14122 West McDowell Road Suite 200
Goodyear, AZ 85395
Melde, Michael J D.D.S.
3003 Highway 95 # 103
Bullhead City, AZ, 86442-7802
Hooker, William J D.D.S.
718 N Humphreys St # 102
Flagstaff, AZ, 86001-3046
Sun West Endodontics
13920 W Camino Del Sol Ste 8
Sun City West, AZ, 85375-4438
Allen, Jacqueline D.D.S.
6520 N 7th Ave # 7
Phoenix, AZ, 85013-1158
The appearance of your teeth is heavily impacted by the position of the surrounding gum tissue. In a normal situation, two teeth that are side by side in your mouth have contact with each other. Below this contact, the area is filled in with gum tissue in the shape of a triangle. This triangular-shaped gum tissue is called the papilla. It is not uncommon to have an empty space in the area where the papilla is supposed to be. If this occurs, the result is perceived as a black space.
They are caused by a loss of the gum tissue itself or by the shape and/or position of the teeth. For any black space that is present, the first thing that needs to be done is to diagnose what caused it to occur. Once this is done, the restorative dentistry treatment choice can be made. The best decision will be the most conservative treatment that corrects the black space.
One of the most common causes of loss of gum tissue is due to the gum disease known as periodontitis. This gum disease acts on the supporting bone around the teeth, causing a loss of bone. This loss of bony support causes the papilla to slump and flatten, creating a black space between the teeth. The first step in treating the resulting black space in this situation is to treat the cause. Once the gum disease is under control, the black spaces can then be addressed with restorative dentistry.
To remove the black spaces, the teeth need to have restorations placed that will change the shape of the teeth and fill in this space. The type of restorative dentistry can vary depending on whether or not there are any other problems with the teeth. The simplest and most conservative restoration is composite, a tooth-colored filling material. It can be bonded directly on the tooth in the area of the black space. Since it is placed only in the affected area, the situation where this is used requires that the overall appearance of the tooth is acceptable and does not need to be changed.
If the overall appearance of the tooth needs to be altered, then a different type of restorative dentistry needs to be used. The choice is either a dental veneer or a dental crown. The choice between the two depends on both the appearance and the structural changes that need to be done. Usually, to correct a black space, both teeth on either side need to be restored. In doing this, the symmetry between the teeth will remain the same. If you restored just one tooth, you would end up with one tooth being wider than the other. The advantage of using restorative dentistry to correct black spaces is that it usually results in a shorter treatment time.
Another cause of the black space is due to the position of the teeth themselves. One example is teeth that are tilted towards each other. When this occurs, the area for your gum tissue to fill becomes too large for the amount of tissue you have. This same concept may occur with certain types of tooth shapes. In these instances, the restorative dentistry treatment of choice is to use orthodontics (braces) to align the teeth. The advantage of doing this is that the black space will disappear without having to do any restorations on the teeth.
By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD
People of a certain age sometimes find themselves in need of dental care involving dental crowns instead of a filling, or dental bridges to replace missing teeth. Understandably, in light of the present economy, many patients think first of the expense. But the fact remains that postponed care costs more in the long run, both financially and physically.
In the case of broken teeth, extensive decay or an old filling, a crown is intended to hold the remaining tooth structure together. After a root canal, enamel becomes especially brittle - another candidate for a crown.
A badly damaged tooth, left untreated, causes changes in the mouth that disrupt how the teeth work, chewing patterns, and jaw function. Normal eating habits may be inhibited. Tenderness forces the bite away from one side of the mouth and exerts undue pressure elsewhere. Why not just extract this troublesome tooth?
A missing tooth eventually spells oral disaster, meaning permanent changes to your bite. Because the mouth is dynamic, teeth on either side of an empty space will shift. The teeth next to them move, too. With all this movement, periodontal disease could invade soft tissues. Jaw misalignment, and the pain that goes with it, is likely. So tooth restoration to bolster neighboring teeth and keep the "architecture" of the mouth in good shape is the best course of treatment.
After fillings, crown and bridge work is our first line of defense against oral deterioration. This kind of dentistry brings a lot of satisfaction to both patient and dentist. A transformation happens. With the mouth functioning again, people feel better about themselves.
So call your cosmetic dentist today to find out how you can restore your mouth to total dental health. You'll look and feel better.