General Dentistry

Cross Timbers Dental has been offering general dental services to those in and around Flower Mound, Texas since 1999. We have three general dentists who perform restorative and cosmetic dentistry on patients of all ages. Additionally, we enlist the services of a dentist who specifically removes wisdom teeth and extractions. We have an excellent team of kind and gentle hygienists for your routine dental cleanings and non-surgical periodontal services.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

For most people wisdom teeth (3rd molars) are a source of many problems.  They are difficult to keep clean and therefore become prone to decay and gum disease.  Wisdom teeth that do not grow completely into position but rather are only partly exposed through the gum tissue can become infected.  That is called pericoronitis.  Third molars growing at an angle can get caught behind their neighbors, the second molars, causing damage to them.  Finally, some research shows 3rd molars can cause crowding of teeth which can erase years of orthodontic care and have a less than great smile.

In some cases, our dentists extract 3rd molars. In others, we have a dentist specializing in oral surgery who travels to our office at least monthly.

Implants

What is an implant?

A natural tooth consists of a crown (the part you see above the gum), and the root (the part hidden under the gum, within the jawbone). It is the root that actually holds the natural tooth in place. When a person is missing a tooth, an implant replaces it. Dental implants are metallic cylinders that are placed into the jawbone where original teeth once existed. These root-like cylinders are used to secure a fabricated tooth, in the place  where a natural tooth is missing.

 

WHY WOULD I NEED AN IMPLANT?

People lose one or more teeth for a wide variety of reasons, including infection, gum disease, accident or injury. When natural teeth are removed, many problems occur. The remaining teeth shift, rotate and become crooked. An improper bite will develop making it very difficult to chew food properly.  Spaces and gaps between teeth may cause embarrassment or problems with speech.  Additionally, surrounding bone may erode causing recession.  Recession exposes roots and creates an unaesthetic smile.  Dental implants can restore missing teeth thereby eliminating these problems. People who have teeth replaced with dental implants report better ability to chew food and eat properly, renewed confidence while speaking and better self-esteem.

 

If after a review of your dental history, dental x-rays, and a thorough oral evaluation, it is decided that an implant is right for you, the following steps will take place. First, the implant is placed in the jaw where the previous root was located.  It is then covered with a healing cap.  If the tooth is in an aesthetic area (in the smile), a temporary tooth can be placed. This is a simple out-patient procedure.  Most patients are surprised by how easy the process is and report very little discomfort afterwards.  Many go about their regular routine the next day.  At this point the implant is left to fuse with the bone to allow stable support. This usually takes 4-6 months.

 

After the bone and implant have successfully fused together, the next step can be taken. This involves placing a post called an abutment onto the implant. This abutment protrudes from the gum line allowing a crown to be place over it and glued in place.

 

The final crown is placed over the abutment.  In order for the crown to look and feel like a real tooth a quality lab is used to fabricate the crown.  Once placed, it can be cleaned like a regular tooth.

Crowns

Porcelain crowns are the perfect restoration when a tooth is severely damaged, decayed or compromised aesthetically. A one to two millimeter dimension all around the tooth and on top is removed to fit the crown while strengthening and preserving the remaining natural tooth structure. Depending on each individual and dental condition, we offer all-porcelain or porcelain fused to biocompatible metal or gold crowns.

Each type of porcelain crown is handcrafted by technicians to mimic your natural teeth and to ensure maximum light translucency and color.  Crows using an older technology were fabricated with opaque, flat-looking materials that did not let natural light pass through as a natural tooth does.  With these older crowns, there is usually a dark gray shadow or line next to the gum line. Our handcrafted porcelain crowns do not show any gray discoloration on your gum tissue or teeth. With our natural light-diffusing porcelain and dental artistry, we assure you a natural and healthy smile

Bridges

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.  It is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap – these two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth – and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DENTAL BRIDGES?

  • Restore your smile
  • Restore your ability to properly chew and speak
  • Maintain the shape of your face
  • Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR OBTAINING A DENTAL BRIDGE?

During the first visit, the abutment teeth are prepared. Preparation involves recontouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, impressions of your teeth are made, which serve as a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made by a dental laboratory. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while your bridge is being made.

During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit.  It’s then cemented into place.

HOW LONG DO DENTAL BRIDGES LAST?

Dental bridges can last 5 to 7 years and even longer. With good oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings, it is not unusual for the life span of a fixed bridge to be over 10 years.

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY BRIDGES?

It is important to keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong as the success of the bridge (depending on the type selected) depends on the solid foundation offered by the surrounding teeth. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. Your dentist or dental hygienist can demonstrate how to properly brush and floss your teeth. Keeping a regular cleaning schedule will help diagnose problems at an early stage when treatment has a better prognosis. Selecting a balanced diet for proper nutrition is also important.

Fillings

How are composite resin fillings different from amalgam (silver) fillings?

Composite resin dental fillings were created as an alternative to traditional metal dental fillings. Tooth fillings colored to look like a natural tooth are known as Composite Resin Dental Fillings.  They are made of a plastic dental resin. Composite Resin Dental Fillings are strong, durable and make for a very natural looking tooth. Many dental insurance plans cover their use.

How are composite resin fillings accomplished?

After all the decay has been removed the resulting cavity is cleaned.  Then, a special dental material is then used to open up the pores of your tooth’s dentin and roughens up the surface of the exposed enamel. This achieves better and stronger bond. The bond resin is applied to stick the composite to your tooth. This material is made of the same dental resin as the composite however it is much more fluid. This layer is then hardened and cured with a very bright light.

Composite resin fillings are then placed and hardened in place with dental curing light.  This allows the filling to set immediately.  After the filling is adjusted to your bite, it’s polished and the procedure is finished.

If such a filling is not going to be enough to protect your damaged tooth, or if your tooth enamel is thin and will easily fracture, or if your tooth has had a root canal that weakened your tooth condition, your tooth may require additional protection such as a crown.