COMPREHENSIVE COSMETIC DENTISTRY
Confidence-Boosting Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Boost your self-confidence with effective cosmetic dentistry performed by the certified dentists at Oak Ridge Family Dental. Our on-site dental lab means you don’t have to wait for custom prosthetics to be made and shipped from outside sources.
When treating a cavity, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth and fill it with a substance called a filling. There are multiple filling material options available. The most common are composite fillings and amalgam fillings.
A composite filling matches the color of your tooth and is very durable for filling small to medium cavities. The procedure removes less of your tooth than if you were getting an amalgam filling. Composite fillings are well suited for treating front or highly visible teeth.
Composite fillings are used for:
Decayed teeth (i.e., cavities)
Chipped or broken teeth
Decreasing the gap between teeth
After the dentist numbs the area where the filling is to be placed, any decayed tooth portions are removed. A substance is applied to open up the pores of your teeth for a stronger bond and then hardened and cured with a special light.
Once this is complete, the filling is applied in thin layers to slowly form the complete filling. After the composite has hardened, the filling will be smoothed and polished for comfort and to fit your bite.
Compared to fillings which cover a portion of a tooth, a crown (or cap) encases the entire visible portion of a tooth to serve as a new outer surface. A dental crown is used when a tooth is broken or decayed to such an extent that fillings aren’t a viable option. The crown provides a protective shell around the damaged or decayed tooth to strengthen it and improve its appearance. A crown restores a tooth to its original shape.
The most common crowns contain some mixture of porcelain for a look and feel similar to your natural teeth.
At the initial visit, the dentist reshapes the tooth and takes impressions to create the crown. A portion of your tooth will have to be removed for the crown to fit properly. After the dentist reshapes your tooth, he will use a special material to create an impression of it. This impression will be sent to a dental laboratory to be made into a permanent crown.
Before sending you home, the dentist will provide you with a temporary crown to cover your tooth in between visits.
When you return to your dentist, the temporary crown will be removed and the new permanent one is put in place. Before cementing the permanent crown, the dentist ensures it’s the right color and fit.
A dental bridge is a false tooth that is used to fill the gap created by a missing tooth or multiple teeth. A gap between your teeth can be potentially dangerous to your dental health because it can cause teeth to shift, resulting in a potentially painful change to your bite.
Dental bridges alleviate this problem by using the two surrounding teeth as anchors to hold a false tooth in the gap. Porcelain crowns are placed over the surrounding teeth, and the false tooth, known as a pontic, is fused between them.
There are three types of dental bridges commonly used today:
The traditional fixed bridge places porcelain crowns over the 2 surrounding teeth, using them as anchors to hold the false tooth in place. The false tooth is usually made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
A cantilever bridge is used when teeth are present on only one side of the gap. These are used in areas of your mouth that aren’t exposed to an intense chewing load, such as your front teeth.
A resin-bonded bridge features metal bands that are bonded to the surrounding teeth with resin. They’re used to hold a plastic false tooth in place. This type of bridge is used in areas of the mouth – like the front teeth – that undergo less stress.
A minimum of two visits is required for placing a dental bridge.
At the first visit, the surrounding teeth are prepared to be fitted with a crown. This may include filing down the tooth so that the crown fits over it. Next, an impression of your teeth is made and sent to a laboratory to prepare the bridge and crown. Finally, the dentist fits your teeth with a temporary bridge to protect them while the bridge is being prepared.
At the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the new bridge is fitted and adjusted. Multiple visits may be necessary to check and adjust the fit.