Dental bridges are a great way to replace missing teeth. Your existing teeth are used to literally create a bridge to cross the area where your tooth is missing. Bridges are made from gold, metal alloys, zirconium, or porcelain to ensure that they are strong and durable.
The process of creating a bridge begins by creating abutments out of your existing teeth where the bridge will be attached. The existing teeth on either side of the space are recontoured to provide a base for the bridge. After the abutments have been created, Dr. Furniss will take a digital impression of the area which is then either used to create the bridge in our office or sent to a dental lab. Usually Dr. Furniss will use his computer to create a bridge that will fit properly and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible. The bridge consists of two crowns on either end to place on the abutments and a pontic, which is the new tooth that replaces your missing tooth. In some cases Dr. Furniss will decide that your bridge needs some metal reinforcement for strength, and we will send your digital impression to our lab for fabrication.
We will fit you with a temporary bridge while we wait for the lab to craft your permanent bridge. This will protect the abutments and the exposed gum areas and look more appealing than having a missing tooth. When the permanent bridge has been created, you will have a follow-up visit to seat the bridge. It will be placed on the abutments and Dr. Furniss will then use an adhesive to make sure that the bridge is set.
The bridge may take a little while to get used to but, after a few days, it should feel like you have your own teeth back again. You should eat soft foods for the first few days after having your bridge placed. After the initial phase, you will be able to eat whatever you want with no issues.
If you are missing a tooth you should strongly consider having it replaced. Besides the aesthetic disadvantage of missing a tooth, it could also cause structural changes to your mouth and jaw, as well as making it difficult to eat or speak properly. Set up an appointment today to restore your smile.
Over time our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, discoloration, and fracture. If you feel your smile isn’t what it once was, crowns can help you recover your smile. If Dr. Furniss notices that a tooth is decayed or seems weakened and cracked then a crown may be necessary to make sure that there are no additional problems with the tooth. In cases like this, a filling or bonding will not be sufficient to predictably restore your tooth.
Crowns can be made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or made completely out of metal. To maintain a natural look and feel a porcelain finished crown is best, as it can be matched to the shade of your other teeth. This will allow it to blend in and appear just like one of your natural teeth. Dr. Furniss can do this for you in a single visit!
The process of getting a crown used to take at least 2 visits to your dentist. After the first visit you would have to have a temporary made, which you would wear for up to 3 weeks. After this time period you would return to the office, get numb again, and have your crown seated.
Dr. Furniss is now able to fabricate these crowns in a single visit! Dr. Furniss will get you numb as painlessly as possible, then we will take a digital impression with a special computer. Dr. Furniss will then prepare your tooth, take another quick digital impression, then design your crown on the computer right in front of you. After designing the crown, we will mill the crown right in our office from a solid block of porcelain. Milling takes 10-15 minutes and you are even welcome to watch your crown being made!
Crowns are durable and will usually last for decades. You should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Call us today if you would like to learn more about how crowns can help restore your smile.
Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth as you please. Depending on each individual patient case, you may receive full or partial dentures. Full dentures are used when all of the natural teeth are removed from the mouth. There are two types of full dentures.
Conventional Full Dentures – This is when all the teeth are removed and the tissue is given time to heal before the final dentures are placed. It takes 3-6 months for gum tissue to heal completely and for bone to remodel so we usually make a temporary denture for you, otherwise you would have to go without teeth for this period of time.
Immediate Full Dentures – Prior to having your teeth removed, Dr. Furniss takes measurements and has dentures fitted for your mouth. After removing the teeth, the dentures are immediately placed in your mouth. The benefit is that you do not have to spend any time without teeth. You will, however, need to have follow-up visits to adjust your dentures because the jaw bone will slightly change shape as your mouth heals. After your mouth heals and the bone remodels a bit then Dr. Furniss can take a new impression and make your final denture. This final denture is made with more expensive materials and will fit much better than the temporary or immediate denture.
Partial dentures are another option when you are missing only a few of your teeth. This is similar to a bridge, but it is not a permanent fixture in your mouth.
Your dentures may take some time to get used to. The flesh colored base of the dentures is placed over your gums. Some people say that it feels bulky or that they don’t have enough room for their tongue. Other times the dentures might feel loose. These feelings will affect the way you eat and talk for a little while. Over time, your mouth becomes trained to eat and speak with your dentures and they begin to feel more and more like your natural teeth. They may never feel perfectly comfortable, but it is much better than the alternative of not having teeth.
Even though dentures are not real teeth, you should care for them like they are. You should brush them (without toothpaste) to remove plaque and food particles before removing your dentures. After they have been removed you should place them directly into room temperature water or a denture cleaning solution. Never use hot water because it could warp the dentures. Your dentures are delicate, so make sure you are careful when handling them so you don’t drop them. Also, never try to adjust your dentures yourself. You could ruin them, so you should always seek assistance from Dr. Furniss if they feel uncomfortable or loose.