Restorations

At Crystal Smiles, we provide restorations (fillings) in a way that restores the functionality of a tooth while also looking completely natural.

Why Dental Restorations Are Necessary

Patients frequently need to repair teeth due to accidents. An accident can happen at any time. Whether it is a car wreck, sports injury, playing with the kids, or falling at work – teeth are often the victim of daily accidents and when they are, it is important to fix the tooth right away. Otherwise, the area can become infected along with being uncomfortable.

Restorations are also needed after a tooth develops a cavity. We can restore it so that the tooth can continue to function without needing to be removed. This is far better for your overall oral health since keeping your natural teeth is often the best option in the long run.

Here are some of the common dental restorations that we offer:

Amalgam Fillings

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Silver amalgam fillings were the treatment of choice for tooth decay for many years, and are only recently being replaced by white composite fillings.

As with most dental restorations, amalgam fillings are not permanent and will someday have to be replaced. However, they are very durable and will last many years provided you take care of them.

Reasons for amalgam fillings:

What does getting an amalgam filling involve?

Amalgam fillings are usually placed in one appointment. Your dentist will make sure your tooth is completely numb and then remove decay from the affected tooth as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleansed and carefully prepared to receive the amalgam filling. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The silver amalgam filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished to restore your tooth to its original shape and function.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when amalgam fillings are first placed, but this should subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

You will be given post-care instructions at the completion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, healthy eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in extending the life of your new fillings.

Composite Fillings

A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, and fractures. The decayed portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting and a beautiful smile.

Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

Dental Crowns

When a tooth is missing a large portion of its enamel, a dental crown is the best type of restoration because it is a cap that completely surrounds the tooth. This way, you can bite down with full force and not worry about being uncomfortable or damaging the tooth further. This is most frequently used after a root canal or when the tooth is severely cracked or chipped. Fortunately, they now come in all-ceramic and ceramic-on-metal in addition to the traditional all-metal material. Patients getting crowns for restorations can have natural looking teeth after the fact.

Porcelain Fixed Bridges

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.

There are several types of bridges. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case. The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. Porcelain fixed bridges are most popular because they resemble your natural teeth. This type of bridge consists to two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

Reasons for a fixed bridge:

  • Fill space of missing teeth
  • Maintain facial shape
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • 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 small portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which 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 only temporarily cement the bridge, 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.

Dentures & Partial Dentures

A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely to resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.

There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.

A complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks. During this time the patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.

Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.

Reasons for dentures:

  • Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch
  • Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch
  • Enhancing smile and facial tissues
  • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion

What does getting dentures involve?

The process of getting dentures requires several appointments (four to five), usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.

It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.

You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.