Winter Springs Family Dentistry

As a family dentist, Dr. Jessica Wyatt provides services for patients from early childhood to old age. Some of the most common services that she performs for adults and older children include filling teeth she has diagnosed with cavities, tooth extraction, and treatment for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). We prepared this page because we understand that you may have a lot of questions if you require one of these services.

Fillings

When your tooth has a small amount of decay, Dr. Wyatt needs to remove it and fill it with composite material as soon as possible. This preserves the tooth so you don’t lose it to extraction. A direct filling is one that goes on top of the surface of your tooth.

To start the filling procedure, your dentist uses an air abrasion instrument or dental drill to remove the diseased portion of the tooth. Next, she places composite resin layers over the small hole now present in your tooth. After shaping the pliable bonding material, she finishes the process by shining a curing light on the tooth so the filling hardens on top of it.

Extractions

Sometimes a tooth is too badly damaged by trauma, decay, or infection to be saved. You may also need it removed for future orthodontic work. Wisdom teeth are another category of extraction. No matter what the reason for needing a tooth pulled, you know you’re in good hands with Dr. Wyatt. She takes a complete medical history prior to the extraction to ensure that you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure.

On the day of the tooth extraction, your dentist places an anesthetic around your gums and tooth to ensure that you don’t feel discomfort. The next step is to expand the socket holding your tooth in place and separate its ligament. Using an instrument called a dental elevator or a pair of forceps, Dr. Wyatt places continuous pressure on the tooth until it loosens enough to pull out of the socket. She will then place gauze in the space where she extracted the tooth and instruct you to bite down hard on it. This helps to minimize bleeding as much as possible.

TMJ Treatment

Your jaw contains TMJ joints that connect your upper and lower jaws together. It is this joint that allows you to open your mouth to speak, chew food, yawn, and other essential functions. Chronic pain in this area could indicate TMJ. Some of the most common causes of it include:

  • Injury to the jaw or the bones surrounding it
  • High levels of stress that cause you to clench your jaw
  • Arthritis
  • A slipped disc

We encourage you to schedule a TMJ evaluation if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Clicking or popping sounds when you open your jaw
  • Noticeable swelling of your face
  • A feeling of fatigue after eating a meal or speaking for a short time
  • Chewing difficulty

Dr. Wyatt always uses the most conservative approach to TMJ treatment before considering anything more invasive. Wearing a night guard, over-the-counter pain relievers, and applying an ice pack to the face are enough for many people to experience relief. If your TMJ pain continues, she will keep working with you to find the most effective solution.