Porcelain Crowns

When large fillings are present in the mouth, particularly if you grind your teeth or even in the act of normal chewing over time, this can allow teeth to become cracked or fractured. When cracks become extremely large, the dentist may decide that the patient is in need of a root canal or even at the point where the tooth will need to be extracted.  But in some cases, certain patients may benefit from the placement of a dental crown instead. A crown is a permanent dental restoration that seals the entire tooth and recreates the natural tooth enamel to give an extra layer of protection against premature loss or damage. Crowns cover the entire tooth, or in some cases can be used to cover an implant. They are created to look exactly like a normal tooth and will blend in seamlessly with your smile. Crowns are fabricated by using x-rays, pictures of the teeth, and impressions of the mouth.
There are several types of dental crowns.  The most is the ceramic or porcelain because it is the most natural looking type of crown and it’s also very durable. As with any dental work though, over the course of time, they may need to be replaced.
Why might a patient need a crown? Here are some common scenarios:
* To fix a fractured or broken tooth
* To increase the aesthetic appearance of your teeth or smile
* To address areas of decay in the mouth
* To fix broken fillings
* To prevent future damage from extremely large fillings
* As part of root canal therapy
The process of getting a dental crown usually requires at least two dental visits. The first appointment is when the dentist will prepare the natural tooth for the crown.  They start by removing a significant amount of tooth enamel from around the tooth’s structure. Custom molds called impressions are taken and sent to the dental laboratory.  The lab will then be responsible for the fabrication of the final crown. The same mold is used in the dental office to create a temporary crown that is bonded over the existing tooth.  This temporary tooth will stay in place until the final crown is sent to the office from the lab.  Once the final crown is received by the dentist, the patient will return so that the temporary crown can be removed and the final crown fitted and cemented into place.  Your dentist in Bristol, VA will also make sure that the patient’s spacing and bite are still accurate with the new crown in place.


For anyone who is looking at an alternative option to braces, we encourage you to learn more about Invisalign in Bristol, VA and Blountville, TN.  If you aren’t familiar with Invisalign, the process involves the use of custom aligners (similar to retainers) that shift your teeth little by little over time until they are in the correct alignment. One of the best benefits is that you can straighten your smile without anyone else knowing that you did it!
Invisalign treatments use custom-molded aligners that you wear, and then every two weeks you get a new set that helps your teeth shift a bit more. This gradual shift will help you to achieve your desired smile discreetly and with less discomfort.
The first step it to take impressions of the mouth and these are used to create the aligner trays, which are similar to retainers. They are customized for you, and they are removable, so you can take them out any time – for eating, drinking, brushing, flossing, or for any special event or occasion. The aligners are made of a clear plastic. They fit over the teeth and are very subtle and most won’t notice you are wearing them at all. The aligner’s edges are smooth so they are very comfortable to wear.  This also helps to prevent the irritation of the gums and mouth that traditional metal bracket and wire braces often cause.
After an initial consultation, the dentist will work with a patient to determine if Invisalign is the proper treatment for them.  Typically, Invisalign is best suited for patients with mild to moderate misalignment. Once this type of orthodontia is recommended, the impressions are taken of the teeth and photos are taken. Then a 3-D image is created in the computer, and the dentist will determine the movement of the teeth.  Patients will get to view a virtual representation of what new smile will look like after Invisalign. It’s important to note that the actual aligners are created at the Invisalign laboratories, and should always be worn as directed to achieve the desired results. A mutually agreed timeline is determined between yourself and the dentist, and there will be check-ups scheduled to monitor and review results throughout the process.
 Can’t afford Invisalign? CareCredit can help. Visit their site today. They currently offer 24 months at 0% interest for Invisalign and other dental procedures.

Teeth Whitening

Brightening the smile with teeth bleaching is a non-invasive, simple, and affordable way to brighten and add brilliance to the natural smile. It provides dramatic enhancement for patients who are struggling with discoloration and staining.
Whiter teeth is one of the most popular aesthetic concerns for our patients. There are many ways to whiten the teeth. Some patients prefer the use of at-home whitening kits while others depend on in-office power bleaching. Whitening of the teeth only works effectively on natural tooth enamel, so patients with fillings, crowns, and other restorations may want to consider replacement if they are serious about keeping their brilliant new smile intact.
Teeth whitening is not a permanent treatment. Patients may still require touch-ups every few years, especially for patients who enjoy tooth-staining habits such as smoking, drinking wine and tea, or enjoying coffee.
Reasons why patients may consider teeth whitening:
* Excessive fluoridation while the teeth have developed
* Wearing of the outer layer of tooth enamel
* Staining caused by medications such as tetracycline
* Brown, yellow stained teeth
What can you expect from a teeth whitening procedure? Our practice focuses on take-home whitening kits. These require two visits to our office. The first visit is when molds are made of the teeth to create a whitening tray that precisely fits your smile. During the second visit, the trays are checked for fit and adjustments are made if needed. Patients are given special whitening solutions that can be used in the trays twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight over the course of several weeks depending on the level of whitening patients desire. It is normal for patients to experience sensitivity while whitening the teeth, but this subsides after the bleaching process has ended.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are fixed, non-removable appliances that are appropriate for replacing missing teeth. There are many types of bridges available, and speaking with a dental professional is the best way to determine the most effective option for your specific and unique situation. Traditional bridges are most popular, using porcelain fused to metal to create a restoration that includes crowns for bonding over adjacent teeth and pontics (false teeth) to fill the gap left behind.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are thin custom made shells that cover the front surface of your tooth to improve their appearance. They are made of tooth colored materials and can be used to improve the color of teeth that have been worn down or stained. Alternatively, they can be used to improve the shape or size of the tooth.

Types of veneers:
There are two types of veneers that are commonly used. Porcelain veneers are more durable, and resist stains better. The properties of the material also help create a very natural tooth look. Unlike porcelain veneers, composite resin veneers are not made in a laboratory, but instead directly applied to the teeth. They typically have a shorter life span, and are less expensive.

When should you consider dental veneers?
You can talk to your dentist about dental veneers if

  • Your teeth are stained or discolored
  • Your teeth are crooked or misshapen
  • Your teeth have spaces between them
  • Your teeth are broken or chipped

How it’s done:
Two visits to your dentist are typically required for porcelain veneers. At the first visit, three important steps are completed. First, your teeth are prepared to be fitted with a veneer, which will involve trimming a portion of the tooth so the veneer can be bonded on top. Secondly, an impression is taken of your teeth or tooth which will be sent to a laboratory to prepare the veneer. Finally, you may receive a temporary veneer depending on how much of your tooth structure was removed. This temporary veneer will protect your tooth while the permanent veneer is prepared at the laboratory.

At the second visit, the temporary veneer, if you received one, will be removed. Then, the new veneer received from the laboratory will be checked to see if it fits well. It’s best not to adjust porcelain veneers after they are bonded to your teeth, so any adjustments will be made beforehand. Once you and the dentist are satisfied with the look and feel of the veneer, it will be bonded to your tooth.

Dental Bonding

Dental Bonding is a restoration procedure in which a tooth-colored resin is bonded to a tooth and cured with an ultraviolet light. Bonding is faster and less expensive than veneers or crowns, and can be a good option to make small cosmetic improvements to your teeth. Unlike veneers and crowns, bonding can be done within one office visit since nothing has to be custom made by a dental laboratory. Additionally, the procedure typically requires removing less of the tooth enamel compared to veneers and crowns. However, since bonding typically doesn’t last as long as other forms of restoration and is less resistant to stains, it is used more often for small cosmetic touch ups rather than major restorations.

How it’s done:
The bonding procedure typically requires between 30 to 60 minutes to complete per tooth. First the dentist determines exactly what color shade your teeth are to select a resin that will blend in naturally. Once this is done, the dentist will prepare the tooth so the bonding material will adhere easier. This involves roughening the surface of the affected tooth and applying a liquid conditioner. Once this is complete, the dentist will apply the resin to the tooth, and cure it in place using an ultraviolet light. Finally, the dentist will apply the finishing touches by shaping and polishing the resin for a good fit.

Dental Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays are a more conservative approach to tooth restoration than full crowns. The are used to repair rear teeth that have mild to moderate tooth decay, or for cracked teeth where the damage does not warrant a dental crown. Porcelain, composite resin and sometimes gold is used to create inlays and onlays. Inlays refer to those procedures where the bonded material is limited to the center of the tooth, while onlays refer to those procedures where the bonded material can extend further to one or more cusps of the tooth.

What are the benefits of inlays and onlays?
Natural look: Inlays and onlays have a natural tooth color that makes them virtually invisible compared to metal fillings.
Great fit: Inlays and onlays will not expand or contract based on temperature like metal fillings.
Longevity: Inlays and onlays can last up to thirty years, longer than any other type of filling.
Minimal tooth structure removed: Inlays and onlays require the minimal removal of a tooth’s surface, helping to preserve the maximum amount of healthy tooth structure while restoring decayed or damaged areas.

How it’s done:
Typically, two visits are required for the placements of inlays and onlays. In the first visit, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth, which will be sent to a lab to create the permanent inlay or onlay. Before you leave, the dentist will fit your tooth with a temporary inlay / onlay to keep the tooth protected between visits. During your second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary protective material and fit your tooth with the permanent inlay or onlay received from the lab.

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