|A dental implant is a metal and porcelain device designed to replace missing teeth. The device is usually made out of titanium and is placed into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. An implant is permanent, and best of all, this natural looking tooth can’t get tooth decay!
Crowns and conventional bridges or dentures may not be your only options when replacing missing teeth. For some people, dental implants offer a smile that looks and feels very natural. Placed below the gumline, implants fuse to the bone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture.
Implants offer stability because they fuse to your bone, a process called osseointegration. Integration of the implants also helps your replacement teeth look and feel more natural and creates a secure fit more comfortable than conventional substitutes. They can be used to secure your old or new denture into place. When used with implants, the denture can be made less bulky and have a natural look.
Reasons For Dental Implants
• Replace a missing tooth
• Maintain healthy bone levels
• Secure dentures in place
• Keep the look, feel, and function of a real tooth where one is missing
|Restorative dentistry includes procedures that restore your teeth from decay, disease, or replace missing teeth that have been lost. The most common type of restorative dentistry is the placement of fillings to repair tooth decay. Read more to learn about some of the services Dr. Tom Flath uses.
Fillings are used to restore tooth damage caused by tooth decay. After removing the decay and cleaning the area the dentist adds filling material. Fillings are made from traditional amalgam (silver colored) gold, porcelain, or a composite (tooth colored). Unlike traditional fillings, composite and porcelain fillings are more aesthetic and bond directly to the tooth surface.
Crowns are used to restore severely damaged teeth due to fracture or decay. After the tooth surface is cleaned and prepared the crown is placed to cover the remainder of the tooth. The crown strengthens the tooth structure and helps prevent future decay. Crowns also improve the tooth’s look, shape, and alignment. Crowns are used to:
• Restore a fractured tooth
• Restore a tooth severely damaged by decay
• Protect a tooth from fracture
• Cover a discolored or unattractive tooth
• Cover a dental implant
• Improve the color, shape, or alignment of a tooth.
• Anchor a bridge
Bridges are used to replace a missing tooth in both a cosmetic and functional fashion. A bridge structure is one or more artificial teeth anchored in place by natural teeth, crowns, or implants, on each side of the bridge. Using a bridge to fill the gap from missing teeth helps restore proper bite and prevent teeth from shifting to fill the gap (which may lead to additional bite and jaw joint issues). Bridges can be constructed from gold, porcelain and metal, or all ceramic. Ceramic bridge color is made to match your natural tooth color. Material choice will depend on structural requirements, wear, and esthetics.
In most cases, implants are the best option for replacing a single or multiple missing teeth. An implant is a titanium post that is firmly attached to the bone. After the bone has bonded to the implant, a functional and aesthetic tooth is then built onto it; ready for smiling and chewing. Implants provide superior benefits when compared to bridge work and partial dentures as they do not damage or depend on neighboring teeth for structural support. Implants are the closest dental structure in durability to natural teeth and have greater cosmetic appeal. Best of all, implants don’t get cavities!
Dentures & Partial Dentures
Dr. Flath also makes both dentures and partial dentures as an option for replacing teeth. They are now more aesthetic and often less bulky than they were in the past. Ask how your denture can be made more comfortable and secure using dental implants.
Root Canal Therapy
A root canal becomes needed when bacteria from deep tooth decay reaches the tooth pulp. Once the pulp is infected it cannot heal on its own. Sometimes cracks or tooth trauma can create the need for a root canal as well. In addition to being painful, untreated infections can spread past the root tip and infect the surrounding bone and beyond.
A root canal procedure involves getting nice and numb, cleaning out and disinfecting the inside of the tooth, and filling the void with a special substance to prevent further infection. Sometimes a crown is recommended to restore the tooth shape, look, and to strengthen the tooth structure.
Professional cleanings performed by a licensed dentist or hygienist are just as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing. Using specialized tools and training, your hygienist or dentist will:
• Remove plaque build-up from the surfaces of teeth. (Bacteria in the mouth form plaque, which collects on teeth and causes decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.)
• Remove tartar from teeth surfaces. (Tartar, or calculus, is plaque that has become so hardened on the teeth that its removal requires special procedures. Tartar below the gum line is also an indicator of gum disease.)
• Remove surface stains from teeth through polishing.
Regular examinations help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair. Dental examinations generally include the following:
|•||Gum Disease screening|
|•||Oral Cancer screening|
|•||Visual tooth decay evaluation|
|•||Visual gum disease examination|
|•||Gum pocket measurement and tracking|
|•||X-ray examination to detect: tooth decay, infection, cysts, tumors, problems below the gums and other hidden issues|
X-rays are a primary tool for early identification of dental problems. Detecting issues with X-rays before they become problems can save you money in the long run by preventing the need for more extensive, expensive procedures or surgeries. X-rays are primarily used to detect:
• Internal tooth decay
• Tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous
• Impacted teeth
• Teeth that are still coming in
Sealants are generally used to help prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of back teeth (molars). The natural grooves of these teeth can trap food and bacteria that can resist casual brushing and rinsing. If left in place, the trapped food allows bacteria to multiply, eventually causing tooth decay and requiring costly attention.
Sealants are painted directly onto the tooth where they seal the natural grooves to help prevent tooth decay. They are especially helpful in children and teens.
Sealants offer a cost-effective, preventative step to reduce the chances of tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of molars. However, they do not replace the need for regular brushing and flossing.
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease can include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing and gums that are red, inflamed, or swollen. For many people however, gum disease progresses unnoticed.
Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by the same bacteria. These bacteria form plaque beneath the gum-line, which eats away at the bond between tooth and gum. If deterioration is allowed to continue, “pockets” form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3mm may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually weaken the bonds that hold the teeth in place.
There is no permanent treatment for gum disease. However, it can be kept under control with proper personal hygiene and regular visits to a trained dentist or hygienist.
At BravoSmile, you will feel the difference. Our expertise and philosophy can be felt from the welcoming voice you hear on the phone, to the smile you receive when you arrive for your appointment, ending with the care you experience with Dr. Flath and his dental team.
Dr. Tom Flath provides dental care for the whole family in his downtown Portland, OR dental office and looks forward to meeting you and helping you achieve the healthy, beautiful smile you’ve always wanted!
Seven Principles That Form the Foundation for the Way We Do Dentistry:
- Minimally Invasive Dentistry: We attempt to do the most conservative treatment of your teeth. We believe in “tooth banking,” – saving the maximum amount of your tooth structure.
- We deliver the best in restorative and esthetic dentistry.
- We feel the person attached to the teeth is as important as the teeth.
- We feel that the patient should be a partner in the treatment planning process.
- We believe in making a comprehensive diagnosis. Careful analysis of your mouth includes a thorough examination. We are committed to helping you keep your teeth for life.
- We only offer safe teeth whitening options.
- We know that periodontal disease is a silent killer of teeth, and therefore we have a strong commitment to our preventive and continuing care program.
- As a mercury-free practice, we are committed to using only the finest bio-compatible dental materials.
Financing tools to help you achieve the smile you want
|General info||Dental Fee Plan||Wells Fargo|
A great smile can boost your confidence, so don’t put it off! BravoSmile offers financing options to suit your needs. We’ll work with you to create a treatment plan that will improve the look and health of your smile, while being sensitive to your budget.
We will bill most insurance companies for you, with the information you provided prior to appointment. We also offer a 3-5% discount when you pay your full balance due (of $300 or more) at the time of service.
If you do not find what you are looking for in our website, we are happy to schedule a meeting with our Patient Coordinator to discuss a treatment plan and budget with you.
Dental Fee Plan®:
This simple plan allows you to set up a monthly payment that fits within your budget, with a low fixed interest rate. With your good credit, you can be approved in minutes, with no application fees.
Wells Fargo® offers up to 12 months interest-free to qualified credit applicants.
What does it mean?
At times, our fees may be greater than what your insurance company calls “reasonable and customary” and this may result in extra payment from you, the patient. Why is this so?
- Each insurance company conducts its own surveys to determine its own “reasonable and customary” fees. They keep this information confidential, leaving the public unaware of the inconsistencies of these findings. The fact is that different insurance companies have different “reasonable and customary” fees – often in the same area.
- All dental plans have different features: deductibles, “reasonable and customary fees,” etc. Better dental plans cover more of your personal costs, but are also more expensive. This is something you or your employer must decide on.
- Dental plans that have lower “reasonable and customary” fees leave the dentist and the patient in a situation where it looks like the dentist is overcharging the patient. It may be the hope of the insurance company that the dentist will then lower his fees, resulting in the insurance company not having to pay out as much in premiums.
- Dentists, like other professionals, vary in the quality of care they provide. Dentistry is a rapidly developing field, and education and up-to-date tools are essential for the best care.
We feel that you, the patient, deserve the best care for your teeth. We are constantly improving our knowledge and have up-to-date techniques and equipment. Not only are we “fixing your teeth,” we are educating you on how to keep them as healthy as possible. This may cost a little more than is “reasonable and customary,” but our hope is that you will have healthier teeth that will need less work in the future.
We are happy to process your dental insurance claims and call your insurance company for an estimation of their coverage of certain procedures at no charge. We feel it is important for you to know before starting treatment what our dental procedures will cost you after insurance. Some factors to take into consideration include:
- Your dental insurance is a contract between your employer and dental insurance company. We are in no way involved with this agreement. If you have any questions or concerns, you would have to discuss these with either your employer or dental insurance company.
- Different dental insurance plans provide different coverages. The more expensive the plan, the more your dental care is covered.
- Most insurance plans have not increased their yearly coverage to keep up with the increasing cost of dental care. Dental care has progressed in it’s success of maintaining healthy teeth, however, the insurance companies have not kept pace with the additional cost of this quality care.
- We feel that it is important for you to understand that although an insurance company claims that they will provide 100% or 80% coverage for certain procedures, this still may not cover your dental care in the expected manner. Insurance companies may claim that our costs are over the “reasonable and customary” charge. We provide the quality care that we feel your teeth deserve, without regard to unreasonable insurance limitations.
- Being able to choose your own dentist allows you receive dental care that meets your personal expectations. Additional factors such as being located close to your home or business and having competent office staff are also important.
Although we do our best to work with your insurance company, we will not compromise our goal of providing you with the most up-to-date, knowledgeable care of your teeth!