Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are tooth-colored fills that are used to repair a tooth that has experienced some type of damage, whether it be decay, a chip or something else. Once the flawed part of the tooth is removed, the composite filling is used to fill up the tooth, giving it back its original form.

Composite fillings are only one of the many filling options that are available for restorations. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, and your dentist would be the best one to discuss the different options with you. Silver amalgam fillings and composite fillings are used more than any other type of filling. Composite fillings can be very closely matched to a tooth's existing color and are therefore more appropriate for front teeth or other visible teeth.

Composite fillings are very durable, lasting for several years, but they most likely will have to be replaced after time.

Reasons for composite fillings:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Closing a gap between two teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Decayed teeth
  • Worn teeth

How are composite fillings placed?

Composite fillings can typically be done or placed in one appointment. After numbing the tooth, your dentist will remove decay and other damaged areas. Before placing the new filling, the new space will be thoroughly cleaned. Special medication is applied to teeth that have decay near the tooth root. After this prep work, the composite filling will be placed, shaped and polished, and your tooth will once again have its original shape and function..

After first receiving a composite filling, you are likely to be sensitive to hot and cold. Once your tooth acclimates to the new filling, this sensitivity will go away.

Your dentist or hygienist will provide you with care instructions when the procedure is finished. Keeping up good eating habits, regular dental visits and a consistent home dental routine will help extend the life of your fillings.

Porcelain Crowns (Caps)

A crown encloses the entire surface of a tooth, giving it back its original size, shape and function. Also referred to as a cap, a crown is used to protect a tooth that cannot be helped by other restorations, such as fillings.

Many different materials can be used for crowns, but porcelain crowns are by far the most popular, as their color resembles that of natural teeth. Like most restorations, these types of crowns are very durable over the years, but they will need replaced after a while. Porcelain crowns help restore your smile by bringing back the original shape, color and size of your tooth..

Composite fillings are very durable, lasting for several years, but they most likely will have to be replaced after time.

Reasons for crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings
  • Root canals

What does getting a crown involve?

Crowns typically require two appointments, with the first appointment being used to take molds/impressions to create a custom crown for your tooth. We will also create a temporary mold at that time, and this mold will stay on your tooth until the crown has been made by the dental laboratory. Normally, this is a two-week time lapse.

Your dentist will prepare your tooth for the crown by first numbing it and then removing decay so the crown can fit properly. After this prep work is done, the temporary crown will be attached using a temporary cement. At this time, we will also check to make sure you still have a comfortable bite with the temporary crown.

The temporary crown will be removed at your second appointment. The tooth will be cleaned again, and the dentist will place the new crown, making sure that your bite and the spacing are accurate.

Instructions will be provided on how to care for your new crown, and regular dental visits will help ensure that it stays in good shape.

Porcelain Fixed Bridges

Dental bridges are permanent dental restorations that are used to replace missing teeth.

As with almost all restorations, there are many types of bridges that you can choose from, though your dentist can help you make the best choice. The most traditional bridge, which consists of porcelain fused to metal, is also the most popular, mainly because porcelain resembles the natural color of teeth. With this type of bridge, two crowns are placed over two anchoring (abutment) teeth, and they are attached to artificial teeth (pontics), thereby filling the gap created by a missing tooth or by missing teeth.

Dental bridges will last for several years, but they might require replacement or need to be re- cemented due to normal wear over time.

Reasons for a fixed bridge:

  • Fill space of missing teeth
  • Maintain facial shape
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
  • Restore chewing and speaking ability
  • Restore your smile
  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance

What does getting a fixed bridge involve?

Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made. This will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.

At the second visit, your permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. Occasionally, your dentist may cement the bridge temporarily, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are custom-made pieces of tooth-shaped porcelain. They are very thin and created by a professional dental laboratory. Veneers are bonded to the front of the teeth, creating a beautiful smile.

Veneers can be used to transform your smile, and they are often an alternative to crowns for many different situations.

Just like other dental restorations, veneers are very durable, but they may need replaced over time so you can keep your smile looking its absolute best..

Reasons for porcelain veneers:

  • Cosmetically, to create a uniform, white, beautiful smile
  • Crooked teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Severely discolored or stained teeth
  • Teeth that are too small or large
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces
  • Worn or chipped teet

Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is used to brighten the natural color of the tooth enamel, and it is an easy, non- invasive way to improve the appearance and beauty of your smile

There are several different ways that patients can whiten their teeth. Home tooth whitening systems are the most popular method, and they can give patients dramatic results. Before beginning a tooth whitening regimen, it's important to determine if any fillings, crowns or other restorations need to be replaced, as tooth whitening only works on the natural tooth enamel. This replacement will be done after the bleaching, so your new fillings will match the new color of your teeth.

Touch ups every several years are necessary to keep your teeth looking white. People who smoke or drink coffee, tea or wine will need touch ups more frequently.

Reasons for tooth whitening:

  • Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development)
  • Normal wear of outer tooth layer
  • Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.)
  • Yellow-, brown-stained teeth

What does tooth whitening involve?

Getting you set up with the right home tooth whitening system takes two visits. The first visit is used to take impressions of your teeth in order to create clear, plastic trays for you.

At your next appointment, we'll check to see that the trays fit properly and then make any necessary adjustments. You'll wear these trays either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks. The length of the treatment depends largely on how white you want your teeth to get and what the current level of staining on your teeth is. After your whitening treatment, it is typical for your teeth to be more sensitive than normal, but this sensation will subside.

In addition to the trays and solution, you will also receive care instructions to help ensure the your smile stays healthy and white.