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Shawn M. Lee, D.D.S., P.A. & Erin R. James, D.D.S.
(479) 636-8000
806 N 20Th Pl Rogers, AR 72756

 

Advanced Procedures



CROWNS
Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile.

It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first, any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits the crown is made a temporary crown is worn. In the second visit this temporary is removed. Then the permanent crown is adjusted as needed and then cemented in place.

DENTURES & PARTIAL DENTURES
There are different types of dentures, but they share their common function. They replace teeth that have become loose or been lost due to bone loss or decay. The entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The nonrestorable teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fabricated to go over or around whatever teeth remain, if any, in the mouth depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take some getting used to. Often implants can be used to further stabilize the dentures.

IMPLANTS
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium post is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to integrate. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist then works to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft. This permanent solution has the advantages over bridge work that it does not stress the surrounding teeth for support, and, should the tooth wear out, another can simply be replaced on the implant.

Implants can also be used as support as part of an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages. First, there is no adjustment period to acclimatize the patient who, once the work is done, only feels teeth, not metal supports intruding into the mouth. Second, this slows the bone loss occasioned by missing teeth. Third, they are not removable.

BRIDGES
This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.

It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a whole chain reaction of bad things. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and, with one missing, they start to "fall." As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they, too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.

 

806 N 20Th Pl
Rogers, AR 72756
(479) 636-8000