Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry

Tooth-Colored Fillings

A tooth-colored composite filling repairs and restores a tooth that has been damaged by decay, fracture, or wear. It can also be used to treat tooth sensitivity or to improve tooth color and alignment.

White fillings have superior cosmetic performance and are very friendly to tooth structure. They have replaced silver or amalgam fillings in most instances.

Crowns

A crown, also known as a "cap," is used to treat teeth with severe decay or structural loss. Crowns can be used to close unsightly gaps or to improve tooth color in the same way tooth-colored fillings or porcelain veneers are used to improve the cosmetic look of the smile.

Crowns look just like your own teeth. They protect the teeth and restore chewing and speaking ability.

There are three main steps to getting a crown made: preparation of the tooth, an impression of the tooth, and cementing the crown in the mouth. Crowns can be cemented to natural tooth structure or they can be placed on a dental implant. In our office we may take a traditional impression with putty-like material or take a digital impression with CEREC technology.

CEREC

Dr. Lee is using state-of-the-art CEREC technology to simplify steps involved in crown treatment. We are able to make a very precise digital model of a prepared tooth. Dr. Lee then utilizes acquired digital photographic data to design a custom-made crown on a CEREC computer.

Onlays

An onlay can be thought of as a partial crown; it can be made of gold or porcelain. It is less invasive than a crown, saves tooth structure, and provides stronger wear. An onlay may be a better choice when a broken or decayed tooth needs more than a filling.

Bridge

A dental bridge (also called fixed bridge) is made of the same materials as a crown. It is often used to replace one or two missing teeth. Teeth on either side of a missing tooth are crowned and then the crowns are linked by a pontic, which replaces the missing tooth and restores function.

A dental bridge is not removable because it is cemented onto the teeth.

Porcelain Veneers

A veneer preserves as much healthy tooth structure as possible while achieving a high standard of cosmetic results. Veneers are chemically bonded to natural tooth structures. It is a minimally invasive procedure that improves the appearance of discolored, stained, chipped, or irregularly-shaped teeth; it can also correct minor tooth misalignment.

Partial Dentures and Complete Dentures

Partial dentures replace several missing teeth. Partial dentures stay in place by having metal or plastic clasps that hold on to natural teeth.

Complete dentures replace all missing teeth in an upper or lower jaw. These dentures gain stability by intimately fitting with your gum. Sometimes dental implants may be recommended which provide a solid anchor in the jaw bone to increase denture stability.

It will take time for a denture to feel comfortable in your mouth. You will train your lip, cheek, and tongue muscle to work harmoniously together to control the denture. There may be some follow-up visits to adjust the denture to ensure optimal comfort.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a screw made of surgical-grade titanium. It is placed into the jaw bone and acts as an artificial root. This allows a crown, bridge, or denture to be attached to the implant to restore tooth form and function. After careful evaluation, an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist will place the dental implant in the jaw and allow three to four months for healing. Once the implant site has healed, Dr. Lee will complete the restoration.

Compared to a fixed bridge, a dental implant offers the advantage of replacing a single tooth without involving neighboring teeth. While dentures may be a more economic choice, dental implants provide better long-term options.

TMJ Disorder Treatment

TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint. This is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. Very often, people who clench or grind their teeth at night experience sore muscle in the TMJ area when they wake up.

In addition, muscles responsible for biting may get fatigued and cause headache and neck pain. This is what we refer to as TMD Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. For many cases, this situation can be effectively managed by wearing a custom made nightguard.

Night Guards and Mouth Guards

A night guard is a custom made mouthpiece that precisely fits over your upper or lower teeth. It is made from high quality reinforced acrylic and is worn while you sleep.

A night guard is often used as a non-invasive treatment for clenching, grinding, or jaw pain, often referred to as TMD Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. Clenching and grinding can cause worn flat teeth, nerve exposure, tooth fractures, and headaches, as well as other problems. During the night we lose the protective muscle reflex that prevents this problem. The night guard protects the teeth by preventing them from touching each other and by shutting down the jaw muscle.

Sports guards can be custom made to protect the teeth of those who play sports.

Patients who have porcelain veneers or crowns who also grind or clench their teeth are strongly advised to wear a night guard to protect these restorations.

Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening is a non-invasive approach to enhance the brightness of natural teeth. The process involves a bleaching gel and custom fit trays for home use. The results may vary depending on the darkness of your teeth, and the consumption of red wine, coffee, tea and other foods that stain. Tooth whitening can be done in conjunction with veneers or all porcelain crowns to create a beautiful smile. Be aware that whitening will not work on existing crowns, bridges, or resin fillings. In most cases, we only start whitening treatment after other needed dental work and dental cleanings are completed.

To schedule an appointment with our Beverly dentist, please call us at 978-232-9003 or request a dental appointment online.