Family Cosmetic Dentist Blog
Posts for: April, 2018
Not long ago the dental bridge was the alternative treatment of choice to partial dentures for restoring lost teeth. Over the last few decades, however, dental implants have nudged bridgework out of this premier spot.
That doesn’t mean, though, that bridgework has gone the way of the horse and buggy. In fact, it may still be a solid restorative alternative to partial dentures for certain people.
A traditional bridge consists of a series of porcelain crowns affixed to each other like pickets in a fence. The end crowns are fitted onto the teeth on either side of the empty tooth space; known as abutment teeth, they support the bridge. The crowns in the middle, known as pontics (from the French for “bridge”), replace the teeth that have been lost.
Bridges have been an effective and cosmetically pleasing method for tooth replacement for nearly a century. To achieve those results, though, a good portion of the abutment teeth’s structure must be removed to accommodate the crowns. This permanently alters these teeth, so they’ll require a restoration from that point on.
Dental implants, on the other hand, can be installed in the missing space without impacting any neighboring teeth. What’s more, implants provide greater support to the underlying bone than can be achieved with bridgework.
But not everyone is a viable candidate for implants, and ironically the reason most often has to do with the bone. If a patient has suffered significant bone volume loss, either because of disease or the long-term absence of the natural teeth, there may not be enough bone to properly support an implant. Unless we can adequately restore this lost bone volume through grafting, we’ll need to consider another type of restoration.
That’s where bridgework could be a viable option for patients in this or similar situations. With continuing advances in materials and new applications, the traditional bridge still remains an effective and important means to restore a smile marred by missing teeth.
If you would like more information on dental restoration options, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”
Porcelain veneers are a great way to enhance an unattractive smile. But are they appropriate for teenagers? The answer usually depends on a patient’s current development stage and the type of veneer used.
Veneers are thin layers of porcelain bonded to the front of teeth. But even though quite thin, they can appear bulky if we don’t first remove some of the tooth’s enamel surface. This is irreversible, so the tooth may require a restoration from then on.
This could be a major issue for teens whose permanent teeth are still developing. During this period the tooth’s central pulp is relatively large and the dentin layer not fully developed. As a result, the pulp’s nerves are often closer to the surface than in an adult tooth. This increases risk of nerve damage during veneer preparation; if nerve damage occurs, the tooth could ultimately require a root canal treatment to save it.
On the other hand, some types of veneers don’t require tooth alteration (or only very little) beforehand. These “no-prep” or “minimal prep” veneers are best for certain situations like abnormally small teeth, so we must first determine if using such a veneer would be appropriate for your teen.
In effect, we’ll need to weigh these and other factors before determining if veneers are a safe choice for your teen. That being the case, it may be more advisable to consider more conservative cosmetic techniques first. For example, if enamel staining is the main issue, you could consider teeth whitening. Although the often amazing results eventually fade, whitening could still buy some time until the teeth have matured to safely apply veneers.
Slight deformities like chipping can often be corrected by bonding tooth-colored composite material to the tooth. In artistic hands it’s even possible to create a full veneer effect with very little if any tooth preparation. How much we can apply, though, depends on tooth size, and it won’t be as durable as a porcelain veneer.
With that said, veneers could be the right solution to enhance your teen’s smile. But, we’ll need to carefully consider their dental situation to ensure their new smile remains a healthy one.
Are you ready for a smile makeover? Our Cincinnati, OH, dentists, Dr. Ron Solomon and Dr. Angela Burleson-Ott of Cornerstone Dental Group, discuss a few cosmetic dentistry procedures that can completely transform your smile.
When your teeth are stained and yellow, Zoom! whitening can revitalize their appearance. The whitening treatment offers an effective way to improve the appearance of teeth dulled by age and also removes stains caused by dark pigments left behind when you consume coffee, tea, wine, cola, berries, and other foods and beverages.
Before your teeth are whitened, they're cleaned thoroughly to remove every trace of plaque and tartar. Cleaning is accomplished by coating your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide gel. Hydrogen peroxide, a natural whitener, breaks apart tiny pigments trapped in your tooth enamel. Exposing the gel to the special Zoom! light enhances the effects of the natural stain buster. After your treatment, your teeth may be as much as eight shades lighter.
Same-day CEREC crowns
Temporary crowns are completely unnecessary these days, thanks to same-day crowns created in our Cincinnati office. After your tooth is decreased in size slightly, we'll make a digital impression of your mouth, which we'll use to design your crown using the innovative CEREC CAD/CAM technology. When we're satisfied with the design, we'll send it to our in-office milling machine, which will produce your brand new resin crown in just about 30 minutes.
Dental implants, the most recent tooth restoration innovation, are becoming increasingly popular. The restorations feel and look like natural teeth and usually never have to be replaced. Titanium implants replace lost tooth roots and gradually bond to your jawbone. They're topped with lifelike crowns that fill the gap in your smile. In addition to single implants, denture-supported implants are also available.
Would you like to improve your smile without extensive dental work? Veneers offer the perfect solution. The wafer-thin porcelain shells are cemented to the fronts of teeth only. They're an excellent option if you want to conceal minor damage, such as chips or cracks, have a discolored tooth, or want to change the shape or length of a tooth. Do you want a movie star white smile? Because veneers are available in many shades of white, they offer a long-term whitening solution.
Renew your smile with cosmetic dentistry procedures! Call our Cincinnati, OH, dentists, Dr. Solomon and Dr. Burleson-Ott of Cornerstone Dental Group, at (513) 631-8920 to schedule your appointment.