- Composite Restoration
A composite restoration is a resin tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide). Introduced in the 1960s, dental composites were confined to the front teeth because they were not strong enough to withstand the pressure and wear generated by the back teeth. Since then, composites have been significantly improved and can be successfully placed in the back teeth as well. Composites are not only used to restore decayed areas, but are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
The dentist places the composite in layers, using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth. The dentist then polishes the composite to prevent staining and early wear.
A crown is a restoration that covers a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and a simple filling restoration is not enough to support the tooth. Crowns are also used to support a large filling when there isn’t enough of the tooth remaining, to protect weak teeth from fracturing, to restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.
To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reduced so the crown can fit over it and has clearance from the opposing tooth. An impression of teeth and gums is made and sent to the lab for the crown fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. On the next visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the tooth.
A bridge, (Fixed Partial Denture or FPD), is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth. The appliance “bridges” the space between two teeth. Bridges are cemented into place over the prepared abutment teeth on either side of the space of the tooth you are replacing. The replacement tooth is known as the “Pontic”. Unlike Removable Partial Dentures (RPD), fixed bridges cannot be taken out of the mouth by the patient.
A “Bridge” is prepared similarly to a crown. The teeth on either side of the space are reduced so the bridge can fit over them and has clearance from the opposing teeth. An impression of teeth and gums is made and sent to the lab for the bridge fabrication. A temporary bridge is fitted over the teeth and in the open space until the permanent bridge is made. On the next visit, the dentist removes the temporary bridge and cements the permanent bridge onto the teeth.
- Partial Denture
Partial Dentures, (Removable Partial Dentures or RPD)is a denture for a partially edentulous patient who desires to have replacement teeth for functional or aesthetic reasons and who cannot have a bridge (a fixed partial denture. There are numerous reasons that someone may require a partial denture, such as a lack of required teeth to serve as support for a bridge (i.e. distal abutments) or financial limitations. Not only does a Partial Denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, but is also used to prevent other teeth from changing position.
This type of prosthesis is referred to as a removable partial denture because patients can remove and reinsert it when needed. Once a patients remaining teeth are determined strong enough to support a partial denture, impressions are taken and sent to the lab for fabrication.
There are several types of Partial Dentures, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages:
A Cast Metal Partial Denture is stronger and offers a better fitting appliance. This partial has a metal framework with resin denture base and teeth.
A Flexible Partial Dentureis made from a nylon material with resin teeth. The Flexible Partial denture is less rigid than the metal base partial dentures.
- Complete Denture
A complete denture is a removable appliance for a completely edentulous patient. Dentures are used for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is fabricated from impressions taken of the patients gum tissue and measurements used to determine ideal tooth height, width, and arrangement. The denture is constructed of acrylic resin and teeth. A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles. It can greatly enhance ones facial appearance and smile.
There are three main types of dentures and each has its own advantages and disadvantages:
A Traditional Dentureis placed in the mouth about a month after all the teeth are removed to allow for proper healing. This type is most commonly seen when replacing an existing denture.
An Immediate Dentureis placed the same day as teeth are removed. An immediate denture requiresseveral adjustments and after the healing has taken place a reline of is necessary to fill in all areas of tissue that have healed and reduced in size.
An Overdenture is a denture constructed over dental implants. Implant overdentures are indicated for patients who desire a more stable prosthesis that improves retention, function and speech.
- Endodontic Services
Endodontics is also known as Root Canal Therapy (RCT). RCT is needed when the pulp becomes infected due to a deep cavity or fracture that allows bacteria to seep in, or injury due to trauma, it can die.
Damaged or dead pulp causes increased blood flow and cellular activity, and pressure cannot be relieved from inside the tooth. Pain in the tooth is commonly felt when biting down, chewing on it and applying hot or cold foods and drinks.
After tests are performed to identify the problematic tooth, treatment is performed in office or you may be referred to an Endodontist (a Root Canal Specialist). During treatment the tooth to isolate, the canal is accessed through the crown and into the pulp chamber. The infected root canal is cleaned of all diseased pulp and reshaped. Medication may be inserted into the area to fight bacteria. Depending on the condition of the tooth, the crown may then be sealed temporarily or the tooth may be left open to drain. To finalize the Root Canal Therapy, the pulp chamber and canal are filled with a sealer and guttapercha, a rubber like substance, to prevent recontamination. The tooth is now weak, and may require a metal post may be inserted above the canal filling to reinforce the tooth. The tooth is then filled, sealing the canal, and a crown is placed over the tooth to strengthen its structure and improve appearance.
- Minor Oral Surgery
In most situations, tooth extractions are considered minor oral surgery. Tooth extractions are the removal of teeth from the dental alveolus (socket) in the alveolar bone. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, but most commonly to remove teeth which have become unrestorable through tooth decay, periodontal disease or dental trauma; especially when they are associated with a toothache. Upon exam and X-rays, a patient may be referred to an Oral Surgeon for a procedure. Some extractions maybe too difficult to perform in-office, i.e. tooth impacted bone, curved root structure, or close association with maxillary sinus.
- Implant Restorations
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. The Implants support a restoration for a missing tooth or teeth, helping to stop or prevent bone loss. The dental implant procedure is categorized as a form of prosthetic (artificial replacement) dentistry, but also is considered a form of cosmetic dentistry.
Implants may be placed by a specialist such as an Oral Surgeon or a Periodontist. We work hand-in-hand with the specialist to come up with a plan that best fits the patient’s needs and want’s. By mapping out the procedures, implants are placed by the specialist, once released by the specialist a final restoration is fabricated. Many different implant supported restorations are available such as single unit crowns, a bridge, or removable restoration.
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