Comprehensive Restorative Dentistry
Southtown Dental Care offers many options for high-quality dental restorations to help your smile. Dr. Nelson and his staff work closely with you to set up the best treatment plan to restore your teeth and put dental mishaps behind you.
Find out more about the quality restorations we offer:
- Tooth-colored fillings
- Ceramic crowns
- Dental bridges
- Dental implants
- Full and partial dentures
Restoring Your Teeth with Tooth-Colored Fillings
Your teeth may develop cavities, which can happen to anyone. When a cavity forms, the decayed portion of your tooth will need to be removed and filled to prevent any further damage. There are various materials used for filling, each with advantages and disadvantages. The most popular are tooth-colored and made from ceramic or other composite materials.
Your dentist may also use a filling if your tooth is chipped, cracked, or worn down.
Advantages of Non-Metal Fillings
Fillings that use ceramic or composite material are becoming a popular choice because of the following:
- They are mercury-free
- The can match the shade of your teeth
- They are long lasting and durable
Tooth-colored fillings can be an excellent alternative to traditional metal fillings.
How Do Fillings Get Placed?
When placing a filling, the dentist will remove any decayed or damaged portion of your affected tooth. The filling material replaces the decay and restores the strength of the tooth. After it has bonded, the surface is polished and smoothed to ensure a proper bite.
Saving Your Tooth with A Ceramic Crown
Typically, patients with cracked or broken teeth have crowns placed over a damaged tooth to prevent further damage and strengthen the remaining natural tooth structure. The dentist will also use crowns for other procedures depending on your needs.
Other procedures that require crowns:
- Some dentists choose to use crowns to cover severe tooth decay when a filling is not appropriate.
- After root canal therapy, patients will also receive a crown to cover the tooth.
- Dental bridges require crowns to be placed on adjacent teeth to hold it in place.
- Dental implants can use a ceramic crown to help replace a missing tooth.
The Process of Placing Your Crown
A ceramic crown typically requires two visits to our Scottsdale office. A one-on-one consultation begins the first visit. The dentist reviews your dental and medical history as well as complete an oral examination to identify if any you have any other dental issues. Your affected tooth is then prepared for an impression.
The dentist sends the impression to a dental lab, where a skilled ceramist creates a custom crown to match the natural color of your tooth. A temporary crown will be placed on your tooth until the final crown is complete.
Your new crown is typically ready in two weeks, and you return to our office to have the crown placed. The dentist replaces the temporary with the permanent crown and checks to see if it needs to be adjusted. Once you and the dentist are satisfied with the placement of the cap, he will cement it to your tooth.
With proper care and regular dental check-ups, your ceramic crown can last up to 15 years before you might need a replacement.
Porcelain Bridges – Bridging Your Gaps
When one or more teeth are extracted or lost due to gum disease or trauma, they will need replacing to prevent further dental problems. Your dentist might suggest a bridge as a solution.
A dental bridge fills the gap formed by missing teeth allowing you to chew efficiently, maintain the positions of your remaining natural teeth, and keep your smile aesthetically pleasing.
What Is a Porcelain Bridge?
A bridge consists of two crowns placed on adjacent teeth and one or more artificial teeth. The adjacent crowns support the artificial tooth or teeth and anchor them in place. Since crowns fit over your teeth, some of your enamel must be removed to allow for proper placement and fit.
What Is the Bridge Process?
Creating and placing a bridge is similar to the process of a crown. The prosthetic takes about two weeks to fabricate.
Here’s what to expect during your appointments:
- The dentist will shape your teeth that require crowns and make an impression to create a mold for the bridge.
- Temporary crowns are placed while the mold is sent out to a dental lab to create the final bridge.
- With the temporaries in place, the first appointment is complete. It will take about two weeks for the dental lab to complete the bridge, and some adjustment may be needed to ensure a perfect fit.
- The dentist will place, adjust, and cement the bridge, after which your new smile is complete.
- The dentist will provide tips and instruction on caring for your bridge to maximize the lifetime of them at the end of the process.
Why Should I Get a Dental Bridge?
Although there are many other solutions for missing teeth, a bridge is one of the most viable and efficient dental appliances. Many patients like that bridges are permanent and don’t slip out of place.
Dental Implants – Preventing Further Damage
Over time, you may begin to notice your facial structure changing from teeth that you have lost. Your jaw bone level will begin to recede, leaving your cheeks and lips unsupported, unstable as a base for dentures, and leaving your jaw more susceptible to fractures.
However, there is good news! Dental implants can be used to stop any further damage and preserve your youthful features.
What Is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are titanium posts implanted into your jaw bone which act as artificial tooth roots. Titanium is the metal of choice because it is lightweight, durable, and your body will not reject it. Since it is compatible with your bone, it fuses with your bone to create a stable post for dental appliances such as crowns and dentures. Dental implants have a very high success rate when replacing teeth.
How Can Implants Help Prevent Damage?
When the dentist places the implant, it integrates with your bone and helps stimulate your jaw bone as your natural teeth would. Several properly placed implants can stop the jaw from receding and prevent jaw bone loss.
Dentures – Restoring Your Smile
Gum disease and tooth decay can cause you to lose teeth. Depending on your treatment plan, you may decide to keep or extract your remaining teeth. Whether you do or don’t keep your remaining natural teeth will be the deciding factor of the type of dentures you get.
You and the dentist may decide to extract the remainder of your teeth. If this is the case, you will get a full set of dentures for one or both arches. Full dentures consist of a combination of acrylic and porcelain made to match the natural color of your gums and teeth.
You may still have some natural teeth left, but find it has become harder to chew, smile, and speak. Partials are an excellent choice to replace the missing teeth and restore your smile. Partial dentures will also help keep the teeth you have left from shifting.
To further understand your options, ask our dentist for more information.
The Denture Process
Dentures take an average of two visits to the dentist, though other treatments may need to be done beforehand.
During the first appointment, the dentist will take an accurate impression of your gums and any remaining teeth. The mold will then be sent to a lab so that they can make your custom dentures.
At the second appointment, the dentist will make any adjustments if necessary so that they can fit you comfortably.
Your dentures may feel awkward at first but will begin to feel normal after several weeks.
How Long Will My Dentures Last?
As with any dental prosthetic, they are susceptible to wear from continuous use. With age, your face, jaw bones, and gums will change so your dentures will need maintenance or replacement. To make sure your dentures last, we recommend annual checkups to make any necessary changes to them.
Dentures typically last at least 5-7 years and can last longer with proper care.
Choosing the Right Option
There are various options when considering a restoration, but how do you know which is the right option? Dr. Nelson and his staff can help you decide which solution works best for you and your smile goals.
Call us today and schedule a consultation to see how we can help you!
Schedule your appointment today!