Patient Education

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Dr. Pickle is committed to keeping patients fully informed about the procedures our practice offers and how to be an active participant in the quest for dental health. Below are some important facts that can help to keep you informed about what you can expect at Pickle Prosthodontics.

Important Facts About Prosthodontics

“Quality is never an accident, it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” – William A. Foster

Esthetic Considerations:
It is our intention to use our technical and artistic capabilities to achieve your esthetic expectations and to incorporate these factors into a fully functioning and comfortable final restoration. At Pickle Prosthodontics, you will be asked to communicate your desires, and our best efforts will be applied toward incorporating your wishes in harmony with the functional and physiological requirements of the restorations and prostheses. After your approval, the restorations will be finalized. Please note that only very MINOR changes to the shape of the restorations can be made after finalization. NO changes to color can be made after finalization.

Some changes in appearance may be beyond the capabilities of restorative and prosthetic dentistry. A consultation with other dental or medical specialists may be suggested.

Potential Problems with Fixed Prosthodontics:
Crowns and fixed bridges are used to treat problems of decay, severely worn or fractured teeth, malocclusion, and to protect teeth that have had root canal treatment. However, because dental restorations are replacements for natural teeth, potential problems do exist. The following sections briefly describe the most commonly encountered problems. If you have any questions regarding your specific case, we encourage you to share them with us.

Implants

Longevity depends on many factors – the patient’s health, the use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, sugar, oral hygiene, the amount of quality bone, surgical compromises, the degree of biting force, etc. As with any restorative procedure, the potential exists for the fracture of an implant component, implant crown, or loss of the implant from the bone.

Provisional (Temporary) Restorations

Provisional crowns and fixed bridges are used to protect the teeth and to provide a satisfactory appearance while the new permanent crown(s) and fixed bridge(s) are being fabricated. A provisional restoration is usually made of resin, which is not as strong as the final porcelain/metal restoration. A provisional is attached to the teeth with temporary cement; therefore, it is important to minimize the chewing pressure on a provisional restoration since it can fracture and/or become dislodged. If this does occur, call our office as soon as possible for repair or recementation. Waiting more than a few days can create unnecessary problems, and may delay your treatment.

Porcelain Fractures

Porcelain is the most suitable material for the esthetic replacement of tooth enamel. Because porcelain is a “glass-like” substance, it can break under excessive pressure. However, the strength of dental porcelain is similar to dental enamel, and the force necessary to fracture dental porcelain would usually fracture natural tooth enamel. Small porcelain fractures can be repaired; larger fractures often require a new crown or fixed bridge.

Stains and Color Changes

All dental restorative materials can stain. The amount of stain generally depends on oral hygiene as well as the consumption of coffee, tea, tobacco, red wine and some types of foods or medicines. Dental porcelain usually stains less than natural tooth enamel, and the stain can be removed at dental hygiene cleaning appointments. Natural teeth tend to darken with time more than porcelain crowns. At the time a new dental porcelain crown or fixed bridge is placed, it may be an excellent color match with the adjacent natural teeth. Over time, however, this may change and bleaching or other appropriate treatment may be suggested.

Bleaching

Bleaching provides a conservative method of lightening teeth. There is no way to predict to what extent a tooth will lighten. In a few instances, teeth may be resistant to the bleaching process, and other treatment alternatives may be advised. Infrequently, side effects such as tooth hypersensitivity and gum tissue irritation may be experienced. If these symptoms occur, technique modifications or products can usually alleviate the problem(s).

Tooth Decay

Some individuals are more prone to tooth decay than others. With a highly refined carbohydrate diet, dry mouth from medications or other causes, or inadequate home care, tooth decay may occur on areas of the tooth or root not covered by a dental crown. If the decay is discovered at an early stage, it can often be filled without remaking the crown or fixed bridge. Long delays in treatment, a loose provisional, or loose permanent crowns and bridges can result in additional decay. If left untreated this can lead to the infection or loss of the tooth nerve, which would require a root canal, or even the loss of a tooth/teeth.

Loose Crowns or Loose Fixed Bridge

A dental crown or fixed bridge may separate from the tooth if the cement is lost or if the tooth fractures beneath it. Most loose crowns and fixed bridges can be recemented, but teeth that have extensive recurrent decay or fractures will usually require a new crown or new fixed bridge.

Excessive Wear

Sometimes crowns and fixed bridges are used to restore badly worn teeth. If the natural teeth were worn from clenching and grinding the teeth (bruxism), the new crowns and fixed bridges may be subjected to the same wear. In general, dental porcelain and metal alloys wear at a slower rate than tooth enamel. However, excessive wear of the crowns or fixed bridges may necessitate an acrylic resin mouth guard (also called a protective occlusal splint or night guard.)

Sometimes when teeth are prepared for crowns, due to the extent of wear, deep decay, large fillings, old crowns and other forms of “trauma” to an already compromises tooth, it can cause the nerve of the tooth to die. This usually requires a referral to an endodontist, a specialist who provides root canal treatment. It does not normally require changes in your treatment plan.

Dentures and Partial Dentures

The replacement of your natural teeth with “false teeth” is often a highly complicated process. Many changes occur when the teeth are lost, including the shrinking of bone and gum tissues that would support and stabilize teeth. Expectations that are unrealistic can compromise the outcome of your dentures, so every effort is made to communicate the differences you can expect from your dentures compared to normal teeth. Every person is different, including the anatomy and function of their mouth, and we will strive to restore those factors to the furthest of our abilities. Please understand there is a transition or “getting used to it” phase for each person that is unique to them, and that our goal is to deliver results that are as esthetically pleasing, functional and within your comfort parameters as possible.

Maintenance

Even the most beautiful restorations can be compromised by gum problems, recurring cavities and poor oral hygiene habits. Part of our commitment to you is to provide you with the proper information to keep your gums and teeth (natural or restored) in good health. Professional cleaning by a dental hygienist at recommended intervals keeps your mouth healthy and can intercept potential problems early enough to avoid additional restorative work or unnecessary discomfort.

Our Location

Pickle Prosthodontics
9480 Briar Village Point Suite 300
Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Telephone: 719-599-0670
Toll Free: 1-866-845-0794
Fax: 719-599-0613

E-mail: business@pickledental.com

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Testimonials

  • Dr. Pickle is an extremely conscientious doctor. He managed to fit me in for emergency appointments when I really needed them and has referred me to excellent specialists for root canals. My husband and I have always found Dr. Pickle to be very personable and extremely knowledgeable about his profession. He also employs the very best assistants I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and I have had many years of observing dental assistants.”
    —Carolyn W.
  • As an instructor, Dr. Pickle is eager to share his abundant experience and knowledge unconditionally with others in his field.”
    —Dr. Jackson
  • My impression of Dr. Pickle is that he is highly trained in his field and capable of managing even the most complex cases. Due to his outstanding experience, he is able to answer any and all questions he receives. As an educator, he gives a very practical approach to prosthodontics in private practice, which I appreciate.”
    —Dr. Pickett
  • Dr. Pickle and his staff understand that a person’s mouth is the entrance to their healthy body. Your mouth must be healthy physically and aesthetically for optimum health. The services this practice provides are designed to benefit the patient’s life as a whole, both in terms of a beautiful smile and having a fully functional mouth. From my first visit, I felt that I was entrusting my mouth to the most capable hands possible, and that impression has not changed a bit!”
    —Olivia B.
  • Dr. Pickle breaks down complicated procedures and makes them easy to understand. He is very good at using visuals in his instruction and his lecturing skills are very impressive. I enjoy his humor in instruction and out-of-the-box approach that enhance treatment options.”
    —Dr. Stacey
  • Dr. Pickle is extremely skilled at his craft, and very attuned to the emotional and physical needs of his patients. He has almost completely cured me of my fear of dentists. I would recommend him to anyone.”
    —Elizabeth M.
  • Dr. Pickle exudes confidence in his ability to make his patients feel comfortable, and he’s followed through every time!”
    —Kim C.
  • Dr. Pickle offers exceptional service, especially for difficult cases like mine that a regular prosthodontist could not treat. He is highly knowledgeable and caring, and is always looking out for his patient’s best interest.”
    —Ingrid C.
  • Dr. Pickle is very professional and knowledgeable about every aspect of his field. I love him and his staff! I am very satisfied with the time Dr. Pickle and his staff took to ensure that I was satisfied with the choices I made.”
    —Sue G.
  • Dr. Pickle has done fantastic dental work for both of us in the ten years we have been seeing him. I know we can rely on him to take care of all our dental needs like he always has!”
    —Julian & Heidi G.
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