One of the prime directives in dentistry is to save every tooth you can, and only replace when necessary. No prosthetic will ever be as strong or versatile as a natural tooth.
But when teeth are damaged, cracked, or decayed, it is of the utmost importance that you see a dentist as soon as possible. Without proper treatment, a small problem can rapidly escalate into a much more pressing issue.
Michael R. Markgraf, DDS, is a gentle, caring dentist in Punta Gorda. Despite being a practicing dental healthcare professional for 34 years, Dr. Markgraf remembers what it’s like to be a patient in the chair and makes every effort to maximize the comfort of every person who visits our office.
Most people will require a filling at some point in their lives. The plaque and tartar that builds up on the surfaces of teeth contain acidic bacteria that eat away at the tooth’s enamel. Once the enamel is breached, this bacteria begins decaying the softer dentin underneath. This creates caries, more commonly known as cavities.
When a cavity develops, the only treatment is for the decayed portions of the tooth to be removed. After removal, the cleaned cavity is filled with a composite resin that matches the color of your natural teeth.
This material hardens, not only bolstering the structural integrity of the tooth but preventing further decay from affecting it.
Crowns are life-like ceramic caps custom made to match the color and contour of your natural dentition. When a tooth is irreparably damaged by trauma or decay, but the root is still healthy and strong, a crown is recommended to save what’s left of it.
After a beautiful crown is created and the damaged tooth is prepared, the crown is fitted over it and cemented into place. Much like fillings, this procedure removes decayed portions of the tooth and prevents further damage or decay from affecting it in the future.
When a tooth is beyond saving and must be extracted, there are multiple options that may work best for replacement.
Dental implants are biocompatible titanium posts that are placed directly in the jaw bone. These act just like natural roots, stimulating the jaw and preventing accelerated bone resorption. Life-like prosthetics are fitted to these posts to restore the full strength and function of the bite.
Bridges are rows of ceramic teeth that can replace up to 3 missing teeth in a row. They are anchored to the adjacent teeth using crowns on each end.
Dentures, both full and partial, are prosthetics that replace multiple missing teeth, an entire arch, or even the entire dental structure. They can be fixed in place with metal brackets, dental adhesive, or mere suction.
Gentle, Conservative Dentistry
At the office of Michael R. Markgraf, DDS, we want every patient to feel comfortable and confident. Most of all, we want to make a difference in the way you smile.
Call our Punta Gorda office today to schedule a comprehensive checkup.