Rebuilding Smiles with Dental Restorations
Damage and decay have a significant effect on your oral health and confidence. At Santa Barbara Dental Care, we provide quality restorations to help you smile easily once more.
Dr. Joseph C. Weber and Dr. David G. Becker are experienced in all forms of dental restorations, including advanced oral surgery. Our patients love that they can depend on us to deliver the care they need, no matter their unique circumstance.
Get the care you deserve for your teeth. Make an appointment with our office today.
CALL US: (805) 682-0282 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
Do I Need a Dental Restoration?
Dental restorations are used when a patient’s oral health has been compromised by decay, disease, or damage. We look for the most effective means to help restore your oral health and help you enjoy a confident smile free of pain.
If you’ve noticed that your teeth are sensitive, that you have pain when eating or speaking, or a similar problem, you may need a dental restoration. If you are unsure of why a certain treatment is recommended, our dentists will take the time to explain the situation and help you better understand your oral health.
What Are My Restoration Options?
We provide a variety of restorations at our dental office, including:
Convenient Restorative Services with CEREC®
Our office makes receiving restorations faster and more efficient for our patients, thanks to CEREC. This service uses innovative dental technology to design and fabricate custom restorations, including crowns and bridges, directly in our office. Instead of patients waiting weeks to receive their crown or bridge from a dental lab, we can often have it ready for placement within a single day.
First, the dentist creates a digital impression of the tooth to design the custom restoration. The impression is sent to a milling machine, which crafts the restoration out of a block of porcelain ceramic. When complete, the dentist checks the fit and bonds the restoration into place, providing strength and discreet protection.
Are Dental Implants Worth It?
Dental implants are certainly one of the most complex restorations. However, they also come with benefits that aren’t available from other tooth replacements.
A dental implant consists of three parts: the titanium implant post; a restoration (crown, dentures, etc.); and an abutment connecting the two. The titanium implant is inserted into the jaw, where it fuses to the bone, making it the only tooth replacement that replaces both the root and crown of the tooth.
Without a tooth root, the jaw loses the sensation of chewing, and the body gradually stops supplying nutrients to the jaw bone. This causes the jaw to shrink, affecting your jaw strength, teeth alignment, and facial features. Implants restore the root and preserve your natural dental structure.
Who Can Get Dental Implants?
The most important qualification for receiving implants is jaw bone strength and density. If the jaw is thin or brittle, it won’t be able to support an implant. Since the jaw begins to change not long after losing a tooth, it’s recommended to consider dental implants shortly after a tooth is lost or extracted.
If the jaw is too weak for implants, it may be possible to strengthen it with a bone graft. Discuss with the dentist whether this is something you might need to receive implants.
Types of Implant Restoration Options
There are four main types of restorations that dental implants may support. Which one you need will largely depend on how many teeth you need replaced.
Crowns: A dental crown replaces a single tooth. Ideal for when you are missing only one or two teeth, though groups of teeth may be better served by other restorations.
Bridges: A bridge replaces up to three teeth in a row. When supported by implants, the two end teeth are placed over implants, with an unsupported tooth suspended between them.
Dentures: Implant-supported dentures are fixed into place and can replace any number of teeth, up to and including an entire arch. Full dentures replace all teeth, while partial dentures are customized to replace however many teeth are missing. The number of implants varies depending on each case.
Removable Dentures: In cases where removable dentures are preferred, implants can be used to make them more stable. Instead of sitting directly on the gums, the dentures snap over a metal bar held in place by implants.
How Advanced Technology Improves Your Implant Treatment
At our practice, we combine skill and experience with state-of-the-art technology to ensure that your implant placement is successful and produces the best possible results.
In the planning phase, we rely on digital x-rays and 3D imaging to create a comprehensive map of your oral structure. This helps us to determine the optimal placement for implants, and confirm that your jaw has the strength to support them.
During placement, we ensure precision with innovative surgical guides, following the map laid out in planning to provide the best support and minimize the impact on surrounding bone and tissues. Naturally, we employ high-quality implants to ensure that your treatment is effective and long-lasting.
Implant Care and Maintenance
Implants are known for being sturdy and have a 98% success rate. There are only two things that could cause an implant to fail later on: poor oral health and extreme biting force.
Poor hygiene at home, along with skipped dental cleanings, can increase your risk of gum disease and bacterial infection. Around an implant, the infection is known as peri-implantitis, and will eventually rob the implant of its bone support, causing it to fail. Be sure to brush and floss regularly, keep your six-month cleanings, and ask your dentist about other ways to reduce your risk of infection.
Extreme biting pressure is often the result of a habit of clenching or grinding teeth. In the daytime, this may be related to stress, so steps should be taken to reduce your exposure to stress and to find healthy ways to deal with what you can’t avoid.
Some people suffer from night grinding. Mouth guards are available to protect your teeth at night. Night grinding is sometimes linked to sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that inhibits your ability to breathe. Talk to your doctor to see if you are at risk for this particular disorder.
What to Expect With Dentures
Innovations in the design and materials used to craft dentures have made them more comfortable and functional than ever before. Each set of dentures is uniquely designed to be most effective for you.
Full dentures sit over the gums and are held in place by suction or adhesive. Partial dentures use metal clasps to anchor to your remaining teeth, similar to a retainer. You may also have implant-supported dentures, which can be fixed or removable.
It’s normal to have an adjustment period as you get used to your new dentures. You may have some difficulty eating and speaking at first, but this becomes easier with time. We encourage new denture wearers to practice eating and speaking so that they can become accustomed to them more quickly.
How to Clean Your Dentures
Dentures require cleaning on a daily basis. How you clean them depends on whether they are fixed or removable. For fixed, implant-supported dentures, brush them carefully just as you would your normal teeth. With any type of denture, it’s important to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, as hard bristles may scratch the dentures.
For removable dentures, rinse them after a meal and brush them thoroughly at least once a day. While you can choose to wear them overnight on occasion, removing them at night allows your gums to rest and gives them a chance to soak in a cleaning solution.
Lay a towel over the counter or in the sink when you clean your dentures, as they could break if dropped over a hard surface. Rinse in mild water – hot water could warp them – and use toothpaste or a nonabrasive denture cleanser to wash them. Be sure to brush your gums as well to remove any food debris and bacteria.
My Dentures Don’t Fit Anymore
There could be several reasons why your dentures no longer fit the way they used to. Common reasons include:
- The dentures have worn and need relining.
- They have been warped by exposure to heat.
- They were allowed to dry out, which can warp them.
- Extreme chewing pressure has damaged the dentures.
- Your jaw structure has changed due to bone loss.
How to address this will depend on the situation. If the poor fit is due to normal wear, simple maintenance could be enough to fix them and restore a comfortable fit. If the dentures have changed shape, however, or your jaw has changed significantly, new dentures may be needed. The dentist will carefully evaluate your dentures and oral structure to determine what can be done.
Composite Fillings for Strong, Discreet Protection
For minor to moderate tooth decay, composite fillings help to strengthen and protect your enamel once the decay is removed. The tooth-colored composite resin bonds to your enamel, creating a tight seal and allowing us to preserve more of your natural tooth in the process.
How Air Abrasion Makes Cavity Treatment Better
Another cutting-edge technology we use is air abrasion, a unique tool that allows us to eliminate cavities and prepare teeth for fillings without a drill.
Air abrasion uses high pressured air to blast out tiny particles, which gradually wear down and remove the decayed enamel with precision. This offers multiple benefits for both patients and the dentist:
- Noiseless treatment
- No heat or vibrations
- Preserves more of the natural tooth
- More precise and efficient
- Faster treatment
- Minimal to no anesthesia needed
- Teeth stay dry, making filling placement easier
Am I a Candidate for Air Abrasion?
Many patients may qualify for air abrasion treatment, and it’s often recommended for patients with dental anxiety who may feel nervous about a drill. However, if the cavity is large or surrounded by hard enamel, it may not be powerful enough to remove it all.
If you are interested in air abrasion, be sure to ask our dental team if you would be a good candidate.
What are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are a restoration choice for treating areas of decay that are too large for a filling, but not large enough for a crown. Like crowns, they are designed and crafted from porcelain, made to fit over a portion of the enamel.
Inlays cover the chewing surface of a molar between the four corners.
Onlays cover the chewing surface and one or more of the corners.
Our goal as dentists is to preserve as much of your natural smile and oral health as possible. We turn to inlays and onlays whenever we feel they are the most appropriate option for protecting your smile while preserving your natural enamel.
How Do I Know if I Need Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is most often needed when an infection has reached the inner tooth. You’ll likely experience significant pain in the tooth, as well as sensitivity to temperatures, swelling in the face and cheek, and pain when chewing or biting. Be sure to contact our office right away if you have these symptoms.
Is Root Canal Therapy Safe?
Root canal therapy (RTC) may have a negative reputation, but in fact, the success rate for this treatment is very high, especially when performed by a dentist experienced in oral surgery. In many cases, RTC is the only way to preserve an infected tooth from extraction. Ask the dentist if you’d like more information on how RTC works and what the benefits and risks are.
5 Ways Sedation Dentistry Improves Your Dental Experience
Dental anxiety is unfortunately common. We understand that patients may feel nervous at the dentist due to bad prior experiences, childhood trauma, or anxiety they picked up from friends or relatives. Our goal is not to provide judgment, but to help you feel safe and comfortable when visiting our office.
Our staff always go out of their way to help you feel relaxed when you visit us. If treatment is upsetting for you, we also provide sedation options to help make the process easier for you.
Here are five ways sedation can help you relax at the dentist.
- It keeps nervousness from setting in.
- You stay conscious and aware, but feel and notice less of the procedure.
- You may remember little, if anything, after treatment.
- You might have multiple treatments done at once to reduce your stress.
- Having several successful visits with sedation may help lower your anxiety over time.
Quality Care When You Need it Most
At Santa Barbara Dental Care, we’re committed to providing the care you need to enjoy a healthy smile. Get started on your ideal smile, call our office to make an appointment today!
CALL US: (805) 682-0282 REQUEST APPOINTMENT