We fill cavities with tooth-colored, composite resin most of the time rather than amalgam metal. White fillings are a strong restorative material, with the added benefit of an attractive appearance.
When the crown and/or cusps of your teeth need restoration, we use porcelain inlays to fill the top of your tooth, up to the points (cusps). If one or more of the cusps needs to be covered, we use an onlay.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are caps made of porcelain, ceramic, or gold that cover the entire tooth to restore, protect, and reinforce it. They’re used if the tooth is damaged through trauma or cavities, or after a root canal.
A bridge is a false tooth anchored by crowns on either side. It’s one option to replace a tooth, or teeth, that have been lost. Depending on the location of the crown or bridge, Dr. Flavin may recommend either gold or porcelain for them. Both are strong, durable restoration materials.
Partial and Full Dentures
When a significant number of teeth, or all of your teeth have been lost because of gum disease, injury, or severe tooth grinding, then dentures may be necessary. The team at Healthy Smiles of Saint Louis will fit you for partial or full dentures that will be in proportion to your features, will function securely, and be attractive as well.
Root canal treatment is necessary when the nerves inside the canals become diseased or have died and can no longer sustain the tooth and the bone tissue beneath it. Depending on your particular situation, Dr. Flavin or one of his associates may perform your root canal treatment at our office in St. Louis, or refer you to a colleague who specializes in root canal therapy.
Dr. Flavin’s associates perform the majority of oral surgery in our office. Dr. Ridenbark and Dr. Mattingly perform anything from minor tooth extractions to most major surgeries, such as wisdom teeth extractions. Whenever possible, we use a local anesthetic with nitrous oxide for all of our dental treatments. For longer, more involved procedures requiring IV anesthesia, we will refer you to a colleague who specializes in oral surgery.
If you should experience sudden pain or injury, please call us. If it’s during regular office hours, we will fit you into our schedule. If you need emergency care any other time, our answering service will contact Dr. Flavin who will call you back as soon as possible to bring you in for treatment.
TMD & TMJ Treatment
TMD refers to temporomandibular joint disorder, often referred to as TMJ. It is a misalignment in the ball and socket joint that connects your jaw to the rest of your skull.
Some symptoms of TMD can include headaches, facial pain, and jaws that “lock” or make popping and clicking noises. You may have facial pain and chronic headaches, or numbness and tingling in your arms and hands if you have TMD.
Read more about this disorder and Dr. Flavin’s approach to treatment on our TMD/TMJ page
The devastation of lost teeth is greatly diminished when you have the option of dental implants to replace them. Implants are titanium screws placed into your jawbone. A cone-shaped “abutment” is placed on top of the screw and a porcelain crown is permanently cemented to the implant. The result is a strong tooth replacement that will function like a real tooth, even maintaining the integrity of your jawbone over time. Read more on our Implant Dentistry page.