A bridge is a fixed, non-removable restoration that is an excellent way to replace one or more missing teeth. Replacing missing teeth is important not only for your appearance but for the proper function of your teeth and for your overall dental health. The adjacent teeth on either side of the space are crowned and attached to an artificial tooth which fills in the gap created by the missing teeth. These crowned supporting teeth can be natural teeth or dental implants. Bridges are usually made of porcelain fused to metal which resembles the natural teeth and gives a very esthetic result. Gold bridges are also an option.
A composite (tooth-colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is decayed or broken, to close undesirable gaps, or to improve the shape, size and color of a tooth. Composites can also be sued to protect thermally sensitive areas. Because it is tooth colored, the filling can be closely matched to the color of the existing tooth. The main advantage of composites over traditional silver amalgam fillings is to obtain improved esthetics and are an affordable, conservative solution to correct areas of concern.
A crown is a "cap" that is fully encased over a tooth to restore its size and shape. Crowns help to protect and strengthen a tooth that cannot be restored with fillings if there isn't enough tooth structure remaining to hold the fitting. Porcelain (tooth colored) crowns are the most popular as they are matched to the natural teeth and are esthetically pleasing. Gold crowns are also an option.
Reasons for crowns:
- broken or fractured teeth
- decayed teeth
- large fillings
- the tooth has had a root canal
- cosmetic enhancement
- to hold a bridge in place
- to cover a dental implant
Implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and an excellent long-term solution for restoring your smile. They are designed to look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Implants are small titanium posts that resemble artificial tooth roots and are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw where teeth are missing. They can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or as an attachment to support a removable prosthesis.
If you've lost any or all of your natural teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease, or injury, replacing your missing teeth will improve your appearance and restore your smile. Complete or partial dentures are removable appliances to replace missing teeth, and an important esthetic benefit is to provide support for the lips and cheeks and to correct the collapsed appearance that results from the loss of teeth.
A partial denture uses existing teeth to help hold the denture in place and make it more stable, and a complete denture can be made to replace all of the teeth when necessary. Dentures are a very cost effective way to replace multiple teeth and enhance the smile, resulting in a patient's renewed self-confidence.
A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. Root canal therapy is needed when the pulp inside the tooth containing the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue becomes inflamed or infected. Common causes of inflammation or infection includes deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, cracks, broken teeth, or trauma.
Symptoms include pain, prolonged and severe sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to chewing and touch, discoloration of the tooth, or swelling. Traditional root canal treatment involves removing the inflamed or infected pulp, cleaning and shaping the canals inside of the tooth, and filling and sealing the space inside the canal. Following root canal therapy, a final restoration is placed to protect and restore the tooth to full function. A crown is usually recommended to prevent fracture or continued damage.