Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry: In dentistry, crown and bridge (Restorative Dentistry) refers to the restoration of natural teeth that have been damaged, decayed or lost. Once your dentist has examined your teeth and has evaluated your dental and medical history, he/she will be ready to provide a diagnosis, and treatment options. A crown may be constructed to restore an individual damaged tooth back to it’s original form and function, while a bridge may be utilized to replace one or more teeth. These restorations are cemented onto the teeth and are referred to as “fixed” dentistry as opposed to a restoration of missing teeth with a removable appliance or partial denture.
Crowns: Crowns are dental restorations otherwise known as “caps” which are coverings that fit over teeth. Crowns may be necessary because of broken down old fillings, fractured, chipped or sensitive teeth. Crowns are also used to improve the appearance of natural teeth that are malformed, mal-positioned or discolored.
Bridges: When teeth are missing and there are teeth on either side of the space a bridge is the ideal way to replace the missing teeth. When there has been the loss of a tooth or teeth and there is a tooth on either side of the open space, replacement teeth can be attached to two crowns constructed for the 2 teeth on either side of the open space. This is called a bridge because it bridges the open space.
Implant Restorations: A dental implant is an artificial tooth root (synthetic material) that is surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. The benefit of using implants is that they don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support, they are permanent and stable. Implants are a good solution to tooth loss because they look and feel like natural teeth.
Implant material is made from different types of metallic and bone-like ceramic materials that are compatible with body tissue. There are different types of dental implants: the first is placed directly into the jaw bone, like natural tooth roots; the second is used when the jaw structure is limited, therefore, a custom-made metal framework fits directly on the existing bone.
Extractions: The process or act of removing a tooth or tooth parts.
Dentures: A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals. Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position. Complete dentures are either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional denture is placed in the mouth about a month after all the teeth are removed to allow for proper healing, whereas an immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed. The drawback behind an immediate denture is that it may require more adjustments after the healing has taken place.
Partials: An important step in maintaining a healthy smile is to replace missing teeth. When teeth are missing, the remaining ones can change position, drifting into the surrounding space. Teeth that are out of position can damage tissues in the mouth. In addition, it may be difficult to clean thoroughly between crooked teeth. As a result, you run the risk of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to the loss of additional teeth.
A removable partial denture fills in the space created by missing teeth and fills out your smile. A denture helps you to properly chew food, a difficult task when you are missing teeth. In addition, a denture may improve speech and prevent a sagging face by providing support for lips and cheeks.
Root Canals: Underneath your tooth’s outer enamel and within the dentin is an area of soft tissue called the pulp, which carries the tooth’s nerves, veins, arteries and lymph vessels. Root canals are very small, thin divisions that branch off from the top pulp chamber down to the tip of the root. A tooth has at least one but no more than four root canals.
A root canal is a procedure done to save the damaged or dead pulp in the root canal of the tooth by cleaning out the diseased pulp and reshaping the canal. The canal is filled with gutta percha, a rubber like material, to prevent recontamination of the tooth. The tooth is then permanently sealed with possibly a post and/or a gold or porcelain crown. This enables patients to keep the original tooth .
Sealants: A dental sealant is a thin plastic film painted on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars (the teeth directly in front of the molars). Sealants have been shown to be highly effective in the prevention of cavities. They were developed through dental research in the 1950s and first became available commercially in the early 1970s. The first sealant was accepted by the American Dental Association Council on Dental Therapeutics in 1972.
Bleaching: Generally, bleaching is successful in at least 90 percent of patients, though it may not be an option for everyone. Consider tooth bleaching if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea or smoking. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow, brown or orange respond better to lightening. Other types of gray stains caused by fluorosis, smoking or tetracycline are lightened, but results are not as dramatic. If you have very sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, or teeth with worn enamel, your dentist may discourage bleaching.