Tooth-Colored Fillings | Teeth Whitening | Veneers | Crowns and Bridges | Inlays and Onlays | Full and Partial Dentures
Silver amalgam used to be the norm when it came to materials for restorations, such as fillings. However, silver fillings do not have much aesthetic appeal to the patient and can even cause damage to your tooth years down the road. The amalgam can break down the tooth, causing a fracture and the need for a crown to salvage the tooth.
After much research, some new tooth-colored materials have been developed that are stronger, longer lasting and more aesthetically pleasing to our patients. Composed of porcelain and composite resin, these new tooth-colored restorations bond directly to the tooth, strengthening it by restoring most of its original shape. The restorations can even be custom-colored to match your teeth to help give you the most natural-looking smile possible.
These new restorations require less removal of your healthy tooth structure to place than those with amalgams and especially with new cavities. Dramatically smaller holes are needed with a tooth-colored restoration. They are also healthier because no traces of mercury are used, unlike silver amalgams.
Your teeth will darken over time. Changes in the color of your teeth can be caused by such factors as the food and beverages consumed (like coffee, tea and soda). Other known factors for discoloration may include childhood medications or illnesses, tobacco use or improper oral hygiene. Restoring your natural white smile is a priority for our dental whitening team. We can provide a variety of options for whitening your smile.
Tooth whitening services are growing in popularity, and it’s one of the most requested services offered by our practice. Everyone sees the growing consumer market focused on whiter teeth. The reality is that over-the-counter, “too good to be true” solutions typically don’t work.
We are trained professionals using industry-approved methods. Our goal is to meet the needs of every patient, and every patient’s needs are different. One of the methods used by our practice is a gentle hydrogen-peroxide gel-activated solution. Our process will whiten your entire smile in one visit. Call us today for a whitening evaluation.
Nothing improves your appearance more than a bright, white smile!
Veneers are thin, semi-translucent “shells” typically attached to your front teeth. Veneers are customized from porcelain material that is bonded to your teeth. Veneers are a great alternative to otherwise painful dental procedures to improve the appearance of your smile.
Common problems that veneers are used for:
- Spaces between the teeth
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Unsightly, stained or discolored teeth
- Permanently stained or discolored teeth
- Crooked or misshapen teeth
Veneers are a great aesthetic solution to your smile that may even help you avoid orthodontic treatment. Subtle changes to your smile can be achieved with veneers, and in most cases, veneer application is completed in only two office visits.
Please contact our office if you have any further questions on veneers.
Crowns and Bridges
A crown is a custom-made covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:
- Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
- Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
- Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
- Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the custom-made crown is being created.
- Applying the custom-made crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth.
- After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.
This process generally consists of a minimum of two to three visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.
A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent:
- Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
- Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
There are three main types of bridges, namely:
- A fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
- The “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.
- The cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations. They are a great alternative to traditional metal fillings primarily because less of the tooth structure needs to be removed. Inlays and onlays are suitable for treating mild to moderate decay, and can be used to restore a cracked or fractured tooth if the damage is not extensive enough to require a crown.
Generally, inlays are small restorations that fit within the contours of the biting surface of a tooth, while onlays cover a portion or the entire chewing surface.
Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain, gold or composite resin. Once fabricated, they are securely bonded to the tooth.
The advantages of inlays and onlays include:
- Since they can be fabricated from tooth-colored materials, inlays and onlays are aesthetically pleasing. Unlike traditional metal fillings, the restoration is virtually invisible.
- Less removal of the tooth structure is required to achieve optimal results.
- They do not cause excessive wear and tear to opposing tooth structures. Inlays and onlays prevent the need for more significant treatment in the future.
Full and Partial Dentures
Periodontal disease, injury and tooth decay can all cause a loss of your natural teeth. However, we can bring back the smile on your face with dentures to restore your missing teeth. With improved technology and updated materials, dentists can now make them appear more natural and more comfortable for the patient.
Types of Dentures
There are two types of dentures: complete and partial.
- Complete dentures cover the patient's entire jaw.
- Partial dentures, with their metal framework, replace multiple missing teeth.
To know which type is best for you, be sure to ask your dentist.
It may take some time to adjust to your dentures. Speaking and eating may feel different at first, but these regular activities will resume normally once you are accustomed to your dentures.