Dental implants are a life-changing option for patients who are embarrassed or inconvenienced by missing teeth and ill-fitting dentures. These lifelike replacement teeth are attached to steel posts anchored into the jaw bone (an initial step that requires surgery performed by a periodontist). Used to replace anything from partial dentures to a single missing tooth, dental implants look and function like real teeth. And because they integrate into the bone, implants even help prevent bone loss and gum recession.
Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or partially destroyed by tooth decay.
Crowns are "cemented" onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth's new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Beyond the obvious gaps in your smile, a missing tooth can result in a multitude of serious dental problems. Remaining teeth will begin to drift out of alignment, and that can lead to a change in your bite, tooth decay, gum disease, migraine headaches, and quite possibly the loss of additional teeth. Clearly, it is important to stabilize the mouth’s structure when a tooth is lost. We can do this by providing a dental bridge at our Rockford office. A dental bridge is a false tooth or a series of teeth fused between two porcelain crowns to bridge the gap (hence the name) where a tooth or several teeth are missing.
On your first visit, Dr. Varland will prepare the anchor teeth on either side of the missing tooth for dental crowns, by removing a small amount of enamel. Then an impression of your teeth will be taken and sent to a dental lab, where it will be used to model the crowns, bridge, and false tooth. Dr. Varland will provide you a temporary bridge to protect your teeth and gums while you wait for your permanent dental bridge. When you return to our Rockford office for your second visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and a permanent bridge will be placed. Dr. Varland will check to make sure the dental bridge is a perfect fit.
Dentists have used silver amalgam fillings for many years, but recent concerns about mercury toxicity – as well as the fact that large metal fillings compromise a tooth’s strength over time – have sent those in our profession in search of alternative materials to fill cavities. Made of composite resins that adhere to the tooth, tooth-colored fillings at our Rockford office form a tight bond that actually prevents bacteria from attacking the tooth. Also, since the white material we use can fit more easily into a small space, you don’t have to wait for a cavity to grow larger before you get your tooth-colored fillings. Our patients who currently have silver fillings can easily have them replaced with a new composite filling material that is not only more attractive and natural looking, but also stronger and more durable.
Restoring a tooth with a tooth-colored filling is similar to the procedure for traditional fillings. First, Dr. Varland will remove any decay and prepare the tooth to receive the tooth-colored composite. Next, the composite material is placed into the cavity in layers and hardened with a special curing light. Once the process is over, the filling will be a perfect fit with the tooth. The filling is then polished. Tooth-colored fillings provided at our Rockford office blend beautifully with the surrounding teeth, creating a bright, healthy-looking smile.
Gum disease, the number one cause of adult tooth loss, results when the gums and root surface become infected. To guard against this debilitating condition, we offer treatment that focuses on eliminating tartar and plaque below the gum line, flushing out any bacteria filled pockets between the gums and teeth, detoxifying the root surface, and preparing the gums for a healthy, natural reattachment to the roots. We recommend this effective non-surgical line of attack to patients who suffer from bleeding gums or persistent bad breath.
There’s no reason why you can’t have a smile that looks great and makes you feel good about yourself. From tooth whitening and porcelain veneers to crowns and dental implants, cosmetic dentistry’s new guard of procedures and options makes it easier than ever to achieve the smile of your dreams. A complete smile makeover combines these treatments into one impressive transformation. Ask Dr. Varland how we can tailor a program to fit your specific dental needs.