. Sangyoung Lee. You can reach him at (574) 522-0156 in his Elkhart, IN, office.

Elkhart implant dentistFeeling ready for dental implants is one thing, but that's actually just the first step. If you've decided that you'd like to replace missing teeth with implants, it's time to learn more about your own candidacy. The only way to know definitively whether implants are a good fit is by scheduling a consultation with an Elkhart implant provider. But in the meantime, you can (and should!) educate yourself on what implant candidacy requires. You'll be able to avoid any surprises, and have a more thorough conversation with your implant dentist.

Who's a Strong Dental Implant Candidate?

If you possess the following, you're likely ready for implant placement:

  • Healthy gums - Good periodontal health is absolutely vital. When your implants are placed, an extended healing period follows. Healthy gums help ensure that there aren't any infections or complications coming up during this time. If you have gum disease, we will treat it and help you regain your good health.
  • Adequate bone density - After tooth loss, the bone tissue in the area begins to resorb. It dissolves into the bloodstream and weakens the area. Implants need to be able to connect with the bone in your jaw, so you may require a bone graft in order to properly anchor the implants. We will take x-rays and CT scans to determine your bone density.
  • Good oral hygiene - You need to be able to take excellent care of your teeth to keep the surgical site clean. Daily brushing and flossing are crucial.
  • Commitment to success - Because implants take some time to heal and integrate with your bone, you need to be committed to your success and to proper care during the healing period. Just ask if you ever have questions!


When are Implants Not Advised?

Some patients aren't ideal implant candidates. This group includes

  • Young people whose jaws are still growing
  • Pregnant women
  • Heavy smokers
  • Heavy drinkers
  • People who have received radiation treatments at the head or neck
  • People with certain diseases (hemophilia, connective-tissue diseases, untreated diabetes)
  • People who take certain medications that suppress the immune system
  • People who have severe bruxism, which heightens the risk of implant failure
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Elkhart tooth replacementDental restoration should take place on your own terms. While it’s difficult to match the strength, appearance, and stability of a natural tooth, modern restorations are constantly improving. If you’re hoping to replace a missing tooth in the most comprehensive way possible, dental implants are the name of the game.

With successful healing and proper care, dental implants can stay with you for life. They’re the right choice for patients seeking the closest thing to a natural tooth. Trying to figure out whether an implant is the right choice for your smile? Learn more about their singular benefits to help you gain some background, then schedule a consultation to speak with our staff.


Why Dental Implants are Unique


  • They allow for more stable restorations - Implants connect with your jaw bone through a natural process called osseointegration. Once the implants have fused with your jaw, they act similarly to tooth roots. Any restoration (crown, bridge, partial, denture) can be attached, and the implant provides security and stability. This makes it easy to speak, eat, and live your daily life without worrying about your restoration slipping or malfunctioning.

  • They’re built to last - The implant process is an extended one - there can be months of healing involved. But once your implants have healed, they’re not going to let you down. Many patients see their implants lasting for decades, and even for the rest of their lives. All it takes is proper cleaning and regular exams along the way.

  • Once healed, they’re stress-free - You won’t have to worry about your dentures falling out or feel awkward eating in social settings. Instead, your restorations will remain firmly anchored to your gums, offering all the functionality you expect from natural teeth.

  • They help preserve your overall appearance - After tooth loss, the bone tissue in the immediate area resorbs, dissolving into the bloodstream. This can lead to changes in your facing structure, and accelerated aging. Implants connect with your bone to prevent this loss in the first place. This preserves your face shape and fills out your cheeks.



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jaw bone lossWhen tooth loss strikes, much more changes than just the number of teeth in your mouth. As soon as you lose that tooth, your jaw bone loses the support of that structure. This leads to the bone tissue resorbing, breaking down and dissolving into the bloodstream.

You need your bone - for so many reasons. And with a proactive approach to your oral health, you don't have to see your jaw weakening as a result of tooth loss. Keep reading to learn how you can preserve your jaw structure, why that's so important, and how we can help at Elkhart Dental Center.

Why Your Jaw Bone Is So Important

Your jaws support your teeth. While they may not seem as necessary if you're experiencing tooth loss, they will make it possible for you to place a dental implant. An implant both protects your existing jaw bone and provides a foundation for a restoration. Since the restoration is attached to your own jaw, the stability and performance is unparalleled - but this is only possible with adequate bone density.

Your jaw bones also contribute to your natural facial structure. They help keep you looking young, and support your skin to prevent wrinkles. Tooth and bone loss can lead to premature aging, and even make you look like a different person. By preserving your bone tissue, you can slow down this aging process.

Stop Jaw Bone Loss in Its Tracks

  • Respond to tooth loss ASAP - Whether you've had an infected tooth extracted, or have lost a tooth due to periodontal disease, you'll need to react right away. The longer you hesitate, the longer you'll be vulnerable to bone loss.
  • Learn more about Bioplant - We offer a synthetic bone graft that protects the tooth socket immediately after extraction. It helps prevent the bone loss that commonly takes place after a tooth is removed. If you think this might be right for you, just let us know!
  • Keep your regular dental appointments - It never hurts to check in with your dentist on schedule. We'll be able to spot potential problems before they become serious, and potentially prevent the tooth loss in the first place.
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Elkhart dental implants

Choosing dental implants is a big decision. We want to ensure that the implant process is as smooth, comfortable, and successful as possible - so Elkhart Dental Care offers treatment options that help you receive precise care that is ideal for your health.

Implant surgery can require some preparatory steps, as well as specific follow-up care. We strive to provide you with all the tools and resources you need to see strong, solid implants that support your new smile. By seeing that your implants bond successfully with your jaw bone, we help them see that your restorative dental treatment lasts as long as possible.


Dental Implants at Elkhart Dental Center

Our attention to detail makes implants with our dental practice totally patient-oriented. If you choose to pursue implants with Dr. Lee, we’ll discuss each of the following with you:

  • Mini vs. Regular Implants - Mini implants are (as their name suggests) smaller than regular implants. This makes the procedure possible for patients who might not be able to receive standard implants for health reasons. Mini implants will support restorations in the same way, but can be placed without as invasive a surgical procedure.
  • Bone grafts - If you’ve been missing your tooth/teeth for some time, it’s likely that the bone in the area has resorbed, and that the jaw might not support an implant. With a bone graft, we’ll augment the area to strengthen it for the implant.
  • Bioplant - Because the jaw bone begins to dissolve after a tooth is lost, it’s imperative to act quickly. We offer Bioplant to help stop bone loss in the area, and keep the jaw prepared for restorative treatment.
  • Post-surgery care - After receiving your implants, you will need to clean your teeth thoroughly but gently, get plenty of rest, and protect the surgical area. We’ll give you the information and guidance necessary to see a healthy healing period.

Ready to learn more? Simply contact us to schedule an implant consultation.

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