Whether you have a chipped, cracked, or missing tooth, one of the following procedures will help you get your smile back.
A bridge is a device that is used to help anchor a replacement tooth to your existing teeth. The bridge, which is constructed out of metal or zirconia, joins a fabricated tooth (or teeth) to the teeth next to it. The success of the bridge is based on the surrounding health of the teeth and gums. If you are missing one or more teeth, and the teeth that are left in your mouth are healthy, this is a possible option for you.
A crown is designed to improve the tooth’s shape and can be used on broken, cracked or worn down teeth. It is also used when there is not enough of the natural tooth left to support a filling. A crown is sometimes referred to as a “cap” since it uses whatever remains of your natural tooth structure as the base. An impression is taken of the area around the tooth of where it is needed, and the mold is then used to fabricate the cap. Once the cap is completed, it is then cemented to your tooth. As with most restorative procedures, there are several different fabrication materials that can be used to create a new or partial tooth including porcelain, ceramic and gold. If your dental needs require one of these, will discuss and recommend the best option for your individual needs.
A filling is one of the most common dental procedures. It is used to correct an area of a tooth that has been eroded due to tooth decay, in other words a cavity. A filling simply is a composite material that is used to fill in the tooth to restore it to its natural shape and protect it against further tooth decay. It can be either the traditional silver amalgam material, or a more natural color composite that matches the color of your tooth like porcelain or ceramic.
Onlays / Inlays
Also sometimes referred to as a partial crown, an Onlay or Inlay can be used instead of a full crown if most of the tooth structure is undamaged. They can be used to either restore the shape of the tooth, minimize any further damage or to strengthen it. An onlay usually needs to fabricated outside of the mouth like a crown, where as an inlay is usually built in the mouth itself, like a filling.
Dental implants are a permanent solution for the loss of one or more teeth. It is a multiple step process, and takes several months from start to finish. It begins by surgically inserting a synthetic root, similar to a screw, into the jawbone. Once healed, a fabricated tooth or teeth are created that will attach to the “root” and can be either permanent or removable. Once completed, they look and function just like your natural teeth. During the waiting time between the insertion of the “roots” and before the teeth can be attached, a temporary set of teeth can be made. Implants tend to be more stable than a bridge or dentures, function closer to natural teeth and usually last a lifetime. An ideal candidate for implants is someone who has good bone structure of the jaw and is in overall good oral health.
Dentures are removable teeth that look natural. They can either be a full set, or just a partial set covering a section of your mouth. A full set would be required if all of your teeth have been removed. A partial set is an option if there are still some natural teeth in the mouth where a metal frame can be attached. Either type is removable and needs to be properly cleaned just like natural teeth. This can be a less timely and expensive alternative to implants, as well as an option if your jaw structure is not strong enough to support implants. Again, if tooth replacement is necessary, we will discuss all your options and help determine which one fits your needs the best.
Root Canal (Endodontic)
A root canal is a special procedure preformed when the nerve below the tooth is diseased. This could be result of a cracked tooth, a cavity or some other element that has allowed exposure to the nerve. As a result of the exposure, bacteria has penetrated the tooth and caused an infection inside the tooth and has affected the nerve. The tissue needs to be removed, then the interior of the tooth is cleaned and sealed and then filled with a dental composite. If the decay is extensive, a crown may be needed. If the root canal is not performed, it could result in not just the loss of the tooth, but a problem to overall health if the infection spreads.