Composite Fillings & Bonding
Dental composite resin is a metal-free dental material that can be matched to the color and texture of your natural tooth. It is used for composite fillings and dental bonding. Composite fillings, also known as white fillings or tooth-colored fillings, are used to restore decayed teeth with small cavities. They are placed by first removing the decayed tissue, reshaping the surrounding structure, and then filling the remaining space layer by layer. Dental bonding is used to restore damaged teeth, as well as to fill in tiny gaps between teeth. With dental bonding, the composite resin is applied to the tooth and shaped accordingly. With both composite fillings and bonding, the dental composite must be applied and hardened one layer at a time. However, they can both be completed in a single dental appointment.
Dental Crowns & Bridges
Dental crowns and dental bridges are two types of dental prosthesis used to restore decayed, damaged, or missing teeth. Dental crowns are hollow caps that are placed over a natural tooth that has been severely damaged or decayed. Dental bridges are composed of two dental crowns with a fake tooth in between them. They dental crowns act as anchor points for the fake tooth in the middle that bridges the gap left by a missing tooth. To place a dental crown, any decayed tissue must first be removed and the remaining tooth must be reshaped so a crown will fit over the top. With a dental bridge, two teeth will need to be prepared. After preparation, a dental impression is taken and sent to a dental lab. Once the permanent restoration has been fabricated, it will be cemented into the mouth.
Dental implants are a popular cosmetic dental treatment used to restore missing teeth, as well as teeth that are severely damaged or decayed and are in need of extraction. Dental implants act as artificial tooth roots that provide support for a dental prosthesis. Depending on the number of missing teeth, dental implants can be used in coordination with dental crowns, dental bridges, or dentures. They have become a popular choice because they offer many benefits and are extremely long-lasting. However, their placement does require dental surgery, a recovery period, and multiple dental appointments. For more information, see “10 Facts About Dental Implants”.
So many people have been satisfied with their results from teeth whitening that it has become the most popular cosmetic dental treatment. Teeth whitening treatments can remove years of stains caused by foods, beverages, bad hygiene habits, age, and some medications. With teeth whitening, all plaque and tartar are removed from the teeth before placing the whitening agent. This whitener is left in place for about 30-60 minutes before being rinsed. After whitening treatment, teeth can become 5-10 shades whiter.
Veneers are another popular cosmetic dental treatment that adheres thin plastic shells to the front surface of visible teeth. They are highly versatile and can be used to correct teeth that are improperly shaped, unevenly sized, crooked, chipped, cracked, discolored, or that have gaps between them. To place dental veneers, a small amount of tooth enamel must first be removed to ensure the teeth don’t look bulky once the veneer is placed. Then a dental impression is taken and sent to a lab for fabrication of the permanent restoration. Because of this, placing dental veneers usually requires two dental appointments.
Dr. John Batlle attended the UF College of Dentistry where he received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 1983. After graduating, he worked for the State of Florida and received his commission in the Navy Reserve Dental Corps. He was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2002 where he served as the dentist for Detainee Operations and Navy Hospital GTMO. He recently retired from the U.S. Navy Reserve after 26 years of service.