What is Restorative Dentistry?
Teeth get used...a lot. They get a lot of wear and tear over the course of a lifetime. They can crack, they can break, they can wear out, or they can be damaged by tooth decay. No matter what the cause of the damage, they need to be repaired or even replaced if you are going to be able to chew your food, smile, talk, sing, or even play some musical instruments. Helping you to restore your mouth to a state of health might be preventive or periodontal treatment, or it might involve some of the procedures described below. Either way, we are here to help you.
To learn more about dental plaque and its relationship with tooth decay, or why you should not just brush your teeth, but floss them, follow the link below.
Teeth that have small to moderate sized cavities, or fractures, can be restored to service with a direct placed restoration or filling. We remove the decayed or unsound areas of the tooth, and in most cases we are able to use a tooth colored composite material that is bonded to the remaining tooth structure. Using a bonded filling material makes it possible for us to practice a minimally invasive form of dentistry that conserves your tooth structure whenever possible.
Fillings can be made of a tooth colored composite resin material, special tooth colored cements, ceramic materials, gold, or dental amalgam (silver colored metal). We do not place amalgam (silver) fillings, but prefer to use tooth colored materials in our practice.
Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are restorations that are made outside of the mouth and are cemented or bonded to the remaining tooth. Inlays and onlays are placed instead of fillings for strength and esthetics. Onlays are often used in place of large fillings or when it is possible to conserve tooth structure that would be removed when placing a crown. Inlays and onlays can be made of gold or or a ceramic material (porcelain).
A crown is a tooth shaped restoration that is made outside of the mouth (usually in a dental laboratory) to custom fit your tooth after it has been shaped by your dentist. A crown is used when the damage to your tooth has been too extensive for a filling to be a successful method of restoration. Crowns are made of metal, metal covered with porcelain, or all-ceramic materials. The all ceramic crowns are usually either all porcelain, or a porcelain covered ceramic substructure.
Replacement of Missing Teeth
Dental Implants - A dental implant is a man made tooth root that is surgically placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw. The bone will integrate, or grow into the implant, and then the implant or implants will be restored with crowns, bridges, partials, or dentures. Follow the link to learn more.
Bridges - A bridge fills the gap left by extracted teeth. It is a one piece restoration created with crowns on two or more teeth with the replacement teeth located between the crowns. Bridges can be supported by neutral teeth or by dental implants.
Partials - A removable partial denture is a prosthetic device that is taken in and out of the mouth. It attaches to some of the existing teeth for stability. A removable partial denture can be made of acrylic plastic with wire clasps, a flexible plastic material with no metal clasps, or of a cast metal framework that is covered with acrylic plastic. All of the different types of partials have acrylic denture teeth.
Dentures - Missing teeth can be replaced with full or complete removable dentures. Our dentists can help you choose the option that is best for your oral health. Dentures rely on the fit against the gums, suction (for the upper denture), and the muscles of the lips and tongue to remain in place. Dentures can be further stabilized with the placement of dental implants.
Cosmetic or Aesthetic Dentistry
We offer a wide range of cosmetic procedures including:
- Cosmetic bonding
- Tooth colored fillings
- Porcelain crowns and bridges
- Porcelain inlays and onlays
- Porcelain veneers
We place and restore dental implants.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are placed in the bone and integrate or combine with the bone as the surgical site heals. They are used to support crowns, bridges, dentures, and partial dentures. We offer single tooth implant placement, and when appropriate, immediate implant placement following the extraction of a tooth. Often an extraction site will need grafting, or socket preservation procedures to ensure that there is adequate bone to support a dental implant.
If your implant requires a complex bone graft, or a sinus lift procedure (raising the floor to the sinuses with bone grafting to provide a solid foundation for your implant), your case will be referred to an oral surgeon or periodontist.