You use your teeth almost every second of the day and, unsurprisingly, they will experience wear and trauma as the years go by. Even with good at-home dental hygiene, you still may need work done on your mouth. That’s where we come in. Dr. Foster and Dr. Dobberstein can restore your teeth back to optimal health, function, and beauty through state-of-the-art restorative techniques and materials.
Crowns can make teeth stronger and improve their general appearance when structural damage has gone beyond what a filling can repair. When further restoration of the tooth is needed, Dr. Foster and Dr. Dobberstein may recommend crown placement. Think of a crown as a lid to your problematic tooth. They are harder than fillings and cover the full tooth. We place the following types of crowns:
- All-ceramic (used for front teeth)
- Metal (used for back teeth)
- PFM (porcelain fused to metal)
- Zirconia (looks like a natural tooth)
When you want to keep something from spoiling or losing its color, you place a lid over it. It is a similar concept with the crown restoration method. A crown is a good way to protect and change the look of teeth that are weak, damaged by tooth decay, misshapen, or severely stained. You will be pleased to know that there are several types of crowns to choose from, most of which we perform in our office.
Lab Made Crowns
Traditionally, a patient can expect two separate appointments while dental lab technicians create their custom-fitted crown. At the first appointment, Dr. Foster or Dr. Dobberstein will reshape the problematic tooth, take impressions, and place a temporary crown. We send the impressions to a trusted dental lab and once your permanent crown has been delivered, you come back for a final fitting and bonding.
Inlays and Onlays
Often forgotten but nonetheless extremely important to restorative dentistry, inlays and onlays can help restore the beauty, health, and performance of a problematic tooth. An inlay is added into the area of a tooth between cusps. An onlay is the same, except it extends to cover the cusp of your tooth. Depending on your unique needs, we can create ceramic inlays and onlays in-house using our CEREC machine or we can have them created in a dental lab.
One of the most common restorative solutions is a filling. Once a cavity starts to form we have to go inside the tooth, clean it, and then fill in the remaining empty space so that the tooth will not decay any further. Dr. Foster only performs composite fillings that contain no metal. He does not use amalgams, which are known to be unsafe for children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Composite fillings match a tooth’s natural color and have an extremely strong bond with the tooth.
Root Canal Therapy (RCT)
Although root canal therapy (RCT) has an intimidating reputation, it is largely undeserved. In fact, RCT effectively eliminates the source of pain by removing infected tissue from within the inner chamber (the “root canal”) of a tooth. After removing all signs of decay and infection, Dr. Foster or Dr. Dobberstein will fill the inner chamber with a flexible, rubber-like substance and then seal the tooth with a filling or crown. RCT is performed using local anesthetic and, for patients who feel nervous, uneasy, or even fearful about their procedure, Dr. Foster or Dr. Dobberstein can provide a number of gentle sedation options.
What is full-mouth restoration?
While the specifics will vary from patient to patient, in general, a full-mouth restoration may be the best course of action for complex dental issues. The full reconstruction process can include orthodontics, fillings, crowns, dental implants, TMJ therapy, and even cosmetic procedures. Dr. Foster, Dr. Dobberstein, and the friendly, attentive staff of Cool Smiles will be with you every step of the way as you move from treatment planning through to completion.
In the event that a tooth is so badly diseased that RCT cannot adequately address the problem or you have teeth that are causing crowding along the dental arch, Dr. Foster and Dr. Dobberstein can perform an extraction. The area will be numbed before the tooth is extracted, and most patients report that they only feel pressure during the extraction procedure. Of course, if you need it, we can provide dental sedation to help you feel more comfortable. Dr. Foster and Dr. Dobberstein perform simple extractions and will gladly refer you to a trusted oral surgeon for surgical extractions and wisdom teeth removal.
White or Composite Fillings
A composite filling, also known as a white filling, is regarded as a safe restorative option. It contains no metal, matches the color of a natural tooth, and once applied to the tooth, it bonds chemically and does not change shape. Composites can be used on front or back teeth and can actually be used in cosmetic dental procedures to correct gapped teeth and chipped teeth.
Why We Choose to Avoid Amalgam or Metal Fillings
While metal fillings have provided dentists and patients with a restorative option since the 1800s, advances in dental technology have made composite resin a clinically and economically viable alternative. Furthermore, Dr. Foster and Dr. Dobberstein do not use amalgam due to potential health risks. Since amalgam contains mercury, children, women who are pregnant, and the elderly are not advised to receive such a filling. The American Dental Association notes that amalgam fillings can cause short-term sensitivity to hot and cold. The silver-colored filling also looks unnatural and does not blend in with your natural enamel.
Is a White Filling Permanent?
While we hope you will not have to replace your filling, they are not technically permanent. Composite fillings are durable and should stay in place for at least a decade. However, the longevity of any dental restoration depends heavily on its environment. If you consume a large amount of sugary drinks and foods, chew or crunch on hard candies and ice frequently, and don’t take very good at-home care of your smile, a filling simply will not last as long. On the other hand, a teeth-friendly lifestyle and careful at-home dental hygiene can help your filling last for many years.
How long will a composite filling take?
Composite fillings are a straightforward, conservative restorative option. Dr. Foster and Dr. Dobberstein usually complete white fillings in a single appointment.
Developing Your Treatment Plan
When dealing with a smile that needs extensive reconstruction or restoration, we take several factors into consideration. We evaluate not only the teeth, but your gums and jaw as well as the general shape of your face. We also discuss your personal goals for your smile before developing a treatment plan. You are an active partner in your restorative dental care and we want to make sure you walk out of our office satisfied with your smile.
Our Focus on Patient Comfort
A complex treatment plan may require multiple office visits. If you feel nervous or anxious about your procedures, please talk to Dr. Foster, Dr. Dobberstein, or one of our hygienists about your fears. We can recommend a gentle sedative option that can help you relax prior to your appointment. In fact, oral sedation is a perfect solution for performing multiple procedures in a single appointment. You remain profoundly relaxed and detached from the treatment at hand and Dr. Foster and Dr. Dobberstein can provide excellent care without the inconvenience of return visits.
Before and After
Not only will you instantly feel better about the way you look, we offer patients before and after photos for comparison. Photos of our work allow patients to see how far they have come and where their smile still needs improvement.