Smile With Confidence:
Crowns and bridges
The most common way to correct your smile whether your primary concern is the shape and alignment, or the shade of your teeth, or both, is crown and bridgework. Crowns are simply “caps” that go over an existing tooth after reduction and preparation is done by your dentist under local anesthesia. These caps are custom made to fit your smile line and facial structure, so that the end result is perfect in esthetics and function; we do not want others to be able to look at your smile and think that you have had any dental work done at all. For esthetic cases, we work meticulously with the dental lab to tweak every detail of your smile down to the tenths of a millimeter, so that you end up with a fabulous result. Bridges are used to replace missing teeth, and simply consist of a crown on the tooth in front and behind the space where a tooth is missing, and is permanently cemented in place so that you no longer have a gap where a tooth was previously lost.
Think of this like a facing that simply goes over the existing tooth, with minimal or no reduction to the tooth itself. For the ladies, compare these to having a fake nail put over your existing nails at the salon, except these last for years rather than weeks. Veneers are made of porcelain, so the end result is indistinguishable from crowns, and are done with little to no damage to the existing tooth. Not everyone is a candidate for porcelain veneers, but for those who are this can be a life changing procedure that is minimally invasive to the natural teeth.
Tooth colored fillings
Many of our patients begin with a mouth full of silver fillings. Contrary to some popular misleading information online, these fillings are not toxic to your body, as has been proven by nearly a century of research. However, over time these fillings cause cracks to the surrounding enamel which inevitably leads to fractures in the teeth. At this point, your options are typically an emergency crown at best, root canal or extraction at worst. During your periodic exam and cleaning appointment, we look in detail at these fillings to observe the beginning of cracks in the tooth structure surrounding a silver filling. If the extent of these cracks is not too far, we will recommend replacement of the silver filling with a composite filling. Not only do these restorations match the color of the natural tooth, they are bonded to the surrounding tooth structure to hold the tooth together and prevent further cracks, and future emergency visits. If we observe these cracks to be too extensive, we may recommend a crown as best care long term. This can only be determined by clinical exam and periodic X-rays.
Dental implants have been changing the future of dentistry for over 30 years. If you are a good candidate, a dental implant can be the perfect option to replace a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, in a way that is biocompatible and that is permanent. A single implant after it is placed, can take 4-6 months to integrate with the surrounding bone before a crown is attached and function is restored. If you currently have dentures or are close to needing dentures, dental implants are a game changer. With dental implants, your denture can be attached permanently to a minimum of 4, but possibly 5 or 6 implants, and be just as functional as natural teeth. The most common complaints about traditional dentures is pain from pressure on the soft tissue, limited ability to taste, gagging, and inability to chew food efficiently. A denture that is fixed to implants, or removable and snapped into implants, give a patient the ability to chew and taste food, and eliminates the major limitations of traditional dentures. Not everyone is a candidate for this, but if you are interested in this treatment we will take a 3-dimensional X-ray to determine your candidacy.