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Posts for tag: restorative dentistry

May 30, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

If you have missing teeth, you may feel you have few to no options for a great smile. Actually, the opposite is true. Your Kalamazoo, MI, denturesdentist, Dr. Mark Richardson, offers individualized denture options. Whatever condition your teeth are in, he can give you a smile that's renewed in appearance and function, too.

When you lose teeth

Not only are your speech, chewing and biting compromised, but your appearance is, too. Tooth loss precipitates deterioration of gum tissue and jaw bone size and density, too. These changes impact the shape of your face and how smooth your skin is. In short, tooth loss without tooth replacement can make you look, feel and act much older than you really are.

Your denture options in Kalamazoo

There are two basic kinds of dentures: complete and partial. Complete dentures replace an entire arch of missing teeth. They may be secured by dental implants surgically inserted into the jaw, or the natural suction of the mouth may hold them in place with little to no adhesive needed.

Partial dentures have one, two, or more pontic, or artificial, teeth mounted on a metal framework. These prosthetics fill smile gaps, and usually, they attach to remaining teeth with clips. As with complete dentures, you and your dentist may choose to secure your prosthetic with one or more dental implants, or more typically, your "partial" may be removable.

Additionally, some patients decide to wear something called immediate dentures. Avoiding the embarrassment of being without teeth, immediate dentures are placed over sutured extraction sites right after teeth are extracted. The denture actually helps speed healing as it puts pressure on the gums and bone. An unfortunate downside to immediate dentures is their changing fit. As bone and gums heal and shrink, immediate dentures should be replaced or relined.

Choosing dentures

During a consultation with Dr. Richardson, he'll examine your mouth and take digital X-rays. A series of oral impressions will help him and the dental lab arrive at your best denture option, and of course, you'll be consulted on your preference for tooth shape and color.

Expect your adjustment to the new dentures to take a few weeks. You'll likely return to Dr. Richardson's office once or twice to achieve optimal fit.

Find out more

Dr. Richardson and his caring staff in Kalamazoo, MI, will help you every step of the way as you transition to life with dentures. To arrange your consultation, please call the office at (269) 343-6907.

January 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dentists have restored teeth with fillings literally for generations, and while the incidence of cavities is lessening in the US, your dentist in fillingsKalamazoo, MI, still restores decayed teeth every day. Dr. Mark Richardson's preferred material is composite resin, a durable and natural-looking blend of plastic polymers and glass particles. Instead of dark amalgam, both patients and Dr. Richardson and his staff prefer tooth-colored resin because of its many cosmetic and restorative benefits.

What is a cavity?

A dental cavity is a hole in the tooth enamel caused by oral bacteria. This microorganism grows in sticky plaque and hard tartar formed from the carbohydrates we eat. Left unchecked, the bacteria give off harmful acids which eat holes in teeth. Some of these holes, or cavities, go right through the enamel to the dentin (second tooth layer) and interior pulp.

Repairing with composite resin

When you see your Kalamazoo, MI, dentist for a routine exam, he carefully inspects all your teeth for decay. X-ray imaging may uncover hidden decay in between teeth and beneath restorations. If you have decay, Dr. Richardson probably will recommend repair with modern composite resin, rather than amalgam, a long-used blend of various metals.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry praises composite resin for its many benefits. They include:

  • Durability (chip and stain resistance)
  • Longevity (5-7 years or more with good oral hygiene and avoidance of hard foods such as peanut brittle)
  • Natural appearance
  • Far less site preparation than amalgam fillings
  • Flexes with the forces of biting and chewing

When Dr. Richardson removes the decayed portions of your tooth, he then layers the resin into the site, hardening each application with a special curing light. He carefully shapes the chewing surface of the tooth so it bites appropriately the teeth on the opposite arch. After a final polishing, the restoration is complete and seamless looking. In fact, it's nearly impossible to detect the borders between the tooth enamel and white filling.

Other uses of composite resin

Besides cavity restoration, your Kalamazoo, MI, dentist uses composite resin to repair small dental flaws such as hairline cracks, surface pits, gaps and more. This economical cosmetic service strengthens tooth enamel and improves smile aesthetics in a single appointment.

Learn more

If you suspect you have a cavity, contact Dr. Mark Richardson for a consultation. Strong, attractive teeth are his specialty! Please call (268) 343-6907.

May 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Are you ready to find out exactly what dental implants can do for your smile?dental implants

Tooth loss doesn’t have to define you and it doesn’t just have to be something you put up with. You deserve to have a healthy smile again and our Kalamazoo, MI, dentist, Dr. Mark Richardson, is here to make that possible. Find out more about dental implants and whether this is the best option for you.

A dental implant is often the best tooth replacement restoration because it actually mirrors a real tooth. While nothing is as good as maintaining your beautiful natural smile, getting dental implants in Kalamazoo can certainly come close. This is because the implant actually acts like tooth roots. It is placed into the jawbone, so it’s meant to function like a real tooth.

Here are just some of the benefits you’ll enjoy with dental implants:

  • You’ll get a full smile back. This restoration is made to look just like a real tooth and no one will be able to pick out the dental implant from the rest of your natural teeth. The only person who will know that you have an artificial tooth is you.
  • You’ll regain confidence again. You’ll not only stop feeling self-conscious about smiling but you’ll also feel great about your appearance once again when you know you have a full smile to show off.
  • Chewing and speaking are two important components of everyday life that can be restored with implants. You don’t have to deal with tooth loss very long to discover that it can take a toll on your ability to speak properly, as well as how easy it is to chew food. Tooth loss can also make it impossible to get the proper nutrients you need since you may avoid certain hard-to-eat foods. With a dental implant that functions like a real tooth, you won't have to worry about that at all.
  • Once you lose one or more teeth, the jawbone is no longer getting sufficient stimulation it needs from the tooth roots to remain healthy. This leads to bone deterioration and weakness. By getting dental implants as soon as possible, you can prevent serious jawbone loss.

Are you ready to find out if you are the perfect candidate for dental implants? If so, the next step is to call Dr. Mark Richardson in Kalamazoo, MI, to schedule your consultation. Let’s talk about dental implants!

March 01, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Dentures are the solution of choice when you have missing teeth and lack sufficient bone tissue to support dental implants. Find out how denturesDr. Mark Richardson can help restore your smile with dentures at his Kalamazoo, MI dental office.

Restoring Your Smile with Dentures
Dentures are appliances made of composite resin or porcelain “teeth” and plastic “gums.” In some cases, they’re also designed with metal components. The denture suctions to your gumline or is connected to teeth that are remaining in your mouth. With this new set of teeth, your gums are protected, your smile is beautiful once again and you can chew your favorite foods properly.

Types of Dentures
There are a few different types of dentures to consider when you visit your Kalamazoo dentist. Here are four of the most common choices:

- Full (complete or conventional) dentures that cover an entire row of missing teeth.
- Immediate full dentures that are put in right after tooth extraction (same appointment).
- Partial dentures that can be affixed to existing teeth with metal clasps.
- Implant-supported dentures for patients who have some bone tissue available.

Getting Custom Dentures Made 
A denture is created based on a mold of your gumline. The impression, taken with dental plaster, is sent to a lab for processing. When the denture is finished, you’ll come in to have it sized and adjusted as needed. It may take more than one visit for you to get the perfect fit. Your dentist will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your new dentures, your gums and your remaining teeth if you have a partial device.

Make a Dentures Appointment Today
Dr. Richardson can design a custom denture appliance for you that will restore your smile and fit comfortably. Call his Kalamazoo, MI office at (269) 343-6907 today to schedule an appointment.