Prosthodontics, also known as dental prosthetics or prosthetic dentistry, is the area of dentistry that focuses on dental prostheses.
It involves the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, health and aesthetics of patients with missing teeth. The procedures can help one regain new best possible appearance of your smile and improve appearance as well as self-confidence.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are two types of restorations that are made to rear teeth that have a mild to moderate amount of decay. An inlay is a small filling that fits into the biting surface of a tooth while an onlay covers a larger area of the tooth and is better suited for bigger cavities. An alternative to dental fillings, inlays/onlays can be used if teeth surfaces are damaged but the damage is not extensive enough to require a dental crown. Eventhough Inlays/onlays can be made from porcelain, gold, or composite, porcelain is the popular choice because of its strength and can be matched to the natural color of teeth. In general, the process of fixing inlays or onlays onto the teeth requires at least two dental appointments. However, at SmileWorks Dental Care, with the added convenience of our in-house dental laboratory, patients can have their inlays/onlays ready within one visit.
Crowns are tooth-shaped caps fitted over a tooth to preserve and restore its shape and look, strengthening and improving the appearance of cracked or damaged teeth. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. Crowns are also a great way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. A dental crown can either be made of metal, ceramic, porcelain, or a combination of the three, depending on the condition and location of the tooth. Should you require an emergency dental crown, our in-house dental laboratory can accommodate same-day crown fabrications for your convenience.
Veneers are the popular quick fix to a perfect smile, covering any imperfections from worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment, abnormal spacing (diastema), chips, or cracks. Porcelain or resin composite Veneer is a wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials with a very thin thickness ranging from 0.8 mm – 1 mm to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your smile. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Permanently bonded to the front of the teeth, veneers are the equivalent of a facelift for your mouth. With veneers—as opposed to crowns—your natural teeth remain largely intact with only a minimal amount being altered to fit the veneer. For teeth that resist whitening, veneers can make even the darkest teeth appear bright white. One week after your veneers are placed, you will be required to return to the office for a follow-up visit and evaluation so the dentist can see how your mouth is reacting to the veneers. Even if you feel the veneers are a success, this appointment is vital to your future oral health.
Also known as false teeth, are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth. Unlike dental bridges and implants which are permanently attached to the bone, dentures are attached to a supporting structure. This makes them removable and easier to clean and maintain. Depending on your needs, our dentist may recommend full, partial or immediate dentures. Over time, structure of the jaws might change and your dentures may need to be adjusted. New dentures may feel awkward or uncomfortable for the first few weeks until you become accustomed to them. Dentures can also improve the appearance of your smile and boost your confidence. Follow-up appointments with the dentist are generally needed after a denture is inserted so the fit can be checked and adjusted.
A bridge is made if you’re missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. The procedure involves permanently cementing it in place by crowning healthy teeth on each side of the missing teeth. Like crowns, bridges can be made of different metals, porcelain, or a fusion of porcelain with metal. While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important measure you can take to ensure the longevity of your bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. It’s essential to brush your teeth and floss daily to keep teeth and gums healthy. In addition, you’ll want to see your dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleaning.