Decayed, damaged, or missing teeth can cause many significant problems from tooth pain and chewing issues to low self-esteem and bad breath. Unfortunately, dental neglect only gets more painful and more expensive to treat, therefore a proactive approach to dental care is our primary focus. Our team uses effective, innovative solutions to restore and maintain smiles in any condition.
Bonding / White Fillings
A bonding is a composite resin that is used as an alternative to amalgams and veneers. This is an excellent cosmetic option for those patients who do not want the look of silver in their mouths and do not want the expense of veneers. Bondings can be used on teeth that are decayed, cracked, or stained.
The bonding procedure is usually completed in one visit. The first step is to remove the decayed or unsightly portion of the tooth. The tooth is then etched with a liquid or gel and a bonding agent is then applied. This will allow the composite resin to be placed in the prepared tooth. The resin is then trimmed and polished, leaving you with a beautifully sculpted, natural-looking restoration.
Although composite resins are cosmetically pleasing and easily placed, their durability is not as strong as other types of restorations. These resins typically last from 4-7 years before they begin to chip and wear away. When this happens, the restoration will need to be replaced.
Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are sometimes referred to as partial crowns. These partial crowns are utilized when there is still a healthy enamel portion of the tooth. An inlay or onlay is like a puzzle piece that will be fitted into the remaining portion of the tooth to help increase its strength. This piece is usually crafted out of porcelain or gold, but can also be made of a composite material. We will make the determination as to which restoration will work best in your specific situation. An inlay is used when there is not damage to any of the cusps of your tooth and is essentially place within these cusps. An onlay is used when there is slightly more extensive damage to the tooth structure. This type of restoration is placed over at least one of the cusps on the tooth.
A bridge is one of the few options that you have when deciding how to deal with a missing tooth or teeth. The replacement of these missing teeth is necessary in order to maintain the proper mouth functions. Tooth loss can affect the way you eat, speak, and the alignment of other teeth in your mouth.
A bridge, by definition, is a link or connection between two permanent structures. A dental bridge is very similar in that it attaches the restorative teeth (bridge) to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. This bridge acts as your new teeth, closing the gap and restoring your smile. Bridges are often constructed of gold or metal foundations with porcelain fused to the foundation. This ensures that the bridge will support the normal functions of the mouth.
As we get a little older, our teeth begin to change and are prone to decay. There are many possible reasons for this change in your smile. These reasons can include bruxism (teeth grinding), general decay, cracked fillings, root canals, and many others. If your tooth is beyond repair with filling material, we may recommend that the best viable option to save the tooth is a full crown. The reasons for this type of restoration in a badly damaged tooth are durability, cosmetic appearance, and overall support of the chewing function.
If we decide that you are in need of a full crown, there are a few different options for the repair of your tooth. These options include a full porcelain crown, a porcelain fused to metal or gold crown, or a full gold crown. We will make the determination as to which of these options is the most appropriate for your situation. You can be comfortable in knowing that your new tooth will be virtually unnoticeable and will flawlessly complement the rest of your smile.
When decay occurs below the gumline, it may be necessary to remove a small amount of bone and gum tissue. Your dentist may ask for this procedure before he or she makes a new crown for your tooth. Crown Lengthening procedures are done for both restorative dentistry and/or to improve the esthetics of your gum line. General practitioners often refer for crown lengthening procedures prior to restoration of broken or severely decayed teeth. This procedure adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored. Sometimes crown lengthening is done to improve a “gummy” smile because the teeth appear short. The teeth may actually be the proper length but excess gum tissue may be covering these teeth. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue are reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth.
Dentures & Partials
Dentures are used to replace missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. There are generally two types of dentures available: complete dentures and partial dentures. The type that is needed can be determined by your dentist. Typically complete dentures are used to replace all teeth and partial dentures are used when you still have some of your natural teeth in place. Dentures are employed so that patients who suffer from tooth loss because of periodontal disease (gum disease), tooth decay, or traumatic injury don’t have to suffer the negative effects of not having teeth. Besides the obvious reason for eating, replacement teeth are needed so that remaining teeth do not shift and so that a sagging facial appearance does not give the impression of making one appear older than they are. Dentures have a brief adjustment period and never feel exactly the same as one’s natural teeth. However, they are designed to be comfortable and functional and have a similar appearance to natural teeth, improving the smile and facial appearance.