At Cornerstone Dentistry, we feel an immense amount of pride when we’re able to change a patient’s life with restorative dentistry. There are few things that feel as great as seeing someone able to eat their favorite foods, speak, laugh, and smile with confidence again – or for the first time. We know the journey can be difficult to take if you’ve struggled with the consequences of missing or badly decayed teeth, but Dr. Hardy and Dr. Wilson are here to provide the compassionate care you deserve on your way toward a healthier, happier smile and life.
If you have a tooth or multiple teeth with decay or fractures, we can help restore your tooth structure with tooth colored composite resins and porcelains. These blend in with your smile seamlessly, unlike the highly visible silver/mercury amalgam fillings that were once the standard in dentistry.
Along with being safe and more aesthetically appealing, tooth colored fillings are an excellent improvement in the treatment of decay because they don’t expand and contract like amalgam fillings are known to do. Without this happening, you can rest assured your filling isn’t cracking, separating, and allowing decay to return and spread.
Inlays and onlays are an in-between treatment for tooth decay. They’re a step up from a standard filling, and a step below a dental crown. If the decay of your tooth is contained within the cusps of your tooth (outer ridges), but too deep for a standard filling, an inlay can protect you from further damage. Onlays are larger and can cover the biting surface of your tooth. Both of these treatments are completed with tooth colored materials and are meant to strengthen remaining tooth structures after large cavities are removed.
When decay has made a home of your tooth and burrowed in, cracks can occur in your crown. This could result in tooth breakage, and eventually tooth loss.
This can be prevented with a dental crown – given the same name as what we’re restoring because the idea is that it will fit in comfortably and return your tooth’s function.
A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic device used to close the gaps where a missing tooth (or multiple) once was. There are different types depending on the location of the missing tooth or teeth: traditional, cantilever, and Maryland bridges.
A traditional bridge is the most commonly prescribed, and can be used when the gap from a missing tooth is between two healthy teeth. The adjacent teeth will be filed for the placement of crowns, which will support what is called the pontic – the artificial tooth.
A cantilever bridge is called for when there is only one neighboring tooth to support a pontic. These can be trickier, because typically the placement is in the back of your mouth where your molars reside, and these teeth take on a lot of force.
Maryland bridges are different from traditional and cantilever bridges because they’re placed without forming abutments of your neighboring teeth. The pontic of a Maryland bridge is held in place by metal or porcelain framework, which is then bonded onto the backs of the adjacent teeth. This process is more conservative than that of traditional bridges, but the traditional bridge tends to be highly recommended because of its durability.
Dr. Hardy and Dr. Wilson can discuss your options with you, and would be happy to help you when you make a decision you feel confident about. We place bridges not just to restore your smile’s aesthetics, but because gaps can cause surrounding teeth to shift, resulting in a bad bite.
For the maximum level of comfort and security, we also provide implant supported dentures. With dental implants holding your denture in place, you can resume eating all of your favorite foods, and speak, laugh, and smile with complete confidence!
More comprehensive treatment plans that affect all of your teeth are referred to as full mouth reconstruction or rehabilitation. The end result is one that will provide an esthetic makeover, but will also return the full function of your teeth. The following is a short list of reasons full mouth reconstruction may be needed:
Reconstruction may consist of porcelain veneers, crowns, inlays or onlays, bridges, or dental implants, but could also include gum treatments and bone grafting.
Full mouth reconstruction procedures are performed to vastly improve the quality of your life, with the added benefit of creating a beautiful smile. This is how it differs from Smile Design, which focuses purely on bringing out the beauty of your smile instead of its function. You deserve a life free of dental woes, and we’re here to help you obtain it.