Dental restorations are often used to resolve aesthetic problems. When you have a chipped, broken or decayed tooth, a restoration is needed. Tooth structure can be missing due to decay, deterioration of a previously placed restoration or fracture of a tooth. We offer multiple alternatives when selecting a filling material, to allow patients a choice in terms of material composition, cost, and longevity. These alternatives include composite fillings (white fillings), amalgams (silver fillings), gold or porcelain inlays/onlays, and glass ionomers.
See these links to learn more about your options for filling materials:
Veneers are lab-processed porcelain restorations used to improve the appearance of teeth while recreating their natural look, strength and resilience. They are matched to your tooth colour, and bonded to the front surface of the teeth to improve the aesthetics of your smile. They are a great solution for most issues with front teeth and can even correct tooth decay. The advantage of veneers is that very little tooth structure is removed in their preparation because they are so thin. Once bonded to the tooth, however, veneers are very strong. Also, unlike a composite filling, the porcelain will not stain over time. The disadvantage of veneers is that they offer no structural support to the tooth at all. If any support is required, a crown must be placed instead of a veneer.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are used to help stabilize a tooth which is otherwise prone to breaking due to a large filling, root canal, or fracture. They are also useful for improving the aesthetics of teeth which cannot be improved by veneers or fillings. Also known as a “cap” they cover the tooth and protect it from fracture.
Bridges are used to replace missing teeth. The teeth on either side of a space are altered to fit crowns and a pontic (false tooth) is attached between the crowns to span the gap. While it is a good option to replace a missing tooth, often an implant is an even better option it is easier to keep clean and it does not involve the crowning of neighbouring teeth.
Crowns and bridges are made with a porcelain material fused to an underlying metal substructure. The metal gives strength to the restorations, while the porcelain allows them to be matched to the colour of your teeth. The advantage of this fused material is that, because it has both the strength of metal and the aesthetics of porcelain, it can be used anywhere in the mouth. The disadvantage is that it is not a thin material, so it requires more tooth preparation in order to fit into the mouth.
Dental implants are the closest thing to natural teeth. An implant is a titanium post which becomes fused to your bone and functions as the root would in a natural tooth. If a single tooth is missing, a crown is then fabricated and secured to this titanium post and the unit functions similar to any other tooth. This is advantageous since no adjacent teeth have to be touched to replace this missing tooth! If multiple teeth are missing, multiple implants can be placed, or an implant-retained bridge can be made. Another option is to make a denture which clips into the implants, resulting in a huge increase in stability and retention of the denture. No more dancing teeth! The materials used to make implant crowns are similar to that used in crowns and bridges: a porcelain material fused to an underlying metal substructure. The metal gives strength to the restorations, while the porcelain allows them to be matched to the colour of your teeth. Dental implants are very durable and can last a lifetime if you care for them properly.
Process for Lab-made Veneers, Crowns and Bridges
At the first appointment, teeth are prepared for the restoration. An impression is taken of the prepared teeth, and a temporary restoration is placed.
The impression is sent to the lab where the stone is poured into it to make a model of your prepared teeth. The veneer, crown or bridge is then made on this model.
At the second appointment, the temporary restorations are removed, and the new veneer, crown or bridge is tried in the mouth for ideal fit and colour-matching. Once this is completed, the restoration is permanently cemented into the mouth. Usually, this second appointment is relatively quick (15-20 minutes) and does not require any freezing.
Process for Implant-Supported Crowns and Bridges
Often an implant is a better option than a bridge for replacing a missing tooth. In these cases, patients are referred to a periodontist to have the implant itself placed in the bone of the jaw.
After approximately three months, the implant will have completely integrated into the jaw, so it will essentially be acting just like a tooth root.
Once this fusion of the bone with the implant has occurred, patients return to our office to have a crown made for the implant. The steps in this are exactly the same as having a regular crown placed.
Dentures (Complete and Partial)
Complete and partial upper and lower dentures are a removable option for replacing multiple missing teeth. They can be stabilized by anchoring them to implants. This helps to eradicate “dancing teeth.” We offer both complete dentures, to replace all teeth, and partial dentures, to replace just a few teeth that are missing.
If you are ready to improve your smile, give us a call and ask us about our cosmetic dentistry services in Sidney.