Comprehensive Oral Examination
There are times when your tooth or its crown fractures and you are not in a situation to have a new one made. A Provisional restoration can be useful to buy you some time. There are a few other situations that fabrication of provisional restorations is needed as a transitional phase before the final restorations are fabricated. Provisional restorations should be fabricated with attention to details to fit well, be smooth and shiny so they don’t attract plaque and look good so they do not look fake. Poorly done provisional restorations usually come off frequently, they break easily and do not fit well.
Inlays & Onlays
An inlay is an indirectly made restoration that replaces tooth structure within the cusp tips of a tooth and an onlay covers the entire biting surface of a tooth. While conventional fillings are molded into a tooth preparation, inlays and onlays are custom fabricated in dental laboratory and then bonded into the tooth for added support and strength. Defective or unattractive restorations and existing cavities can be replaced with tooth colored ceramic or gold inlays and onlays.
Crowns or “caps” fully cover to restore the normal function and appearance of the tooth. Crowns may be made as all metal, porcelain fused to metal or all-ceramic (porcelain). Crowns are indicated for teeth with very large fillings, teeth that have had a root canal, fractured teeth and/or discolored teeth. About 15% of teeth with crowns will need root canal treatment.
Traditional methods to replace a missing tooth or teeth include the fabrication of a bridge. To replace a missing tooth with a bridge, at least one tooth on either side of the space created by the missing tooth must be prepared for a crown. Then a false tooth is joined to the crowns, and the entire structure is cemented to the prepared teeth. The patient cannot remove the bridge, and special aids are available to keep it clean.
Restoring Dental Implants
Today’s dental implants are typically made of titanium alloy. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that a dental specialist places into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling, you may forget you ever lost a tooth.
Porcelain veneers are used to modify the shape and color of teeth. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are etched and then bonded to the enamel of the teeth. Tooth preparation is necessary to avoid over bulking of the tooth, but it is limited to the enamel and usually involves only a few surfaces of the tooth.
Dentures & Overdentures
When a patient no longer has any natural teeth, complete dentures are the traditional method to restore function and appearance. Many patients experience difficulty wearing conventional dentures because of poor stability and decreased chewing function. The use of dental implants to improve the stability and retention of dentures is becoming quite popular.
Many patients are interested in improving the appearance of their smile. Prosthodontists are the dental specialists who long ago determined what constitutes a pleasing smile. Teeth whitening, reshaping natural teeth, bonding of tooth-colored material to teeth and porcelain veneers are procedures commonly used to modify a smile.
Removable Partial Dentures
When there are multiple missing teeth, weak anchor teeth or no posterior teeth to anchor on, a removable partial denture is used to replace teeth. These restorations typically are made of a metal framework and a plastic base with teeth. They must be removed for daily cleaning and at night.
Congenital and Developmental Dental Defects
Many patients are missing certain teeth because the teeth never developed or may be misshapen. A Prosthodontist can determine the best way to replace and/or restore these teeth, coordinate the treatment plan with a team of other specialists and supervise closely how the steps are being completed to assure the ideal outcome . Other patients exhibit teeth with poorly developed tooth structure throughout the mouth and require a Prosthodontist’s expertise in restoring these teeth to proper form and function. Many times patients choose their doctor based on who is participating with their insurance or who is less expensive, and do not pay attention of the knowledge and skills of the doctor, thinking all the doctors are the same. Ultimately it will be the patient who would suffer the most from the poor outcome of the treatment and in many cases they need to redo the case.
Night Guards & Occlusal Devices
Often patients who grind their teeth at night are unaware of their habit, but the forces exerted on both the teeth and the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) can be quite destructive. A custom-made night guard can protect the teeth and relieve pressure on the TMJ.
Many products are now available for patients to whiten their teeth. These products include commercially available strips, custom fabricated trays with a whitening gel or whitening in a dental office.
TMJ is acronym that refers to Temporo-Mandibular Joint. TMD refers to a group of acute or chronic disorders associated TMJ and its related structure. It may include pain in the joint itself, pain in the muscles of mastication and limited movement of the lower jaw, earache and tinnitus, Migraine headaches. Clicking and crepitus (grating) are usually the early signs of joint disorder, even when they are not associated with pain.
Sleep apnea refers to a temporary cessation of breathing while sleeping. Many times the airway is obstructed by the patient’s anatomy, and the placement of a specially designed night guard that repositions the lower jaw can improve the airflow.
No dental treatment should be started without a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Talk to your Prosthodontist about your dental needs today.