No matter how thoroughly or often you brush, floss, or rinse with mouthwash, you can never fully get rid of food particles and bacteria that build up on the surface of your teeth. This build up is commonly referred to as plaque and can cause a multitude of dental problems, ranging from cavities to the more serious, gum disease. It’s recommended that you go to the dentist twice a year to remove the accumulation of plaque, which is inevitable. A bi-annual trip to the dentist can help prevent these and a whole slew of more serious dental problems. We will work closely with you to help you get and stay on the right track with your teeth. Even if it’s been several years since you’ve visited the dentist, don’t worry, it is never too late to get started!
There are many factors including age, heredity, and lifestyle choices that can all contribute to dental health issues such as discoloration, chips, cracks, worn surfaces, and even missing teeth. Restorative dentistry encompasses a wide variety of clinical treatments to restore broken down diseased teeth back to their proper form, function, aesthetic qualities, replace missing teeth and restore proper occlusion or bite. Restorative dentistry covers a broad range from restoring a single tooth to full mouth reconstruction and rehabilitation involving most or all of the patients’ teeth, opening the patients’ bite and reestablishing the patients entire chewing motion to proper function.
OUR RESTORATIVE CARE SERVICES INCLUDE:
Crowns are used for teeth that have been fractured, are badly shaped, discolored, weak, need a bridge, are too small to provide support for a large filling, or have been replaced with a dental implant. A crown covers or “caps” an original tooth that restores it to its normal shape, size, function and appearance. These crowns are made to look completely natural and are carved out of aesthetic reinforced porcelain that is ultra-durable and of the highest quality.
When one or more teeth are lost, a bridge may be used to fill the open space by placing crowns on the natural teeth on either side of the opening, and attaching a “false” tooth to the crowned teeth. This combination of crowned and false teeth is called a “bridge”. Bridges prevent a patient’s mouth from sinking due to the loss of bone that supports the tooth. They also help keep remaining teeth in place, preventing them from shifting. A bridge also helps support your lips and cheeks, helps maintain the natural shape of your face, prevent adjoining teeth from tilting into the space, and may help prevent TMD (temporal mandibular disorder) due to chewing on one side of the mouth because of the loss of teeth on the other.
A missing tooth may also often be replaced by a dental implant. An implant is a small screw that is placed into the bone that serves as a support for a new crown to be placed onto. Implants are a marvelous new tool to assist patients with optimizing their oral health. Not everyone is an implant candidate; however, Dr. Takahashi carefully analyzes a patient’s x-rays and health history to determine if an implant is the best solution to a missing tooth.
TOOTH COLORED “COMPOSITE” FILLINGS
Filings are now less evasive and more aesthetic, thanks to composite “tooth-colored” filings. You have many choices when it comes to restoring damaged or decayed teeth, even down to the type of dental filling material to use. You may choose to have white “tooth-colored” fillings (composite or porcelain) or silver amalgam restorations. Furthermore, many people decide to replace their older silver amalgam fillings with newer white “tooth-colored” composite fillings. There are a number of pros and cons associated with both composite and amalgam fillings.
Complete dentures are used to replace missing teeth for people with no remaining teeth. Dentures may also be used for people who have lost several teeth. In this case, the appliance is called a partial denture or an overdenture. Tooth loss may result from periodontal disease (gum disease), tooth decay, or traumatic injury. It is very important to replace missing teeth. The ill effects of not doing so can be a shift in remaining teeth, an inability to bite and chew properly, as well as a sagging facial appearance, which makes one appear older than they are.
The beauty of dentures today is that they are designed to be comfortable and functional. They are very similar in appearance to natural teeth, and can improve a smile or facial appearance.
The cost of dentures depends on several factors, including:
The possible requirement of an additional procedure such as extractions of remaining teeth or oral surgery to refine bony ridges.
The type of dental insurance you have.
The complexity of the removable denture that is required.
Dental materials selected by the patient and the dentist. For example, highly cross-linked polymer denture teeth are more esthetic and do not wear as much as conventional plastic teeth and are more expensive. There are different metals that can be used in removable partial dentures that may also increase the cost.
The type of warranty offered. Some warranties may be for one to two years, while others may run up to 10 years.
Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin, stain-resistant wafers that are bonded over the fronts of teeth to improve their appearance after they have been chipped or discolored.
Consultation and Treatment Planning
Custom-made porcelain veneers can hide many imperfections, including crooked, misaligned, chipped, and stained teeth. Dental veneers are sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics” because of their ability to eliminate gaps and give the appearance of an aligned smile in a matter of days. Dr. Takahashi can determine if your smile would benefit from cosmetic adjustment with porcelain veneers during a consultation. Such a meeting also gives us the
opportunity to explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have.
Preparing the Teeth to Receive Veneers
Dr. Takahashi prepares teeth to receive veneers by filing down a small amount of tooth enamel to roughen the surfaces of the teeth and ensure that the veneers will not make them look oversized. An impression of the teeth is then taken so that custom porcelain veneers may be manufactured to fit the size, shape, and color of the patient’s ideal smile. Next, a dental laboratory crafts the stain-resistant porcelain veneers and sends them to our office.
Bonding the Porcelain Veneers
After the veneers have been customized, they will be gently fitted over the original teeth. The dentist will continue to make adjustments until the veneers are in a natural and comfortable position for the patient. At this point, they will be bonded in place with a durable dental cement. Porcelain veneers are custom-fitted to your teeth using a translucent finish so that they blend in with the surrounding teeth. People won’t notice your porcelain veneers as being artificial or out of place; they’ll simply see your luminous, natural smile.