Damaged or stained teeth can cause emotional discomfort and embarrassment and missing teeth can affect your ability to eat comfortably and speak clearly. To help you regain your beautiful smile Riverwalk Dental offers a variety of restorative dental care services.
A dental bridge, also called a fixed bridge or a fixed dental prosthesis, is a dental restoration technique that is used to replace one or more missing teeth. The bridge extends across the gap and typically consists of an artificial tooth fused between two dental crowns. The bridge is held in place either using your natural teeth on either side or using dental implants. Bridges are permanent, and can’t be removed.
There are four types of bridges: Traditional bridges, implant bridges, resin-bonded bridges, and cantilever bridges. Which type of bridge you require depends on the location of your missing tooth and the condition of your teeth, gums, and mouth. All bridges are made using custom moulded teeth that are designed to blend in with your natural teeth.
How your bridge is made and installed depends on the type of bridge your require. If your bridge is going to be held in place using healthy teeth, your dentist will first have to file down these teeth in order to prepare them for the crowns needed to support the bridge. If your bridge is going to be held in place using dental implants your dentist will first implant an artificial root, made of titanium, into your jawbone. The implant will anchor your bridge in place.
Next, your dentist will make a model of your teeth by taking impressions (making a mould). This mould is used to produce a custom-made artificial tooth (or teeth). If you require crowns, your dentist will create the crowns and the artificial tooth as one piece. This piece containing the artificial tooth is called the bridge.
While you are waiting for your custom bridge to be made your dentist will fit you with a temporary bridge to protect your gums and exposed teeth.
On your next visit, your dentist will remove the temporary bridge and install the custom made bridge in your mouth. This is done by either cementing the crowns to your two healthy teeth or attach the crown portion of your dental implants to the artificial roots on either side of your missing tooth or teeth.
A bridge that is well cared for should last about ten years, or even longer. Just like your natural teeth you should brush your bridge twice per day and floss around it once per day. Your dentist will teach you how to properly floss around and under your artificial tooth (or teeth) in the middle of your bridge using a floss threader.
Regular dental exams and cleanings are essential for keeping your bridge clean and your natural teeth healthy. Your dentist can answer any questions you have about caring for your bridge.
Bonding, also called bonded restoration, can be used to fix cavities or broken teeth, and improve the look of healthy teeth by making minor repairs to teeth like covering up small cracks, chips, or stains. Bonding is a painless procedure, and in most cases up to several teeth can be bonded in a single dental visit.
Bonding relies on a tooth-coloured material called composite resin, which is spread on the tooth before being shaped and hardened using light. Composite resin can be matched to your teeth, and shaped to fill in the missing portion of a chipped tooth or used on a broken tooth to restore it to its original size. Composite resin can also be used to build up teeth or fill small gaps or painted over a stained tooth to make it match the rest of your teeth.
Bonding is a simple and painless procedure. First, your dentist will place a matrix between the tooth that is being bonded and your neighbouring teeth. A matrix is a thin sheet of clear plastic that is used to shield your teeth from any composite resin that may stray from the tooth being treated.
Next, your dentist will treat your tooth with a mild chemical to roughen your enamel. It is easier for the composite resin to bond to a rough surface than a smooth surface.
Then your dentist will select a shade of composite resin that matches the colour of your natural teeth an apply it to your tooth in thin layers. A special light is used to harden each layer between coats. Once the final layer is hardened, your dentist will shape and polish the resin so that it matches the form of your natural tooth, giving the bonded tooth a natural and smooth appearance.
During your next dental visit, your dentist will examine your bonded tooth and polish it more if necessary. Over time your bonding may wear down and may need to be touched up with more composite resin by your dentist. However, in most cases, your dental bonding should last at least ten years.
Inlays and onlays, both also referred to as partial crowns, are types of indirect restorations. Unlike direct restorations like resin composite bonding, inlays and onlays involve having a custom piece (called a restoration) made outside the mouth as one solid piece and then attached to the affected tooth.
Onlays and inlays are both used to treat molars and premolars that have been damaged by cavities but are not damaged enough to require a full crown. The difference between an inlay and an onlay is how much of the tooth’s surface is covered by the restoration. Inlays typically only cover the chewing surface of the tooth, between the cusps. An onlay will cover this portion of the tooth as well as one or more of the cusps. A crown covers the chewing surface and all of the cusps.
Inlays and onlays not only protect your tooth from future cavities, but they can also strengthen your tooth and restore its natural shape.
Restorative dental care can help you restore your beautiful smile and safeguard it against future damage and decay. For more information about the restorative dental procedures offered at Riverwalk Dental, or to request an appointment, please contact us.
We are conveniently located in Calgary’s East Village! Street parking is available out front, and there is an Impark parking lot across the street.