Renewing Smiles with Restorative Dentistry in Littleton, CO
While the Blue Sage Dental team works hard to prevent dental decay or damage, most patients find themselves in need of restorative dentistry services at some point whether for a minor cavity or major dental trauma. That's why Littleton dentist, Dr. Susan Kutis has advanced training offering the most effective and seamless dental restorations for our patients. The goal of restorative dentistry is two-fold: to preserve the maximum amount of natural dental structure while providing adequate repair. Contact our Littleton, CO team to find out more or schedule an appointment today. We welcome patients from nearby Ken Caryl, Englewood and Centennial as well, and encourage new and existing patients to contact us right away during dental emergencies.
Dental Crowns & Bridges
Dental crowns are undoubtedly the most frequently utilized restorative treatment. These crowns fit over the top of damaged teeth restoring the full form and structure. Under Dr. Kutis’ skilled hand, dental crown restorations beautifully restore patients’ smiles. Crowns are used independently and as part of a fixed bridge, implant supported tooth replacement, or root canal therapy. Crafted from high quality materials and working with the most skilled, award-winning lab technicians, the dental crowns available form Blue Sage Dental are so perfectly created that patients often forget which tooth is crowned. The dental crown process typically requires two appointments. During the initial visit, we prepare damaged teeth by removing a small amount of dental structure. Then, we capture bite impressions for our dental lab to use in the creation of a custom crown. Before patients leave, we place a temporary crown to protect their prepared teeth. Once the final restoration is received from our lab, patients return to exchange their temporary for a flawless custom crown.
Silver-colored amalgam metal fillings have been the norm in cavity restoration for decades. Chances are, if you're over a certain age, you have one in your smile right now. These reparative materials offer durable results, but they also lead to a number of less-than-ideal oral health concerns, including the loss of healthy tooth enamel to accommodate the filling, further damage to the tooth caused by expanding and contracting filling materials, and eventually, the fillings may break away from the tooth entirely. Additionally, there are some concerns about the content of these amalgam fillings. Not only is the metal-color less cosmetic, it may also contain possibly hazardous mercury. That’s why we utilize composite resin filling material. This tooth-colored restoration solution is applied directly to teeth in a malleable, putty-like consistency. Our team carefully shapes the filling material to fully restore the lost dental structure, delivering a natural looking and feeling restoration made from mercury and latex free, tooth-colored composite resin.
Dentures & Partial Dentures
Patients with extensive tooth loss are typically recommended partial and full dentures to restore their lost dental structure. Partials are composed of natural looking replacement teeth set into a gum colored base that is shaped to fill any number of gaps in patients’ smiles. Partial dentures are held in place by metal clasps attached to remaining healthy teeth. Full dentures are similarly composed of replacement teeth set into a gum colored base. However, as they restore a complete arch of missing teeth, full dentures utilize a custom crafted base that fits snugly against the gums and jawbone creating suction that holds the denture firmly in place. Some patients find a small amount of denture adhesive beneficial in achieving increased comfort and stability. For those patients interested in achieving even greater stability, we offer dental implant supported dentures.
In most cases, our team works hard to help patients keep their natural teeth. However, there are situations where extraction is the best way to ensure patients maintain the optimal level of oral health. When this is the case, we carefully remove teeth, and help patients plan tooth replacement, whenever necessary. Some of the situations that may necessitate extraction include:
- Severe damage or decay that makes restoration impossible
- In preparation for orthodontic treatment where the teeth are crowded, one or more teeth may need to be extracted
- Before creating and placing partial or full dentures, one or more teeth may need to be removed
- Third molars, wisdom teeth, are the most frequently extracted as they erupt last into patients’ smiles and there may not be adequate space to accommodate this final set of teeth
Wisdom Tooth Extractions
The most commonly extracted teeth are also the last to erupt in patients’ smiles. This third set of molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, was an evolutionary necessity for our ancient ancestors who ate tough, unprocessed foods and often experienced extensive tooth loss by their late teens. With improved modern diets and dental care, these teeth are no longer a valuable replacement. Instead, the wisdom teeth often lead to unnecessary dental concerns such as impaction (inability of teeth to erupt from the gum line), crowding, or shifting of teeth out of proper alignment. For these reasons, we may recommend patients have their wisdom teeth removed as a preventive measure to avoid negative effects on their oral health. Typically, we begin making these plans as early as age 11 or 12, when the wisdom teeth are visible developing below the gum line. The positioning, size, and other aspects of the developing teeth may be indicative of potential oral health issues and guide us in determining whether third molars should be extracted.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Patients who experience dental phobia or anxiety, those who have sensitive teeth, gums, or gag reflexes, and those who wish to complete a number of procedures in a single visit, may want to consider oral conscious sedation. By taking a sedative pill at a predetermined time prior to their appointment, patients achieve a heightened state of relaxation and reduced pain and sensitivity during treatment. Due to the long lasting effects of oral conscious sedation, patients should plan to have a trusted friend or family member escort them to and from our practice.