Where damage to a person's teeth is extreme and apparently beyond repair, we can use porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns to make the smile appear "as new". A crown fits over the entire top of the tooth above the gum line, covering, protecting, sealing and strengthening a tooth. This is an extremely reliable technique for repairing the most severe dental problems, even permanently replacing missing teeth to offer a complete smile and a functional bite. We are renowned for the quality of our work and the fantastic changes we execute to restore and repair patients’ smiles. These treatments are used for long-lasting corrections of major dental problems. It is usual for these treatments to last for 20 to 30 years, which is as close to permanent as dental treatment can get.
Crowns and bridges are very reliable solutions for major dental problems caused by accidents, diseases, or wear and tear. Major problems can usually be corrected using these techniques. Materials used in these repairs are either high-grade porcelain or porcelain bonded to metal alloys. The higher strength of porcelain and metal alloy materials is recommended to treat the most serious of dental problems. Where accidental damage has occurred resulting in lost teeth, or teeth have broken away through excessive wear or as the result of old fillings breaking, crowns and/or bridges can be used as a long-term solution.
Many people have unexplained pain in teeth with existing fillings that is usually due to hairline cracks in the chewing part of the tooth. Placing crowns on these teeth relieves the pain and allows a return of full dental function for these teeth. In front teeth, older fillings can both weaken the teeth and cause appearance problems due to staining or chipping. Porcelain crowns and bridges are suitable in cases where porcelain veneers are not. In teeth with root canal fillings, crowns can help prevent fractures of the teeth.
Fitting a crown requires at least two office visits. Initially, we will remove decay, shape the tooth, and a take an impression to be sent to our lab where your new restoration will be crafted. While the new crown is being created, you will be fit with a temporary crown resembling your natural teeth to allow you to continue with your daily routine.
On the subsequent visit, we will remove the temporary crown, and then fit and adjust the final crown. Finally, we will cement the crown into place and you will have a new beautiful looking tooth. In rare cases a third visit is necessary to ensure the proper fit.
A bridge — a restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth — attaches one or more artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. A bridge helps to keep teeth from drifting into the space created from a missing tooth, restores aesthetics, and helps to preserve normal function and bite for the jaw joint.
A permanent bridge is usually anchored to the teeth on both sides of the space from the missing tooth. This gives the bridge strong support. Brushing a bridge is no different than brushing natural teeth, but special flossing instructions are given to keep the bridge and surrounding tissue healthy.
The procedure begins with preparation of the natural teeth, or abutments. We will shape the abutment teeth so that the ends of the bridge will fit comfortably on each one. The next step is to take an impression of the area. This impression will be sent to our lab where your new restoration will be crafted. While the new bridge is created, we will provide you with a temporary bridge. Our temporary restorations will resemble your natural teeth so that you can continue with your daily life without worrying about a missing or unattractive tooth.
During your second visit to the office, we will proceed with the placement of your final restoration. This bridge will be fitted comfortably into the mouth. We will make every effort to ensure that the new bridge feels exactly like your natural teeth. The final step in the process is to cement the bridge into your mouth, leaving you with a beautifully restored smile. In rare cases a third visit is necessary to ensure the proper fit.
Veneers are custom, porcelain facings that are bonded to the front surfaces of teeth to whiten teeth, close spaces, straighten teeth, or repair chipped or worn teeth. When placing porcelain veneers, we pay close attention to the patient's surrounding teeth and design each veneer to complement the overall smile. The veneers are only about 1 mm thick (the thickness of a fingernail) and the result is a beautiful, attractive new smile.
If cared for properly, your veneers will last you a long time. We ensure that your new veneers are constructed of the most durable porcelain materials available.
The procedure begins with the preparation of the tooth. This entails removing the discolored or unsightly portion of the tooth and meticulously shaping the tooth in preparation for the new veneer. Once we have shaped the tooth, we will take an impression. This impression will be sent to our lab where your new restoration will be crafted. While the new veneers are created, we will provide you with a temporary restoration. Our temporary restorations will resemble your natural teeth so that you can continue with your daily life without worrying about a missing or incompatible tooth.
During your second visit to the office, we will proceed with the placement of your final restoration. The veneers will be fitted comfortably into the mouth. We will make every effort to ensure that the new tooth feels exactly like one of your natural teeth. The final step in the process will be to bond the new veneers into your mouth, leaving you with a beautifully restored smile.
Dental implants are becoming more popular in dentistry today for a number of reasons. Implants are utilized to offer patients a foundation for new restorative teeth where natural teeth are missing or have been extracted. The dental implant itself is a post that is surgically placed in the jaw. A prosthesis (artificial tooth or teeth) is then attached to the dental implant(s). In many cases, the entire procedure will be performed in our office. In select cases, you may be referred to an Oral Surgeon or a Periodontist for the surgical portion of the procedure. The implant offers the patient the opportunity to regain normal function of the missing tooth without being forced to resort to a bridge or a denture.
The natural tooth structure has two main portions, the root and the crown. The root is the portion of the tooth that is naturally located below the gum line. A dental implant acts as the replacement for the root of the tooth. The metal implant acts as an anchor in the jawbone for the new implant crown restoration. The first step of the procedure is surgical placement of the implant. Under regular dental anesthetic, the gum tissue is opened and the dentist places the implant into the jawbone. After this is completed, the tissue is then sutured closed. There is not often significant discomfort with this procedure. This process can take from 1-3 hours depending on the number of implants being placed.
The implant will be left undisturbed for a period of 3-6 months. During this time, bone will bond to the surface of the implant in a process called osseointegration. A temporary crown may be utilized during this time period to allow for chewing and to preserve the cosmetic appearance.
The next step in the process is to attach an abutment to the dental implant. This is achieved by exposing the top of the implant and placing the abutment. This is the part of the implant restoration that will support the final implant crown.
Finally, an impression is taken of the implant abutment and a final restoration is crafted by a lab, similar to a standard crown procedure on a natural tooth. The final step is the delivery of the implant crown, either via cementation or attachment with a screw. This restoration will be comfortable and cosmetically pleasing. Your completed implant will restore function and esthetics.
Lumineers® are ultra-thin porcelain veneers that require minimal to no preparation of the natural teeth. This conservative option offers many of the same benefits of traditional porcelain veneers such as whitening teeth, closing spaces, and straightening teeth. The procedure is minimally invasive, and in most cases requires no anesthesia.
Fillings are the most common restorative procedure. Once decay is removed from a tooth, a filling must be placed in that space to give strength back to the tooth. Currently, fillings are most commonly placed with composite resin which matches the surrounding tooth. Fillings may also be silver or white porcelain. Fillings can be done in one appointment and should not require a second visit.
Also referred to as partial crowns, inlays and onlays are used when there is still a healthy enamel portion of the tooth. They act as a puzzle piece, fitting into the remaining portion of the tooth and are usually made from porcelain or gold.
An inlay is used when there is not damage to any of the cusps of your tooth and is essentially placed within these cusps. An onlay is used when there is slightly more extensive damage to the tooth structure. This type of restoration is placed over at least one of the cusps on the tooth.
When we have decided to go ahead with an inlay or onlay, we will set aside 2-3 appointments for the entire process. Although the majority of inlays and onlays are completed in two visits, there is sometimes a need for a third visit to ensure a proper fit.
The procedure begins with the removal of all decay in the tooth. Once we have removed the decay, we will take an impression of the tooth. This impression will be sent to our lab where your new restoration will be crafted. While this new permanent restoration is created, we will provide you with a temporary restoration. Our temporary restorations will resemble your natural teeth so that you can continue with your daily life without worrying about a missing or incompatible tooth.
During your second visit to the office, we will proceed with the placement of your permanent restoration. The inlay/onlay will be fitted comfortably into the mouth. We will make every effort to ensure that the new restoration feels exactly like one of your natural teeth. The final step in the process is to cement the inlay/onlay into your mouth, leaving you with a beautifully restored smile.
Sealants protect teeth from cavities and decay. The most common area to get decay is on permanent back teeth or molars. Molars have deep grooves and pits on the chewing surfaces where food gets stuck and bacteria can live and form cavities.
A sealant is a white or tooth-shaded material that is bonded to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, sealing off deep grooves and pits. This makes the grooves of the teeth smoother so your toothbrush can more easily keep the tooth clean.
Applying sealants is a simple procedure. The teeth are first cleaned, and then etched with a solution to help the sealant adhere. Next, the sealant is brushed on, and then a special light is used to harden the material. The procedure requires no anesthesia or drilling and can be completed in one visit.
A bonding is a composite resin that is used as an alternative to amalgams and veneers. This is an excellent cosmetic option for those patients who do not want the look of silver in their mouths and/or do not want the expense of veneers. Bondings can be used on teeth that are decayed, cracked, or stained.
Although composite resins are cosmetically pleasing and easily placed, their durability is not as strong as other types of restorations. These resins typically last from 4-7 years before they begin to chip and wear away. When this happens, the restoration will need to be replaced.
The bonding procedure is usually completed in one visit. The first step is to remove the decayed or unsightly portion of the tooth. The tooth is then etched with a liquid or gel and a bonding agent is then applied. This will allow the composite resin to be placed in the prepared tooth. The resin is then trimmed and polished, leaving you with a beautifully sculpted, natural-looking restoration.
Nothing is better than a healthy set of teeth. Many advances in dentistry allow us to save teeth that we previously could not save, but sometimes an extraction is necessary. An extraction is the complete removal of a primary or a permanent tooth. An extraction can be surgical or non-surgical. This depends on the difficulty of the extraction which is partially determined by whether or not the tooth is impacted or erupted, and whether it has straight or curved roots.
An extraction may be done by our office or you may be referred to an Oral Surgeon. No one looks forward to an extraction, but modern anesthesia will help keep you comfortable throughout the procedure.
When an extraction is performed, it is important to put something in the place of the missing tooth or teeth. If the space is just left open, your teeth will shift and cause many unnecessary complications. Extracted teeth may be replaced by bridges, implants, or by partial or complete dentures.
At the time of the extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone, and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic. During the extraction process, you may feel pressure from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal. You will not feel pain as the nerves surrounding the area have been anesthetized.
Over time our teeth tend to become discolored or stained. Whether this is from smoking, coffee, or any other foods, a beautiful smile could be closer than you think. We offer a safe and inexpensive solution to an unsightly smile. Whitening your teeth is a very simple procedure that can be completed in relatively short period of time.
The take-home whitening system we offer allows you the comfort of bleaching in your own home and the control over how light your smile gets. First we will take impressions of both the upper and lower teeth. These impressions will be made into custom bleaching trays. The trays will fit onto your teeth perfectly so there is minimal possibility of gum damage from the bleaching solution.
At home, you will place the bleaching solution in the trays and wear them for a few hours a day. Within 7-10 days, you will see a significant improvement in the color of your teeth. Your smile will look brighter and younger. If you would like, we will take before and after photos so that you will be able to compare the amazing transformation.
Bleaching only works on natural teeth and may not be effective in all cases. We will inform you as to the best potential whitening solution for your specific situation.
When most or all your natural teeth have been lost, dentures provide many benefits. Dentures can help you regain your eating ability, aid in speaking, give support back to the lips and cheeks, and help to restore self-esteem.
Denture solutions vary from complete dentures, in which all teeth have been extracted, to partial dentures that replace one or more missing teeth. Your dentist will evaluate your condition and needs to help you determine the option that is best for you.
Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal and ensure a good fit of the dentures. The alignment will slowly change as the bone ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dentist examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or changes.
Nitrous oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe; the patient receives 50-70 percent oxygen with no less than 30 percent nitrous oxide. It is a sweet smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which is inhaled. The patient is able to breathe on his or her own and remain in control of all bodily functions.
The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep not remembering all of what happens during their appointment. You and your doctor will discuss all aspects of nitrous oxide sedation to determine if it is right for you and your procedure. Your doctor may advise against using Nitrous Oxide if you have emphysema, chest problems, multiple sclerosis, a cold or other difficulties with breathing.
A root canal is a common dental procedure which helps to save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants and bridges. A root canal is the process of removing inflamed or necrotic remnants of tissues including blood vessels and the nerves from the roots of a tooth. At the center of each tooth is the pulp, a collection of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that helps nourish the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, or cracks and chips in the tooth. When these situations occur, a root canal is often necessary to save the infected tooth. If an infected tooth is left untreated for a long period of time, an abscess can form. An abscess will show up on an x-ray as a dark spot below the apex of the root. This is actually bone loss in the jaw. It is very important to catch this problem before it deteriorates too far.
The first step of the procedure is to anesthetize the affected area. The next step is to open an access point through the top, or biting surface, of the tooth. The infected pulp is carefully removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned. Once each canal is prepared, it is filled with an inert material called gutta percha and then sealed. The extent of the infection and the complexity of the procedure will dictate the time and number of visits required to complete the procedure.
Your child’s first visit to the dentist should occur by the child’s first birthday. The first dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. At this young age, we will ask the parent to sit in the dental chair and hold their child during the examination. As the child ages, the parent may be asked to wait in the reception area during part of the visit so that a relationship can be built between your child and the dentist.
We will gently examine your child's teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken as the child gets older, to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child's permanent teeth under the gums. We may clean your child's teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. We will make sure your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most important of all, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child's teeth.
We are asked this question many times. Your child's reaction to their visit to the dentist may surprise you.
Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand-in-hand. At our office, we are concerned with all aspects of preventive care. We use the latest in sealant technology to protect your child's teeth. A sealant is a white or tooth-shaded material that is bonded to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, sealing off deep grooves and pits. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for your child's lifetime of good oral health.
Cavities are caused by a combination of a variety of different factors. Most of the time, cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and drinks, combined with a lack of proper oral hygiene. Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, of course, can help decrease the chance for cavities.
Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria digest sugars. This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes. During this time the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities.
Consistency of a person's saliva also makes a difference. Thinner and more copious saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly. When a person eats a diet high in carbohydrates and sugars, they tend to have more acid-producing bacteria in their mouth that can contribute to future cavities. Drinking and rinsing with water throughout the day reduces acid levels and increases saliva flow, which can also help prevent cavities.
The first baby teeth that erupt into the mouth are almost always the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about six to ten months old. Next to follow will typically be the four upper front teeth, then the remainder of your baby's teeth will appear periodically after that. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2-1/2 years old.
At around 2-1/2 years old, your child should have all 20 primary (baby) teeth. Between the ages of five and six, the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some do not. All children have slightly different eruption times, so don't worry if some teeth are a few months early or late.
Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth, but they are important in chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene, even though the baby teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth.