Affordable Restorative Dentistry Colorado Springs, CO
During your first dental examination with x-rays, you will be given the opportunity to discuss your dental health and goals. What is important to you, is priority for us. You will be presented with options to meet your dental goals. We offer many different services. But, you will be invited to join the decision-making process of what dental treatment will work best for you. In partnership with YOUR dentist, you will have a healthy smile and know you were a part of the process. Leaving the dental office feeling confident and informed of your dental plan is our goal.
A bridge is a dental treatment that is used to replace one or more missing teeth. They are designed to be cosmetically appealing and to restore proper occlusion. Like crowns, bridges are fully customizable and made of various materials, including porcelain and metals.
Dental bridges are a prosthesis (replacement part) that relies on support from the neighboring healthy teeth surrounding the gap left by a missing tooth or teeth. The healthy adjacent teeth, called abutments, provide support on either side.
This existing bridge required replacement. There is wear on the biting surfaces and the tissue has shifted, exposing the metal around the edges of the bridge.
Once the old bridge is removed, the teeth are prepared for a new bridge. The outer layer of the teeth must be removed to accommodate the metal and porcelain used to fabricate the bridge.
The bridge is made in a laboratory using molds made of the prepared teeth. The bridge has a metal substructure over which porcelain is bonded. The color of porcelain is chosen to match the existing teeth.
The bridge is adjusted and fitted over the teeth. It is then cemented into place.
What Is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure that utilizes composite resin material to restore teeth that have become cosmetically damaged in some way. The material is incredibly strong, even if it isn’t quite as durable as your natural enamel. However, it can be very easily color-matched so that it effectively blends in with your existing teeth without anyone being the wiser.
Dental bonding is actually quite similar to tooth-colored fillings in that they use the same material. The difference is tooth-colored fillings are used to restore teeth damaged by cavities (and usually replace the need for metal-colored fillings). Dental bonding is purely a cosmetic treatment and can be used on healthy teeth that have experienced normal wear and tear or minor issues.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Bonding?
Candidates for dental bonding should not have any existing dental problems that should be addressed first (i.e. tooth decay, gum disease). If your smile is healthy, then you are likely a candidate for dental bonding if you have cosmetic concerns you’d like to handle. We often recommend dental bonding for the following imperfections:
- Tough stains
- Small gaps
- Very small or malformed teeth
During your appointment, we’ll discuss your smile goals with you one-on-one in order to help you determine the best treatment for your needs. This may include dental bonding, another service, or a combination of the two.
The Dental Bonding Process
While the length of your treatment will vary depending on how many teeth you need to address, it takes anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes to treat a single tooth. We start by using a shade guide to select a composite resin material that matches your existing teeth as closely as possible. We’ll then etch a small area of your tooth so that a conditioning liquid can be applied. This makes the bonding material stick to the tooth more easily.
From there, the resin material is applied to your tooth, carefully molded, then smoothed to the desired shape. Once we’re finished shaping the resin, we can cure it using a special light that hardens within seconds. After making any final adjustments, we’ll polish the tooth so it shines just like your neighboring teeth.
The Benefits of Dental Bonding
You may not realize how much of an impact smile imperfections can have on your confidence until you’ve developed them. If you find yourself hiding your smile out of concern that others around you will notice them, dental bonding can be quite beneficial to your confidence and self-esteem day-to-day. You just may be surprised by how you feel when you’re able to express yourself to the fullest, whether you’re with friends, family members, coworkers, or people you’re meeting for the very first time.
Crowns are a restorative procedure used to improve your tooth’s shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay.
A crown is a “cap” cemented onto an existing tooth that usually covers the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings, which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression, which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
People are living longer than ever, and while regular brushing, flossing, and checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth just can’t keep up. If you’ve lost a tooth (or a few teeth) due to injury or disease, dental implants can rejuvenate both your smile and your oral health.
An implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The “root” is usually made of titanium: the same material used in many replacement hips and knees, and a metal that is well-suited to pairing with human bone. A replacement tooth is then fixed to the post. The tooth can be either permanently attached or removable. Permanent teeth are more stable and feel more like natural teeth.
The ideal candidate for implants is a non-smoker who has good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, and healthy gums with no sign of gum disease.
Single or Multiple Implants
Implants are versatile. If you are only missing one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will do the trick. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth). Similarly, if you have lost all of your teeth, a full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.
Advantages Over Dentures or Bridges
Conventional bridges and dentures are not fixed to the bone, and can therefore be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. Implants not only look more natural, but feel and act more like normal teeth, with a stronger biting force. And because they don’t directly rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants don’t compromise the health of your natural teeth. In fact, bridges are only expected to last seven to ten years, even less with root canals, whereas implants will typically last a lifetime.
SINUS LIFT AUGMENTATION
After the loss of upper back teeth, your sinuses may enlarge in size. Before new implants replace the lost teeth, a sinus lift augmentation or graft relocates the sinus cavity into its original position and replaces the bone that has been lost as a result of the enlarged sinus. This new bone graft typically takes nine to 12 months to heal before the dental implants can be placed into the grafted bone.
AUTOGENOUS BONE GRAFTING
Occasionally, ideal areas where dental implants are to be placed do not have sufficient bone quantity to predictably place the implants. In these cases, it is often necessary to “borrow” bone from another area of your mouth to graft into the deficient area. Often the area of choice is from the chin or in the back of the jaw where your wisdom teeth used to be.
IMPLANT SITE DEVELOPMENT
When a tooth needs to be removed due to infection, it is not uncommon to have bone loss around the infected tooth. In these cases, various types of bone grafting can be done at the same time the tooth is removed to facilitate the placement of a dental implant at a later date.
COMPUTER ENHANCED TREATMENT PLANNING
We have special 3D software that allows us to evaluate your bone quality, bone quantity, and bone location for the best possible placement of your dental implants. This also allows us to work closely and smoothly with your restorative dentist to ensure an ideal result for your dental implants.
Once your dental implant restoration is completed, it is important to keep the area clean and free of infection. Dental implants can accumulate plaque and tartar just as teeth can. Whether you have just one tooth replaced by an implant or several, professional cleanings will be necessary to keep your implants healthy. The time interval for these professional cleanings will be determined by your individual needs.
Consider your replacement teeth to be the same as natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same amount of regular checkups. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements, the longer they will last.
If you are missing teeth, it is crucial to replace them. Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause you discomfort. When teeth are missing, your mouth can shift and even cause your face to look older. Implants are a great way to replace your missing teeth, and if properly maintained, can last a lifetime!
An implant is a new tooth made of metal and porcelain that looks just like your natural tooth. It’s composed of two main parts: one part is the titanium implant body that takes the place of the missing root, and the second part is the tooth-colored crown that is cemented on top of the implant. With implant treatment, you can smile confidently knowing no one will ever suspect you have a replacement tooth.
In addition to tooth replacement, implants may be used to anchor dentures, especially lower dentures that tend to shift when you talk or chew. For patients with removable partial dentures, implants can replace missing teeth so you have a more natural-looking smile.
Traditional dental restoratives, or fillings, are most often made of silver amalgam. The strength and durability of this traditional dental material makes it useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, often in the back of the mouth.
Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, but they can also be used on the back teeth depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay.
There are two different kinds of fillings: direct and indirect. Direct fillings are fillings placed into a prepared cavity in a single visit. They include silver amalgam, glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings. Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits. They include inlays, onlays, and veneers. They are used when a tooth has too much damage to support a filling but not enough to necessitate a crown.
Sometimes, false teeth (dentures) are needed to replace badly damaged teeth. Partial dentures may be used to fill in one or more missing teeth. Dentures may feel strange at first. In the beginning, your dentist may want to see you often to make sure the dentures fit. Over time, your gums will change shape and your dentures may need to be adjusted or replaced. Be sure to let your dentist handle these adjustments.
When you are learning to eat with dentures, it may be easier if you:
- Start with soft, non-sticky food.
- Cut your food into small pieces.
- Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth.
Be careful when wearing dentures because it may be harder for you to feel hot foods and drinks or notice bones in your mouth from your food.
Keep your dentures clean and free from food that can cause stains, bad breath, or swollen gums. Brush them every day with a denture care product. Take your dentures out of your mouth at night and put them in water or a denture-cleansing liquid.
Dentures come with huge benefits for patients and can greatly improve your quality of life. With today’s technology, dentures are created to look natural in appearance and give the impression of a beautiful smile. Additionally, dentures provide support for your facial muscles as well as assist with your ability to chew and eat food, and they also assist with your ability to speak clearly.
If your teeth have reached the point where you are considering dentures, we invite you to come in for a complimentary consultation. We will do an assessment of your condition and provide you with a list of options tailored to your individual needs. With the advances in dental implants and other techniques in the last twenty years, dentures can often be used in conjunction with implants for enhanced function and comfort. However, for many people dentures alone are a very cost effective solution to the problem of aging teeth and gum disease.
A partial denture is a removable appliance that replaces missing teeth. It is supported by your existing teeth and fills in those unwanted gaps. It will help to regain the aesthetics and chewing and speaking functions that you require.
Full mouth denture treatments will involve the extraction of any remaining teeth, making impressions to give that perfect, snug fit, and a final fitting appointment. Partial dentures consist of appointments made to examine the health of remaining teeth, taking impressions, and custom fitting the partial appliance.
Many times, we hear from new patients that when they left other dental offices, they had more questions than answers. As a valued patient, every question and concern you have is important and each will be answered to your satisfaction.
Partial crowns, often referred to as onlay’s, are a type of dental restoration or porcelain filling that covers one or more cusps of your tooth. Onlay’s are also made of porcelain by a lab and take two appointments to complete. An inlay is like a dental filling, but the restoration is made of porcelain by a lab and is placed within the cusps on a tooth’s chewing surface. These restorations are much more conservative than crowns and can be imperceptible from your natural tooth. However, the use of onlays and inlays are limited to very specific situations and are not as common as a dental crown.
What is a Dental Inlay?
An inlay is a lab fabricated porcelain filling that fits into the grooves of a tooth and do not extend over the cusps of tooth. The patient is numbed using a local anesthetic and the dentist drills the tooth to remove and clean out the decay in the tooth. This is one of the restorative methods used to repair a tooth after it sustains harm from injury or decay that does not affect the cusps of the tooth. The dentist takes an impression and sends it to a laboratory where the inlay is made.
Inlays are manufactured from porcelain or composite resin material matching the color of the tooth and provide almost invisible dental restoration while repairing the chewing surface. Dental inlays are generally more durable than regular fillings made from composite or amalgam.
What is a Dental Onlay?
Onlays also fit inside the tooth but extend onto the chewing surface of a back tooth to replace one or more cusps. In the past, onlays were made only of gold, but like inlays, more and more patients request a tooth-colored onlay. Making the onlay of ceramic/porcelain allows the restoration to be bonded to the tooth.
This bonding process may actually improve the strength of the tooth and help seal the onlay to the tooth. Sometimes It is difficult to determine when inlays or onlays can be used instead of crowns or caps. But, you are in great hands at Laurelhurst Family Dentistry as our dentists will review all your options with you to determine the best dental plan.