Restorative dentistry brings cosmetic and general dentistry together to rebuild your smile. If you have:
- Missing teeth – single, several, or all
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Significant tooth decay
- Eroded tooth surfaces or enamel
…the below treatments will allow you to restore health, function and comfort to your teeth.
Inlays & Onlays
Often described as partial crowns, inlays/onlays use existing tooth as a foundation and repair a damaged area. This strengthens the tooth, restores tooth shape and halts further tooth damage. If there is a damaged tooth portion but the majority of the tooth is stable, an inlay or onlay can be bonded directly to that tooth with little tooth preparation. The difference between inlays/onlays and fillings is that partial crowns are solid structures made in dental labs, whereas fillings are sculpted and hardened by your dentist during your appointment. The inlay/onlay procedure is similar to a dental crown procedure, with less tooth preparation and thus greater patient comfort.
Dental bridges replace missing teeth neighboring healthy teeth. The existing neighbor teeth support crowns attached to the restoration to create a bridge across the gap. Dental bridges can be constructed from gold, metal, alloys or porcelain and are very durable. The supporting teeth (abutments) are reshaped so that they will fit beneath the bridge’s crowns. A dental lab will create these crowns and the attached “pontic,” the new tooth spanning the space. In the meantime, as with dental crowns, your dentist will fit you with a temporary bridge.
Once placed, your bridge will likely require an adjustment period, but you will soon feel as if the bridge is a natural tooth. As the bridge is bonded to your existing teeth, it sits securely in your mouth and will become a comfortable, attractive part of your smile.
Like bridges, dentures also replace entire missing teeth, but they are conveniently removable. Dentures are wonderful for those missing a number of teeth and who do not have the adequate jawbone necessary for dental implants. Depending on the patient’s needs, full dentures and partial dentures are each a possibility. The detailed types of dentures are:
- Conventional full dentures – All teeth are removed and gums are given adequate time to heal before denture placement. This process could take several months, during which the patient will be toothless.
- Immediate full dentures – Prior to tooth removal, the dentist fits dentures for your mouth and has them fabricated. This way, dentures can be placed at the time of tooth extraction. Though this removes a toothless healing period, the dentures will need to be adjusted once your jaw has healed and shifted.
- Partial dentures – Teeth remain in the mouth but a number are missing. Think of partial dentures as similar to bridges (they relay on the support of existing teeth), but removable.
Dentures come with an adjustment period: it takes time to grow accustomed to the new material in your mouth. Though you may initially struggle to speak, eat, and manipulate your tongue while wearing dentures, your mouth and muscles will become trained to work with the dentures comfortably. They will continue to feel more and more like natural teeth, and should be cared for as such. Dentures must receive the same oral hygiene you provide for natural teeth: they spend time in your mouth, so they face the same perils.
If you treat your dentures with care, they will last a significant amount of time. If you are uncomfortable with an aspect of your dentures or feel they are loose, stop by Dynamic Dental and have your dentist check them out.