Bonding is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that enables the restoration of chipped, spotted, discolored or gapped teeth. We use modern materials that match the shade, translucency, and texture of your teeth. Our goal is to have the end result appear as if no treatment was performed. This can do wonders for your self-confidence, since smiling will come naturally to you with the improved appearance of your teeth.
Bonding is the material of choice when it comes to small defects in your teeth. When the defect or end result requires covering the entire front of the tooth, a veneer or crown will probably provide superior aesthetic results.
When a tooth has been lost and healthy teeth are located on both sides of the newly missing tooth or teeth, then a fixed bridge is a treatment option. The other options are implants or a partial denture.
The procedure for having a fixed bridge made is essentially the same as having a crown made except that a fixed bridge involves at least two supporting teeth. What can cause confusion is the number of teeth needed for a fixed bridge. To replace one missing tooth requires a three tooth bridge. This is because the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth must be part of the bridge to provide support.
Fixed bridges are typically made from porcelain with a metal sub-structure and require at least two appointments to complete. The first appointment is used to prepare and temporize the teeth. The second appointment is the delivery appointment to adjust and cement the fixed bridge in place. Occasionally a third appointment is needed if the span of the bridge is long and the supporting framework for the bridge needs to be tried in before the porcelain is applied to the framework.
Even though all of the teeth of the bridge are physically connected, the final result makes it look like the teeth are individual and natural.
Please see our Crowns Gallery, which contains some examples of bridges, to see the types of treatment we can provide for you.
Implants are an option in some cases. There needs to be sufficient bone for this procedure. If there is not enough bone present, we may be able to add more through grafting. Please read our Implants page and visit our Implants Gallery for more information.
Implant placed for bridge. An implant may be an alternative to a fixed bridge in some cases. In the case above, one implant is placed. This means the adjacent teeth do not need to be part of the treatment plan.
Bridge tooth attached to implant. After the implant is placed and the bone around them is allowed to heal, a porcelain tooth is attached to the implant. This stays in the mouth and is only removable by a dental professional if maintenance is necessary.
When the structure of an entire tooth is compromised, a crown, which covers all of the surfaces of the tooth, will need to be placed. The example to the left illustrates a fractured front tooth.
The first step is to prepare the tooth for a crown, which requires reduction of the tooth so that the lab has enough room to produce a life-like crown. We then take an impression, select the proper color for the crown and make a temporary, at which time the first appointment is completed.
Your case is then sent to the lab to make the crown, which is then tried in and adjusted. Our job is to communicate what your wishes and desires are to the lab technicians so your new crown will be in harmony with the surrounding teeth.
Before your new crown is cemented, we check the fit, the contacts, the bite and the color to make sure it has the same characteristics of your natural teeth.
Please see our Crowns Gallery to view the types of results we can achieve with porcelain crowns.
Complete or partial dentures can replace your missing teeth and give you the confidence to smile. Dentures can be used to replace teeth that have been lost due to trauma, decay, or gum disease. It is important to replace missing teeth, not only because teeth help with eating food, but because they help support the facial muscles and are critical for speech.
There are two different types of removable full dentures; immediate and conventional. Immediate dentures are typically made when the patient’s existing natural teeth are being removed and the new dentures are delivered the day of the extractions.
Conventional dentures are typically made when existing dentures are being replaced.
A partial denture is a removable dental appliance that replaces multiple missing teeth. It can be attached to the teeth with clasps, which are like small metal “c” clamps that hug nearby teeth, or may be attached to teeth with crowns with precision attachments (hidden clasps). Both types typically have a metal framework and plastic teeth and gum areas. A temporary partial dental may have a plastic base with no metal.
Implants are an option in some cases. There needs to be sufficient bone for an implant. If there is not enough bone present, we may be able to add more bone through grafting. Please read our Implants page and visit our Implants Gallery for more information.
Instead of having a removable partial, implants are an option in many cases. In the case above, two implants are placed to create an implant bridge.
After the implants are placed and the bone around them is allowed to heal, porcelain teeth are attached to the implants. In this case, a three tooth bridge is placed on top of the two implants. This stays in the mouth and is only removable by a dental professional if maintenance is necessary. See also Veneers and Teeth Whitening