Restorative Dentistry

Dental problems are going to arise. Our teeth are constantly exposed to decay causing bacteria, and when preventative measures fail, our team at Woodland Family Dentistry can restore your teeth to their natural function and aesthetic. Dr. S. Welton and Dr. D. Welton provide a variety of dental therapies that will restore your oral health and regain oral health overall well-being. Common dental restorations performed in office include:

Restorative Dentistry

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Woodland Family Dental creates some big smiles!

The most common dental restoration is the placement dental fillings. Following the removal of decay from a patient’s teeth, the tooth can be left with cavities that need to be filled in order to restore the tooth’s function and strengthen the enamel so that the dentin below is not exposed. When a tooth has been exposed to decay causing bacteria, to protect the tooth, we need to remove the decay and then make the small repairs with a filling material. Our dentists at Woodland Family Dental, Dr. S. Welton and Dr. D. Welton, can restore the function and the overall health of your teeth with either amalgam or composite dental fillings.

Amalgam or Composite Fillings?

The question of amalgam or composite has been an evolving question, the knowledge and materials have changed over the years, leaving many patients unaware of what to think. Using either material, we can make simple repairs to your teeth. 

When the enamel of your tooth has been compromised, is thin in spots or is exposing the dentin beneath, we can strengthen the tooth, and relieve any pain associated, by filling the space with either amalgam or composite material. There are some distinct differences between the two products including:

Amalgam Dental Fillings:Amalgam is the material that has been used for many years to repair teeth that have been damaged due to cavities. Most patients recognize this material due to its silver color. Dentists have been using this material for years because it is durable and long lasting. Amalgam is a blend of multiple metal materials, including mercury that has then been mixed with tin, silver, and copper. Being made of various metals, amalgam is noted for its strength and durability. In recent years there has been some concern about the use of mercury. Mercury, makes up about half of this blended filling material, and is used to bind the metals together. The levels of mercury used in this material is considered safe according to research conducted through the American Dental Association.

The benefits of amalgam is the durability and longevity of the restoration. The average lifespan of dental fillings filled with amalgam is 12 years, though many exceed 20 years. The downside of amalgam, that many patients do not like is its dark coloring and the fact that amalgam does not bond to the tooth, meaning we generally are required to remove much more of the natural tooth structure in order to create a space for the metal filling to rest in.
Composite Dental Filling:Composite refers to a quartz and resin blended material that we are able to shade to match the color of your tooth. This allows the filling to hide in your mouth, making it near impossible for others to see. Besides filling holes after removing decay, we are also able to make simple repairs to teeth, including repairing chips and fractures, with this material. 

In the past, composite was known to be not as durable as amalgam, but the material used today is much stronger, and we now feel comfortable using composite on any of your teeth, including those that have high chewing pressure. The downside to composite material is that it is a more expensive option, meaning many dental insurances are unwilling to cover the costs unless the tooth is easily visible.

For more information on dental filling materials, including amalgam and composite, contact our dentists, Sunnshine M. Welton DDS and David G. Welton DDS, at our Post Falls, ID 83854 office by contacting our front office at: (208) 777-9599

customized denture prosthetic

Customized Denture Prosthetic

When a patient no longer has any healthy teeth remaining, we can create a customized denture prosthetic to provide them function and aesthetics. There are various options available in denture appliances that can vary based on the patient’s comfort they are seeking, finances, and overall health. At Woodland Family Dental, our team including Dr. S. Welton and Dr. D. Welton, are dedicated to helping you feel and look your best. We understand the importance of your teeth, both to your daily activities and to how you feel about yourself. We are happy to meet with you in a consultation to discuss your options.

Partial Dentures

There are several options available in partial dentures, designed for patients with multiple missing teeth in a single arch. Options include:

Removable Partials: This option replaces multiple missing teeth using a clasp system allowing it to be removable. Patients may choose removable partials because they lack the appropriate anchor, either healthy teeth or implant posts, to attach a more permanent denture to. This option is also the least costly of all denture options.
Fixed Partial Dentures: Also called a fixed dental bridge, this option uses two dental crowns that are placed over either two healthy teeth or implant posts, and is cemented into place for a permanent, meaning non-removable hold.
Flexible Partials: This option is considered the most comfortable, though also most costly, of the partial dentures. The main difference is the plastic used, instead of a rigid plastic, a strong and durable flexible plastic is used, allowing the prosthetic to more naturally move around in your mouth, helping it feel more comfortable.

Traditional Dentures

Full dentures can be a life-altering decision for most patients. You may need to make adjustments to how you speak and even to what you can eat. Some options will only provide the most basic necessity, and some can feel like a whole new set of natural teeth. Our team is happy to go over these options with you.

Traditional Dentures: The most basic denture prosthetic is what most people think of when they think of dentures. Using a molded plastic set of teeth, the patient uses either suction or an over the counter adhesive to keep this dental appliance in place. Traditional dentures have never been known for their function or comfort, but they do provide the ability to chew when there was none, and they will fill out your facial structure which is sunken without either teeth or the denture.
Implant Retained Dentures: Increasingly more common has been dentures that are being held in place with the use of dental implants. With your dentures attached with implants, patients find considerable more comfort. They are permanently attached and do not need to be removed for any reason. Patients are able to continue eating any food they desire without the worry of having loose dentures in their mouths. Patients also find implant retained dentures to be much more aesthetically pleasing, making them feel more comfortable in social situations. The cost is significantly more, but the added benefit of comfort can not be beat.

For more information on dentures, both partial and full, and the various ways we can make them feel like your natural teeth, contact our dentists, Sunnshine M. Welton DDS and David G. Welton DDS, at our Post Falls, ID 83854 office by contacting our front office at: (208) 777-9599

Detail of the layering ceramic dental implant, crown three elements on zirconium oxide

Something that patients may not be aware of is the chain reaction of dental problems that occurs when a tooth is extracted or lost. It is a much larger issue than just losing a tooth, it will affect your entire oral health. At Woodland Family Dental, our team, including Dr. S. Welton and Dr. D. Welton, can stop that chain reaction with the placement of a fixed dental bridge. We can place a non-removable false tooth, filling the space, and stopping damage from occurring to your neighboring teeth.

When a Patient Loses a Tooth

When a tooth has been lost, either due to decay, injury or extraction, a chain reaction begins in your mouth. Almost immediately your jaw bone will respond in that area with atrophy. This means that it decreases in size, and though that may seem insignificant, it will make small visual changes to your facial structure that we often associate with an older appearance. Next, the most likely effect is the shifting of your neighboring teeth to fill the now empty space. Your teeth will begin to drift ever so slightly because there is room available. Shifting teeth means that your teeth change their alignment, which changes your bite and how your teeth fit together, which can cause jaw pain, it may affect your speech, and change how your teeth look. You will also notice changes in how you eat, empty spaces may make it harder to chew the foods you love. Finally, your aesthetics, people notice our teeth, they see them while we speak and when we smile. Patients have expressed altering their smile so they can hide their teeth, they share stories of hiding when pictures are being taken, and they may choose to sit out social situations so that people can not see their teeth, or lack of. We don’t want you to experience any of the above problems, the solution is available. With the creation of a dental bridge, Dr. S. Welton and Dr. D. Welton can stop these problems.

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge uses two dental crowns that are placed over two healthy teeth or tooth implant posts with a false tooth, or multiple false teeth, in between. The healthy teeth or posts serve as anchors to support the false teeth, giving you a strong hold. Though there are removable dentures available, bridges are generally considered permanent, meaning non-removable, as they are cemented into place. During your regular checkups, we will check the bond, ensuring that it is strong, and if it is not, we can remove it and re-cement it into place. Most patients do not need to have a replacement bridge created for many years. 

For more information on dental bridges, including traditional bridges, and attaching them with dental implants, contact our dentists, Sunnshine M. Welton DDS and David G. Welton DDS, at our Post Falls, ID 83854 office by contacting our front office at: (208) 777-9599

Dental crowns and tooth

Dental crowns can restore a tooth that would otherwise be lost. At Woodland Family Dental, our team, including Dr. S. Welton and Dr. D. Welton, can build up and strengthen a tooth that has been compromised by placing a dental crown. We can provide you a crown that will look and feel like your other teeth, no one will ever be the wiser.

When Do I Need A Dental Crown?

Crowns can be a large expense, and frequently, even with insurance, a patient will bear some of the financial cost. So, when is a crown necessary? Dr. S. Welton and Dr. D. Welton recommend their patients consider a dental crown when:

A tooth has cracked or fractured: A cracked tooth can be very painful because it exposes the dentin layer that is beneath the enamel. In order to save a cracked tooth from needing to be extracted we need to place a crown.

A tooth is worn due to bruxism: A subconscious temporary dental disorder, patients with bruxism clench and/or grind their teeth while they sleep. Though this condition is often short-lived, there is often damaging effects that require a single or multiple crowns to restore the teeth.

Teeth that have large cavities: A large cavity is not only painful, but after we remove the decay, the space left may be too large to hold a filling, in that situation we may recommend a crown for long term restoration.

Placing a dental bridge: A dental bridge uses two crowns that are placed over two healthy teeth to serve as anchors for a false tooth, or multiple teeth, between.

Aesthetics: Whether you have uneven, worn, damaged, stained or just not the prettiest of teeth, we can place dental crowns to give you a perfect look. Patients can have instant straighter, even, without gaps, front teeth.

Dental Implants: If you have a missing tooth that you are seeking to replace, we can insert an implant post and then place a dental crown, giving you a flawless new tooth.

Crown Options

There are multiple material options available for your crown. We can place crowns made of porcelain, porcelain over metal, gold or ceramic crowns. The various materials each come with different looks, textures, and feels. Our dentists will review each of these materials with you to determine which crown is right for you.

Crown Placement

To place your dental crown, Dr. S. Welton or Dr. D. Welton will first need to reduce the original tooth to fit the crown. They will take an impression of the surrounding area to customize your bite and the ridges in order to fit perfectly in your mouth. These impressions are sent to a dental lab and your customized crown is ready in about two weeks. We will then clean the area thoroughly and cement the crown into place. During this process, your bite will be continuously checked to ensure that the fit is done well. Adjustments can be made as needed. From then on we will check your crown at every dental checkup, we can re-cement as needed.

For more information on dental crowns, and using them to restore damaged teeth, or to place over dental implants, contact our dentists, Sunnshine M. Welton DDS and David G. Welton DDS, at our Post Falls, ID 83854 office by contacting our front office at: (208) 777-9599

Our dentists, Dr. S. Welton and Dr. D. Welton, can make simple repairs to your teeth with composite dental bonding. At Woodland Family Dental, we can make small repairs including chips, cracks, discoloration and even gaps by applying and shaping composite material. This restorative procedure is fast, easy, painless and economical.

What is bonding?

To make these simple repairs we use the tooth colored composite filling material that you have seen us use to fill cavities. In the past, composite filling was not known for its strength and durability, but that is no longer true. The material we use today is significantly stronger, and more durable, we even use it to repair molars. 

Composite is a blend of quartz and resin that together makes a superior hold. We are able to shade this material to match your neighboring teeth. Unlike amalgam, or silver fillings, we do not need to remove any portion of the tooth to make it stick. Composite will bond right to the surface of your tooth. We can sculpt the putty like material into the desired shape and then polish and smooth it to perfection. 

Our patients love this simple restorative procedure because it:

We can cover front teeth that have been chipped or cracked.
We can fill in gaps, especially between your two front teeth, without the use of braces.
We can cover up teeth that have been discolored or are stained.
We can make teeth appear more proportional with bonding by lengthening.
We can protect a tooth’s root that has been exposed from gum disease or receding gums.

How does bonding work?

Dr. S. Welton or Dr. D. Welton begin the process by preparing the tooth. Preparing for bonding is generally not thought of as being painful, most patients do not require any sort of anesthetic. One of our dentists will lightly etch the surface of the tooth to rough it up a bit, they will then apply a conditioning bonding liquid which will help the material bond firmly. Once the liquid sets, we will then apply a plastic resin that can be sculpted into the desired shape by our dentist. After the material has set, we can then trim, smooth and polish the material to a beautiful, natural appearance.


Dental bonding is an excellent repair, and significantly less cost that other restorations. Patients also love that bonding can often be completed in a single office visit. However, composite material is not as strong as your natural tooth enamel, it is prone to staining, chipping or breaking easier than your natural teeth. Though bonding is very durable, it typically lasts three to five years before need of repair. Other options such as crowns and veneers are frequently more durable.

For more information on dental bonding and placing composite material to repair damaged teeth, contact our dentists, Sunnshine M. Welton DDS and David G. Welton DDS, at our Post Falls, ID 83854 office by contacting our front office at: (208) 777-9599

Root canal therapy may be the least desired dental procedure, but it eliminates infection and allows a patient to save a tooth that would otherwise be lost. Our team at Woodland Family Dental, including Dr. S. Welton and Dr. D. Welton, want to remove the pain that infected pulp causes and restore your tooth back to functional health. Root canal therapy can do just that. This procedure is one of the most common dental procedures performed, just after cavity fillings. There are over 14 million root canal procedures performed every year. Though the procedure may bring a shudder, this simple treatment can save your natural tooth and prevent the need for larger procedures including the need for dental implants or bridges.

Root canal procedure

Severe tooth pain may be an indication of infected pulp. Your tooth is comprised of layer, the hard outer layer that you can see is your enamel. The most common dental disorder is decay to the enamel. This is easily removed and filled with filling material. When bacteria has gone below the enamel and hit the dentin, this is when the patient experiences pain. If this pain is ignored, then the bacteria has the time to reach the pulp. Infected pulp is very painful. We need to remove the infection; it can not heal on its own.

To remove the infected pulp, Dr. S. Welton or Dr. D. Welton will first gain access to the pulp going through the tooth. They will clear out the canal of the root, removing the pulp and the source of the infection along with it. The area will be cleansed. They will then fill the canal with a medicated rubber material. The pulp of your tooth was needed while your tooth was growing, but it is no longer needed once the tooth is fully grown. With the root now cleansed and filled, our dentist will then close up the tooth with filling material and place a customized crown over the tooth to provide additional strength.

How did the root of my tooth become infected?

There are many ways a root canal can become infected. This may be from:

A deep cavity of decay that was allowed to extend deep into the tooth.
A crack or fracture in the tooth allowed for passage of bacteria.
A tooth has had multiple surgical procedures done in the past.
The tooth has been jarred or had an impact injury.

Are root canals painful?

Root canal therapy is often misunderstood as being painful but it is the opposite, as we are releasing the pain that was already there. The pain associated with root canals comes from bacteria infecting the pulp which contains nerves, we remove the infection and the nerves that are present inside the tooth, releasing the pain. The procedure itself should not be painful, we offer our patients plenty of anesthetic to help with that! 

For more information on root canal therapy and how we can restore your tooth that has been infected, contact our dentists, Sunnshine M. Welton DDS and David G. Welton DDS, at our Post Falls, ID 83854 office by contacting our front office at: (208) 777-9599

Get the healthy smile that you deserve!

Get the healthy smile that you deserve!

When a patient has excessive gum tissue, giving them a gummy smile, we can remove the excess tissue to expose more of the tooth. This is generally done in preparation for a dental restoration. Our dentists, Dr. S. Welton or Dr. D. Welton, will review this simple procedure with you if they find it necessary before they can place a dental crown, or treat a tooth that has decay. Our team at Woodland Family Dental want to give you the healthy smile that you need, crown lengthening, for some patients, is a common and simple step toward restoring your oral health.

How is crown lengthening done?

The description sounds more severe than it is. In order to expose more of the tooth, we need to make a series of cuts to remove excess tissue and in some situations, we may find it necessary to remove some bone. Before cuts are made, we start with a dental cleaning and then apply a local anesthetic, so the patient does not experience any discomfort. We often remove excess tissue from around multiple teeth, even if only a single tooth is needed, this is to allow us to reshape the tissue to provide an even look.

If the plan is to place a crown on the tooth, we may put on a temporary crown. Your temporary crown will protect your tooth and provide us a guideline of how much tissue or bone needs to be removed. 

Following your tooth lengthening procedure, we tend to give the patient about three months to fully heal. As your gums heal, there is often some shrinkage, and if we don’t wait long enough, the edges of the crown could show. Once healed, one of our dentists, Dr. S. Welton or Dr. D. Welton, will clean and prepare the tooth again before placing the permanent crown.

Why would I need to have crown lengthening?

We recommend a patient has crown lengthening to:

To provide the space needed on a tooth to provide stability for a dental crown.
When a tooth has broken below the gum line and we need to make a restorative procedure.
When a tooth has decay that is below the gum and is inaccessible.
When a restorative procedure needs to be performed and we are unable to get the access to the tooth that we need due to excessive tissue.

Crown lengthening is a fast procedure, often taking less than one hour. Our patients find that proper crown lengthening can give valuable results that is necessary to restore their teeth to health. This simple procedure will provide the patient a much nicer fitting dental crown and improved access to removing plaque, helping you have better control of disease causing bacteria around their new restoration.

For more information on crown lengthening and how we can restore a tooth that has excessive gum tissue over the tooth, contact our dentists, Sunnshine M. Welton DDS and David G. Welton DDS, at our Post Falls, ID 83854 office by contacting our front office at: (208) 777-9599

A tooth extraction is the procedure done to remove a tooth that is damaged beyond repair from its socket in the jawbone. Extractions are also done to remove wisdom teeth that may be impacted or create future problems.

Many extractions can be performed in our Post Falls office; however, more complicated procedures may be referred to one of our trusted oral surgeons.

Why Are Teeth Extracted?

Severely decayed teeth
Periodontal disease leading to bone loss
Fractured in such a way that it is impossible or impractical to repair
Badly positioned (impacted wisdom teeth)
Non-functional or poorly functional teeth that should be replaced with a bridge, denture or dental implant

Extractions are generally classified as either non-surgical (also known as “simple”) or surgical (involving cutting through the gums and tooth). A simple procedure can quickly become a surgical procedure if the tooth fractures or refuses to loosen under pressure. We perform these procedures only after making the extraction site(s) profoundly numb.

Tooth Extraction Post-Operative Instructions

Following tooth extraction you may experience bleeding, oozing, soreness or moderate to severe pain.

Bleeding should stop by 8-12 hours following the extraction. If you experience significant bleeding past this time please call our office immediately. Oozing of pink fluid for 1-2 days is normal.

Discomfort following the tooth extraction is best managed with a mild analgesic like Tylenol, Advil or Aleve. If you experience severe pain that lasts more than 2-3 days after your extraction please call our office.

Healing should be as smooth as possible following tooth extraction. It is important to not disturb the extraction site. Remember to eat a soft diet and avoid vigorous rinsing for 24 hours following the extraction. 

After 24 hours rinse with strong warm salt water for 1 minute a couple of times daily for 3-4 days. This will reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth and will promote better healing.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us at (208) 777-9599.