Restorative dentistry is a branch of dentistry concerned with the replacement or reconstruction of a tooth or teeth and their supporting structures, which have been altered or lost through trauma, disease or inherited defects.
Over the years we have built our reputation on assessing why teeth fracture and fail. Many practices focus on how to fix what has failed. We focus first on the cause of the failure rather than just the effect.
Often teeth break and crowns keep coming off because of an incorrect occlusion, which is the term given to the way your teeth move and function together. The ideal occlusion allows your teeth to move and function in a way where they mutually protect each other and spread the biting forces around your mouth. The front teeth should guide the back teeth into position, to allow you to chew and their position should not interfere with the movement of the front teeth. What we often see is that with the loss of teeth, the remaining teeth can drift and tip into a new position and cause interference and imbalance within the occlusion. This often results in a damaged dentition where teeth fracture and break.
Before we undertake any course of treatment we study the models of your teeth, and often mount these models on a special articulator, so that we can study the way your teeth bite together. The aim is to design an occlusion that reduces the destructive forces within your mouth. This allows us to create a long-term plan for your dentition, reducing the risk of future tooth failures.
Once we have done this we can then reconstruct your teeth to look and function like natural teeth. The treatments below are examples of how we can do this.
A veneer is a new frontal surface for a tooth, custom-made from ceramic porcelain. Ceramic veneers can be used in a variety of situations i.e. to align crowded teeth, close gaps or lighten tooth colour. Their strength and appearance rival that of natural teeth and they are used to make long-lasting changes to your smile.
When a tooth is mostly filling or is heavily broken down, the best option for restoring and protecting the tooth is to place a crown on top. The aesthetics of the crown depends upon what the crowns are made from and the skill of the technician. Traditionally crowns have been made from a metal core with porcelain on top. For the very best appearance, we often use Zirconia as the material of choice. It is very strong and tooth coloured; the result is a crown that looks the same as natural teeth, with no dark margins.
Losing a tooth through dental decay, gum disease or a knock or fall can be emotionally traumatic. It can also affect the way you look and speak, as well as reducing your ability to chew. To make matters worse, the gap left by the missing tooth can strain the remaining teeth on either side causing them to tip into the gap, putting them under additional strain and allowing food debris to collect and cause further decay. The long-term movement of the neighbouring teeth into space can be very damaging to the overall dentition.
Where a tooth is missing, it can be replaced by attaching a false tooth into the gap. Unlike traditional plates or dentures, bridges are designed to stay in place and are not removable by the patient. Dental bridges are held in place by using the tooth or teeth on either side of the gap as an anchor for the false tooth. If a dental bridge is designed well and maintained properly, the typical lifespan of the bridge would be 10 to 15 years.
Where the span is too large for a conventional bridge we use implants to retain the bridge, which adds increased strength and can last a lifetime.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, placed in the jawbone during a minor operation. They are made from titanium or titanium alloy, which allows the implant to fuse to the bone in a process known as osseo integration. They look and feel like natural teeth and are used to
Cantilever bridges are used where there is only the need for anchorage from one side of the gap or only one secure tooth is present on one side of the gap. These are only used for small gaps.
Digital Dental Technology
At Care Dental Implant Clinic we use the most up-to-date laboratory technologies and materials. We were the first clinic in Scotland to introduce an iTero laser-scanning machine, which means we have eliminated the inaccuracies caused by taking impressions and instead use lasers to scan and record the teeth digitally. For the patient, it means no messy and uncomfortable impression-taking and crowns that fit beautifully.
Tooth wear is a major problem for a lot of people, especially those in the forties plus age group; the front teeth wear down and teeth with fillings often break up, affecting appearance and function. People with worn teeth often look older and smile less. The treatment of tooth wear is difficult and is poorly understood, however, it has been an area of particular interest within our practice for years.