Expert Solutions for Deficient Teeth
If you find yourself covering your mouth when you talk, or closing your lips when the camera shutter opens rest assured that Dr Andrus can perfect your smile. As a prosthodontist, your smile is his specialty. From correcting minor flaws to reconstruction of extensive damage, Dr Andrus provides a wide array of high quality cosmetic solutions for damaged teeth in our on-site dental laboratory.
Full Mouth Reconstruction – for extensive correction
Full mouth reconstruction refers to the process of completely restoring all of the teeth in your mouth to correct extreme effects of missing and damaged teeth. Overtime tooth wear from acid erosion or grinding and tooth drifting from disease or missing teeth can cause your bite system to get so far out of alignment that it becomes necessary to reorganize it back into balance. Unlike an elective "smile makeover" or "cosmetic dentistry" of only front teeth, full mouth reconstruction refers to restoring both front and back teeth when it is necessary. As a prosthodontist, Dr Andrus has the specialized training to use cosmetic procedures to not only correct minor flaws, but to restore even the most complex damage back to a state of health, beauty, and comfortable function. Since your smile is our specialty, Dr Andrus is uniquely qualified to plan your smile and refer you to other dental specialists for portions of your treatment.
Dental Crowns – for extensive deficiency on individual teeth
When damage to a tooth is extreme due to an accident, diseases or extreme wear, an onlay that covers the whole tooth is used--this is called a crown or "cap". Major problems can usually be corrected using this technique. Material used in these repairs is either high-grade porcelain, or porcelain bonded to gold. A higher strength of the porcelain and gold materials is recommended to treat the most serious of dental problems. When two crowns are connected they can replace a missing tooth inbetween them--this is called a bridge. We are renowned for the quality of our work and the fantastic changes we make for people using this technology and, as a result, our crowns last much longer than the national average of 10-15 years, which is as close to permanent as dental treatment can get.
Inlays and Onlays – for considerable deficiency on back teeth
Inlays and onlays are custom pieces of porcelain, gold, or composite resin that are bonded to a significantly damaged area of a back tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial and extends out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth. Like veneers and crowns, they require two appointments and are made in our laboratory under stringent specifications. Inbetween the two appointments you will wear a temporary inlay or onlay. After bonding inlays and onlays directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, they can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75 percent over a direct one-appointment filling. As a result, they can last from 10 to 30 years. In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide a very good alternative.
Porcelain Veneers – for minor to moderate flaws of the front teeth
Porcelain veneers are thin shells of ceramic that are bonded directly to the front surfaces of the teeth after minimal or no preparatory grinding. They are an ideal choice for improving your smile and have become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility. When properly bonded to the teeth, the ultra-thin porcelain veneers become very strong, are virtually undetectable and highly resistant to coffee, tea, or even cigarette stains. For strength and appearance, their resemblance to healthy, white tooth enamel is unsurpassed by other restorative options. Placing custom veneers requires a high degree of technical skill as well as attention to cosmetic detail. We place veneers routinely, and design each case individually to match and enhance the characteristics of each patient’s smile. With proper care, porcelain veneers will brighten your smile for well over a decade. Dr. Andrus will ensure that your veneers are crafted from the highest quality porcelains and are bonded with the most advanced and proven materials available. Refraining from using your veneers as tools to open and cut things will prolong their life, and if accidental breakage or damage occurs, it is usually possible to replace only the veneer involved.
Cosmetic Bonding and White Fillings – for minor to moderate flaws
When a tooth has no damage or minimal damage a simple and conservative solution is usually the best option.
Bonding refers to a single visit treatment alternative to porcelain veneers for front teeth when they are are chipped, discolored or misarranged and show gaps. There is usually no grinding on the tooth which makes this procedure completely reversable. The only preparation for the procedure is light etching the surface and applying a bonding liquid. Once the liquid sets, a plastic resin is directly applied and sculpted into the desired shape by the dentist. Once set, the resin is trimmed, smoothed and polished to a natural appearance. This procedure can often be completed in a single office visit, and can improve the appearance of a tooth significantly. However, since the plastic resin used is not as strong as your natural tooth enamel, it is more likely to stain, chip or break than natural teeth. Bonding typically lasts three to five years before need of repair.
White fillings also use the same materials and one-appointment direct technique as bonding, but they are for tooth damage that creates a cavity or hole in a front or back tooth. Usually some preparation of the tooth is needed before placing the material. Both white and silver fillings are considered safe by the ADA for use, but white fillings are becoming more popular, although they have been proven to not last as long in the mouth.
Teeth Whitening/Bleaching – for stain
Bleaching is a safe, quick, and inexpensive way to correct tooth discoloration caused by brown or yellow stain and reveal a brilliantly white smile at any age. Over-the-counter bleaching agents are available for purchase at drug stores and pharmacies. However, since these products can cause harm to the gums and teeth, it is better to use products that our practice recommends. In only a day or two your custom bleach splints will be ready for you. We provide a special bleaching agent that you put into the clear splints. With only a few hours of wear per day, our special bleaching agent safely bubbles stains right out of your enamel without altering tooth structure or existing dental work. You will notice an effect within the first couple of applications and then less of an effect thereafter. When your teeth reach the desired brightness, only occasional touch up applications are needed to maintain your new smile. In cases of extreme tooth discoloration, crowns or veneers may be the only choice. But because of the low cost of bleaching treatments, bleaching is nearly always worth a try.