The art and science of cosmetic dentistry offers patients a new dimension in dental care. Dental technology and cosmetic dentistry have progressed enough so that you no longer have to settle for dark silver fillings, cracked or chipped teeth, or dark teeth. Our goal is to provide our patients with the best that dentistry has to offer.
Tooth Colored Restorations
Many of our patients are unhappy with their dark silver colored fillings placed years ago. These patients are happy to learn that whole sections of the mouth can be restored in a single visit by using the latest tooth colored restorative materials to replace those old fillings.
Dark colored teeth can be whitened to greatly improve your appearance. A bright smile can make you look years younger.
All-Porcelain Crowns Can Improve a Smile
Old porcelain fused to metal crowns often looked opaque and unattractive. New all porcelain crowns can restore the natural colors and contours of a beautiful smile. Spaces, misaligned teeth, chips and stains can be easily converted into a new, esthetically pleasing smile by placing all porcelain crowns on your existing teeth providing you with that smile you’ve always wanted.
Dental crowns, also known as “caps,” preserve the functionality of damaged teeth. Crowns may be used to protect a cracked tooth, restore functionality of a tooth with excessive decay, or replace a pre-existing crown. The purpose of a dental crown is to encase a needy tooth with a custom-designed material to protect it from breaking. Materials to choose from include gold, Porcelain fused to gold, Porcelain fused to Zirconia, and all porcelain. Dental Bridges are used when one or more teeth are missing in an arch and replace missing teeth by placing crowns on adjacent teeth on either side. Bridges help to restore balance to the dentition, help to restore your smile, and maintain the adjacent teeth in their natural position and keep them from shifting when a tooth is lost. Bridges are an extension of the dental crown treatment for replacement of multiple missing teeth.
Single Visit (CEREC) Crowns
What Are CEREC Restorations?
One of the instruments that we use to restore damaged teeth is called the CEREC 3D system. This high-tech system uses CAD/CAM technology, integrating a camera, computer and a milling machine. The CEREC system enables ceramic tooth restorations to be performed chairside. The veneer or crown is manufactured right in the office while the patient waits – eliminating the need for temporary crowns and a second appointment. CEREC restorations are extremely precise, very durable, and made with tooth-colored material. In addition, the procedure allows Dr. Thompson to treat patients more conservatively, as modern bonding techniques allow more healthy tooth structure to be saved.
How Are CEREC Restorations Performed?
First, the tooth is prepared by removing the old alloy or decay. Next, the tooth is painted with a thin layer of reflective powder and a digital photo is taken using a special camera. The camera image is sent to the CEREC computer, where the restoration is designed with software using three-dimensional imagery. With this software, Dr. Thompson is able to view, manipulate and verify all aspects of the restoration design for accuracy and assurance of an ideal fit. When the design is complete, a blank ceramic block is placed into the CEREC computer-automated milling machine and the process of creating the ceramic restoration begins. Minutes later, milling is complete and the finished veneeer or crown is ready to be installed.
Advantages of CEREC Restorations
- Restorations can be performed in a single session, eliminating the need for return visits and temporary crowns
- Eliminates the need to make an impression and send it to a lab
- Uses new bonding techniques that eliminate sensitivity problems.
- Restorations are natural looking and metal-free – no silver-colored fillings
- The ceramic material is high-grade, anti-abrasive and plaque-resistant
- More conservative treatment is possible, helping to save healthy teeth
- Extremely precise process ensures ideal fit of restorations
Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that are used to counter tooth loss. The procedure is categorized as a form of prosthetic (artificial replacement) dentistry, though it also falls into the category of cosmetic dentistry as well. Although there are a number of restorative options for the treatment of missing teeth, none have proven to be as functionally effective and durable as implants. In many cases, dental implants may be the only logical choice for the restoration of all necessary functionality of the teeth and supporting structures.
Dental implants are stronger and more durable than their restorative counterparts (bridges and dentures). Implants offer a permanent solution to tooth loss. Additionally, implants may be used in conjunction with other restorative procedures for maximum effectiveness. For example, a single implant can serve to support a crown replacing a single missing tooth. Implants can also be used to support a dental bridge for the replacement of multiple missing teeth, and can be used with dentures to increase stability and reduce gum tissue irritation.
Dr. Thompson will discuss these options with you to determine what system will work the best for your particular implant needs. Dr. Thompson has been trained in the placement of dental implants and has earned the status of ‘fellow’ in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. For most cases, Dr. Thompson will perform the surgical placement of the dental implant, however, on occasion, Dr. Thompson will refer your case to an oral surgeon or periodontist who will initially place the implant according to your needs after which, Dr. Thompson will then place the final restoration upon final integration of the implant in its proper position in your mouth.
Intra Oral Camera
- The intra-oral video camera is a compact, powerful tool that enables detailed visual inspections of a patient’s teeth. With its powerful 30X magnification, the camera allows us to detect tooth decay in its earliest stages.
- A video monitor is located within each treatment area. This equipment allows Dr. Thompson to show you exactly what he sees during an examination.
- The intra-oral camera is also an extremely valuable tool in detecting fractures in teeth and seeing the current condition of an existing dental restoration.
Our office uses digital radiography for taking pictures of your teeth and oral tissues. Digital radiography replaces traditional x-rays by allowing a computer to take an image of your tissues utilizing far less radiation and providing images instantaneously on a computer screen right in front of you.
The image is sent directly into a computer where it is stored with other patient record information. This image can also be emailed to another provider or specialist should the need arise.
The images can be evaluated immediately with advanced, computer assisted tools. The software also magnifies the image so tooth problems are readily apparent and more easily analyzed than traditional film x-ray images.
This new technology enables Dr. Thompson to treat problems at a much earlier stage.
Advantages of Digital X-Rays
- Less Radiation - Digital technology greatly reduces the amount of radiation necessary to make x-ray images in comparison to traditional film technology.
- Environmentally Friendly - With digital x-rays, there is no film to develop, so there are no toxic chemicals requiring disposal.
- Enhanced Diagnosis - Image-enhancing software improves the ability to to see problem areas, resulting in earlier treatment than in the past.
- Improved Speed - Digital images are sent directly to a computer, where they are immediately available for viewing.
- Greater Detail - Digital x-rays show greater detail than those taken with traditional film, and can be enlarged digitally at the touch of a mouse.
- Enhanced Communications - The digital format enhances communication with patients, colleagues and insurance companies.
- Computerized Storage - X-ray images are stored along with patient records in our computers.