Restorative Dentistry

Keeping Your Smile Healthy For Life

Our dentists and staff provide knowledgeable and gentle care when it comes to helping you keep your teeth and gums healthy. There are many options available to for the restoration of your teeth and gums to a healthy state.
Dental fillings are used to restore or fix areas of teeth that have decayed or broken. Many different types of fillings – including amalgam, composite, gold and porcelain – can be placed to prevent further decay as well as even out tooth surfaces for better biting and chewing.

There are many ways that dental professionals determine whether or not a filling is needed. One of the most common ways is during a regular cleaning and exam. A dental probe and x-ray can also help identify possible trouble spots.

The kind of filling you receive depends on a number of factors, including your overall health, dental history, cavity location, durability, cost, and your preference. Our dentists will use all available information to help you decide which option is right for you.

Amalgam Fillings

Dental amalgam has been around for a long time and is often referred to as a “silver filling.” Amalgam is a mixture of metals such as silver, copper, mercury, and tin. If you have amalgam fillings that you would like replaced, let your doctor know so that you may discuss your treatment options.

Composite Fillings

Composite is a tooth-colored, resin based filling material that is bonded to the tooth. After bonding, the composite filling is shaped and polished to closely resemble the natural look of your teeth. These fillings can be placed in either front or back teeth.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are often referred to as inlays or onlays. Gold isn’t used in its pure form, but rather in an alloy containing 75% gold and other metals such as copper, palladium and silver. The tooth is prepared by removing the decay or old filling, and then an impression is made and sent to a dental lab. The lab then makes the restoration and at a second visit the restoration is cemented onto the tooth.

Gold fillings are generally more expensive than other options, but they are more durable and perform well over time. These fillings can last up to four times longer than other materials.

Porcelain Fillings

Porcelain can be used for several types of dental restorations including inlays, onlays, crowns and veneers. One of the advantages of porcelain is the superior esthetics that can be achieved versus other types of materials as porcelain closely resembles the look of natural tooth. Like gold, porcelain filings involve two visits, are bonded to your tooth at the second visit.

Whatever filling you choose, our dentists will present the best options and provide attentive, gentle care through every phase of the process.

If your teeth are weak or broken from damage or decay, then you may need a crown. Placing a dental crown is a relatively quick and simple procedure that can strengthen your teeth and your smile. It works as a protective barrier over your tooth, using the existing structure of it while guarding your tooth against further damage.

Dental crowns can be made from several high quality materials including gold, porcelain or a combination of the two. Gold crowns won’t chip or break and can withstand heavy biting and chewing forces well. A porcelain-fused-to-gold crown has an inner metal shell with porcelain baked onto it. These crowns can be a good choice for both front and back teeth. They are strong enough to withstand normal biting pressure and look great, all at the same time. Pure porcelain crowns are also a viable option for some patients and provide the most pleasing esthetic results.

Dental crowns can generally be completed in about two visits with your dentist. The first visit involves filing the existing tooth and making an impression of the area around that tooth for the permanent crown. Our dental assistant will then place a temporary crown over the tooth to protect it between visits. During the second visit, the temporary crown is removed and replaced with the permanent crown.

A bridge can be used to replace one or more missing teeth most areas of the mouth. A missing tooth can cause numerous problems including:

  • Shifting teeth
  • Changes in bite
  • Speech impediment
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
  • Increased risk of periodontal or gum disease
  • Increased risk of tooth decay

Once teeth have shifted they become more difficult to keep clean. This can result in the build up of plaque and calculus increasing your risk for gum disease and tooth decay. With a dental bridge, however, there is no need to allow missing teeth to threaten your beautiful smile.

A dental bridge is a false tooth (or teeth) joined between two crowns to fill in the space left behind by a missing tooth (or teeth). The two crowns holding the false tooth in place are attached onto the teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge.

Fixed bridges, like crowns, can be made of gold, porcelain or a combination of the two. Since bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth, they require a serious commitment to daily dental hygiene habits but will last as many as seven years or longer.

The process of having a bridge placed in your mouth takes a minimum of two visits to complete. On the first visit, the teeth are prepared and the dentist takes an impression of these teeth. A temporary bridge will be made for the two weeks it takes to make the permanent bridge in the lab. This temporary bridge will serve to protect your teeth and gums.

At the second visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and the permanent bridge will be cemented. We will then advise you on how to best take care of your teeth with the dental bridge, supplying a bridge floss threader in order to floss around all areas of the bridge. Flossing, along with brushing twice a day, is required each day to protect your bridge and your smile!

Dentures (more commonly known as false teeth) are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of your mouth. Conventional dentures are removable, however there are many different denture designs, some which rely on resting on or clasping onto teeth or dental implants.

Dentures can help patients in a number of ways:

  1. Mastication – chewing ability is improved by replacing edentulous areas with denture teeth.
  2. Esthetics – the presence of teeth provide a natural facial appearance and wearing a denture to replace missing teeth provides support for the lips and cheeks and corrects the collapsed appearance that occurs after losing teeth.
  3. Phonetics – by replacing missing teeth, especially the front teeth, patients are better able to speak by improving pronunciation.
  4. Self esteem – Patients feel better about themselves when their appearance improves.

There are different types of dentures that can be utilized depending on your personal needs.

Complete Dentures

These replace all of your teeth, upper and lower, and rest directly on your jaw. They require multiple appointments, allowing your dentist to take impressions of your mouth and comfortably fit the custom-made dentures for you. Together with the dentist, you’ll also choose the shape, color and size of the teeth used in your dentures.

Immediate Dentures

Once teeth are extracted, it often takes months for your bone and gums to stabilize for the placement of complete dentures. Immediate dentures are placed at the time of extractions and will require several additional adjustments as the healing process continues.

Partial Dentures

A removable partial denture completes your smile by filling out the spaces created by missing teeth, attaching to your natural teeth with clasps that hold them in place. Partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum colored plastic bases, which are connected by a metal framework. Newer all-plastic or flexible-partial dentures are now available.

Implant Retained Dentures

Generally these are placed over dental implants and “snap” onto the implants giving the denture greatly increased stability and a much better fit as compared to traditional dentures.

Dentures require an adjustment period in order to use them comfortably. Advancements in technology and materials help dentures to look more natural and provide for a better overall fit.

Even though they make look natural, dentures aren’t used the same ways as natural teeth. Speaking and eating with dentures will take practice over several weeks or months. If you have any problems like clicking, gum irritation, or slipping, your dentist will work with you to retention, comfort and appearance.

Nothing is as good as a natural tooth! And sometimes your natural tooth may need a root canal (also known as endodontic treatment) for it to remain as a healthy part of your mouth.

A tooth is made of enamel and dentin on the outside and pulp or nerve tissue on the inside. A root canal is necessary when the pulp, the nerve inside the root, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain and/or lead to an abscess.

The purpose of a root canal is to save the damaged tooth. This is done by removing the infected pulp, treating any remaining infection, and filling the empty root canals with special dental materials. Antibiotics may be used in conjunction with root canal therapy.

Root canal therapy can take one to three office visits to complete. Afterwards, it is essential that you return to have a crown or other restoration placed over the tooth to protect it. For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if you had pain or infection before the procedure. You can relieve pain with over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Dental implants are an increasingly popular way to replace missing teeth and are a viable option for many patients. Implants are not only used to replace a single tooth but can also benefit people who may be missing several or all of their teeth. Implants are being used more and more to replace bridges and removable partial dentures.

Implants can be used to support a number of dental prosthetics including crowns, implant supported bridges or implant supported dentures. Implant supported dentures are an excellent alternative to traditional dentures and provide patients with improved function, esthetics and confidence.

Why Dental Implants?

People choose dental implants because they have missing teeth. It’s extremely important to replace these teeth for the following reasons:

  • Increased self-confidence
  • Retain the presence of jaw bone that dissolves once teeth are lost
  • Movement of teeth that makes them difficult to clean, resulting in tooth decay and gum disease
  • Bite problems, leading to TMJ
  • Poor nutrition, stemming from the inability to chew food
  • Whether you’re missing a few teeth or several teeth, replacing them is vital for good overall health

Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

To determine if dental implants are the right choice for you, start by scheduling a consultation with your dentist. We will perform a complete dental exam and take any necessary x-rays to determine your specific treatment needs and options. Many patients who think they may not be a good candidate for dental implants are, in fact, excellent candidates.

Our office works closely with oral surgery specialists to provide implant therapy to our patients. The oral surgeon provide the surgical aspect of implant therapy and restore the dental implant(s) with a single crown, bridge, or implant supported denture or partial denture.

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