Minimally Invasive Restorative Dentistry in Kirkland, WA
Restorative dentistry is the term dental is the used for fixing missing or broken teeth. Fillings, crowns (“caps”), bridges and implants are common restorative treatments. Our goal is to bring back your natural smile, restores your oral health, and prevent future issues.
Why Restorative Dental Procedures are Important
Several reasons include:
- Filling empty spaces in the mouth helps keep the teeth properly aligned, and less chance for shifting, causing issues with biting
- Replacing teeth makes it easier to maintain good oral care habits, and helps prevent plaque build-up and the problems that come along with plaque
- Missing, damaged, or broken teeth can affect your health, appearance and confidence
A bridge is a dental treatment that is used to replace one or more missing teeth. They are designed to be cosmetically appealing and to restore proper occlusion. Like crowns, bridges are fully customizable and made of various materials, including porcelain and metals.
Dental bridges are a prosthesis (replacement part) that relies on support from the neighboring healthy teeth surrounding the gap left by a missing tooth or teeth. The healthy adjacent teeth, called abutments, provide support on either side.
Dentures come with huge benefits for patients and can greatly improve your quality of life. With today’s technology, dentures are created to look natural in appearance and give the impression of a beautiful smile. Additionally, dentures provide support for your facial muscles as well as assist with your ability to chew and eat food, and they also assist with your ability to speak clearly.
If your teeth have reached the point where you are considering dentures, we invite you to come in for a complimentary consultation. We will do an assessment of your condition and provide you with a list of options tailored to your individual needs. With the advances in dental implants and other techniques in the last twenty years, dentures can often be used in conjunction with implants for enhanced function and comfort. However, for many people dentures alone are a very cost effective solution to the problem of aging teeth and gum disease.
A partial denture is a removable appliance that replaces missing teeth. It is supported by your existing teeth and fills in those unwanted gaps. It will help to regain the aesthetics and chewing and speaking functions that you require.
Full mouth denture treatments will involve the extraction of any remaining teeth, making impressions to give that perfect, snug fit, and a final fitting appointment. Partial dentures consist of appointments made to examine the health of remaining teeth, taking impressions, and custom fitting the partial appliance.
Dental Implants – Smile Again With Confidence
Dental implants are a revolutionary treatment for patients who wish to replace missing teeth. Implants provide a very real and cosmetic solution when a tooth is missing or is beyond saving. Instead of dentures, you can have teeth you won’t have to take out at night, can chew all foods with, and are absolutely natural looking.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants act as artificial roots for teeth (made of titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone. The porcelain crowns attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile.
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years. On occasion, they will have to be tightened or replaced due to normal wear or oral habits such as smoking or teeth grinding that can shorten the longevity of a dental implant.
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
The process of having dental implants placed and restored requires a number of visits over several months.
Records are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for three to six months. The next phase is to gather impressions and information to fabricate the “post” called an abutment and the restoration for the implant.
Two to three weeks later the lab fabricated abutment and restoration are carefully placed into the implant. You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, wearing a night guard if recommended, not smoking and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.
Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are a good alternative to full coverage crowns. Inlays and onlays are also known as indirect fillings that offer a longer lasting, better fitting, reparative solution to tooth decay, beneficial both esthetically and functionally. Although inlays and onlays are an alternative to traditional dental fillings, the two are extremely different:
Traditional Dental Fillings– are molded into place within the mouth during a dental visit until the desired bite and a natural shape is achieved.
Inlays and Onlays– are fabricated indirectly in a dental lab and then fitted and bonded during a second dental appointment.
You might have been told you need a crown. Why not a filling instead? A crown does a better job at protecting a tooth from fracturing than a filling does. So, if there’s a lot of tooth structure missing or a large filling is being removed or there are inherent fracture lines or cracks in a tooth, a crown is a much better option.
Very few dental offices can do a crown from start to finish in one visit, but with a CEREC machine we are able to provide same-day crowns at our office.
For any of you that have had crowns made in the past, you remember the dentist preparing the teeth, taking a messy impression, making a temporary crown, and then you needed to return for the final seating of the crown.
With CEREC instead of impressions, the prepared tooth is scanned with a camera. That information is transferred onto a computer software program where we design the crown. A porcelain block is carved down to that shape with a CAD-CAM milling machine which takes only about 12-18 minutes.
The CEREC computer allows you to get your treatment done start-to-finish in one day. No more frustration regarding temporary crowns, no more extra visits to the dental office to reseat temporaries, no more additional time taken away from your day to deal with these issues. Overall, we think it’s healthier to do this procedure from start to finish in one day.
A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite material that matches your tooth color. There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Composite fillings are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth-colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, they are conservative and are bonded directly to your own natural tooth structure.
Tooth-colored fillings are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth. As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. Yet they are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.