A True Smile Needs a
Many people have experienced the frustration of undergoing expensive cosmetic or restorative dentistry, only to have it break down soon afterwards and require repeated replacement. When crowns or veneers crack after just a couple years, bridges repeatedly need replacing, or dentures slip and cause continual discomfort, the problem may not be the dental work itself, but rather a lack of integrity and health in the underlying structures of the mouth: the bone, gums, bite alignment, and teeth. Dentists who perform cosmetic or restorative dentistry without ensuring a strong underlying foundation for their work are doing their patients a disservice.
Why does dental work break down?
Good dental work should last. So why does it so often break down and need replacing? The simple answer is, it was not done right in the first place. No matter how good the work on a crown, if the dentist does not ensure your bite is properly aligned, that crown will experience unnecessary wear and tear, causing it to break. Or if a bridge is placed without detecting underlying decay, that bridge will need to be replaced once the decay becomes more advanced. And no amount of cosmetic dentistry can give you a beautiful smile if underlying gum disease is not treated to ensure the integrity of your teeth.
Lifetime dentistry entails comprehensive treatment of the whole mouth. It may involve the use of orthodontics to treat bite alignment problems, periodontics to return the gums to a healthy state, or endodontics to remove decay in the tooth canal and save a patient’s natural teeth. It might also involve a variety of cosmetic, restorative, or oral surgery techniques, depending on the patient’s specific needs. Of course, prevention is the best way to ensure a healthy mouth, so Dr. Castellanos places great emphasis on preventative care in his practice. The goal of all treatment is to bring the patient to an optimal state of oral health and functionality that can then be maintained for life.
Dr. Castellanos’ Method
Dr. Castellanos knows that a true smile, one that lasts a lifetime, is based on a foundation of healthy bone, gums, and teeth. For this reason, he always establishes a patient’s initial dental health prior to performing any cosmetic or reconstructive work. Over his many years in practice, Dr. Castellanos has found that the following process leads to the best long-term results. And while not all patients require all stages, the basic process remains the same.
Stage 1: Healthy Teeth, Bone, and Gums
This stage may involve extractions, periodontal treatment, or endodontics (root canals) to ensure that teeth, bone, and gums are healthy. This step is both preventative and corrective, and it prepares a solid foundation for any dental care that follows.
Stage 2: Removal of Decay
At this point, Dr. Castellanos removes any decay present in the teeth, filling cavities and ensuring the integrity of current fillings.
Stage 3: Bite Correction
Some patients require correction of their bite in order to treat problems such as grinding, wear on the teeth, or strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ disorder). Orthodontics and orthodontic appliances are used to treat bite disorders and prepare patients for restorative treatment.
Stage 4: Restorative Dentistry
Only once a patient has healthy bone and gums, is free of decay, and has a correctly functioning bite, will Dr. Castellanos perform restorative dental work. This is the crown and bridge stage, when fixed prostheses are placed or oral surgery such as tooth transplantation is performed.
Stage 5: Cosmetic Dentistry
Finally, Dr. Castellanos performs any cosmetic dentistry procedures the patient has requested, confident that his veneers, whitening and other cosmetic procedures are placed on a strong, healthy foundation and that the dazzling results can be maintained for life.