Complete Restorative Procedures

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Drs. Michelle M. Lee and Richard W. Reddy and their staff are pleased to be able to offer dental services to every age group and every member of your family. Helping you achieve a great smile and protecting your overall oral health is important in our practice. Drs. Lee and Reddy and their staff are always available to answer questions about your dental needs and the services we can provide for your ideal treatment. We offer a wide range of services to meet the needs of your entire family.

White/Composite Fillings

The concept of a “filling” is replacing and restoring your tooth structure that is damaged due to decay or fracture with a material. We will replace old, broken-down amalgam/metal fillings that contain traces of mercury with white fillings (composites) to restore your smile and teeth to a more natural look and feel.

With today’s advancements, no longer will you have to suffer the embarrassment of unsightly and unhealthy silver/mercury fillings or metal margins of the past. Eliminate the dark, black appearance in your teeth with new-age, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials using composite bonding. Bonding is a common solution for:

  • Fixing or repairing chipped or cracked teeth
  • Reducing unsightly gaps or spaces between teeth
  • Hiding discoloration or faded areas on the tooth’s surface

Often, composite bonding is used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.

Composite bonding has many advantages:

  • It is a quick process, which typically lasts less than one hour.
  • It does not reduce the tooth’s original structure and is relatively inexpensive.
  • Composite resins come in many different shades and provide better matching of shades to the natural color of your teeth.
  • Composite bonds, however, are not as durable and long-lasting as veneers and crowns and may need to be re-touched or replaced in the future.

Composite bonds stain more easily and therefore require proper care and regular cleaning. In order to ensure the longest possible duration of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily. Common staining elements include coffee, tea, tobacco, foods and candy.

Onlays & Inlays

Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations. They are a great alternative to traditional metal fillings, primarily because less of the tooth structure needs to be removed. Inlays and onlays are suitable for treating mild to moderate decay, and can be used to restore a cracked or fractured tooth if the damage is not extensive enough to require a crown.

Generally, inlays are small restorations that fit within the contours of the biting surface of a tooth, while onlays cover a portion or the entire chewing surface.

Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain, gold or composite resin. Once fabricated, they are securely bonded to the tooth.

Advantages of Inlays and Onlays

  • Since they can be fabricated from tooth-colored materials, inlays and onlays are aesthetically pleasing. Unlike traditional metal fillings, the restoration is virtually invisible.
  • Less removal of the tooth structure is required to achieve optimal results.
  • They do not cause excessive wear and tear to opposing tooth structures.
  • Inlays and onlays prevent the need for more significant treatment in the future.

The process for placing inlays and onlays generally requires two or more office visits. Initially, once the decay is removed, your dentist will take an impression of the tooth. A temporary restoration is placed until the custom made inlay/onlay is manufactured in a laboratory.

Following a proper oral hygiene regimen daily ensures the success and longevity of your new restoration.

Bridges

A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent:

  • Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
  • Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.

There are three main types of bridges, namely:

  • A fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.

  • The “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.

  • The cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.

Crowns

A crown is a custom-made covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, or an “all-ceramic” resin that mimics the color of a natural tooth. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.

The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:

  1. Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
  2. Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
  3. Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
  4. Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the custom-made crown is being created.
  5. Applying the custom-made crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth.
  6. After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.

This process generally consists of a minimum of two to three visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.

Implants

Fleetwood Dental has the training and experience necessary for the expert placement and maintenance of dental implants. Dental implants arose from the patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures. Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant’s usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:

  • Single Tooth Replacement
  • Anterior Replacement
  • Posterior Replacement
  • Full Upper Replacement

Types of Implants

There are three main types of implants:

  • The root implant
  • The plate form implant
  • The subperiosteal implant

The endosteal or root implant is by far the most popular. It is the most effective because it mirrors the size and shape of a patient’s natural tooth. This implant is often as strong as the patient’s original tooth. The implant or artificial root is placed into the jawbone under local anesthesia, then allowed to heal and integrate with the bone. Once the healing process is completed and the jawbone is attached to the implant, the patient returns to the dental office where the implant is fitted with the new tooth. This process generally takes anywhere from three to eight months.

The plate form implant is ideal in situations where the jawbone is not wide enough to properly support a root implant. The plate form implant is long and thin, unlike the root implant, and anchors into thin jawbones. It is inserted the same way as a root implant. In certain cases, the plate form implant is immediately fitted with the restoration without waiting for the healing process to run its course.

The subperiosteal implant is used when the jawbone has receded to the point where it can no longer support an implant.

Post Implant Care
Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.

Dentures

Periodontal disease, injury and tooth decay can all cause a loss of your natural teeth. However, we can bring back the smile on your face with dentures to restore your missing teeth. With improved technology and updated materials, dentists can now make them appear more natural and more comfortable for the patient.

Types of Dentures

There are two types of dentures: complete and partial.

  • Complete dentures cover the patient’s entire jaw.
  • Partial dentures, with their metal framework, replace multiple missing teeth.

To know which type is best for you, be sure to ask your doctor.

It may take some time to adjust to your dentures. Speaking and eating may feel different at first, but these regular activities will resume normally once you are accustomed to your dentures.

Mini-Dental Implants and Implant-Retained Dentures

One of the many important advances in implant dentistry over the last 25 years has been the development of miniature dental implants, or mini-implants, used to stabilize dentures. Miniature dental implants can be placed in one visit, in about an hour, during a simple procedure that requires no cutting of the gums or stitches. With placement, there is little discomfort and no long-term healing, just great results!

Mini-implants are placed into your jawbone and are securely attached to the base of your denture, allowing you to eat and speak more comfortably and confidently. Thousands of patients have experienced the benefits of miniature dental implants. Contact us today to find out if you are a candidate for this affordable and revolutionary solution to loose dentures.