What are dental implants?
Dental implants are recommended for those seeking a permanent solution to missing teeth. They are designed to look natural while also giving you the ability to have stable function of natural teeth. Dental implants are surgically placed into the mouth by inserting a titanium anchor into your jaw. After the anchor is placed, the bone will heal (about 6 months) around the titanium and hold it into place. When your dentist thinks you are ready, they will place your custom made artificial tooth into the anchor. Dental implants are not recommended for everyone. In order to be eligible to receive implants, you must have enough bone structure to support the implant, free of chronic illnesses and must ensure that you will maintain proper oral hygiene to care for a new implant.
Porcelain Dental Inlays and Onlays
What are Porcelain Inlays and Onlays?
Porcelain Inlays and Onlays are restorative fillings that are made using different materials such as porcelain, gold or composite. Porcelain is often the most popular because it mimics natural tooth color. The porcelain is custom created to fit into the prepared tooth cavity and cemented in. Porcelain on its own can be very brittle, but when porcelain is bonded to tooth structure, it becomes very strong and durable.
Due to the durability of porcelain inlays and onlays, they may be recommended for patients who have more severe decay that cannot be repaired by a traditional filling. Generally, teeth that are broken, have severe decay or have fractured fillings are recommended to receive a porcelain inlay or onlay.
What is the difference between inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays are both made at dental laboratories. Therefore, the process generally takes two visits to complete. Porcelain inlays are used in place on traditional silver or composite fillings. They are placed into the prepared tooth where a filling would be placed. Onlays are also known as “partial crowns” and they are caps that help protect the chewing surface of the tooth that has been damaged. Both inlays and onlays last for a very long time and provide patients with beautiful results, but they may eventually need to be replaced.
Porcelain Fixed Bridges
What are porcelain fixed bridges?
Porcelain fixed bridges are non-removable appliances that are placed on teeth to replace a tooth that is missing. Porcelain bridges are made to match the natural color of your teeth and help fill in the gap where a tooth is missing. Bridges are essentially two crowns that that anchor an artificial tooth in between. The two crowns are cemented onto the teeth surrounding the missing tooth to help anchor the artificial tooth into place (abutment). The artificial tooth (pontic) is in place of the missing tooth to fill in the gap and allow your teeth to look natural.
The process of getting a porcelain fixed bridge
When you and your dentist decide that a porcelain fixed bridge is the right option for you, the dentist will begin preparing the two teeth that surround the missing tooth. The teeth are prepared so that two crowns can be placed in order to support the artificial tooth. Several impressions will be taken in order for the dentist to determine the size of the crowns and artificial tooth. Once the impressions are taken, they are sent to a dental laboratory where your bridge will be made. Setting a bridge generally takes two dental visits to complete. Once the dental laboratory has made your bridge, the dentist will cement the crowns into place.
Porcelain fixed bridges are very durable and can last a very long time when they are well taken care of. Your dentist will give you special instructions on how you can keep your bridge clean through brushing and flossing.
What are veneers?
Veneers are thin shells that are custom made to go on front teeth. Porcelain veneers are sculpted out of porcelain by a dental laboratory in order to fix the appearance of teeth. Veneers can help correct crooked teeth, severely stained teeth, chipped teeth, teeth with gaps and etc.
The Veneer Process
Because the placement of veneers is a irreversible process, consult with a dentist to see if porcelain veneers is the right choice for you. The placement of veneers is generally a two-visit process that requires the dentist to prepare the teeth by removing some of the enamel to ensure that the veneer fits and looks natural. An impression will also be taken to determine the size and shape of the veneers. This impression is sent to a dental laboratory where they will create a custom porcelain veneer. During your second visit to the dentist, the veneer will be placed by bonding it to the existing the teeth to give you a beautiful smile.
Taking Care of Your Veneers
After receiving veneers, you must maintain great oral hygiene. Your new porcelain veneers should be treated like normal teeth and your dentist will give you special instructions on how to brush and floss your new veneers.