Restorative Dentistry

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What is a Bonded Bridge, and how does it work?

When you see Dr. Trinh, he may feel that your best option is to replace a single lost tooth with a bonded bridge. A bonded bridge consists of two parts. The first is a false tooth, called a pontic, and the second is 'wings' that support the pontic. The entire structure spans the space vacated by the missing tooth giving you a natural-looking replacement without damaging surrounding teeth. Neighboring tooth structures are allowed to remain the same, and the wings of the bonded tooth fasten behind the adjoining teeth.

Crowns

A dental crown, also known as a cap, is a shell that encases the surfaces of a tooth, restoring its size, shape, and strength.

Dr. Trinh must remove 1-2mm of the tooth during crown preparation, then take an initial impression and manufacture the crown. If you must wait for your crown, a temporary crown will be placed on your tooth and replaced once your permanent crown is ready. The crown may need to be slightly adjusted to ensure an optimal fit, then Dr. Trinh will cement it to your tooth. Only a dentist can remove it once bonded in place.

Crown Aesthetics

Crown Aesthetics is a cosmetic dentistry application involving replacing unnatural silver or gold crowns or simply covering an unfortunate tooth with a beautiful color-matched alternative.

If your smile needs a makeover, aesthetic crowns can restore an unattractive tooth to a beautiful shape and color. For smaller or worn-down teeth, a crown can improve the proportional size. Replace part of a tooth or the tooth's entire structure. For procedures requiring only the areas visible from the outside, a veneer may be another option.

Types of Crowns

With today's advances in dentistry, there are several options when choosing a type of crown:

  • Porcelain outer surface with a metal base crown
  • Pure porcelain or composite crown
  • All metal crown, which is usually gold

They all differ in durability, strength, appearance and cost.

Fixed Bridge

San Jose's Dr. Trinh can replace an individual tooth with a bridge. A bridge consists of a false tooth called a pontic and the anchors (abutment crowns) that support the pontic. The bridge fills the space left by the missing tooth.

Neighboring tooth structure is removed, shaping them to receive an anchor crown. An impression is then taken and sent to a dental lab, where they fabricate the bridge.

The structure part of the bridge is a strong metal alloy that can handle the anticipated stresses.

Dr. Trinh will connect the structure with tooth-like porcelain. Once Dr. Trinh tests the bridge for a correct fit, he will cement the anchor crowns to the neighboring teeth.

Inlays and Onlays

You can think of a dental inlay or onlay as being midway between a filling and a crown. Inlays or onlays are used when not enough tooth structure remains to support a filling, but the tooth is not so severely damaged that it needs a crown.

An inlay is similar to a filling, but it lies within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of your tooth. An onlay is more extensive than an inlay and covers one or more cusps.

Inlays or onlays can be made of gold, composite resin (plastic) or ceramics. They can last for decades. However, how long they last depends on the material used, the teeth involved, the forces of chewing and how well the patient maintains them with good oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist.

Types of Fillings

There are four different choices that you have when it comes to filling a cavity.

  1. Composite Fillings - Natural tooth-colored filling that bonds to the tooth to provide enhanced strength.
  2. Silver Fillings - Inexpensive and strong amalgam-based filling.
  3. Gold Fillings - More attractive than silver and provide for a better fit.
  4. Porcelain Fillings - Also called inlays, the most attractive and durable of the tooth-colored choices.
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