Cosmetic Dentistry

 

   Bridges   |   Bonding   |   Implants

Bridges

Bridges are a great alternative to implant tooth replacement when corrective measures are needed after serious dental decay or an accident. Made of either ceramic or composite material, bridges are used to replace missing teeth in order to restore your bite and allow you to maintain the natural beauty of your smile.

There are two types of bridges: fixed and removable. Fixed bridges are anchored on the neighboring teeth so they cover the area of the missing tooth/teeth. The bridge is fitted with ceramic teeth to replicate the missing teeth and restore the natural function and beauty of your smile. Fixed bridges require careful cleaning using a threading floss.

Removable bridges, whether full or partial, are used in more complex dental situations. They are made of either ceramic or both ceramic and metal, and require a study model to be made from impressions. Like fixed bridges, removable bridges are fitted with ceramic teeth to replicate the missing teeth. In addition, metal is shaped to fit the contours of the inside of the mouth. Normally, multiple visits are required for adjustments. Removable bridges should be carefully cleaned after meals and soak them in a solution to remove plaque and bacteria.

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Composite Bonding

Composite bonding offers patients a more aesthetically pleasing way to restore your smile. Using a tooth-colored, plastic resin, composite bonding has replaced the old methods of restoring decaying teeth that ultimately changed the color of your teeth. Composite fillings are also more durable and longer-lasting than traditional silver fillings.

The bonding procedure is virtually painless and can be completed in just one visit. Normally, the procedure will take only 10-15 minutes per tooth, depending on the severity of the decay. Dr. Wood will use a mild acid or laser to prepare the tooth’s surface so the composite material will adhere to it. Next, several layers of bonding material will be applied to the tooth and a specially designed light source will be used to set the material. Lastly, we will shape, smooth and polish the surface leaving your smile looking healthy and beautiful.

Like your natural teeth, cosmetically bonded teeth may also chip or stain. They should last five to 10 years, or possibly more, before requiring a touch-up or replacement.

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Implants

 

Dental implants are small titanium fixtures that provide a foundation for crowns, bridges or dentures. Whether you are missing one, several, or all of your natural teeth, dental implants are designed to look, feel and function like your own. Dental implants are accepted by the American Dental Association and the FDA for replacing teeth, and can help prevent or reduce the typical bone deterioration often caused when teeth are missing.

Are dental implants successful?

Research has shown that implants are long-lasting and very effective. We use the Nobel Biocare implant system. It has demonstrated a success rate of over 95% in documented studies. To ensure the health and longevity of your dental implants, it is important to practice good oral hygiene. Dr. Wood’s staff provide you with instructions for proper home care procedures to keep your dental implants and remaining teeth clean and healthy. It is just as important to maintain your regular visits to our office so we can assess the health of your implants and gum tissue. With proper care and routine check-ups, you can depend on the reliability of your replacement teeth to look, feel and function like your natural teeth for many years.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Dental implants help to improve your overall appearance. When a person is missing teeth, the jawbone begins to shrink, making the face appear older. Having dental implants will prevent this process. They are also specially designed to look, feel and function like your own natural teeth.

Dental implants increases comfort by eliminating the pain and discomfort of removable full or partial dentures. With the constant shrinking of the jaw bone as a result of missing teeth and with the dentures sitting directly on that jaw bone and gums, the dentures can slip, thus causing irritation and discomfort.

Dental implants can help improve speech that may sometimes be otherwise slurred by dentures that slip or slide around the mouth. Dental implants will allow you to talk with confidence in a calm and natural tone.

Dental implants allow you to eat better and more confidently. By restoring chewing efficiency, you are able to eat your favorite foods with confidence and no pain. While full, upper dentures cover the palate of the mouth and reduce the ability to taste foods, dental implants allow you the freedom to taste and enjoy all your favorite foods because there is nothing covering the palate.

Dental implants also provide convenience by eliminating the grueling task of having to use a sticky denture adhesive that has to be reapplied throughout the day. Dental implants give you the confidence to laugh and smile without the fear that your teeth will fall out or pop down.

In addition, dental implants can provide protection for your remaining teeth. They are a better alternative than having a bridge when replacing one or more adjacent teeth because it eliminates the need to have to modify these teeth, ultimately providing you with a more conservative and aesthetically pleasing restoration.

How long does it take?

Usually, a complete implant reconstruction can take from four to nine months, and in some cases longer. While procedures vary depending on the complexity of the case, the implant reconstruction process takes two surgical steps before the restoration is fabricated. First, Dr. Wood (or an implant specialist, depending on the complexity of the case) places the dental implants into your jawbone. It can take up to six months for the bone cells to grow around the implants. Then, Dr. Wood or the specialist, will make a small incision in the gum tissue to connect a healing post to your implant(s). It will take an additional three to six weeks for the gum tissue to heal around the post. Once it is healed, Dr. Wood will attach the post and make the replacement tooth.

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