Restorative dentistry can change lives. Missing teeth can affect much more than a person’s appearance – it can affect speech, the ability to eat, the health of remaining teeth and gums, and even overall systemic health. At South Austin Dental Studio, we offer a wide variety of restorative dental services to help our patients recapture not only their best smiles, but their best quality of life.
In some cases, a worn down or damaged tooth can still be saved, and a great solution for such teeth is often a dental crown. A crown is simply a specially-developed cap that is bonded to a tooth, and appears and feels just like a natural tooth. Dental crowns significantly improve the appearance of a tooth, but also support the overall health of the tooth and surrounding structures. Crowns are often made of porcelain, metals, ceramics, or mixed materials, and each crown is specially-designed for each unique scenario.
Crowns can be a solution for teeth with very large fillings, cracks, significant wear, or weakness from cavities or infections. Sometimes, a dentist will crown healthy teeth as part of a different procedure. Dental bridges, implants, and dentures all involve the use of crowns.
When it comes to restoring individual or multiple missing teeth, dental bridges are one of the simplest and most affordable solutions. Typically, dental bridges involve two “anchor teeth” on either side of the gap which the dentist will crown. Connected to those anchors is an artificial tooth (or teeth) depending on the size of the gap and the number of missing teeth which forms the “bridge” between the two crowns.
Typically, the placement of dental bridges requires a series of several dental appointments, which require the re-shaping and crowning of the anchor teeth (known as the “abutment teeth”), and ensuring that the final bridge supports the exact correct fit and bite alignment.
Dental implants are among the most permanent and durable restorative dental solutions. Dental implants involve a titanium rod which is fused to the jawbone, which serves as a base for a lifelike dental crown. These new teeth look and feel just like natural teeth, enabling patients to eat, speak, and smile with total confidence.
Just like bridges, implants usually require a series of visits. First, the implant itself is surgically placed into the jaw bone, which can take several weeks to fully fuse and heal. During that time, a temporary crown covers the implant above the gum line. Once the implant completely heals, the dentist will set and bond the final crown, essentially fully restoring the missing tooth.
Recent advancements in restorative dentistry have carried dentures a long way – today, patients seeking dentures in Austin have access to more stable, realistic, and durable models than ever before. Removable dentures are a solution for partial or full dental restoration on the top or bottom jaws, and are easy to maintain and instantly restore a smile. Another method is called “implant supported dentures,” which utilize implants as described above to stabilize dentures and provide even more security when eating or speaking. Every patient is different, and we’ll thoroughly discuss the benefits of each restorative solution to find the very best fit for you.
No matter what restorative dental solution you may receive, maintaining a great daily oral hygiene routine will protect your investment as well as your future overall oral health. Decay, cavities, and infections can still occur in restored smiles, and it’s important not to think of these solutions as a replacement for daily oral care. With good maintenance, most of these solutions should last years, and some of them may last a lifetime.