Implants – For those patients who have lost anywhere from one to all of their teeth, dental implants are an option. Dental implants are specially designed devices that are surgically inserted into the tissue and bone. As part of the healing process, the implanted material and the bone bond together to form a strong structure much like the original tooth root. The next part of the process is to insert a post into each implanted device which is the base on which a crown or fixed bridge is attached. Some implants replace single teeth and others are used as anchor teeth for bridges. Even other implants can be used in coordination with full dentures to create greater stability. Whatever the need, dental implants are a wonderful alternative for the permanent replacement of missing teeth.
Crowns - A crown, also known as a cap, is done when the majority of a patient’s tooth needs to be restored and/or the strength of the tooth is compromised. Some reasons for needing a crown include a bad fracture, a large filling or after root canal treatment. Crowns are the ideal restoration for these scenarios due to their strength. They are made from materials which allow us to match the shade of the crown to the patient’s natural teeth. Depending on the patient’s specific needs and criteria, a crown may be able to be completed from start to finish in one visit using our Cerec system or the crown may require the use of the laboratory, which would require two visits.
The latest Cerec technology allows for the tooth to be prepared for the crown and a digital “impression” is taken. The doctor then designs the crown on his computer. Next the crown is milled in-office, stained and glazed for precise color matching and immediately bonded in place. The entire process typically only takes 90 minutes for a single crown.
Otherwise, the procedure involves two visits; the first includes the preparation of the tooth (removing outside tooth structure to allow room for the crown), taking an impression of the prepared tooth and making a temporary crown. The impression is then sent to a laboratory where the crown is made. Approximately three weeks later the patient comes in for the second visit, at which time the permanent crown is bonded in place.
Fixed Bridge – When a patient loses a tooth, or teeth, it is often possible to replace the tooth by placing a permanent bridge. Much like a bridge over a river, a dental bridge uses the existing teeth on either side of the gap to suspend a replacement tooth to fill the space. Appearance alone will motivate some patients to replace a missing tooth, especially a front tooth. However replacing a missing tooth is just as important for the optimum function of the patient’s mouth. When a tooth is missing it is common to have the surrounding teeth shift. This can cause periodontal problems and even eventual tooth loss. The procedure involves two visits. The first visit includes the preparation of the teeth on either side of the gap, taking an impression of the prepared area and making a temporary bridge. The impression is then sent to a laboratory where the bridge is made. Approximately three weeks later, the patient comes in for the second visit, when the permanent bridge is cemented.
Partial Denture – When a patient loses a tooth, or teeth, it is often possible to replace the teeth by making a partial denture. A partial denture is a device which replaces the missing teeth on a framework with clasps to hold onto existing teeth. Unlike a fixed bridge, which is cemented in place, a partial denture is removable and is a less expensive alternative.
Full Denture – For those patients who have lost all of their teeth, whether on just the top or bottom, or both, a full denture is available. A full denture is designed to replace all of the teeth on the arch with artificial teeth and is removable. Although often awkward at first, due to the perception there is too much in the mouth, the patient becomes accustomed to them quickly and with practice can speak and eat without any difficulty.