As with porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns are beautiful restorations which can brighten front teeth which are discolored or stained. Porcelain crowns can be utilized to restore teeth when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to provide support for large fillings. They can also be utilized to restore poorly shaped teeth. Different from porcelain crowns of the past, which could result in dark lines at the gumline, all-porcelain crowns can restore a smile back to it’s natural beauty. In this day and age there are many beautiful choices. We can determine which type of porcelain restoration will work best for your particular situation.
Crowns and Bridges
A crown is a restoration that covers a tooth to restore it to its natural shape, size and function. Its purpose is to strengthen or improve the appearance of a tooth. A crown can restore a tooth where there isn’t enough tooth remaining to provide support for large fillings, protect a weak tooth from fracturing, restore a fractured tooth, or restore a dental implant.
A bridge is a restoration that replaces or spans the space where one or more teeth have been lost. The loss of a tooth may cause your mouth to “collapse” from loss of the bone that supported the tooth. Remaining teeth can also shift if nothing is done. The result may be lost function and a face that looks older than it should. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks and helps maintain the natural shape of your face. In this day and age a dental implant can provide many of the same advantages. Dr. Richardson can provide you with the information necessary to make the decision that is appropriate for your situation.
Implant dentistry is a wonderful technology which can be applicable in so many different situations. A patient with an ill-fitting denture can gain confidence back with an implant-supported prosthesis which feels much more secure. A patient who has lost a single tooth now has the option of replacing it with a life-like implant rather than having to alter surrounding teeth for a bridge. Dr. Richardson is trained in implant prosthetics and can make recommendations appropriate to your individual situation. Implants can help to give you greater confidence when speaking and chewing, and enhance the beauty of your smile.
Porcelain veneers are beautiful, long lasting restorations. They can brighten front teeth that have permanent stains or discoloration that can’t be whitened. They can be utilized to correct small gaps between front teeth, or to fix teeth that are poorly shaped or slightly crooked. We may recommend veneers to cover teeth that are chipped or worn.
Veneers are thin, custom-made porcelain shells that we bond to the teeth in a procedure that requires just two appointments. Our porcelain veneer patients love their new smiles.
Tooth whitening is a conservative, simple procedure that brightens teeth that are discolored, stained, or have darkened due to injury. We most commonly recommend an at-home technique with custom- fitted trays that we create for you. This technique takes a few weeks of applying the whitening solution for two ½ hour sessions a day. We also offer in-office whitening for patients who would like the quickest result possible. The technique that is best for you will be discussed when we consider your individual situation. Both techniques can give you a beautiful, dazzling smile that will leave your friends wondering why you look younger.
Bonding is a term used to describe procedures that involve applying composite (white) restorations to the teeth. It can be used strictly for cosmetic purposes to close gaps and repair small chips and cracks in front teeth. Or it can protect teeth against decay as a filling material on back teeth. Bonding is often completed in one visit. Various shades of composite resin are available to carefully blend the material and make the bonded restoration look as natural as possible.
Your Child’s First Visit
In our office we recommend that your child’s first visit be around age three. Working with one of our hygienists, all of whom are mother’s of young children themselves, your child will have their teeth examined and cleaned. We will review oral hygiene with the parent who accompanies the child. We will talk about tooth eruption and positioning, jaw growth patterns, and answer questions about any potential concerns. As the child develops and matures x-rays and fluoride treatment will be part of future appointments.
A dental sealant is a plastic material that is applied to back teeth – usually permanent molars. The molars are teeth with very deep grooves, which, during the cavity-prone years (age 1-14), can be challenging to keep clean. If these teeth are not consistently kept clean they will decay. The sealant material is flowed into the grooves and cured to a solid consistency to seal them closed. As a result, the tooth has a smoother chewing surface with fewer areas to harbor food and bacteria and decay is decreased. In our office, sealants are recommended when the first molars are fully erupted which is around age seven or eight.
Splint therapy is a course of treatment that occurs over several months time, possibly extending longer, depending on each individual situation. The type of splints that we create are hard acrylic and custom-made and adjusted for each patient. The splint creates a “physiologically correct bite” which helps the jaw joint (TMJ) to assume its most correct and least traumatic position. The bite splint is intended to help symptomatic muscles relax and decrease damaging forces to the joint bringing, through therapy, a pain-free situation.
Equilibrations (Bite Adjustments)
Patients with temporomandibular disorder (TMD), a condition that causes face, jaw and neck pain, may find relief in a dental procedure called equilibration. Equilibration is the selective reshaping of the top surfaces of the teeth to provide normal balance and to stabilize the jaw joint. Eqilibration is a technique that takes years of careful study to master and Dr. Richardson has undergone that intensive study for the benefit of her patients. Equilibration can also decrease sensitivity in teeth that are hitting incorrectly. It can decrease the number of fractures in back teeth, potentially decrease the number of root canals needed throughout a lifetime, and help to keep fractures of porcelain on crowns to a minimum. All of this is accomplished because, in the process of equilibrating teeth, the forces are distributed down the long axis of each tooth, which is the least traumatic force over its lifetime. A thorough evaluation is necessary to determine if the procedure would be appropriate for you.
Root Canal Therapy
Although it is unfortunate when one of our patients needs a root canal, it is a procedure that we are happy to provide to help patients get relief from pain. Root canals tend to have a bad reputation for being painful, but we have found that with good anesthesia we have many patients who fall asleep in the chair while we do this type of work. Dr. Richardson does root canal therapy (RCT) on teeth forward of the molars. Patients who need RCT on molar teeth will be referred to specialists who excel at saving back teeth that need the therapy. A root canal is a process where the ailing nerve and blood vessel are removed from the inside of the tooth. The area that is cleansed is then filled with a rubber-type material which prevents bacteria from being able to get back inside the tooth. Back teeth that require RCT will need to be crowned after the therapy as they are more brittle without their blood supply. Front teeth oftentimes will need only a filling after RCT, but each case is individual. All therapy needed is discussed before treatment begins.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with different metals. Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture replaces lost teeth and holds onto those that remain.
With dental implants becoming much more commonplace in our office we create fewer partial dentures and instead place implants which feel and work so much more like real teeth. Our patients love not having to remove their teeth to clean them and they love the stability of their bites. Patients who have unstable complete dentures can benefit from having two implants placed under their existing denture so that it is now much more secure. Patients can opt to have their dentures replaced by implants and bridges for a more secure bite. Dentures are no longer the only way to restore a mouth that has few teeth or no teeth at all. Ask us about the possibilities.
Call Us Today ♦ (608) 274-4701
2945 Triverton Pike Dr
Fitchburg, WI 53711
Mon: 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Wed: 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Thu: 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM