Restorative dentistry is a term used to describe any treatment that your dentist performs in order to restore functionality. Although some restorative treatments also have cosmetic benefits, the purpose is to get your mouth working the way it is supposed to, so you can bite and chew effectively. Restorative procedures can be used to correct crowded, crooked, cracked, chipped, gapped or worn teeth and other issues that could cause problems with your bite.
Dr. William Schlesinger has been working on the Upper East Side for many years, creating dental restorations for his patients that both look and feel completely natural. Using the most modern technology and treatments available, he can give you back a fully functional mouth and an attractive smile.
A dental bridge is a prosthetic appliance that is created in order to fill in the gaps that have resulted from missing teeth. Whether your tooth loss is due to an extraction or trauma, a bridge can restore your missing teeth. A bridge is simply a series of crowns that replace the absent teeth. The treatment is cosmetic as well as functional. Obviously, missing teeth result in an unsightly appearance. Additionally, when you lose your teeth, the remaining teeth will tend to shift in order to close up the gap and this causes a bad bite.
A bridge is just what it sounds like – it uses the teeth on either side of the gap to anchor your crowns, which bridge the gap. Metal supports fit around your existing teeth to hold the bridge in place. With a properly-fitted bridge, you can go back to enjoying the foods you loved before you lost your teeth and you will be able to smile again without feeling self-conscious.
White Spot Lesions
Have you been noticing white spots on your teeth? Do not ignore them. This is actually the earliest type of tooth decay and it occurs when the enamel begins to erode. Once the white spots form, they begin taking stains from everything you eat or drink and they quickly turn into yellow or brown spots.
In the past, white spots were treated using fluoride pressure. The problem was, it did not always work. Another solution was simply to wait until the decay became more pronounced and then drill and fill in the same way as treating any other cavity. Today, dentists use Icon, which is a new technology that really works and requires no drilling. The lesions are separated using a dental wedge and then a special gel is inserted into the pores. Then the gel is cured using a special light. With Icon, tooth decay can be stopped in its early stages.
Inlays and Onlays
If your teeth have sustained mild to moderate damage, you could consider a dental implant or a crown as a means of restoring your tooth. These are the best choices, but realistically, not always practical. Most dental plans will not cover implants if other options are available and some will not cover crowns unless the damage is so severe that a crown is the only option.
When crowns or implants are impractical, damage can often be corrected by means of inlays and onlays. Now you are wondering, “What is the difference?” An inlay treats damage or decay on the cusps – those are the pointed areas that you feel when you move your tongue across your teeth. An onlay treats multiple cusps. The procedure for installing them is the same – Dr. Schlesinger will remove the decayed areas, take impressions of your teeth, and then have a lab manufacture the inlays and/or onlays. When they come back from the lab, he will cement them in place. Then you’ll have your smile back.
A dental implant is a titanium screw that is surgically placed in your jaw under general anesthetic. It supports a crown or series of crowns, that replace your missing teeth. Implants work and look just like your natural teeth and if you choose not to tell anyone that you have had implants installed, no one needs to know.
A dental crown is like a little porcelain hat that covers and protects a damaged or discolored tooth. They restore function to your mouth and also correct cosmetic issues. Properly cared for, crowns will last a very long time. You could have a single crown installed or a full series to create a smile makeover.
When implants are impractical due to medical issues or financial constraints, a full or partial denture can be the next best thing. Thanks to modern dental imaging, dentures function very much like your natural teeth. You’ll never have to worry about slipping or sliding. Just take them out and clean them at night and they will last a long time.
Dr. William Schlesinger practices restorative dentistry on the Upper East Side, at 255 East 70th Street, Suite 1E, New York, NY 10021. Call us at 212-517-5940, or you can use the form on our Contact Us page to book a consultation.
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