The main areas that are included when we think of prosthetics in dentistry are: Crowns, a full restoration of the teeth; Cerec, porcelain restorations in one dental visit; Bridges, a replacement for a missing tooth or teeth; Dentures, a replacement for missing teeth or a full arch; and Implants, a replacement for one or more missing teeth.
Typically, porcelain crowns are placed when a significant amount of tooth structure is lost or when placing a filling would jeopardize the integrity of the tooth or compromise the aesthetics or strength. Generally, they cover the top of the tooth and go down the side of the tooth, holding it together to prevent further damage to the teeth. Traditional crowns had gold inside of them with porcelain bonded to the outside for aesthetics. These are sturdy and durable and hold up well to the 200 pounds of pressure put on them during chewing function. The newer porcelain crowns are called “second-generation” materials because they are stronger, all ceramic (no metal) and more durable than the original porcelain type materials that were used years ago. These new materials have better wear, more translucency to match the natural color of your teeth and they bond better.
Using CAD/CAM technology we are now able to provide patients beautiful, all porcelain restorations in one visit! No more temporaries, no more impressions and they wear like your natural teeth. Our doctors are trained and certified to deliver the best results.
A bridge is used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. A bridge uses the surrounding teeth to support the tooth in the missing space. When you lose a tooth, the biting forces change on the teeth next to the space and your teeth begin to shift. Since the opposing tooth has nothing to chew against, it begins to extrude out of socket and become loose. A missing tooth can cause shifting teeth, difficulty in chewing, loss of jaw bone and painful jaw joint. A bridge replaces the missing tooth/teeth, maintains a stable bite, prevents teeth from shifting, assists in clear speech and restores your smile.
Dentures generally refers to the replacement of an entire arch of teeth with a removable appliance fitted with either plastic or porcelain teeth on it. If there are a few teeth left, then PARTIAL DENTURE is placed. This will either have an acrylic base holding it in place, or it will have metal clasps to secure it to the adjacent teeth. Generally, when a denture is placed for the first time, it takes a while to get used to it, since it is a foreign body in your mouth. Dentures should be brushed just like natural teeth because they can build up tarter on them as well. Newer generation materials have created high impact yet flexible dentures which appear more natural and are more comfortable to wear.
An IMPLANT is typically a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone in the area that a tooth is lost. It is left in the bone for a period of approximately 4-6 months to let it “fuse” with the adjacent bone. At this point, a metal top is placed on the screw post to create a hole in the gum to attach the crown. After the metal top has been in the tissue for a short while, a crown can be placed over that post. It is either cemented or screwed in, depending upon the type of implant system. Implants don’t involve the adjacent teeth and therefore a more conservative approach. In addition, should something happen to the implant (porcelain chip, discoloration of adjacent teeth turn darker over time) the crown can usually be easily removed and corrected.