Specialized Dental Services and Procedures in and Around Sarasota
Many patients are interested in improving the appearance of their smile. Prosthodontist specialists long ago determined what constitutes a pleasing smile. Teeth whitening, reshaping natural teeth, bonding of tooth-colored material to teeth, and porcelain veneers are procedures commonly used to modify a smile.
Crowns cover or “cap” a tooth to restore its normal function and appearance. Crowns may be made as all metal, porcelain fused to metal, or all ceramic.
Traditional methods to replace a tooth or teeth include the fabrication of a bridge. To replace a missing tooth with a bridge, at least one tooth on either side of the space created by the missing tooth must be prepared for a crown. A false tooth is joined to the crowns, and the entire structure is cemented to the prepared teeth.
DENTURES/REMOVABLE PARTIAL DENTURES:
When a patient no longer has any natural teeth, complete dentures are the traditional method to restore function and appearance. When there are multiple missing teeth, weak anchor teeth, or no posterior teeth to anchor on, a removable partial denture is used to replace teeth.
Implant dentistry is tooth replacement anchored in bone by replacing the teeth with a permanent implant. Dentures or partials can be replaced with implants, increasing stability and comfort while allowing you to bite, chew, and speak with ease.
Porcelain veneers are used to modify the shape and color of teeth. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are etched and bonded to the enamel of the teeth.
There are many products available to whiten teeth, including commercially available strips, custom-fabricated trays with bleaching gel, or bleaching using UV light or laser.
TMJ refers to painful symptoms related to Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) such as pain in the joint muscles of mastication, and limited movement of the lower jaw.
TEETH GRINDING/NIGHT GUARDS:
Night grinding can be quite destructive. A custom-made night guard can protect the teeth and relieve pressure on the TMJ.
Sleep apnea is a temporary cessation of breathing while sleeping. Often the airway is obstructed by the patient’s anatomy. A night guard can improve the airflow and prevent snoring.
CONGENITAL/DEVELOPMENTAL MOUTH DEFECTS:
Many patients are missing certain teeth because those teeth never developed, are misshapen, or have poorly developed tooth structure. A prosthodontist determines the best way to replace/restore these teeth.
Many cleft lip and palate patients exhibit missing teeth. Although most cleft palates are now closed surgically, there are patients who require an obturator to close the palatal defect. A prosthodontist will fabricate an obturator that will improve the patient’s speech and swallowing.