49386 Rd. 426 P.O. Box 2500
Oakhurst, CA 93644
Ko, Bernice T D.D.S.
11340 W Olympic Blvd # 360
Los Angeles, CA, 90064-1624
Thomas, James A D.D.S.
841 S Dora St
Ukiah, CA, 95482-5710
Torabinejad, Mahmoud D.D.S.
600 N Euclid Ave # 102
Upland, CA, 91786-4779
Wei, Allen J D.D.S.
5308 Lake Murray Blvd # A
La Mesa, CA, 91942-1334
In dental materials, composite resins are just about the most exciting thing to come down the pike in a long while. Resins may well symbolize the value of long-term, persistent research. From humble beginnings in 1956, the search for an effective adhesive dental filling has culminated in resin materials - versatile, relatively strong, with cosmetic superiority. Quite a return from plastic mixed with glass beads and such.
What's amazing about filling a tooth with resin (vs. gold or silver amalgams) is the nature of the bond to the tooth. The enamel is first treated with a mild acid to create microscopic pores on the surface of the tooth. Once the resin is applied, a mechanical - not chemical - bond is formed. Sort of like dental velcro. Then the resin can be sculpted, tinted, and polished to look like the real thing.
So what do composite resins mean for cosmetic dentist patients? Let's count the ways.
The best bargain in cosmetic dentistry, and proven cavity fighters to boot, are pit and fissure sealants. Sealants are a composite resin painted on back teeth, where tooth decay typically occurs in children. One sealant session, with check-ups now and then, provides cavity prevention - indefinitely.
Dental bonding is an umbrella term for placing composite resin restorations, from tooth-colored inlays to reshaping chipped teeth. For the right candidate, bonding is a comfortable, quick alternative to dental crowns, and a real boon to simple cosmetic dental care procedures. Less of your healthy tooth is removed, so it's essentially a conservative tooth restoration procedure.
In adults, a receding gum can expose the roots of teeth, an uncomfortable situation at best. Along with other adhesives, we apply resins directly to the root surface to help prevent tooth decay, and make the teeth less sensitive to hot and cold.
Teeth straightening just became easier. We can use resins to bond braces directly to teeth, so heavy bands around teeth, in some cases, can be dispensed with. The new invisible braces, along with bonding, make adult orthodontics an appealing alternative to crooked teeth.
Well, not really. Composite resins may never replace old standby filling materials, especially on back teeth. But resins have taken their rightful place in cosmetic dentistry, complimenting metal amalgams, and they can only get better.
Most dentists will agree that the tooth crown is at the heart of general dentistry. They've all studied dental crowns in dental school, and some have done their best work replacing a missing tooth and saving the rest.
Research has given them the wherewithal to achieve virtually ideal restorations. They are natural looking, comfortable and stable in the moist environment of the mouth. Cosmetic dentistry professionals are better equipped now more than ever to build strong, long-lasting and cosmetically superior dental crowns.
A crown (or cap) is a restoration placed over broken teeth or a cracked tooth that cannot sustain a conventional filling. By covering the biting surfaces and sides of the tooth, a dental crown strengthens the damaged tooth by binding together the remaining structures. There are basically three kinds of full-crown restorations that can be placed by your cosmetic dentist, each with pros and cons, depending on your situation.
A gold crown or metal alloy crowns have the longest track record for durability, but some people object to the look of metal.
A full porcelain crown - and its new ceramic cousin - looks wonderful and fits well; however, porcelain crowns are usually best on front teeth where stress is not so great.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns are our loyal work-horses for single-tooth restoration - they're very strong.
There are elements of finesse in the creation of any crown. The fit is the thing. The teeth must be prepared with opposing teeth in mind so a good bite won't go bad after the crown is placed. The fit must accommodate adjacent teeth, too. And the "margin," the part of the crown nearest the gum, must fit smoothly to protect the health of gum tissue.
And all this effort is to one end: to save a tooth.