A composite is a tooth colored material often used to replace silver, or amalgam, fillings. Composite fillings are bonded into the tooth, rather than packed in like silver fillings, The composite is great for strengthening a tooth that has an existing old filling, as well as providing a more natural look.
A crown covers a tooth that has been broken down or may have mostly filling rather than tooth structure. A crown reproduces all of the aspects of a tooth to fit your bite or how your teeth meet. Once the old filling, fracture, or cavity has been removed, the tooth is built up with a tooth colored material and prepared for the crown. An impression of this tooth preparation is made and sent to the lab for the final crown to be fabricated. A temporary crown is made and temporarily cemented on the tooth while the permanent crown is being made by the lab. We offer many different crown materials such as : Porcelain fused to metal (traditional crowns), E.max, Bruxzir, and Zirconium (all white-no metal).
A bridge is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth or multiple teeth. A bridge spans the area that has no teeth (like a floating tooth) and is connected to natural teeth on either end. The bridge is permanently cemented in and is not removable. The process is the same as the tooth crowning procedure, however, it involves more than one tooth.
A temporary crown is usually made out of an acrylic material. The temporary protects the tooth from temperature sensitivity and any other damage which could occur while eating and drinking. It also holds the space if the tooth is located between any other natural teeth (teeth like to move when not in contact with other teeth). It is very important for the temporary crown to stay on while the permanent crown is being made.
A veneer is a thin covering of porcelain over the enamel of a tooth. A thin layer of tooth structure is removed on the front of the tooth and the edge to create a space for the veneer to be permanently cemented on. The process is the same as a crown: Preparation, impression, and temporary while the veneers are being made by the lab.
When teeth are being crowned or veneered, our assistant will use a digital custom shading device to completely match your new crown to your natural tooth color. This can include multiple shades, hues and variations in translucency (how the light goes through the tooth). Teeth whitening is highly recommended prior to custom shading of a tooth in the "smile zone".
Whitening is the process of making teeth appear whiter by applying certain whitening agents. Our office has three whitening options:
1) Take home trays can be made from models of your teeth and a whitening gel is placed in small amounts in the tray for no longer than 30 minutes at a time. This can be done to "whiten up" for 30 minutes a day for 7-10 days depending on the individuals tooth sensitivity.
2) In-office whitening without a gingival barrier- A 45% bleach is placed directly on the teeth for one hour while the overhead light is left on, lighting the teeth. No barrier is placed on the gums due to the lower percent bleach in this option.
3) Power Boost- A 65% bleach is placed directly on the teeth while the overhead light continues lighting the teeth. A gingival barrier must be placed in order to protect the gum tissue due to the high bleach content used in this option.
ZOOM is the strongest in-office whitening system! How it works: Gauze and a gingival barrier are placed to cover the inside of the mouth (gums and lips) for protection. The whitening gel is then placed on the teeth and activated when lit with the special ZOOM light in 15 minute increments. This procedure takes 1-1/2 hours and special criteria must be met to purchase and obtain this whitening technique.
Root canal therapy is the removal of the tooth pulp, or the heart of the tooth, which extends from the center of the tooth into the roots. The roots are then cleaned, shaped and irrigated and filled with a material called gutta percha. A root canal may be needed for many different reasons. The most common are: infection or abcess of a tooth or large decay to the nerve of the tooth. Symptoms of these are usually spontaneous pain or throbbing and sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
Dentures are removeable replacements for missing teeth. The three types of dentures are:
1) Partial Denture- the replacement of some teeth with some natural teeth still present.
2) Complete Denture- the replacement of all teeth. No natural teeth are remaining.
3) Implant-retained Denture- Implants are placed in the jaw bone (top or bottom) and the denture is formed to "snap" into the implants for better retention and chewing force.
An implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed in the jaw bone. It can be used to replace teeth or to support and retain dentures. For tooth replacement, following the placement and healing process, an impression is taken and an implant crown is fabricated to fit the implant. The implant crown looks like a normal crown and functions like a natural tooth.
Braces (metal or clear brackets) are used in conjunction with a series of wires to move teeth or adjust the underlying bone. Once brackets are placed, patients come in every 4-6 weeks for orthodontic adjustments. Every patient is different, but the average treatment time for comprehensive patients is 18-24 months.
Our fast moving braces are used to straighten the front teeth in only about six months. This technique will not fix the bite, or the way the teeth meet in the back, and is primarily used for esthetics or looks. Clear or metal brackets can be used and a retainer must be worn once the braces are removed.
Invisalign is an orthodontic technique which straightens or aligns teeth with a series of aligners that are changed every two weeks. The aligners are made of a this clear material, so people will generally not notice a person that is wearing Invisalign. Each aligner is shaped in a way that gradually moves your teeth into alignment. The trays must be worn 24 hours a day, except when eating or brushing/flossing. Typically, three sets of aligners are given at a time so the patients appointments will be around every six weeks to get new trays. Retainers are also to be worn once treatment is complete. Invisalign is not recommended for people that will not wear the trays as directed.
After orthodontics is completed, a retainer (which can be clear or acrylic with a metal wire in front) must be worn at all times, except when eating or brushing/flossing. After wearing the retainers for 24 hours a day for 6-12 months (depending on the patient) the retainer is to be worn at night while sleeping for the patients lifetime. Wearing a retainer for life- lifetime retention- is highly recommended after orthodontics. The reason for this is because as we age our teeth will tend to move and shift and eventually become crowded on the bottom and top front teeth. In some cases spacing can occur. If retainers are not worn, the teeth will return to their position prior to treatment. Retainers are very, very important!!
A bioliner is a clear, slightly bulky tray that is worn for three weeks to close minor spacing and improve minor crowding. After three weeks, a thin retainer is worn to hold teeth in position.