Crowns, Bridges and Cosmetic Dentistry at Nelson Avenue Dental
Dr. David Alfaro is a Certified Specialist in Prosthodontics and provides the "fixed prosthodontic" care at Nelson Avenue Dental, including dental crowns and dental bridges.
Dr. Alfaro does offer "cosmetic dentistry", including porcelain veneers, but our office is more focused on keeping and creating good oral health. If you are interested in improving your smile, come in for an examination and we can discuss a range of options.
Please read below for more information.
Get in touch if you have any questions
A veneer is a porcelain facing that is bonded to the tooth in order to repair damaged teeth, or to correct spacing or tooth size discrepancies.
Veneers can be very successful if properly planned, but can break easily if they are not, so it is very important to thoroughly assess the bite and smile before moving forward with this treatment.
If you are seeking veneers because your teeth are crooked or are of slightly different sizes, you should be prepared to have braces as well! Veneers have a much better result if we can have an orthodontist move the teeth and gums into more ideal positions, prior to making the veneers. It may seem like a lot of work, but the final result is better aesthetically, functionally and can result in less veneer breakage and tooth sensitivity.
In some cases if we are being really picky, we may need to perform some minor gum treatments to get everything where we want.
Veneers are not as simple as cutting the teeth and gluing some porcelain facings on.
It is important to understand that nothing lasts forever; once you get veneers you have to be prepared to replace them at some point.
If a tooth becomes damaged by caries (tooth decay) or trauma, it usually can be repaired directly with a filling. In some cases, however, the damage is so extensive that it would be best repaired with a crown, or partial crown.
To make a crown, the dentist must cut away the enamel of the tooth in a manner that allows for a crown to be placed over top. It usually takes two appointments. In the first appointment, the dentist "prepares" the tooth, takes impressions, and places a temporary crown. The impression is sent to the lab and a dental technician makes the crown. At the second appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the new crown is cemented in place.
Crowns can be made from many materials, including gold, porcelain, and a combination of both.
A dental bridge can be used to replace a missing tooth, or missing teeth. They require healthy teeth on both sides of a space where a tooth/teeth used to be. Similar to a crown, the supporting teeth are "prepared", an impression is taken, and a bridge is made. The new bridge covers the supporting teeth and replaces the missing teeth, in one connected piece.
Before dental implants, bridges were very common, as the only other options were a removable partial denture, or walking around with missing teeth. More people are now opting for dental implants to replace missing teeth, in order to avoid having to cut down additional teeth to support a dental bridge.
I prefer dental implants over bridges for one key reason: they replace the missing tooth/teeth directly and do not decrease the prognosis of the teeth on either side of the gap. A simple bridge is not a big concern, but as soon as multiple teeth are missing, or there are root canal fillings involved, the bridge becomes more complex, and dental implants end up being a better option.
I do not make bridges that connect teeth to implants, as they both function quite differently from each other.