Over time, old fillings and teeth can break down. Staining of old restorations can result in an unesthetic appearance. Many times this is due to decay destroying tooth structure. Attrition (wear) can be a significant problem if left untreated. It can be caused by grinding, clenching, or excessive stain on existing teeth due to loss of other teeth that support the jaw bone. When the outer enamel layer has been completely worn off, the inner dentin layer is exposed. Dentin is softer, wears more rapidly, and is more susceptible to decay causing the condition to progress more rapidly. Individuals that suffer from advanced wear are susceptible to bite collapse. In addition to problems of the teeth, gums, and jaw joints, pre-mature aging can occur. Not only are teeth essential in maintaining your health, they support the facial structures. Teeth aid in supporting the jaw bones, the jaw bones in turn assist in maintaining the facial muscle structure. Without teeth, the bone recedes/shrinks causing the skin to collapse resulting in wrinkling of the skin and pre-mature aging.
The treatment procedure and number of visits is largely dependent on the degree of specific conditions of each patient. Prior to initiating treatment a customized treatment plan is created. There are two basic approaches: conventional crown and bridge techniques utilizing natural teeth and/or implant retained non-removable teeth. Many times a combination of these procedures is used. Custom acrylic laboratory temporaries are fabricated during the interim phase of treatment. Temporary crowns help protect the teeth while the final restoration are being made. They also assist in assessing bite/occlusion and cosmetics such as shape, height, and width. When the final restorations are placed they provide a beautiful cosmetic result.