The office of:
Paul E. Thompson, DMD
Brandon R. Clements, DMD
Restorative dentistry encompasses all procedures designed to repair damaged teeth as well as procedures to help replace missing teeth. Fillings, crowns, bridges, implant crowns and splinting are just a few examples of restorative dentistry. Our office offers many options for your restorative needs to satisfy the function of the dentition and the aesthetic demands of the discerning patient.
Repair, Correct and Improve
Fillings are one of the most common needs for the typical patient. There are several types of fillings each with applications that may suite your unique needs. Most of today’s patients will request tooth colored fillings while others may prefer traditional amalgam fillings. In some cases, fluoride releasing fillings are most desirable.
Each case is different.
We listen carefully to our patients’ desires and do everything possible to exceed their expectations. We strongly believe in the philosophy of informed consent, giving you the flexibility to choose the restorations that will meet your needs and satisfy your demands.
Crowns are restorations designed to strengthen weakened, compromised or structurally failing teeth. While some crowns may be performed strictly for aesthetics, most will be performed to fortify teeth that are failing under the stresses of the occlusion, or bite. The most common cases will involve fractured teeth or teeth that have lost such a vast amount of structure that they have become too unreliable to sustain fillings when subjected to the stress of the occlusion.
Crowns can be fabricated out of a number of materials. While gold remains a wonderful option to restore posterior teeth (molars), many patients prefer a greater aesthetics. For such patients, porcelain crowns or zirconia crowns may offer a better option as both may be fabricated to match existing tooth colors.
Bridges are restorations anchored to multiple teeth that span an empty space so as to replace a missing tooth or multiple teeth. There are different kinds of bridges, some more conservative than others, but most bridges involve preparing the teeth adjacent to the empty space for crowns and then linking those crowns with what is known as a pontic. As with crowns on individual teeth, bridges can be fabricated from a variety of materials. Bridges are permanently cemented to the anchoring teeth (abutments) so that the final restoration does not have to be removed from the mouth by the patient.
Implant crowns are crowns that rest on a surgically placed foundation known as an implant fixture. Implant crowns are the closest thing we have in dentistry to regrowing teeth. They allow patients that were born without a full complement of teeth or patients who have lost lost teeth to regain the function they have lost.
Implants have grown in popularity so quickly that many patients, when given the choice between bridges and implants, are opting for the longevity and superior functionality of implants over bridges. Implants may also be used to support multiple tooth replacement with partial or complete dentures.
In all cases, implants involve a team approach, beginning with treatment planning the case, surgical placement of the implant by a specialist, proper laboratory communication and ultimately delivery by the restoring dentist. The implant process may take several weeks to several months to complete during which time, the patient will often be in need of a temporary restoration. Such restorations may either be fixed (cemented) or removable, depending on the circumstances. All of the decisions involved in planning implants should be discussed prior to initiating treatment.
Splinting involves the intentional connecting of adjacent teeth in order to achieve a more stable dentition. Splinting can be done with crowns, wires or resins. In cases where the patient has a compromised periodontal condition (for example, a history of bone loss), splinting teeth together may allow us to stabilize teeth that are too mobile on their own.
Removable prosthodontics involves the art of replacing multiple missing teeth with restorations that are not permanently cemented into the patient’s mouth. This includes partials – when some of the patient’s teeth are retained to anchor the device – and complete dentures – no teeth remain on the arch being treated.
Removable prosthodontics offers patients who may be more sensitive to the costs of treatment an opportunity to achieve the results they desire without the financial burden that fixed restoration may incur. We often use removable restorations to transition a patient into fixed restorations in the future, yet many patients will find their removable prosthodontics suitable for a lifetime.