Composite Resin Fillings
Composite resin fillings, also known as bonded fillings, are tooth colored restorations which are used to replace old, worn fillings as well as to fill teeth with new decay. Our office has been doing composite resin fillings (rather than silver amalgam fillings) exclusively since 1994. The benefits of composite resins are that the filling adheres to your tooth and becomes as hard as your own enamel, strengthening the tooth and preventing future decay at its margins.
A crown, also known as a cap, is done when the majority of a patient’s tooth needs to be restored and/or the strength of the tooth is compromised. Some reasons for needing a crown include a bad fracture, a large filling or after root canal treatment. Crowns are the ideal restoration for these scenarios due to their strength. They are made from materials which allow us to match the shade of the crown to the patient’s natural teeth. Most all crowns done at Portland North Dental are able to be completed in a single visit using our Cerec system technology and are completely metal free.
Cerec technology allows for a quicker, easier appointment for the patient without having to wear a temporary crown or return for a follow-up visit. The tooth is prepared for the crown and then a digital “impression” (digital imaging) is done. The doctor uses the captured images to design the crown on his computer. Next the crown is milled in-office, stained and glazed for precise color matching and immediately bonded in place. The entire process typically only takes 90 minutes for a single crown.
There are instances when a Cerec crown isn’t the ideal option for a patient’s tooth. In this case a traditional metal and porcelain crown is fabricated. This procedure involves two visits; the first includes the preparation of the tooth (removing outside tooth structure to allow room for the crown), taking an impression of the prepared tooth and making a temporary crown. The impression is then sent to a laboratory where the crown is made. Approximately three weeks later the patient comes in for the second visit, at which time the permanent crown is bonded in place.
When a patient loses a tooth, or teeth, it is often possible to replace the tooth by placing a permanent bridge. Much like a bridge over a river, a dental bridge uses the existing teeth on either side of the gap to suspend a replacement tooth to fill the space. Appearance alone will motivate some patients to replace a missing tooth, especially a front tooth. However replacing a missing tooth is just as important for the optimum function of the patient’s mouth. When a tooth is missing it is common to have the surrounding teeth shift. This can cause periodontal problems and even eventual tooth loss. The procedure involves two visits. The first visit includes the preparation of the teeth on either side of the gap, taking an impression of the prepared area and making a temporary bridge. The impression is then sent to a laboratory where the bridge is made. Approximately three weeks later, the patient comes in for the second visit, when the permanent bridge is cemented in place.
For those patients who have lost anywhere from one to all of their teeth, dental implants may be an option. Here at Portland North Dental, dental implants are able to be done start to finish without the need for coordinating additional appointments with outside specialists. Dental implants are specially designed devices that are surgically inserted into the tissue and bone. As part of the healing process, the implanted material and the bone bond together to form a strong structure much like the original tooth root. The next part of the process is to insert a post into each implanted device which is the base on which a crown or fixed bridge is attached. Some implants replace single teeth and others are used as anchor teeth for bridges. Even other implants can be used in coordination with full dentures to create greater stability. Whatever the need, dental implants are a wonderful alternative for the permanent replacement of missing teeth.
For those patients who have lost all of the teeth on one or both arches of the mouth, a full denture is available. A full denture is designed to replace all of the teeth on the arch with artificial teeth and is removable. Although often awkward at first, the patient typically becomes accustomed to them quickly and with practice can speak and eat without any difficulty. However, for those patients who have lost a significant amount of bone loss or who are unhappy with the stability of their dentures, an implant-supported option is often a possibility. By utilizing small implants that are surgically placed in the bone, attachments can be added to the full denture to aid in the stability and comfort.
When a patient loses a tooth, or teeth, it is often possible to replace the teeth by making a partial denture. A partial denture is a device which replaces the missing teeth on a framework with clasps to hold onto existing teeth. Unlike a fixed bridge, which is cemented in place, a partial denture is removable and is a less expensive alternative.