Smile Restoration in Winston-Salem
Patients who experience dental decay or damage should contact Dr. Barclay Setzer or Dr. Michael Boyles right away. In most cases, oral health issues are considered insidious, which means they continue to worsen without treatment. Our goal is always to offer the most conservative treatment options in order to preserve the maximum amount of healthy dental structure, but in many cases, patients don’t visit our team until the decay or damage is more severe. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you experience any pain or damage to your smile. We’re happy to help.
Crowns & Bridges
Dental crowns and fixed bridges are the most frequently recommended restorative dentistry procedures. Dental crowns, sometimes referred to as caps, fit over top of healthy dental structure renewing the shape of the damaged tooth and restoring strength and function. Fixed bridges, as the name suggests, bridge the gap left by missing teeth. These procedures typically require at least two visits to complete, but Dr. Setzer is proud to offer same-day dental restorations utilizing the CEREC system.
Crowns can be crafted from a number of materials including gold, metal-free ceramics,or zirconia. Gold may be recommended for posterior (back) teeth for their longevity and limited wear to opposing teeth. However, gold crowns are very obvious within the smile line. For patients in need of a more aesthetic solution, we may recommend zirconia crowns. These high quality crowns are both tooth colored and very durable. They can be made to closely resemble surrounding teeth, yet are unlikely to chip or break. For the most cosmetic solution, we typically recommend all-ceramic restorations. Crafted from a block of pure ceramic, these restorations are highly translucent so they can match the natural smile coloring all the way through, and match surrounding teeth even as they wear. Additionally, because ceramic crowns are crafted from just one substance, they are less likely to chip than ceramic crowns made with older techniques.
Once we determine what material is right for your dental restoration, we prepare the tooth by removing any damaged dental tissue. We then capture bite impressions that will be used by our trusted dental lab or CEREC milling unit to craft a flawless crown. Before patients leave the first appoint, we place a temporary crown crafted by the dentist that will protect the prepared tooth until the final restoration arrives. Once the custom crown is complete, patients return to our office to exchange the temporary for their final crown.
In some cases of tooth loss, we recommend fixed bridge tooth replacement. Crafted from a replacement tooth attached to two dental crowns, a dental bridge replaces one or more consecutive teeth and is anchored by dental crowns affixed to surrounding teeth. Like a dental crown, fixed bridges are typically placed in two visits. During the first appointment, we prepare teeth, capture impressions, and place a temporary bridge. When patients return, we exchange their temporary for a custom restoration.
CEREC® One-Visit Crowns
For those patients interested in restoring damaged teeth with a dental crown in just one visit, Dr. Setzer uses the state-of-the-art CEREC computer assisted design and manufacture (CAD/CAM) system to design, craft, and place dental crowns all in just one appointment. The CEREC process is essentially the same as the placement of a traditional crown except that rather than sending impressions to a lab where a custom crown is crafted the impressions are transferred to an in-office milling unit. During your CEREC dental crown appointment, we prepare the damaged tooth by removing damaged dental structure. We then use our CEREC unit to capture digital impressions of patients’ smiles. Unlike traditional impressions, the digital varieties offer a more precise representation of the prepared tooth that is instantly transferred to our chairside milling unit or dental lab. Same-day patients can relax while their dental crown is crafted from a block of high quality ceramic. Once the crown is completed, we place the restoration sealing it in place for a flawless smile in just one appointment.
For years, amalgam fillings were considered the standard in care offering durable, long lasting dental restorations for patients with minor tooth decay, chips, and cracks. However, because of their silver or gray coloring, they mar smiles making them less than idea especially when restoring teeth that are visible within patient’s smiles. Tooth-colored fillings are crafted from composite resin. This malleable material is molded into position directly onto the damaged tooth and hardened in place using a curing light. Once in position, composite fillings blend seamlessly into the natural smile line. Additionally, because composite resin does not expand and contract the way that amalgam fillings do, patients are less likely to experience discomfort following their placement. With proper care, tooth-colored fillings can last ten or more years.
Partial & Full Dentures
Patients with extensive tooth loss have relied upon partial and full dentures to renew their smiles for years. Partial dentures are crafted from a number of replacement teeth set into a gum colored base. The partial denture then fills the gaps in patients’ smiles like a puzzle piece snapping into place using metal clasps. Full dentures include a complete arch of replacement teeth set into a gum colored base that replaces an entire row of missing teeth. Full dentures are molded to remain in place through natural suction or using a small amount of denture adhesive.
Our teams works hard to help patients maintain their healthy, natural teeth, but there are some cases where tooth extraction is the only way to maintain oral health. In those cases, our team is happy to offer safe, comfortable tooth removal, and when necessary, a number of tooth replacement options. Some of the situations in which we recommend tooth extraction include:
- Severe decay that makes saving the damaged dental structure impossible
- Orthodontic treatments for those patients who have severe crowding and are in need of additional space to complete treatment
- The final teeth to erupt in smiles, third molars or wisdom teeth, are the most frequently extracted as there is often not enough space for these teeth
Dental Implant Restorations
Dental implant supported tooth replacement has quickly become the standard in care when it comes to replacing missing teeth. The wonderful thing about dental implants is that it allows us to replace a tooth without having to cut, damage, or otherwise burden adjacent teeth. Traditional tooth replacement solutions restore only the parts of teeth that are visible above the gum line, but implant supported tooth replacement restores the entire tooth, roots and all. Dental implants are small posts inserted below the gum line that mimic the natural function of tooth roots supporting dental restorations. We partner with highly trained specialists for implant placement. Following placement, the implant may need a healing period of about four months to allow the bone to fully fuse to the implant. At that time, the surgeon will release patient to our office for restoration. Once we have the surgeon’s clearance, we can quickly place crowns or bridges on the implants.
Patients who have significant tooth loss that requires a partial or full denture who would like to explore a more stable solution may want to consider the implant retained variety. For implant supported partials, we strategically place a number of implant posts that will offer adequate support for the partial. Full dentures are placed in much the same way, and in many cases, we’re able to refit an existing denture saving patients time and cost. For both partial and full implant supported dentures, we offer fixed and removable options. More complicated cases may require referral to a tooth replacement specialist, called a Prosthodontist.