A dental implant is the best possible cosmetic tooth replacement. The most common form of implant is a root form implant, which is a titanium post that screws into the jawbone. This artificial tooth root can then support any number of restorations that both work and look like natural teeth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
An implant has several benefits. Like the roots of natural teeth, it stimulates the jawbone when you chew. Jawbones are naturally stimulated by tooth roots when people bite down on food. The vibrations keep the bone stimulated and growing. When a tooth is lost, the jawbone will recede when this stimulus ceases. However, an implant restores this stimulus and keeps the tooth healthy.
An implant is strong, comfortable, and secure. When the restoration is in place, the implant looks and feels much like natural teeth.
With careful homecare and regular checkups and cleanings here in our office, an implant can be an excellent long-term solution for missing teeth.
How can an implant do for me?
An implant can support a variety of cosmetic tooth restorations, such as
A single crown
This restoration is almost always an all-porcelain crown. The newer types of porcelain that are now used to make implant retained tooth restorations look like natural teeth and are extremely durable. You will be able to chew all of the foods you normally eat.
A multi-unit bridge
This type of bridge anchors to an implant rather than to natural teeth. This prevents wear and tear that will result if the bridge is anchored to the teeth themselves. Bridges are non-removable, so for some people full-arch dentures supported by dental implants are a preferred option.
These are removable tooth replacements for people who have lost natural teeth. Full-arch dentures can be manufactured to give you the match the characteristics of natural teeth the patient lost. New developments in cosmetic dentistry have made it possible to use materials that create much better dentures than the stereotypical false teeth of the past.
Dental implants can be used to support dentures that are anchored to the jawbone through the implant, but can also be snapped out and removed during sleep. The advantage to this system is it prevents bone loss because the implants emulate tooth roots and keep the jaw continuously stimulated.
Diagnosis and treatment
Depending on the situation, placing a dental implant is a process that takes several appointments over a period of months. Surgery is involved, so we use sedation dentistry with a trained anesthesiologist to keep you from feeling any pain.
Before this happens, however, we check your medical history and make certain you’re a candidate for implants. If the health of your gums and jawbone has deteriorated, we may need to perform bone grafting or gum surgery before we install implants.
When we are ready to install them, a channel is shaped in the jawbone, and then the implant is inserted into the prepared space. We may use a temporary restoration to cover the implant over the next few months as the bone grows around it. Once this has happened, we place your cosmetic restoration over the dental implant.
Labels: cosmetic dental implants, dental tooth restoration
When a tooth loses a large filling, the best way of restoring a large filling is to place a permanent crown over the tooth. Because the large cavity has already destroyed so much of the tooth, a filling alone will not be enough, generally, to give the tooth protection and strength.
Why is a filling not enough?
We are not saying it is not enough. Because we use cosmetic dental bonding resin, much can be done to fill in the cavity with a biofriendly material that is much better than silver mercury amalgam. However, there is a need to reshape the tooth and remove any decay that formed around the old cavity, and this is where we run into problems.
So much tooth matter gets lost in the cleaning and reshaping process that restoring a large cavity with even the best dental bonding resin may still not be enough. You see, the tooth must be able to handle normal biting and chewing pressure, and if only a thin shell of its outer surface has survived the decay and loss of a filling, there is no way we can provide this type of strength with a new filling alone.
The best course of action is to crown the tooth with a cosmetic tooth restoration of some kind. Normally, this is a porcelain crown.
What does the crown do for the tooth, then?
The crown first and foremost covers the tooth so that food debris cannot attach to its surface. This denies bacteria the opportunity to grow and form plaque. A crown’s hard surface can chew food like a normal tooth, and you can brush and floss it just like you can any other tooth.
The one thing you do have to be mindful of is the space between the edge of the ground and the gum. This is a very tiny space, but it is also a very dangerous space to ignore. It has to be brushed and flossed with extra care in order to keep bacteria from getting underneath the crown and attacking the tooth again.
How do you determine if a crown is the best way of restoring a large cavity?
We simply look at how big the cavity is and how much of your tooth is still standing. If it is clear to us that the tooth is not going to survive on its own, then it needs to be crowned.
We don’t just use guesswork or visual examination alone to determine this. We have all sorts of sophisticated equipment here at our office that can tell us the precise condition of your tooth and what it needs to be restored.
Labels: all porcelain crowns, dental tooth restoration, restoring a large cavity
A tooth can break either because of a severe fracture or a severe case of tooth decay. Many times when this happens, too much of the tooth’s mass is lost and the tooth cannot support a dental crown. In the pasts, dentists would extract such a tooth, but this no longer has to be the only option. Today, placing a post and core can save a tooth and allow it to support a cosmetic dental crown.
A post and core uses a metal post and cosmetic dental filling material to replace missing tooth mass.
A dental post can only be placed in a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment. The cosmetic dental material, known as the core, then flows around the post and hardens to create new surface area that can support a crown.
Houston cosmetic dentists place post and cores only when more than 50 percent of the original crown has been lost. The majority of these dental posts are made of biofriendly, stainless steel titanium. Some, however, are made from metal free carbon fiber posts.
To place a post and core, your cosmetic dentist will first perform a root canal on your tooth. This removes all infection from beneath the gum line and extracts the dead roots as well. Your dentists will use a special hand tool called a dental file to shape the tooth interior. The dental post is then custom-made to fit then center of this hollowed-out space, then positioned and cemented in place.
After the placement of the dental post, your cosmetic dentist then applies the core material made from cosmetic dental bonding material. When the material is applied, it is semi-liquid in nature and quickly adapts to the contours of your tooth interior.
When the core hardens, your dentist shapes it so it can support a dental crown, and he or she takes impressions of all of your teeth. These impressions are sent to a lab, which uses them to custom-fit a crown for that particular tooth. When the material hardens, the dentist then shapes it so it can be fitted with a dental crown. He or she also takes impressions of the teeth. These impressions are sent to a lab, which uses them to custom-fit a crown to that particular tooth.
A temporary crown will be placed on your tooth in the meantime to protect your dental post and core. When the permanent crown is ready, you will return to our office for a second appointment and be fitted with your permanent crown.
The benefit to this procedure is it allows you to save a tooth that otherwise would be lost. Other benefits include providing added support to overall tooth structure, a much better anchor for supporting a dental crown, and better retention of the dental crown itself after it has been placed.
Labels: dental post and core, dental tooth restoration, tooth repair