Restorative dentistry can help improve the appearance and overall health of your smile after experiencing tooth loss or damage from disease, injury, or other causes. It is important to seek proper treatment for lost or damaged teeth in order to prevent further damage and relieve difficulties with eating or speaking. There are several restorative options available to patients depending upon their overall health, doctor's recommendations, and personal preference.
Composite Restorations (Bondings)
Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural. Tooth-colored fillings are now used more often than amalgam or gold fillings, probably due to cosmetics. In a society focused on a white, bright smile, people tend to want fillings that blend with the natural color of their teeth.
Dental crowns are individual prosthetic teeth used to replace missing or severely damaged teeth. Crowns are implanted into the jawbone with a titanium implant root or placed with cement as a cap over an existing tooth. The actual crown can be made from metal, porcelain or a combination of the two and provide a natural looking and feeling replacement. Crowns provide a strong, sturdy, aesthetically pleasing replacement that can withstand the same pressures as a regular tooth, letting patients enjoy the convenience of eating, speaking and smiling without any problems.
CEREC In-Office Crown
CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) is a state-of-the-art system that allows dentists to create custom-fit ceramic restorations in a single appointment. First, the dentist examines your tooth and determines the proper treatment, whether it's a crown, onlay, veneer or filling. Next, the damaged part of the tooth is removed and an optical impression (digital photograph) is taken. The computer converts this data into a three-dimensional virtual image that allows the dentist to design the restoration that's right for you. A milling machine then shapes a ceramic block to create the restoration in 10-20 minutes. Finally, the restoration is fit into your mouth, polished and bonded to your tooth. Unlike metals and alloys, ceramic is similar to the natural tooth, so cracking is minimized. Other benefits of CEREC treatment include fewer injections, less drilling, less material removed from the damaged tooth, and minimal time commitment.
Sometimes it is more appropriate to have the crown made in a laboratory as opposed to in the office. Usually, this is when a patient requires a cast gold crown or a porcelain fused to metal crown. Insertion of a laboratory crown usually takes two dental visits over the course of two weeks (more or less dependent on the type of crown and the dental laboratory). At your first appointment, you can expect to have x-rays and several dental impressions taken. Dr. Yeager will examine the site that needs the crown and determine whether or not there is enough tooth structure to put a crown on it. If there is not enough tooth structure, Dr. Yeager will build up the site with strong composite material. After prepping the site, Dr. Yeager will take a series of four impressions. These impressions are sent to the laboratory so that the crown can be made. This usually takes two weeks. In the mean time, Dr. Yeager will place a temporary crown on the site with temporary cement. You can still chew and eat on this area, however, it is best to avoid sticky and hard to chew foods. Once the crown is back from the laboratory, our office will schedule a second appointment with you so that Dr. Yeager can insert the crown with permanent cement.