Nothing is more unsightly than missing or broken teeth. Crowns and bridgework are the backbone of restorative dentistry. Lakeview Dental Associates, P.C. takes special pride in the quality and longevity of our fixed restorations. Resurfacing of tooth structure with crowns or replacement of missing teeth with bridges, contributes new balance to the way your teeth work together and strengthens the entire dental arch. There is nothing that holds a tooth together better than a properly fitting crown. We are always pleased when patients believe in the value of their health as much as we do.
If you've decided to go ahead with any fixed appliances, we will prepare the "abutment" teeth for crowns. The surface of each tooth is reduced--a matter of millimeters--so the dimensions remain the same after the bridge is secured. We then condition and prepare your soft tissue around the tooth, so we can take an accurate impression of the crown preparations. An impression of the area, including the surrounding teeth and soft tissue is performed, and we place temporary crowns to keep you comfortable until your bridge is ready. At the lab, a "pontic" to replace your missing tooth is wedded to your new crowns. The bridge comes back in a single unit.
At your second appointment, we remove the temporaries, and cement the bridge or single crown into place. We will make final adjustments so the fit is just right, and test the new function of your bite. Crown and bridgework may take a little extra home care--we'll show you how.
Since dental research began investigating implants, we've watched them evolve. Now, after intensive advanced training, we are able to offer implants to our patients. Implant systems differ and in our office, we use Bicon implants and occasionally MDI Mini Implants.
For patients with missing teeth, implants are like having the real thing again. There is nothing more like a natural tooth than an implant. It is cost effective and more or less permanent. Once an implant is placed and restored you can count on it being there for the rest of your life. The best thing is you can chew on it and clean around it just like a natural tooth!
One of the most useful ways of using implants is to secure dentures to the jaw bone. An implant retained denture is absolutely the best way to improve your chewing power. This can be accomplished with two Bicon implants or four MDI Mini Implants. Ask your Dentist and he can help you determine which system would work best. You will never have to worry about your dentures falling down or floating up! It is even possible to get rid of the plastic on the roof of your mouth of an upper denture.
What's the procedure for implants?
The procedure for placing a dental implant happens in three stages.
First - The implant device is inserted into the upper or lower jawbone. This procedure is surgical, and is usually performed with only local anesthesia. A healing abutment is usually placed, which forms your tissue to accept the permanent abutment. The implant takes the place of the root of your tooth and is made of titanium.
Osseointegration takes three to four months. Bone is forming around the implant and ensuring a solid foundation for your new tooth.
Second - After osseointegration, permanent abutments are attached to the implant. This can usually be done without anesthetic. An impression is taken and a temporary is made; so you can go home with a tooth while the crown is being fabricated. The permanent abutment is similar to a normal tooth that has been prepared for a crown. It is made of surgical steel.
Third - Finally, new teeth (crowns) are made to the unique specifications of your face and mouth, and cemented to the implant abutments. Only the "tooth part" is now visible.
If the bony ridges in your jaw are in good shape, and your gum tissue is healthy, you may be a good candidate for implants.
At Lakeview Dental Associates, we use different methods of bleaching or teeth whitening to achieve the shade preferred by the patient. The method is based on patient factors, such as: cost, time, and ease of use.
We offer these type of whitening procedures:
- Custom at home whitening, by Pola
- Stock at home whitening, such as Sheer White, and Crest Professional White Strips
First, the teeth will be examined and cleaned to make sure there are no cavities, loose fillings, gum problems or other issues that may be aggravated by the whitening process. Impressions will be taken in order to make custom mouth trays. Then the bleaching gel, a hydrogen or carbamide peroxide solution is applied to the teeth in a tray.
Different products can be used for different situations. We would be happy to explain what the advantages of each system are and what would be best for you. With all whitening procedures there can be some thermal sensitivity. This can be controlled with desensitizing medication, adjusting the time wearing the trays, and taking time off in between whitening treatments. Whitening is safe for your enamel and does not damage it. It simply liberates staining particles and chemically whitens the enamel.
Whitening procedures are effective, but not permanent. Depending on the procedure used, whitening may fade over time. Patients are advised to avoid problem food and drinks that may stain or darken the shades of the teeth. Like a popular TV commercial by Crest,"If your not whitening, your yellowing."
Veneers are a "treatment for all seasons" that can correct many types of cosmetic problems: covering discolored teeth, lengthening teeth, mending chips, even hiding spaces between teeth. They're that versatile.
We can choose to either place porcelain veneers, such as Lumineers, or composite veneers. Porcelain is stronger and has more resistance to discoloration. It can look good for twenty years or more. Porcelain veneers take longer, because the lab is involved. It can take 1-3 weeks to cement the final restorations. A resin composite can be placed immediately, but over the course of 5- 10 years can look dull and start to discolor. Porcelain is more expensive than resin veneers. Your dentist can further explain which might work better for you.
If you are interested in getting veneers, we would begin with a functional and esthetic evaluation to determine what shape and contour is best for you. We do digital simulations of your new smiles using digital photographing. This way you can see it before you commit to a new smile. We may opt to prepare about .5mm of the tooth structure to "receive" the veneer. Then we'll take an impression and send it off to the lab for fabrication. Usually we will make you temporaries based on a wax up of your new smile, so you can get used to your new smile before the real deal. Sometimes temporaries are not needed if there is little or no prepping of the teeth.
On the next visit--only about an hour--we'll look closely at the color and shape of the veneers before we place them. Then we clean and etch your front teeth chemically--this helps create the bond between tooth and veneer--cement the veneer in place, and cure the seal with a special light. We'll double-check the fit, and finally we polish your new veneers. The following day the contacts between the teeth will need to be separated.
You might notice your teeth feel a little thicker, but this sensation will pass. What you will notice is a new quality to your smile.