At Beacon Dental Health, our dentists offer a wide variety of restorative dentistry procedures to help bring function and beauty to the smiles of our patients throughout New England. Whether you need to replace missing teeth with custom dental implants or you require more extensive full-mouth reconstruction, our dentists will use their expertise to help you achieve a beautiful smile. Have confidence in your smile again. Contact any of our Beacon Dental Health offices to learn more about the different restorative options available.
A dental implant is a tooth replacement option that is best used to replace one or more missing teeth. Dental implants feel, look, and function almost identical to natural teeth, which makes them a popular replacement option.
If you are missing teeth, then dental implants are important for maintaining healthy teeth and bone structure in the jaw. Leaving missing teeth untreated can lead to several more serious issues, including:
How Effective are Implants?
With proper care (which includes routine brushing and flossing), implants can last a lifetime and look and feel indistinguishable from your natural teeth. There is a rare chance that the implant will be rejected, although this is highly uncommon and typically can be corrected by a replacement implant.
A dental crown is a cover that is placed over a tooth to:
A dental crown is a cover that is placed over a tooth to:
Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials that include ceramic, resin, and porcelain. Ceramic crowns can typically last around 5-20 plus years with proper care. Alternatively, resin crowns are less expensive but more likely to wear down sooner than other options. Each type of dental crown comes with different pros and cons that can be discussed with your dentist to find the best option for you.
The dental crown procedure is typically performed in two visits. The first visit can be regarded as a preparation phase.
Following any necessary cleaning, the tooth that requires the crown is then filed down. This is to make room for the crown during placement. Next, impressions of the tooth must be made in order to ensure that the crown fits properly and does not cause any bite misalignment. The impression or digital scan is then sent to a specialized lab so that the crown can be created. Your dentist will place a temporary crown for you to wear until your next visit, during which the permanent crown will be placed and cemented.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
Dental crowns can last anywhere between 5-to-20 plus years, depending on the level of care. As with normal teeth, crowns need to be properly maintained, brushed, and flossed in order to stay clean and prevent gum disease. And, also like normal teeth, the usual everyday wear and tear can grind down your crowns, causing them to require early replacement. Grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw, or biting down tightly on hard candies can add additional strain to your dental crowns and even crack the surfaces in some cases. Before choosing your crowns, be sure to speak with your dentist about habits you may have with your teeth. It may inform the dentist on the best type of material to use during the procedure for providing the best results.
A dental bridge is an option to replace one or several missing teeth by filling in the gap by using the surrounding teeth as ‘anchors.’ During a dental bridge procedure, two specially-fitted crowns are created and placed on the abutment (or the anchoring teeth) on both sides of the gap where the tooth is missing. Between these crowns is a ‘pontic’ (or false tooth) that fills in the gap which is made to look as natural as your other teeth. Generally, dental bridges most often replace one-to-two missing teeth. It should be noted, however, that even four missing teeth can be replaced by dental bridges, as long as the anchor teeth are strong enough to connect with dental crowns.
There are three main types of dental bridges: traditional bridges, cantilever bridges, and Maryland bonded bridges. Each type is used for different purposes and your dental team will work with you to determine the type of dental bridge you may need that is best suited for your needs.
Traditional bridges are the most common type of dental bridges that are made from either ceramic or porcelain that’s fused to metal. Traditional bridges require healthy, natural teeth on either side of the gap to serve as anchors. These teeth need to be filed down with crowns placed on top in order to securely place the pontic (false tooth). This ensures that the bridge is strong enough to be supported.
Like other types of bridges, a cantilever bridge requires anchor teeth to support the bridge. Unlike traditional bridges, however, a cantilever bridge only uses teeth on one side of the missing space and is commonly used if the back tooth is missing.
Maryland Bonded Bridges
Maryland bonded bridges are most often used to fill in gaps caused by missing front teeth and do not require extensive reshaping of the neighboring teeth. Unlike traditional bridges – where teeth must be filed down to make room for crowns – Maryland bridges only file down a small portion behind the anchor teeth to make room for two ‘wings’ which are bonded to the neighboring teeth to hold the pontic tooth in place.
Each of the different types of dental bridges are designed for unique purposes and situations. The location of your missing tooth and the condition of the surrounding teeth – among other factors – will help to inform your dental team about the best type of dental bridge to use. Additionally, there are different types of materials used for dental bridges, including ceramic, porcelain, and porcelain that’s infused to metal. Your dental team will help you to decide the best option for your needs.
Dentures are a set of artificial teeth and gums that are used to replace several missing teeth. Dentures come in two types – partial and full – and can replace an entire row of missing teeth on the top or bottom jaw if necessary, thus making them the primary solution for severe tooth loss.
The length that dentures last will vary, based on the type that you receive. Generally, partial dentures last up to 15 years, while full dentures may last between 5-to-10 years. As with normal teeth, dentures need to be properly maintained and cared for, which can extend their duration Proper cleaning, in particular, is essential to the longevity of your dentures.
In addition to routine maintenance, it is recommended to get a checkup at least once a year in order to evaluate how your dentures are fitting. If you notice any sagging or discomfort while wearing dentures, it is possible that you will need them to be refitted. Clicking or gagging while wearing dentures are common signs that they are not fitted properly and not something that will pass normally over time. Additionally, like natural teeth, dentures are not immune to the effects of staining and may begin to look dirty or worn. This is completely natural, and if your dentures start to look a little unsightly, you may want to consider making a dental appointment to get them updated.
Dentures are a necessary solution to missing teeth because they help to maintain the structure of the mouth. By ignoring missing teeth, your jawline will weaken over time, causing additional health issues that can become more severe the longer teeth are missing. Your natural teeth help to keep your facial structure supported and actions like chewing help to keep the jaw strong. By not replacing missing teeth, you may find that your face begins to sag as your jawline weakens, and you may look older as a result. Additionally, dentures remove the restriction on foods that you can eat – although you will need to be careful not to crack or chip your dentures by accident.
Modern day dentures have come a long way and now are made to look and function exactly as our natural teeth would. Dentures are made from a wide variety of materials for both their structure as well as the artificial teeth themselves. Quite often, the denture framework will be made out of acrylic, nylon, or metal. The material used for the frame will vary, depending on the type of denture you require. These materials are chosen because they allow for a high degree of comfort when worn and are malleable to create a custom fit for each patient. Resin, porcelain, and ceramic are common options for the artificial teeth themselves. Many patients prefer porcelain because this material is more resilient than other options. Your dentist can speak with you about which option is best for your needs and budget.
Partial dentures are commonly used when there are three or more missing teeth on either side of the mouth. These dentures are the best option if the surrounding teeth are not strong enough to support one of the different types of dental crowns. Partial dentures are fitted to rest comfortably and securely along the gumline but are not permanently placed, so they can be easily removed for cleaning when necessary. Similar to full dentures, partial dentures can be made to fit on either the top or bottom jaw.
Full dentures – also known as complete dentures – are the best option when a full row of teeth is missing. Full dentures can be made to replace top or bottom missing teeth (or both). Similar to partial dentures, full dentures are not permanently fixed into the mouth, so they can easily be taken out in order to be cleaned. These dentures use suction as well as additional oral adhesive to securely keep them in place during the day.
Accidents happen, and if you find that your dentures have broken, it is best to get them repaired as soon as possible. Broken dentures can fit uncomfortably in the mouth and may become more prone to falling out or cause irritation. Beacon Dental Health offers denture repair services that can repair the various parts of dentures as needed. Poorly fitting dentures are also more likely to result in infections in the mouth, which can lead to the need for additional oral care.
There are several signs to pay attention to that may indicate broken dentures. It is recommended that you visit Beacon Dental Health at least once a year to check up on the fit of your dentures and to inspect them to ensure they have not undergone any hidden damage. Our specialized denture repair lab technicians are trained to make custom impressions as fast as possible so that you can return with your repaired dentures quickly. Some signs of broken dentures to look out for include:
It can be dangerous to leave broken dentures unattended for an extended period of time. If you notice any of the above signs, reach out to your dental team and schedule an appointment to have your dentures looked at and, if necessary, repaired.
Dental fillings are used to fill in small holes in the teeth (or cavities) in order to prevent further decay or damage to the tooth. Available in a number of different materials, dental fillings are an invaluable part of restorative dentistry that helps patients maintain healthy smiles.
When bacteria in the mouth combines with starches and sugars, a sticky acid-producing film called ‘plaque’ forms in the mouth. Normally, plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing. If left untreated, however, the acid that plaque produces will attack and wear down tooth enamel, thus leading to a cavity, or a small hole in the tooth. When a cavity is formed, a dentist will remove the affected tissue and replace it with a dental filling.
Dental fillings are available in a variety of different materials, including:
Each type of dental filling comes with advantages and disadvantages. For example, ceramic fillings can last up to 15 years but are generally more expensive than other options. Tooth-colored composite, on the other hand, can be matched almost identically to your natural tooth color but only lasts for about five years. Some factors that may help determine the best type of fillings for your needs may include the cost of each material, the extent of the damage to the tooth, your dentist’s recommendations, and insurance coverage.
Even strong fillings such as ceramic do not last forever. The longest lasting filling has about a 15 year lifespan. Dental fillings may need to be replaced due to natural wear and tear, such as teeth grinding or clenching. This can cause the filling to weaken or even crack. Your dental team can help to identify if the integrity of your filling is compromised.
It is also possible for a filling to decay which then creates a gap in the seal between the filling and the tooth. When this happens, food can get underneath the filling and cause further decay to the tooth. Left untreated, this decay can affect the pulp of a tooth and lead to a dental abscess which will require root canal treatment to correct.
As the name implies, full mouth reconstruction is a complete replacement of all teeth in your mouth. Full mouth reconstruction may include a number of different procedures that all work in conjunction to improve the function and aesthetics of your mouth and smile.
If you have experienced a number of different issues – either as a result of poor oral hygiene or trauma from injury – then full mouth reconstruction can restore your smile with the end-goal of restored functionality. If you are a candidate for full mouth reconstruction, you may be suffering from a combination of several missing teeth, crooked teeth, chipped or cracked teeth, or badly worn-down teeth as a result of tooth grinding (bruxism).
Treatments for full mouth reconstruction may include:
What to Expect During Treatment
Before starting any procedures, your dentist will need to collect all of your medical history and information. This might include smoking habits as well as medications. Additionally, X-rays, oral scans, and impressions will be taken early in the procedure in order to map out the full restoration and treatment plan as well as to measure the amount of work required. The initial consultation will work to build a comprehensive plan and may even include 3D modeling to map out how your smile will look after the treatment is complete. Because multiple different treatments are being combined into one comprehensive procedure, full mouth restoration takes place over several appointments. Depending on the amount of work required, the procedure may require several months of work to help balance treatment time, cost, and healing time that is necessary between procedures. Dental implants, for example, may require additional time for healing to take place before the implant can be fully placed.