Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Dental implants are the closest possible alternative to an actual tooth replacement. With proper care, maintenance, and regular dental checkup visits, dental implants are created to last for life. A single tooth is replaced with a standard implant, or a bridge can be created using two implants. Many people with implants can’t see the difference between their natural teeth and their implants, and neither can friends and family!
During your initial implant visit
A temporary crown is placed over the implant. Crowns take some time to create at a dental lab, so this procedure allows for same day tooth replacement, and the patient returns when the permanent crown is ready.
It is important to note that a consultation with a specialist is required to determine if a patient is a good candidate for any dental implant.
Bone structure of the jaw is one of the important factors to consider when thinking of dental implant options. Bone grafting can be an option build up and strengthen the bone surrounding the implant. Bone loss can increase over time and will increase at a higher rate in areas of the jaw that are missing teeth.
What are the steps involved in getting a dental implant?
Advancements in techniques and equipment in dental implant technology have made this a standard procedure in dental offices, often completed without the need for a specialist. Dr. Chen is proud to offer dental implants as a treatment option for our patients.
Dental implants are completed in steps:
- Implant Placement: The implant is placed surgically in the upper or lower jaw. A “healing cap” is placed over the implant to protect it. Sometimes, there may be a need for bone grafting before or during implant placement.
- Healing and Osseointegration: Implants are strong because the bone in the jaw grows around the implant, securing it in place and accepting the implant as a part of the bone. This is called osseointegration and is a critical step in the implant process. The healing process typically takes about 3 months.
- Tooth Replacement: The dentist will have a custom crown, bridge or denture made to fit your mouth and implants.
A dental crown, also known as "caps" is a type of tooth restoration and serves as a part of many different types of restorative treatments. Crowns get this nickname because they fit on top of existing teeth or other dental implants. Porcelain is used to make dental crowns due to the material being both strong and non-porous making the crown more resistant to staining like tooth enamel. The porcelain similarly reflects light as a natural tooth does. Crowns are an essential part of the tooth structure since they have various shapes and surfaces for the different purposes of each type of tooth and are part of the tooth that people can see. Another job of a dental crown is to protect the interior portion of the tooth from decay and bacteria.
What are the steps involved in a Dental Crown?
If the dental crown is placed over your original tooth, such as with dental bridges and root canals, the tooth must be made so that the crown can fit tightly on top of the tooth structure. The tooth preparation is one step and the delivery of the permanent crown is done in a second visit.
First, the area is numbed with a local anesthetic. Next, the outside tooth is reshaped by shaving and removing enough of the tooth material to allow a temporary crown to sit on top and align with the rest of your teeth. After, an impression of your teeth is made and sent to a dental laboratory for a permanent crown to be molded for your mouth. A temporary crown is placed on your tooth to seal and protect it until your permanent crown is ready.
During the next visit, the temporary crown is removed, and the permanent crown is placed over the prepared tooth. Adjustments are made to ensure your crown fits and feels natural in your mouth before permanently cementing the crown into place.
Post Procedure & Aftercare for Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are made of a strong material made to last many years with proper care and maintenance. No getting off the hook, you still need to brush for two minutes, twice per day and floss at least once every day. Try to avoid sticky or hard foods, which can damage or break dental crowns as well as your regular teeth. Another important step in your maintenance routine for your dental crown and overall oral health is to visit us for checkups and cleanings every 6 months.
Dental veneers are made of porcelain or other materials and designed to fit over your existing teeth to give them a desirable shape, color, and appearance that best highlights your smile.
Dental veneers are very thin shells that are tooth-colored materials. They can also be called porcelain veneers. The veneers are designed to cover the front surface the teeth to enhance your smile's appearance. These shells are bonded to the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.
What are the steps involved in Veneers
Your dentist will take the shade of your existing teeth to ensure the shade of your veneers matches your natural smile as closely as possible. Next, your dentist will trim your teeth, if needed, to allow room for the veneers to fit over them while keeping your teeth as close as possible to their original thickness. Typically, only a very small amount of tooth enamel needs to be removed. Next, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. Veneers are fabricated in a lab to fit exactly over your existing teeth. Once your custom-made veneers are ready, it’s time for your next office visit. Your dentist will then prepare your teeth using an etching process and will bond each veneer to your teeth, one-by-one. Your dentist will then make adjustments as necessary to ensure your bite is even. About one week after the veneers are placed, you will return to the office for a quick follow up visit so your dentist can check on how your mouth is reacting to the treatment. Even if you feel fine, this step is very important in ensuring the success and long-term results of your veneers.
Types of Dental Issues that Veneers Can Correct:
- Teeth that are discolored and cannot be corrected by in-office whitening treatments. These types of discoloration may be due to root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drugs, or tooth discoloration due to large fillings
- Teeth that are worn down and have lost their former shape
- Teeth that are chipped or broken
- Teeth that are uneven, out of alignment, or irregularly shaped (for example, teeth with craters or bulges in them)
- Teeth with gaps between them
- Post-procedure care for Veneers
Some patients experience some sensitivity to heat or cold shortly after the veneers are placed. Your dentist will let you know what you can expect and will check in with you at your one-week follow-up visit. If you do experience sensitivity, be sure to let your dentist know. Veneers should be treated like regular teeth – including practicing a great at-home oral hygiene routine and maintaining regular checkup and cleaning visits. If you have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, your dentist may recommend a night guard to help protect your teeth and veneers.
Alternative Treatment options for Veneers
Not all patients are good candidates for veneers. Bite, alignment, or other issues may increase the risk of damaging or breaking the veneer. In these cases, your dentist may recommend a full crown. In other cases, [braces or other orthodontic treatment] may be recommended to resolve issues with spacing or tooth alignment.