Restorative Dentistry

Dr. Birnbaum and Dr. Aaronson both have a passion for restoring teeth to their natural beauty. When teeth are damaged, they are able to use the latest technology and high quality labs and materials to create beautiful, natural-looking teeth. Here is a list of some of the restorative procedures available in our office.

Crowns

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:

  1. Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it and any cracks that may weaken the tooth.

  2. Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.

  3. Capturing a 3D scan of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown.

  4. 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.

  5. Applying the custom-made crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth.

  6. After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.
     

This process generally consists of two visits over a two 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 may last a lifetime.

Composite (White) Fillings

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.

 
 

Bridges

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. The healthy teeth or implants that support either side of the bridge are called “abutments”, and the missing teeth are replaced with “pontics”. In some cases, only one side of the bridge has an abutment and the other side is unsupported. This is called a “cantilever bridge.” A bridge can be supported by either natural teeth or implants, but not both in the same bridge.

 

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.