DENTAL CROWNS & BRIDGES
The dental restorations we most frequently utilize are dental crowns. These versatile smile repair tools allow our team to rebuild, protect, and replace damaged teeth and restore patients’ flawless smiles. Dental crowns can be crafted from a number of materials including gold, porcelain bonded to metal, and all-ceramic. Gold crowns offer the strongest restoration with the least impact on the structure of surrounding teeth. However, these crowns do not blend into patients’ smiles and are typically not recommended for those teeth visible when patients speak or laugh. Porcelain fused to metal is more cosmetically appealing but the color may darken over time as the porcelain is worn away revealing the metal below. All ceramic fillings offer the most cosmetically superior results as they are the same color all the way through. We may recommend dental crowns in the following situations:
- To conceal and correct severely damaged, decayed, irregularly shaped, or cosmetically flawed teeth
- To protect treated teeth following a root canal procedure
- Attached to a single dental implant to replace one lost tooth
- Two dental crowns can be attached to healthy teeth on either side of a lost tooth to support a fixed bridge dental prosthetic
Traditional amalgam fillings offered a durable restoration for teeth with minor decay or damage, but their noticeable appearance within the smile made them a less than ideal option. Additionally, amalgam fillings expand and contract with changes in temperature which may damage dental structure over time, and the excess space between teeth and fillings may allow bacteria to access the tooth leading to decay. Tooth-colored fillings are crated from a high-quality composite resin that is shaded to blend into patients’ smiles. The putty-like resin is shaped directly onto patients’ teeth where it fills in the smallest dips and cracks in the tooth creating a strong, durable bond that seals out bacteria preventing further damage or decay. The filling is then hardened in position for a flawless result all in one, short visit.
DENTURES & PARTIALS
Patients with more significant tooth loss may need a partial or full denture. Partials are used to replace a number of nonconsecutive missing teeth along an arch. A series of prosthetic teeth is set into a gum colored base and the entire denture is crafted to fit snuggly within the smile filling in gaps. Partials are held in place by clasps connected to remaining healthy teeth. Full dentures are used to replace an entire row of missing teeth. A malleable gum-colored base is crafted to fit snuggly over gums staying in place through natural suction to support the full arch of replacement teeth. Those patients interested in a more stable solution may want to consider dental implant supported partial and full dentures.
ROOT CANAL THERAPY
The phrase root canal makes even the toughest patients nervous, but the good news is, the procedure itself actually relieves the painful toothache leading up to it. Root canal therapy is necessary when tooth decay or damage reaches the inner pulp layer of the tooth where the nerve system is housed. The severe toothache is a result of the nerve being directly accessed by damage or decay. During a root canal, a small access hole is drilled, we carefully extract the damaged pulp and nerve tissue, and reseal the tooth. Once the nerve is removed, patients typically experience immediate pain relief. Because of the impact root canal therapy has on the overall structure and stability of patients’ smiles, we often need to place a dental crown over the treated tooth in order to fully restore structure.
In most cases, we work hard to help patients preserve their natural dental structures, but there are some situations in which extraction is the best option. We only recommend removal if overall oral health will be improved by the extraction of the tooth. The most common reasons for extraction are:
- Severely decayed or damaged teeth that may affect other nearby teeth or that cannot be preserved with a crown or other restoration
- In preparation for orthodontic treatment, patients often need to have one or more teeth extracted to allow the remaining teeth to shift comfortably
- Prior to creating a partial or full denture teeth may need to be extracted
- Wisdom teeth, third molars, are the last to erupt into patients’ smiles and the most frequently extracted as the jaw often does not have adequate space to accommodate these teeth