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Restorations

It’s great news that the incidence of tooth decay has significantly diminished over the years due to the use of fluorides and an increase in patient awareness.  However, teeth are still susceptible to decay, infection, and breakage and sometimes need to be restored back to health.  Through improved techniques and modern technology, we are now able to offer more options for restoring a tooth back to its normal shape, appearance and function.

Should your teeth ever require a restorative treatment, you can rest assured knowing we will always discuss with you the available options, and recommend what we believe to be the most comfortable and least invasive treatment.  Providing you with excellent care is our number one priority when creating your beautiful smile.

Reasons for restorative dentistry:

 

  • Enhance your smile.

  • Fill in unattractive spaces between teeth.

  • Improve or correct an improper bite.

  • Prevent the loss of a tooth.

  • Relieve dental pain.

  • Repair damaged and decayed teeth.

  • Replace missing teeth.

  • Replace old, unattractive dental treatments.

  • Restore normal eating and chewing.

 

Remember to give your teeth the attention they need today!

3i Dental Implants

3i Dental Implants

 

 

Dental implants offer a natural looking replacement for adult teeth.  In addition, implants restore functionality to the jaw, making speaking, eating, and chewing easier.   Most implants are comprised of a screw that is embedded into the bone and a post to which the prosthesis is attached.

Biomet 3i implants are unique because the microsurface of the cone-shaped screw contains an innovative bone-bonding component.  This means that implants can be placed in areas with low bone density, sparing the patient the mess and misery of wearing poorly fitting dentures.  Additionally, the bone-bonding component means quicker recovery time after the implant is placed.

Why should I choose 3i dental implants?

There are a wide variety of dental implants in the marketplace, but 3i have an almost unparalleled success rate.  Almost 98% of 3i implants are fitted successfully and last for a lifetime. 3i implants contain a unique feature, which is embedded in the surface of the screw.  Implant screws made by other companies are sprayed with calcium phosphate to enhance the bone integration process.  However, 3i screws actually contain calcium phosphate, which means that delamination is less likely to occur.

Additionally, the cone-shaped 3i screw adds precision to the placement of implants and ensures that the final prosthesis is comfortable and can withstand pressure.

Here are some of the other benefits associated with 3i implants:

  • Better oral health.

  • Higher success rate.

  • Improved self-esteem.

  • Long-lasting results.

  • Multiple 3i implants can be placed during a visit.

  • Natural-looking implants.

  • No adhesives or mess.

  • Prevention of bone loss and gum recession.

  • Sturdy, functional prosthetic teeth.

How are 3i dental implants placed?

The procedure for placing 3i dental implants is similar to many other implant procedures.  It is usually performed in two short visits, the first visit being typically an hour in length and the second taking around thirty minutes.

After the dentist has analyzed the X-rays and diagnostic results, the implant root can be inserted.  This procedure will be performed under local anesthetic, unless another type of sedation is preferred.

Here is a step-by-step process for the first stage of a 3i dental implant placement:

  1. An incision will be made in the gum tissue to expose the jawbone.

  2. A tiny hole will be drilled into the jawbone to insert the implant into.

  3. The implant will be screwed or tapped into the designated position.

  4. A small temporary stop-cap is placed to cover the implant, and the surgical site is sutured closed.

  5. After approximately 10 days, the sutures will be removed and the dentist will assess the healing process.

Generally, 3i dental implants enhance the healing process, which means that the second treatment phase can be completed around 10-12 weeks after the first.

Here is a brief overview of can be expected at the second appointment:

A local anesthetic will be administered, and a tiny incision will be made to expose the prosthetic root.  The temporary stop-cap will be removed and a small post or abutment will be attached to the implant.

When the healing process is complete, the new dental prosthesis (usually a crown) will be created from bite impressions.  A tiny screw will be used to secure the prosthesis onto the abutment.  Any necessary adjustments will be made to ensure the prosthesis is comfortable, and the 3i dental implant will be secure for a lifetime.

If you have any questions about 3i dental implants, please ask your dentist.

3i Dental Implants

Composite Fillings

 

Composite Fillings

A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc.  The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.  You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth.  Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today.  Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or more visible areas of the mouth.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.  They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for composite fillings:

  • Chipped teeth.

  • Closing space between two teeth.

  • Cracked or broken teeth.

  • Decayed teeth.

  • Worn teeth.

How are composite fillings placed?

Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment.  While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as needed.  The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed.  If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection.  The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

Composite Fillings

Crowns (Caps)

A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface, restoring it to its original shape and size.  A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular.  They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.  Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color of your teeth, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.

  • Cosmetic enhancement.

  • Decayed teeth.

  • Fractured fillings.

  • Large fillings.

  • Tooth has a root canal.

What does getting a crown involve?

A crown procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown.  A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.  At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.

Crowns (Caps)

Dentures & Partial Dentures

Dentures & Partial Dentures

A denture is a removable dental appliance and a replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue.  They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.

There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures.  Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.  A partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.

A complete denture can be either “conventional” or “immediate.”  A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed (usually takes 4 to 6 weeks).  During this time, the patient will go without teeth.  Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process.  Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.

Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.

Reasons for dentures:

  • Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch.

  • Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch.

  • Enhancing smile and facial tissues.

  • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.

What does getting dentures involve?

The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over a period of several weeks.  Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture.  Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit.  At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.

It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.

You will be given care instructions for your new dentures.  Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.

Dentures & Partial Dentures

Dental Implants

Dental Implants

 

 

Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures.  Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.

Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist or Periodontist – a specialist of the gums and supporting bone.  The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!

Dental implants are strong and durable and will last many years.  On occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.

Reasons for dental implants:

  • Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.

  • Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.

  • Restore a patient’s confident smile.

  • Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.

  • Restore or enhance facial tissues.

  • Support a bridge or denture, making it more secure and comfortable.

What does getting dental implants involve?

The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.

X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant.  While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself for up to six months.   Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place.  With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.

After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor.  Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete.  After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.

You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed.  Good oral hygiene and eating habits, alongside regular dental visits, will aid in the life of your new implant.

If you have questions about dental implants or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office.

Dental Implants

Empress® Restorations

 

Empress® Restorations

 

 

Dental veneers, crowns, onlays, inlays, and bridges are important restorations which enhance the health and functionality of the natural teeth.  A sparkling smile can be an enormous confidence-booster and have a dramatic effect on a person’s appearance.  Empress® has been dedicated to creating natural-looking restorations for almost two decades and is one of the world leaders in dental ceramics.

Empress® veneers, crowns, onlays, overlays, and dental bridges are renowned for their strength, durability, and exceptional optical properties.  Empress® restorations are completely metal-free, and are constructed from inorganic material which is baked and cured at high temperatures.

Why should I choose Empress® restorations?

Empress® is continually refining and enhancing restorations to ensure that they look natural and restore complete functionality to the teeth.

Traditional ceramic restorations were known for being brittle and expensive to repair after sustaining damage.  However, Empress® has developed a heat-pressed glass ceramic that is immensely strong and durable.  There are several reasons for this, including the high shrinkage of leucite crystals.  This shrinkage means that compressive stress is created during the vitreous stage, thus preventing breakage and cracking.

The unique veneer glaze and stain also increases strength by as much as 50%.  These elements combined establish a thicker restoration that is fracture resistant.  Empress® crowns have a 100% chance of surviving the first three years.  This means less dental visits, less expense, and a sensational, comfortable smile.

Here are some of the advantages associated with Empress® restorations:

  • Biocompatible.

  • Do not affect other dentition.

  • Ease of application.

  • Excellent polishing properties.

  • Many levels of translucency available.

  • Metal-free.

  • Natural-looking.

  • Shades match the other teeth.

What restorations can be done using Empress® products?

Empress® has created many natural-looking restorations, including:

Empress® Veneers – These veneers are wafer-thin porcelain and ceramic covers which fit permanently over natural teeth.  Empress® veneers are perfect for covering disfigured and stained teeth.  They are stain and bacteria-resistant, strong, and can be manufactured to match the natural tooth shade.

Empress® Crowns – These crowns are generally placed after root canal therapy or after the removal of tooth decay.  Empress® crowns are proven to last longer than many types of crowns, and again, can be matched exactly to the natural tooth shade.  There is no visible, ugly metal edge, just a sensational end result.

Empress® Inlays/Onlays – Inlays and onlays are currently being used to replace the traditional amalgam fillings.  Amalgam is unpleasant to view and unhealthy for the body.  Empress® ceramic inlays and overlays are strong, healthy, and usually invisible to onlookers.

Empress® Bridges – As with all Empress® products, Empress® bridges are a completely natural-looking way to replace missing teeth.  Metal bridges are often highly visible and make the teeth look shorter.  Empress® bridges are almost impossible to spot and restore symmetry and sparkle to the smile.

If you have questions about any of the Empress® restorations, please contact our office.

Empress® Restorations
Fixed Bridges

Fixed Bridges

 

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.

There are several types of bridges.  You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case.  The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal.  This type of bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth. 

Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years; however, they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

Reasons for a fixed bridge:

  • Fill space of missing teeth.

  • Maintain facial shape.

  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.

  • Restore chewing and speaking ability.

  • Restore your smile.

  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance.

What does getting a fixed bridge involve?

Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits.  While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown.  Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated.  In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.

At the second visit, your permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit.  Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge.  The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of the procedure.  Proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new, permanent bridge.

Inlay Restorations

An inlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain.  It is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist.

Inlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma.  Inlays are an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings.  Also, they are more conservative than crowns because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of inlays.

As with most dental restorations, inlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement.  They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Reasons for inlay restorations:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.

  • Cosmetic enhancement.

  • Decayed teeth.

  • Fractured fillings.

  • Large fillings.

What does getting an inlay involve?

An inlay procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom inlay and a temporary restoration.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials.  The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an inlay restoration.  A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your inlay is made by a dental laboratory.

At your second appointment, your new inlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place.  A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and comfortable bite.

You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new inlay.

Inlay Restorations

Onlay Restorations

Onlay Restorations

 

 

An onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain.  An onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown.  It is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist.

Onlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma.  Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of onlays.  Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.

As with most dental restorations, onlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement.  They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Reasons for onlay restorations:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.

  • Cosmetic enhancement.

  • Decayed teeth.

  • Fractured fillings.

  • Large fillings.

What does getting an onlay involve?

An onlay procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom onlay and a temporary restoration.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials.  The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an onlay restoration.  A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your onlay is made by a dental laboratory.

At your second appointment, your new onlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place.  A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.

You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new onlay.

Onlay Restorations
Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal Therapy

 

 

Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection.  In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed.  Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.

Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.

Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold.

  • Severe toothache pain.

  • Sometimes no symptoms are present.

  • Swelling and/or tenderness.

Reasons for root canal therapy:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).

  • Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.

  • Injury or trauma to the tooth.

What does root canal therapy involve?

A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).

While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.  An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria.  If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.

At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials.  A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth.  In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed.  This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.

After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

You will be given care instructions after each appointment.  Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.

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