When it comes to keeping your smile healthy, regular visits to the dentist are essential. At Fountain Plaza Family Dental Wallace J. Bellamy, DMD, we are proud to offer a comprehensive range of general dentistry services to help your family maintain optimal oral health. From cleanings and exams to restorative treatments, we are here to help the residents of Elk Grove, CA get the care they need to thrive!
What Is General Dentistry?
General dentistry is a branch of dental care that focuses on proactive measures taken to prevent or limit the progression of dental problems and maintain a healthy smile. At Fountain Plaza Family Dental Wallace J. Bellamy, DMD, we provide a range of general dentistry services to meet the needs of our diverse patient population; you can find these services listed below!
Cleanings & Exams
Routine cleanings and exams are at the core of general dentistry. While simple in theory, these services are essential in detecting and preventing issues such as cavities, gum disease, and more.
- During your visit, we will thoroughly clean your teeth by brushing, polishing, flossing, and scaling away plaque and tartar buildup.
- We’ll then perform a comprehensive exam to assess the overall health of your teeth and gums. If we discover any existing or developing problems, we will devise a customized treatment plan to address your needs.
If you have a cavity, we can treat it with a simple filling treatment. During the procedure, we will remove any decayed tooth structure and fill the hole left behind with the filling material. This will help protect your tooth from further damage and restore it to its original shape and proportions.
At our practice, we provide three types of fillings:
- Composite fillings: These fillings are made from a tooth-colored composite resin and are used to blend in with your natural tooth structure.
- Amalgam fillings: These fillings are made from a mixture of metals, including silver and mercury, and are designed to withstand heavy wear and tear.
- Ionomer fillings: This type of filling is made from a glass and acrylic mixture that is fragile, but can be applied to fill small cavities or low-impact areas.
Dental bonding is a procedure that can be used to repair minor chips, cracks, and discolorations in the teeth. During the process, we will apply a tooth-colored composite resin (the same material used for a composite filling) to your teeth and mold it into place. The resin is then hardened with a special light and polished, leaving you with a seamless repair.
Crowns & Bridges
If you have a tooth that is too damaged to be restored with a filling or bonding procedure, you may need a dental crown; for missing teeth or a tooth requiring extraction, a bridge is a viable option.
- Crowns, also known as caps, are used to encapsulate the entire visible structure of a tooth that has been damaged by decay or injury. Once the natural tooth has been treated, it is reshaped to accommodate the dental crown. Your crown will be custom-made in a dental lab to match the appearance of your surrounding teeth. Once complete, we will cement the restoration over the natural tooth for restored strength and function.
- Bridges are used to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth. The bridge prosthetic is made from three or more crowns fused together. While the outer crowns serve the purpose of anchoring the prosthetic by being cemented over the teeth adjacent to the gap, the crown or crowns in the middle fill the gap and complete the smile.
Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are more conservative forms of treatment than crowns, yet more extensive than fillings. These restorations are used to precisely restore the health, function, and appearance of a molar’s surface (top of a back tooth) following decay or damage without having to remove a large amount of tooth structure.
Inlays and onlays are made in a dental lab from porcelain or composite resin materials and are designed to match the shade and form of the affected tooth. The difference between the two is in the portion of the tooth they cover. Inlays fit within the cusps (pointed projections) of a molar, while onlays cover one or more cusps.
In some cases, teeth may be too damaged or decayed for a crown or filling restoration. In these situations, we may recommend an extraction. While we realize that needing an extraction may be concerning, our goal is to always make sure you are comfortable and minimize any discomfort or anxiety. For this reason, we will also always discuss the reasons for an extraction with you before proceeding.
- During the procedure, we will begin by numbing the gum tissue surrounding the tooth using a local anesthetic.
- Once you are comfortable, we will gently remove the tooth by first loosening it from supporting ligaments before extracting it from the socket.
- After the extraction, we will discuss aftercare as well as your options for a replacement tooth, such as a dental implant, a partial denture, or a bridge.
When decay or damage reaches the inner pulp of a tooth, it can cause severe pain and infection. In order to save the tooth and prevent extraction, we may recommend a root canal procedure.
- During a root canal, we will access the inner pulp of the tooth and remove the infected tissue.
- Once the pulp is removed, we will clean the inside of the tooth and the root canals before filling it with gutta-percha material.
- The tooth is then sealed and capped with a dental crown to protect it from further damage and decay.
While this process may sound intimidating, it is truly no more uncomfortable than if you were having a filling placed; in fact, the procedure is designed to relieve pain as opposed to causing it.
If you experience a dental emergency, such as severe tooth pain or injury, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We strive to provide same-day emergency care whenever possible.
When visiting us for a dental emergency, we will first assess the extent of your condition. If necessary, we will begin treatment immediately to alleviate any pain or discomfort you are feeling. In some cases, this may involve procedures, medications, or restorations to regain the health of your smile. Common dental emergencies we see and treat include the following:
- Abscessed teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Knocked-out tooth
- Lost filling or crown
- Severe toothache
At Fountain Plaza Family Dental Wallace J. Bellamy, DMD, we are committed to providing quality dental care and treatments. We understand how important it is to have a healthy and attractive smile, which is why we offer a full range of general dentistry services. From preventative care to restorations, we can keep your smile healthy and looking its best for years to come. Give us a call today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment! We look forward to serving you.