Implants can be used in a variety of ways to replace missing teeth:
Dental Implant.Single Tooth Replacement — When you have one tooth missing, a single implant is inserted into the bone to replace the root part of that tooth; a crown then goes on top to simulate an actual tooth. This treatment choice has the highest success rate, making it the best long-term investment for replacing a single missing tooth — even if the initial cost is slightly higher than other options. An implant will never decay or need root canal treatment, and feels just like the tooth that was there.
Dental Implant Bridge.Multiple Tooth Replacement — When you have more than one tooth missing, implants provide an ideal replacement mechanism. You don’t even need one implant for every missing tooth. Instead, implant teeth can act as supports for fixed bridgework. For example, if you are missing three teeth in a row, we can place two implants, one on either side of the gap, and a crown in between that has no implant underneath. An advantage of this method is that there is no need for natural teeth to serve as supports for fixed bridgework. When natural teeth are used as abutments for fixed bridgework, they can become weakened and subject to tooth decay and root canal problems — something you won’t have to worry about if implants are used instead.
Implant-Supported Overdenture.Implant-Supported Overdentures — Implants can even make dentures more comfortable, effective and healthier to wear. Traditional dentures rely on support from the gums and underlying bone. The pressure from dentures accelerates bone loss so that eventually the gum and bony ridges no longer effectively hold the dentures in place, particularly on the bottom. But, in the lower jaw, we can place two implants over which a removable denture can attach, transferring that pressure into the bone structure rather than the bone surface, and preserving the bone directly under the dentures. The stability provided by implants is also important because it prevents the tongue from easily displacing a lower denture in the normal course of eating and speaking. In the upper jaw, an implant-supported overdenture requires more than two implants because there is less bone density than in the lower jaw.
There are only two ways an implant can lose attachment to the bone and fail once it has successfully fused: poor oral hygiene or excessive biting forces. Poor oral hygiene and/or a lack of regular cleanings can lead to a destructive bacterial infection called peri-implantitis. Flossing and brushing your teeth on a daily basis, along with regular professional cleanings, can prevent this. Excessive biting forces can come from either a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, or an insufficient number of implants to handle the forces generated by your bite. We will make sure you receive the correct number of implants so this does not happen. And if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, we will recommend wearing a nightguard to protect your implants. After all, implants are a long-term investment in your smile, your health and your well-being, so let’s do our best to protect your investment.
Your teeth will darken over time. Changes in the color of your teeth can be caused by such factors as the food and beverages consumed (like coffee, tea and soda). Other known factors for discoloration may include childhood medications or illnesses, tobacco use or improper oral hygiene. Restoring your natural white smile is a priority for our dental whitening team. We can provide a variety of options for whitening your smile.
Tooth whitening services are growing in popularity, and it’s one of the most requested services offered by our practice. Everyone sees the growing consumer market focused on whiter teeth. The reality is that over-the-counter, “too good to be true” solutions typically don’t work.
We are trained professionals using industry-approved methods. Our goal is to meet the needs of every patient, and every patient’s needs are different. One of the methods used by our practice is a gentle hydrogen-peroxide gel-activated solution. Our process will whiten your entire smile in one visit. Call us today for a whitening evaluation.
Nothing improves your appearance more than a bright, white smile!
Veneers are thin, semi-translucent “shells” typically attached to your front teeth. Veneers are customized from porcelain material that is bonded to your teeth. Veneers are a great alternative to otherwise painful dental procedures to improve the appearance of your smile.
Common problems that veneers are used for:
Spaces between the teeth
Broken or chipped teeth
Unsightly, stained or discolored teeth
Permanently stained or discolored teeth
Crooked or misshapen teeth
Veneers are a great aesthetic solution to your smile that may even help you avoid orthodontic treatment. Subtle changes to your smile can be achieved with veneers, and in most cases, veneer application is completed in only two office visits.
Please contact our office if you have any further questions on veneers.
A crown is a custom-made covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:
Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the custom-made crown is being created.
Applying the custom-made crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth.
After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.
This process generally consists of a minimum of two to three visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.
Bonding is a common solution for:
Fixing or repairing chipped or cracked teeth
Reducing unsightly gaps or spaces between teeth
Hiding discoloration or faded areas on the tooth’s surface
Often, composite bonding is used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.
Composite bonding has many advantages:
It is a quick process, which typically lasts less than one hour.
It does not reduce the tooth’s original structure and is relatively inexpensive.
Composite resins come in many different shades and provide better matching of shades to the natural color of your teeth.
Composite bonds, however, are not as durable and long-lasting as veneers and crowns and may need to be re-touched or replaced in the future.
Composite bonds stain more easily and therefore require proper care and regular cleaning. In order to ensure the longest possible duration of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily. Common staining elements include coffee, tea, tobacco, foods and candy.
Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark. Implants arose from the patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures. Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant’s usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:
Single Tooth Replacement
Full Upper Replacement
If the missing tooth space has no surrounding teeth, the dentist may decide an implant is the most appropriate treatment choice or option.
Post Implant Care
Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.
A Bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent:
Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
There are three main types of bridges, namely:
A fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
The “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.
The cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.