We are dedicated to the highest standards of care in the restoration and replacement of your natural teeth using veneers, crowns, bridges, dental implants or dentures.
With advanced skills and knowledge we are able to provide our patients with the most functional and aesthetic outcomes from single tooth to full mouth restorations.
- Cerec – One Appointment Crown
- Cosmetic Bonding Procedures
- Crowns & Bridgework
- Full Mouth Reconstruction
- Tooth Coloured Fillings
Cerec – One Appointment Crown
CEREC restorations are the latest form of porcelain restorations being made by utilizing a new technology called CAD-CAM (Computerized Assisted Design- Computerized Assisted Milled). We feel that this can be an appropriate solution for the restoration of some posterior teeth, but for front (anterior) teeth, conventional crowns using the artistic skills of our technicians is generally recommended for high-end aesthetic outcomes.
The process of using CEREC includes the following one-appointment steps: a tooth is prepared to receive a crown/inlay or onlay, removing decay if present. An optical image impression is then taken using an infrared wavelength to produce a digital image of your teeth and gums; this image is subsequently converted to a format that the computer understands. An image is generated on a computer screen for the specialist to use in designing the required restoration. After the design has been approved, the computer information is sent to the adjacent milling station which will cut the restorative material to the design specifications.
After the restoration is assessed for fit, colour and harmony with the adjacent dentition, the CEREC restoration is then permanently joined (cemented or bonded) to the tooth. This is all accomplished within one appointment from start to finish and all within the dental office.
Cosmetic Bonding Procedures
At Imperio we can restore broken or decayed teeth to full beauty and function. One of the easiest and least expensive ways of doing this is with composite bonding.
Bonding uses tooth-coloured materials to replace missing tooth structure or hide cosmetically unappealing minor defects in a tooth — chips, discolouration, and even minor spacing irregularities. Bonding materials are called “composite resins” because they contain a mixture of plastic and glass, which adds strength and translucency. The composite actually bonds, or becomes one, with the rest of the tooth once cured.
It is a particularly good solution for teens, who often need to wait until growth and development is complete before choosing a more permanent type of dental restoration.
The Bonding Process
Because it does not involve dental laboratory work, bonding can usually be accomplished in a single visit.
The process involves the following steps: the surface of the tooth to be bonded will be cleaned so that it is plaque-free. The surface is then “etched” with an acidic gel that opens up tiny pores on the tooth surface. After the etching gel is rinsed off, a liquid composite resin is painted on in a thin layer, filling these tiny pores to create a strong micro-mechanical bond. A special curing light is used to harden this bonding material. Once the first layer is cured, a filled resin is applied, sculpted and cured. Layers can continue to be built up until the restoration has the necessary thickness and form. The bonding material is then shaped and polished to finalize its contour and lustre.
Caring for Bonded Teeth
Bonded teeth require the same care that your other teeth require and should be brushed and flossed daily, and professionally cared for by our specialists and hygienists. The most important thing to keep in mind about caring for your bonded tooth/teeth is that composite resins can absorb stain, just as natural teeth can. With this in mind, smoking, should be avoided and high consumption of foods/drink like blueberries, red wine, coffee and tea can result in some staining problems.
Composite materials cannot be lightened. So if you are thinking about having your teeth whitened, it should be done before your tooth is bonded so that a composite shade can be selected to match the colour of your whitened teeth.
Finally, try not to bite your nails, hold writing implements in your teeth, or use your teeth in ways that could put excessive force on the bonding material since these activities can chip or fracture the bonded restoration. With proper care, a bonded restoration can remain aesthetic for many years.
What makes a smile beautiful? This is a complex question. Some of the qualities of a lovely smile are immediately identifiable: tooth colour, shape and alignment are a few of the most important ones. If your smile can use improvement in any of these categories, porcelain veneers can sometimes be used to address these problems.
You may already know that a veneer is a thin covering over another surface. In dentistry, a veneer is a wafer-thin layer of porcelain that convincingly replaces natural tooth enamel. When bonded to your teeth, veneers can create a natural-looking, beautiful new surface since dental porcelain, like natural tooth enamel, is translucent and tough.
Versatility of Porcelain Veneers
Veneers can be used to improve any of the following characteristics of your teeth:
- Colour — Teeth can become stained by the foods and drinks we like, from smoking, and even with normal aging. Veneers can be generated in numerous shades, from the most natural to the brightest Hollywood white.
- Size & Shape — Teeth can wear from grinding habits, or they may not have the shape or size you want. For example, some people consider rounder teeth more feminine and squarer teeth more masculine. Veneers can be designed to alter shape and at times size to produce a desired aesthetic outcome.
- Alignment & Spacing — Veneers can be used to close small gaps between teeth or make slight corrections in alignment while improving tooth color and shape.
Limitations of Porcelain Veneers
There are some situations where veneers would be inappropriate. For example, if you have significantly misaligned teeth or large gaps, orthodontic treatment (braces) might be a more appropriate solution than veneers.
If you have lost a lot of tooth structure from decay or trauma, or a particularly severe grinding habit, it might be better to restore your teeth with crowns that cover the entire tooth.
Creating a New Smile with Porcelain Veneers
The first step in creating a new smile with porcelain veneers is to communicate exactly what you don’t like about your smile as it is now. It’s a great idea to bring in pictures of smiles you like or photos of your smile when you were younger, as a starting point for discussion.
It is possible to assess how veneers would look on your teeth in one of several ways. A model of your teeth can be created over which wax “veneers” can be placed; sometimes acrylic (plastic) or tooth-coloured filling material can be placed directly onto your teeth to demonstrate the effect that veneers would have.
Once a plan has been agreed upon, your teeth will be prepared by removing a small amount of tooth structure, if this step is necessary. Impressions of your teeth will be taken and used by our skilled dental laboratory technicians to create your veneers. You will receive a temporary set of veneers to wear during the time that it will take to create your permanent veneers. When the veneers are completed, they will be bonded to your teeth.
Caring for Your Veneers
Teeth restored with veneers need to be brushed and flossed daily. This will remove food and dental plaque and ensure good gum tissue health around the veneers. Regular followups at the dental office will remain as important as always to your oral and general health. And keep in mind, that as tough as veneers are, they may not be able to withstand forces that are generated from using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example) or biting into very hard foods like candy apples — which isn’t good for your natural teeth, either! If you grind or clench your teeth, you will be advised to have a custom-made night-guard made to protect your veneers — and your investment.
Crowns & Bridgework
Dentistry is an art as well as a science; dental crowns offer a perfect example of this. A dental crown is a covering that fits over a damaged, decayed or unattractive tooth. It can even replace a tooth entirely as part of dental bridgework.
A crown completely covers a tooth above the gum line. This is in contrast to a dental veneer, which only covers a tooth’s front surface and needs natural tooth structure to support it. Therefore, if a tooth is missing a significant amount of structure above the gum line, a crown would be the restoration of choice.
Crowns strengthen damaged teeth, allowing them to function normally again. When crafted from today’s high-tech porcelains (dental ceramics), crowns are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. They can even be designed to improve upon a tooth’s original appearance.
Other possibilities include porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFM), which have a metal interior for strength and a porcelain exterior for a more natural appearance, and fully ceramic crowns made of materials such as lithium disilicate or zirconia which is the strongest ceramic material available today.
We would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of these various options in our decision-making with you.
Crowning a tooth will usually take several visits. At the first visit, your tooth is prepared to receive its new crown. First, it is shaped to fit inside the new covering: This will involve some removal of the tooth structure to provide space for the new restoration. If there is very little tooth structure left to begin with, the tooth may have to be built up with a filling material to support the crown.
Once we are satisfied with the tooth preparation, impressions of your teeth are taken, either digitally or with reliable, putty-like impression materials, and sent to the dental laboratory. There, the impressions will be used to make models of your teeth for the creation of a crown. The models will serve as guides to the highly skilled lab technicians, who will ensure that your new crown is designed to enhance your smile and function well within your bite.
Before you leave the office, a temporary crown will be placed on your tooth, to protect it until the permanent crown is ready. Once finalized, your permanent crown will be attached to your tooth with either a resin that hardens when exposed to a special light source, or a type of permanent cement.
Crowns can also be used to create a life-like replacement for a missing tooth. This is done with bridgework, which spans the space of the missing tooth and requires at least three crowns. Two of those crowns will be placed over healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth; these healthy teeth are referred to as abutment teeth. The crowned abutment teeth become supports for a crown placed in between them; that intermediate crown is referred to as a pontic. If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns may need to be included to bridge the gap.
The number of abutment teeth necessary to replace missing teeth is influenced by the number of missing teeth, the size and length of the abutment roots, the amount of bone support each abutment tooth has, as well as where in the mouth the missing tooth is located. For example, if you have several adjacent missing teeth, multiple abutment teeth are often necessary to support the bridge. Engineering and designing of the bridge requires an understanding of how to replace teeth, as well as the biology of the supporting gum and bone tissue. In many cases, implants should be considered as a more predictable and conservatie way to replace multiple missing teeth.
Caring for Your Crowns & Bridgework
Crowns and bridgework require the same conscientious care as your natural teeth. Be sure to brush and floss all of your teeth — restored and natural — every day to reduce the buildup of dental plaque. When you have crowns, it is even more important to maintain your regular schedule of cleanings at our dental office. Avoid using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example). If you have a grinding or clenching habit, wearing a nightguard is a good idea to protect your teeth and your investment.
Full Mouth Reconstruction
If you’ve spent a long time living with dental pain or feeling insecure about some missing teeth, isn’t it time to make a change? Full mouth reconstruction will not only help you feel better about how you look, but it will also improve your dental health. A full mouth reconstruction doesn’t just replace missing or broken teeth, it also restores function, comfort and aesthetics. The end result is a mouth that looks and works the way you need it to!
What Is Full Mouth Reconstruction?
Full mouth reconstruction combines multiple restorative, neuromuscular and aesthetic procedures. The goal is to restore not only the look of your teeth but also the structure and function. Why? Each of these things affects the other. For example, a broken tooth can cause a problem with your bite. This can lead to difficulty chewing, which contributes to wear of your teeth. This wear can then lead to jaw and neck pain, headaches, and even migraines.
Who Needs It?
There are several reasons why your teeth might be in bad shape, including neglect, injury and prior dental treatment that has deteriorated and requires replacement. Full mouth restoration may be recommended if you:
- Have several worn down, chipped or broken teeth
- Have missing teeth
- Experience chronic jaw pain, clicking or popping of the jaw joints (TMJ)
- Have frequent headaches, back pain and muscle tenderness
If our prosthodontists think you might be a candidate for mouth reconstruction, you will begin with an evaluation to determine specifically what procedures you’ll need.
What Treatments Are Involved?
Each full mouth reconstruction is unique. Your prosthodontist will evaluate the health of your teeth, gums and bone. The overall look of your teeth is the final consideration in developing your dental treatment plan.
Prosthodontists are specially trained to manage the complexity of a full mouth reconstruction and can act as the “architect” of your treatment plan. Full mouth reconstruction may involve several treatment procedures. Your specialist may recommend one or more of the following, depending on your specific situation:
- Tooth Fillings (restorations)
- Root Canal Treatments
- Scaling and Root Planing
- A bite repositioning appliance
- Mouthguard or Nighguard
- Veneers, Crowns or Bridges
- Inlays, Onlays, Bonding
- Dental Implants
- Periodontal surgery (bone and gum surgery)
As you might have guessed, the process takes time. It isn’t uncommon for a full mouth reconstruction to take at least a year to complete.
Where Do I Begin?
Once your specialist determines what procedures you need, you will set up treatment phases and establish a time frame for completing the required care. At this stage, the cost of your care and what your dental insurance covers will be clearly explained to you.
With the amount of work involved in a full mouth reconstruction, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Not only can mouth reconstruction be expensive, but it will undoubtedly involve several procedures performed over a period of time.
Start by taking the first step – speak with your prosthodontist to determine if you are a candidate.
Tooth Coloured Fillings
If you could have fillings that matched the natural colour of your teeth so well that nobody could tell the difference, would you choose them over metal?
We thought so! Both scientific studies and clinical experience have shown that tooth-coloured restorations (fillings) are safe, reliable and long-lasting.
Where appropriate, not only do tooth-coloured fillings offer an aesthetic alternative to “silver” (dental amalgam) fillings that’s hard to match — they may also allow for a more conservative treatment method that preserves more of the tooth’s structure.
When Can Tooth-Coloured Fillings Be Used?
Composite resins are generally appropriate for small to moderate-sized restorations. They are durable, fracture-resistant, and able to withstand chewing pressure. Depending on how much of the tooth needs restoration, the procedure may be accomplished in just one visit. Alternatively, if a large volume of tooth material must be replaced, we will talk to you about the most appropriate material choices for predictable rebuilding of your teeth.
Whatever the situation, the best way to determine whether tooth-coloured fillings are right for you is to consult with us. We can explain the appropriate options and help you select the best way to proceed with treatment.