Cosmetic Dentistry and Restoration
Interest in cosmetic dentistry has taken a dramatic rise during the past decade as people realized having a bright, healthy smile enhances appearance and adds confidence. Meanwhile, advances in modern dentistry allow improving existing teeth or restoring missing and broken teeth. All this brings smiles to our clients faces with often quick, painless and affordable treatments.
Due to a shift in dentistry to address a preventive approach to care, tooth decay is less common now than in years passed. However, teeth are still susceptible to decay, infection and breakage. This is where dental restorations come in.
Our office strives to offer a variety of treatment to best serve each individual’s needs, such as:
Tooth whitening or bleaching is a simple, non-invasive treatment to change the color of natural tooth enamel. However, bleaching only works on natural tooth enamel. Some old fillings and crowns may need to be replaced after bleaching due to differences in color. Since tooth whitening is not permanent, a touch-up treatment is needed after several years, or sooner if the patient smokes or drinks tea, coffee or wine.
Tooth whitening in a dental office is usually done in two visits. Impressions or molds of the teeth are made first, then custom fitted on a second visit. The actual bleaching process takes place at home twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for several weeks depending on the degree of staining and the desired level of whiteness.
Composite fillings are commonly used to repair a decayed, cracked or broken tooth. The affected portion of the tooth is removed and the cavity filled with a tooth-colored material. Many types of fillings are available, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Onlays and Inlays are permanently cemented restorations onto or into a tooth that has a large defective filling or has been damaged by decay or trauma. Onlays or inlays are sometimes used as an alternative to a full crown because less tooth structure is removed.
Some teeth become so worn, fractured, or decayed that a porcelain crown or cap that encases the entire tooth surface is the best option to return the tooth to its original shape and size.
When one or more teeth are missing, severely damaged or too decayed to restore, a porcelain fixed bridge — a non-removable appliance — is often used. This bridge consists of two crowns that cap the abutting teeth and one or more pontics or artificial teeth attached to fill the gap. For many patients, a fixed bridge is an upgrade from removable partial dentures to a permanent appliance.
Dentures and partial dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. Complete dentures are used when all teeth are missing. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
Dental implants can also be used to replace missing teeth while eliminating the need for removable partial or complete dentures. Implants can also provide support and stability to those dental appliances. Teeth attached to implants look natural and help restore a patient’s smile.
The dental implant is an artificial root (usually titanium) surgically placed into the jaw bone. After healing, artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post.
It is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. Having a root canal done helps save a tooth that otherwise would die and need to be removed. Extraction can cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.