|Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry|
Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry is the new buzz word for what we have been doing for years. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving or correcting the appearance of your teeth and smile. Today we have more methods to do so, but we have always attempted to improve or correct your smile.
Dental contouring or tooth shaping can correct mildly crooked, chipped, misshaped teeth, uneven teeth, too sharp teeth or slightly overlapped teeth. In order to determine if dental contouring is an option for you, we will look at your x-rays to be sure there is enough tooth structure for the tooth to remain strong after the shaping has occurred. The contouring procedure involves removing small amounts of the enamel and then shaping the sides of the teeth. After shaping is complete, the teeth are smoothed and polished. Typically, no anesthetic or numbing is necessary and the corrected teeth are not more susceptible to decay.
White Composite Tooth Restorations
Composite restorations have replaced amalgam restorations in many practices. The composite restoration can often match the tooth color exactly and one cannot tell where the restoration was placed. They can repair small defects such as chipped, broken or discolored restorations. A high intensity light is used to harden the composite so that it is permanently bonded to your tooth. The new composites are very durable and hold up to normal use of your teeth.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns and fixed bridgework (not removable at night) offer some of the most esthetic and functional restorations. Bonding and veneers in our office have largely been replaced by crowns and bridgework with porcelain margins. Porcelain margins give the esthetics of veneers, but much more strength and durability. Crowns can be shaped to match your own teeth or fabricated more esthetic if yours are not as you would like them to be. An impression is taken of the prepared tooth or teeth and is sent to the dental laboratory. Over a couple week period, the porcelain to gold crowns or bridgework is fabricated and is then returned to the dental office. In the mean time, a temporary crown or bridge is placed in your mouth to protect your prepared teeth until the laboratory crown returns. Once the crown or bridge is cemented in the mouth, neither the patient nor the dentist can easily remove the prosthesis.
Post and Cores
Occasionally, a tooth will present to the office with less tooth structure than necessary to support a crown or bridge. Either decay or fracture of the tooth has caused the damage. If root canal therapy is performed and the tooth is comfortable, it may be possible to restore enough of the crown of the tooth to support a crown or bridge. This is done by removing some of the root canal filling material near the crown of the tooth and placing a post into the top of the root canal. This post is cemented into the root with a strong cement. A material, either amalgam or acrylic, is used to build up the top of the tooth so an adequate amount of structure is present and anchored into the tooth root. The crown preparation is performed and we now have enough strength in the tooth above the gum tissue to support a crown or bridge.
Precision attachments are used to attach crowns, bridgework or partial dentures to teeth, other crowns or bridgework. They usually have slots, knobs or round balls that are used to attach two or more components together. Some allow freedom of movement, but most keep the components rigid. They are often used to improve the esthetics of restorative therapy.
Nightguards and Mouthguards
While crowns and bridgework are almost as strong as your natural teeth, clenching or grinding of the teeth can chip or fracture porcelain. In our busy lives, we soak up stess throughout the day and we grind or clench our teeth while sleeping to dissipate the stress that builds up. The same chipping or fracturing can occur to the natural teeth as well. The habit of grinding the teeth also can cause looseness of teeth in the bone. Nightguards splint the upper teeth together and allow for freedom of movement for the lower jaw. Instead of the grinding causing pressure on the teeth, the nightguard acts to receive these pressures.
Cusomed designed mouthguards are made of plastic and are molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommeded to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and during sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may be hit. Mouthguards also protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.
"I was very nervous at first, but once they put the medicine in the IV I was very relaxed. When I woke up, my dentures were in place and they look great!" S.D.W.
"I am scared to death of the dentist. Having the IV sedation made it so easy. It is like going in to take a nap and waking up with all your dental work done. The staff made me feel very comfortable." S.R.
"I have difficulty getting numb. The IV sedation made the procedures very easy." P.W.
"IV sedation helped me with my very bad gag reflex. The IV staff has been wonderful." D.R.