Other Dental Services



IMPLANTS

A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium post is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to set. The bone grows around it, forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist then works to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the post. This permanent solution has the advantages over bridge work that it does not stress the surrounding teeth for support, and, should the tooth wear out, another can simply be replaced on the post.
 
Dental Implant - Orthodontics Dentists in Terre Haute, IN
 
Implants can also be used as support for a bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages. First, there is no adjustment period to acclimatize the patient who, once the work is done, only feels teeth, not metal supports intruding into the mouth. Second, this slows the bone loss occasioned by missing teeth. Third, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating. And, best of all, of course, they don't have to be taken out all the time.
We also offer mini dental implants. These implants are about half the diameter of traditional implants are used mainly to stabilize lower dentures.
 
Implant placements are referred to the Periodontist or Oral Surgeon and the abutment and crown are placed by Dr. Gray at Smudde Family Dentistry.

ROOT CANAL TREATMENT

Root canal treatment (also called endodontic therapy) is necessary when a cavity becomes so large that it reaches all the way to nerve (pulp). Regular examinations can prevent and detect these large cavity problems early. Sometimes deep restorations/fillings or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point that it needs root canal therapy. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone forming an abscess.
 
Root Canal Procedure - Orthodontics Dentists in Terre Haute, IN
 
By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.
 

EXTRACTIONS

 
Tooth Extraction - Orthodontics Dentists in Terre Haute, IN
 
When a tooth is badly damaged from decay, periodontal disease or trauma, an extraction (removal or the tooth) may be necessary. We strive to take good care of our patients during extractions. Patients are also given post-op instructions to help aid in healing.
Replacing missing teeth is also very important as is can lead to changes in surrounding teeth, changes in the patient's bite, and periodontal problems. Be sure to get your options for tooth replacement when you have your tooth extracted.
 

NIGHTGUARDS AND MOUTHGUARDS

 
Woman Wearing Orthodontic Silicone Trainer - Orthodontics Dentists in Terre Haute, IN
 
Custom designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may be hit. Nightguards are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth during the day or at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite.
If you have decided a guard is right for you, we will take an impression of your teeth from which a custom fitting mouthguard will be fabricated, usually in our office, and delivered to you within a couple of days.
 

TMJ TREATMENTS

TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorder. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it's where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.
 
Teeth X-Ray - Orthodontics Dentists in Terre Haute, IN
 
Problems in this area can cause:
 
  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
 
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Pain in the jaw muscles
  • Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face
 
Dental treatments for the condition can include removable appliances, replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem or to realign the bite. TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder) can be very discomforting if left untreated.