Restorative procedures help protect both oral health and overall health while improving the appearance of the patient’s smile. The right restorative procedures at the right time can reduce the need for additional dental work in the future.
THE BIOMETRIC APPROACH:
Biomimetic Dentistry is defined as the reconstruction of teeth to emulate their natural bio-mechanical and esthetic form and function. Simply put, biomimetic dentistry means to copy what is life-like. With biomimetic dentistry, only the damaged and decayed part of the tooth is removed and the final restoration is bonded to the remaining healthy natural tooth structure. Biomimetic restorations include stress-reduced direct composite restorations and porcelain/composite inlays and onlays that restore the biomechanics of broken and damaged teeth.
When restoring damaged, broken, and decayed teeth, the goal is to return the tooth to its original strength, function, and esthetic. Biomimetic dentistry accomplishes all of this in a conservative approach with strong and attractive results.
Composite fillings use tooth-colored material to restore teeth with cavities and maintain a natural appearance. Once the decay is removed, the tooth is filled with a composite material which is then cured using a specialized light to harden the material. Composite fillings can be done in one visit.
LEARN MORE ABOUT FILLINGS
Identifying and addressing cavities early can prevent the need for more complex and costly dental procedures.
If cavities are found before there has been significant decay, the tooth can be restored with a filling.
Once a tooth has a cavity, the decay will continue to spread unless the decayed area is removed and the tooth is properly restored. Leaving cavities untreated can lead to the need for more significant restorative procedures such as crowns, bridges, root canals, or dental implants.
TOOTH COLORED FILLINGS:
While metal (amalgam) fillings used to be common, tooth-colored composite material is now the most recommended filling material. The composite material blends in with the natural tooth and is less noticeable than a metal filling. The tooth-colored filling is not as affected by heat and cold as the metal fillings, so the patient is less likely to experience temperature-related sensitivity.
Another important reason composite fillings have replaced amalgam fillings is that they do not use mercury, which was present in metal fillings. Many patients are choosing to have their older amalgam fillings replaced with tooth-colored fillings for this reason.
INLAYS & ONLAYS:
An inlay or onlay is a partial crown restoration that can be placed when there is not sufficient tooth structure to support a filling but enough tooth structure left that a full crown is not needed. Inlays/onlays are made of porcelain or gold, and they aesthetically and functionally replace the missing tooth structure.
LEARN MORE ABOUT INLAYS & ONLAYS
INLAYS & ONLAYS:
For larger cavities or a tooth with decay in more than one area, an inlay or onlay may be the best restorative solution.
The difference between an inlay and an onlay is the area of the tooth anatomy being restored. Inlays apply to cavities in the grooves, or pits and fissures, of the tooth’s biting surface. Onlays are used when the decay includes the tooth cusps. Both are used to restore areas where tooth decay is present and the tooth structure has been compromised.
Inlays and onlays can be made with either cast gold alloy or with tooth-colored ceramic or porcelain materials. A model of the patient’s natural tooth is made prior to any procedure so that the restoration can be made to replicate the shape and function of the natural tooth.
The shape and fit of the restoration can be verified before being cemented or bonded into place, and the inlay or onlay can be extremely durable.
A crown is a dental restoration that completely covers the outside of a tooth that is cracked, broken, worn down, or severely decayed. Dental crowns are usually completed in two visits. During the first visit, the tooth is prepared (shaved down) and an impression is taken. A temporary crown is placed while the permanent crown is fabricated. During the second visit, the permanent crown is carefully fitted and then cemented into place.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CROWNS
If a tooth has more extensive decay, a dental crown may be the ideal aesthetic and functional restorative solution.
Choosing to have a crown placed can preserve the natural tooth, which is always the goal as preserving the natural teeth helps maintain the supporting bone structure and stability of the surrounding and adjacent teeth.
The first step in the process is to take an impression that will be used to make a model of the teeth and bite. This allows the crown to be made to look and function like your natural tooth. The tooth will then be prepped, with the decayed areas being removed. An impression of the prepped tooth will be made so that the final crown will fit properly when it is placed.
Sometimes the final crown can be placed on the same day but other times a temporary crown will be placed while your final restoration is being created. Crowns often last a lifetime with proper care and oral hygiene.
There are four common types of crowns:
This type of crown is often used for teeth that are visible when smiling as they are made from a porcelain-based material that retains the look of your natural teeth.
Porcelain Fused to Metal
These crowns are known for their strength and durability while also allowing for a natural-looking restoration.
These may be used when more strength is needed, particularly for patients who grind their teeth at night.
Base Metal Alloys
These are strong and corrosion-resistant and are often used when there is less existing tooth structure available to support the crown restoration.
A bridge can replace missing teeth without the use of a denture or dental implant. A bridge is composed of two crowns and a replacement tooth or teeth. Crowns are typically placed on the teeth on either side of the space, with the fabricated tooth or teeth attached in between.
For multiple missing teeth, an implant may be used to anchor the bridge
LEARN MORE ABOUT BRIDGES
Missing one or more teeth is common for many people.
The ADA reports that on average adult patients may have three missing or decayed teeth. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions to replace missing teeth, including dental bridges. A bridge may be used to restore an area with one or more adjacent missing teeth. A bridge has two primary components. The abutments (or supports) for the bridge are created by placing a crown on either a natural tooth or an implant. The synthetic tooth that replaces the missing tooth is called a pontic. In the case of one missing tooth, the two teeth on either side will be prepped for crowns and the missing tooth will be replaced with a synthetic tooth that is connected to the crowns on either side of the missing tooth. In the case of several adjacent missing teeth, one or more implants may provide the abutment.
There are four main types of dental bridges:
Traditional Dental Bridge
This is the most common type of dental bridge. The existing teeth are crowned with one or more pontics between and held in place by the crowned abutments. The crowns are cemented onto the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth to create a support structure or “bridge” for the missing teeth.
This type of bridge is similar to a traditional bridge, except that the structure is supported on only one side instead of both sides. This can cause the restoration to act as a “lever” and may create additional stress on the supporting tooth, causing it to be more likely to loosen or fracture.
Implant Supported Bridge
Instead of using existing teeth to support a bridge, a dental implant may be substituted to provide support for one or both sides of a dental bridge. This is a popular option that can provide a very secure restoration. This solution is particularly helpful when there are several adjacent missing teeth.
This type of bridge is supported by a metal structure which is cemented onto the back of existing teeth. While not as strong as a traditional bridge, it can preserve the tooth structure of the adjacent teeth by avoiding the use of crowns for the abutments. It may not stay in place when heavy forces are placed on the restoration (such as biting and chewing) and does add pressure to the supporting teeth.
Contact our office to learn more about your restorative options and achieve the smile you have always wanted.
Dental implants are composed of three pieces: a small screw made of a biocompatible metal called titanium, an abutment which connects the screw and the final restoration, and the final restoration. The screw, which is placed in the jawbone, acts as a replacement for the tooth root, providing a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. The screw begins to fuse with the bone over the course of a few months. After the fusing process, known as osseointegration, the abutment is inserted into the screw to allow for the permanent attachment of the restoration.
LEARN MORE ABOUT DENTAL IMPLANTS
SINGLE TOOTH DENTAL IMPLANTS:
Dental implants replace tooth roots in the mouth. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth and can aid in the prevention of bone loss in the jaw
IMPLANT SUPPORTED BRIDGES:
An implant supported bridge is a restorative solution for spaces where three or more adjacent teeth are missing. This restoration typically requires two implants to support the porcelain bridge. The bridge provides a functional and aesthetic replacement for a patient’s natural teeth.
IMPLANT SUPPORTED DENTURES:
For patients who are missing many or all of their teeth, implant supported dentures may be an alternative to traditional dentures. This solution requires the placement of two or more implants. In order to replace a full arch denture, a minimum of four implants is generally recommended. Eligibility for this solution is dependent upon a number of factors, with jaw bone density being one of the most significant determining factors.
Traditional dentures rely on an acrylic base that sits directly on the gums, held in place by a paste or adhesive. Using implants as supports for dentures allows for a smaller and more comfortable base and less shifting of the prosthesis during use.
Implants can support both full and partial dentures as well as both fixed and removable dentures. If a removable denture is selected, the denture will “snap” on to the implant rather than requiring the use of denture paste or adhesives.
FULL ARCH WITH ONLY FOUR IMPLANTS:
This procedure is a unique implant solution that allows patients with a completely edentulous (toothless) upper or lower arch to replace all of the teeth in that arch using only four implants as anchors.
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