An implant looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth. Just like a natural tooth, it has a root form. The root form is surgically placed in your jawbone. After the jawbone heals in two to six months, a replacement tooth—a crown—is secured to it.
Implants can be permanent and reliable, if they are properly placed. Properly placing them includes a thorough review of your medical history, receiving three-dimensional CT scans that reveal your bone structure and the location of your nerves. It must be determined if you have enough bone density for this treatment, or if bone grafting is required. Also, only quality fixtures should be used. If these details are neglected, serious mistakes can occur.
- They help prevent jawbone shrinkage, which gradually occurs when your teeth are missing. If you have lost all of your teeth, this shrinkage will cause your face to sink in and appear shriveled.
- They are surgically placed in your jawbone, so they look and feel natural.
- When your dentures are secured to them, you don’t have to worry about embarrassing slippage or that they will fall out.
- Unlike a dental bridge, no work on adjacent teeth is required.
- In most cases, there is a waiting period of two to six months before you receive the crown. This time allows your jawbone to heal around the root form. You can receive a temporary tooth replacement while you wait.
- The cost is per implant, which is more expensive than other options for replacing teeth.
Dental veneers, or porcelain veneers, are thin pieces of porcelain that are permanently bonded to your teeth to create a completely new smile. A truly spectacular “smile makeover” using veneers requires extensive training and artistic ability on the part of your dentist, so make sure that you choose your cosmetic dentist wisely. While your general dentist may be fine for routine dental care, only about 1% of dentists have both the training and artistic ability to do beautiful smile makeovers.
Porcelain veneers are used to address these common cosmetic problems:
- Spaces between the teeth
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Unsightly, stained or discolored teeth
- Permanently stained or discolored teeth
- Crooked or misshapen teeth
In some cases, veneer application can be completed in only two office visits, and can even offer an alternative to orthodontic treatment.
A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease. Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
There are several different kinds of bridges, including:
- Fixed place. This is usually the most cosmetically pleasing and comfortable bridge option.
- The Maryland bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the neighboring teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches the existing tooth color.
- The Cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end. bridge- this is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the surrounding teeth and hold the bridge in.
Teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home teeth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.
Teeth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up may be needed every few months and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
Reasons for teeth whitening:
- Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
- Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
- Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
- Yellow, brown stained teeth.