Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry

Fillings

When a tooth is chipped or has become decayed, a small ‘filling’ can often times be placed to fill the space that has been created and restore the tooth’s structure.
Fillings can be done with a choice of two types of material:
Silver amalgam for many years, this was the only material available to fill teeth; this is no longer the recommend material of choice due to its mercury content.
Composite resin tooth colored material which is bonded to the tooth; it matches the tooth color and allows us to remove far less of the natural tooth than using amalgam; composite resin does not contain mercury
We generally recommend placing composite resin instead of amalgam. We will discuss your individual situation during your dental exam.

For You To Know Before You Have a Filling

  • We usually use local anesthesia for fillings.
  • The tooth will be more fragile than if no decay is present.
  • A filling needs periodic maintenance as the tooth is less resistant to breakage and decay.
  • Your tooth may be sensitive to hot or cold after a filling has been placed.

Bonding

Bonding is tooth colored material that is placed to cover a portion of the tooth. Bonding can be more fragile and does not generally maintain its luster over time. Bonding is the same material as used in a composite resin filling. We generally suggest porcelain crowns or porcelain veneers for long term cosmetic results.

For You To Know Before You Have Bonding

  • Bonding on a tooth is not as durable as porcelain solutions and needs more maintenance.
  • Bonding is not as cosmetically satisfactory.
  • Bonding is, however, less costly than porcelain.

Crowns

A crown is commonly referred to as a “cap”. A crown is placed on a tooth when one or more of the following conditions develop:

  • A large cavity has developed in the tooth.
  • The tooth has broken.
  • A tooth has had a Root Canal.
  • It is cosmetically unacceptable.

We prepare a tooth for a crown by reducing the shape of the tooth. If the tooth has deep decay, is broken or has missing tooth structure, the missing portion is built up with a non-irritating material that protects and insulates the tooth. This process is referred to as the “build-up”.

Next, a mold is made of the remaining tooth with its build-up and a temporary plastic crown is placed over the tooth. The plastic crown protects the tooth from breakage, movement or sensitivity. The permanent fabrication of a crown takes approximately two weeks to be made at a lab. Once the crown is received in our office, the temporary crown is taken off, the permanent crown is placed and then adhered to the tooth with a dental cement.

A crown can be made of different materials. This is dependent upon the type of bite, location of the tooth and the cosmetic requirements of the patient.
Porcelain Bonded to Gold This is the most common type of material. Porcelain is bonded to a gold base. It is a very strong material and is least likely to present a situation where the crown can fracture. This is considered a ‘“cosmetic” solution.
All Porcelain This type of crown has no metal but is more life-like in appearance than a Porcelain Bonded to Gold crown. However, this option is not as life-like in appearance as Zirconium.
Zirconium This type of crown has the same advantages as porcelain crowns. A Zirconium crown is quite durable and can be made to have the most life-like appearance. This option is slightly more costly.

For You To Know Before You Have a Crown

  • Bonding on a tooth is not as durable as porcelain solutions and needs more maintenance.
  • Bonding is not as cosmetically satisfactory.
  • Bonding is, however, less costly than porcelain.

For You To Know AFTER You Have a Crown

  • Once the crown is placed, regular home care (on a daily basis) and regular cleanings are essential to maintaining the health of the crowned tooth.
  • Crown teeth require care when eating to minimize the potential of breakage or having a crown come off.

Bridge

A bridge is fabricated when teeth are missing but there is a sound tooth at each end of the space (abutments). A bridge must have a crown at each end with replacement teeth attached between. This forms a single unit/bridge that becomes permanently attached with dental adhesive. A bridge looks and feels like a real set of teeth.

In many instances, a bridge is an excellent alternative to implants.

For You To Know Before You Have a Bridge

  • The process of having a bridge generally requires three to four office visits:
    • Consultation with x-rays
    • Shaping, impression and fabrication of the temporary bridge
    • Try-in of bridge without porcelain to confirm fit
    • Permanent bridge placed two weeks later
  • Sound gums and bone are necessary to have a bridge.
  • A bridge requires a commitment to regular brushing and cleaning.
  • A bridge is generally more comfortable than removable partial dentures
  • This is a less expensive option than implants.

Implants

Implants are used when too few healthy teeth remain in the mouth. Implants can be used as individual teeth, short bridges or for full mouth restoration. Implants require having an adequate amount of sound bone in the mouth.

The procedure requires surgically placing a titanium post(s) in the bone where the Implant(s) is to placed. This area is then allowed to heal prior to placement of a crown or bridge over the titanium post(s). The procedure is then similar to fabricating a crown or bridge.

Implants are very strong, reliable and cosmetically acceptable.

For You To Know Before You Have an Implant

  • The process of having an Implant can require multiple appointments. In select cases, the process can take up to one year from start to completion.
  • Implants require some oral surgery.
  • This is a permanent, but more costly option than a crown or bridge.

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