Restorative Dentistry
Bonded Bridge

When you come into our San Jose, CA office and talk to our staff, we may feel that your best option to replace a single lost tooth is a bonded bridge. A bonded bridge consists of two parts. The first is a false tooth, called a pontic and the second are '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 are attached behind the neighboring teeth.

So don't put off that dentist appointment one more day. Pick up the phone and call Santa Clara Dental at 408-280-7070 and setup an appointment to replace that missing tooth today. You will be so glad you did.

Crown Aesthetics

If your smile is in need of a makeover, crowns can provide predictable results. Crowns can give an unattractive tooth back its beautiful shape and color. For smaller or worn down teeth, a crown can restore the natural size of the old tooth. A crown can replace either part of or the tooth's entire structure. For procedures requiring only the areas visible from the outside, a veneer may be an alternative option.

What Are Crowns?

Crowns are used to restore a tooth to its natural size, shape and color after a large filling or crack in the tooth has compromised the tooth. Crowns are almost always placed after a root canal treatment because the tooth becomes weak and is likely to fracture. A crown will strengthen and protect what remains of the tooth and will improve your smile. Crowns are often made of all ceramic material and in some cases can be made in a single visit.

In order for the crown to be placed on the tooth, 1-2mm of the tooth must be taken away and an impression must be made of the tooth. If the office has the ability to make crowns in a day, it will be made and placed on your tooth in the same visit. Otherwise the impression is sent to a lab and your crown is fabricated there. If you have to wait on your crown, a temporary is placed on your tooth and will be replaced with your crown when it arrives. When the crown is placed on your tooth, sometimes it needs to be adjusted a little to make the proper fit. After it is adjusted it is cemented to your tooth and is a permanent solution.

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

A bridge may be used to replace a single tooth. A bridge consists of both a false tooth, called a pontic and the anchors (abutment crowns) that support the pontic. The entire structure spans the space vacated 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 created with a strong metal alloy that can handle the anticipated stresses.

Tooth-like porcelain is then fused to the structure. Once the bridge is tested for a correct fit, the anchor crowns are cemented 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, bonds to the tooth to provide added security.
  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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