Cosmetic & Restorative
Enhance Your Smile
Even the most subtle change in your smile can make a dramatic difference in the way you look and feel. Dr. Corkern and his staff are available to help you explore options of achieving a more attractive smile. Give our local Baton Rouge office a call to discuss what we can do to enhance your smile. Among the alternatives we offer for aesthetic enhancements are:
Veneers improve teeth
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are bonded to the front of your teeth. They can be a great choice to improve teeth that are stained, crooked, worn or have gaps. Veneers can give you straighter, whiter, and more even-looking teeth. The porcelain has a translucent quality that resembles your natural teeth.
Placing veneers usually takes two or more appointments. First, we check the health of your gums and teeth. Many people do not need anesthesia for this procedure, but if you do, we will begin when we are sure the area is numb. If necessary, we remove a minimal amount of tooth structure that is equal to the thickness of the veneer. Next, we take an impression of your teeth. The impression is used by the lab to create your custom veneers. In some cases, we might place temporary veneers on your teeth while your veneers are being made. On your next visit, we remove the temporaries and place the permanent veneers, checking for color and fit. Once everything looks good, we bond them into place. Veneers are a great way to transform your smile in just a couple of visits. Taking good care of your veneers will give you a beautiful smile for many years.
Repairs minor imperfections
If you have a slight imperfection in your teeth, bonding can be a simple way to improve your smile. Bonding can repair teeth that are stained, chipped, crooked, or have minor gaps. In some cases, bonding can repair a cavity with a natural-looking, tooth-colored restoration. Bonding can be a quick procedure, often done in just an hour or two. Many bonding procedures can be performed without anesthesia. It can be less expensive than a crown or veneer.
To prepare a tooth for bonding, we clean off any plaque and tartar. We choose a shade that matches your natural tooth color. The tooth needs to be dry, so we may use a rubber dam to isolate it. To begin, we use a mild etching solution to condition the tooth surface. This helps the bonding agent adhere to your tooth. We then apply the bonding material and harden it with a special curing light. We add another layer of resin, and again, harden it with the curing light. We may do this several times until we reach the proper thickness. Once all layers have been placed, we sculpt them to the desired shape. We check your bite to make sure your tooth functions properly. Finally, we polish your tooth to a smooth and beautiful finish. With proper care, the bonding material should last between 3 and 10 years. Bonding can be a good way to repair minor problems and give you a beautiful smile.
All Porcelain Crowns
To restore a damaged smile, all-porcelain crowns can be a beautiful choice. All-porcelain crowns have the translucency and color of your natural teeth. This makes them an excellent choice when esthetics are of great importance. Crowns can restore teeth that are chipped, protect weak teeth, cover a large filling, cover a dental implant, and/or cover teeth that are severely misshapen or discolored.
Some crowns are lined with metal, called a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. This can create a dark line at the gum, making the teeth look unnatural. All-porcelain crowns do not contain a metal lining, so you will have a natural-looking smile for years to come. If an all-porcelain crown is right for you, we will work with you to get the perfect fit for a beautiful smile.
Three Unit Bridge
Three-unit bridges replace missing teeth
When a tooth is missing, a three-unit bridge can be a good choice for replacing it. In a three-unit bridge, an artificial tooth is connected on each end to crowns. The crowns are placed over the neighboring teeth to hold the bridge in place. A three-unit bridge can be made of gold, porcelain, or porcelain fused-to-metal.
Placing a three-unit bridge
- When we first find periodontal disease, we treat it with scaling and root planing to remove plaque, tartar and bacteria from beneath your gumline.
- We use the handpiece to remove any decay and shape the teeth that will support the bridge. Then we take an impression of your teeth. A model of your mouth is made from this impression, and then the lab uses the model to create a bridge that precisely fits your teeth and bite. In the meantime, we often place a temporary bridge.
- On your next visit, we remove the temporary bridge and begin a series of steps to confirm the fit of your new bridge. We try in the final bridge and check the fit and your bite. When everything is right, we cement or bond the bridge in place.
Removing plaque below the gumline
This treatment disrupts the growth of the bacteria, but some bacteria remain and may settle back into the pocket where they reproduce. In fact, the number of bacteria doubles every time they reproduce, reaching destructive levels in as few as 90 days. The three-unit bridge has several advantages.
- Replace teeth for biting and chewing
- Assist in clear speech
- Help prevent teeth from shifting
- Are supported by crowns that can serve as restorations for neighboring teeth that have damage or decay
When you need to replace a missing tooth, a three-unit bridge can be a functional, good-looking solution.
When a tooth is missing, a dental implant with a crown is an excellent treatment for replacing it. Although each case will be different, placing an implant generally involves two phases, surgically placing the implant and restoring the implant with a crown.
The benefits of an implant with a crown
An implant restored with a crown has several advantages. The implant stops the bone loss that occurs when a tooth is lost, and it prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting into the space. Unlike replacing the tooth with a traditional bridge, there is no need to reduce the size of neighboring teeth. The crown with implant also looks and feels like your natural teeth when you chew and talk. With proper homecare and regular checkups, your implant can be a long-term solution for a natural-looking smile.
Placing the implant
For the surgical placement of the implant, your mouth is thoroughly numbed. An opening is made in your gums, and then a channel is shaped in the bone to receive the implant. Next, we place the body of the implant into the prepared channel. Sometimes a cover is placed onto the implant and the gums are stitched closed. This method is called a two-stage procedure. In other cases that allow a single-stage procedure, an extension is attached to the implant at the time of surgery. Healing may take several months as the implant becomes fused securely to the bone. During this time, we may place a temporary replacement tooth.
Restoring the implant with a crown
If the first phase included closing the gums over the implant, the second phase starts with surgical re-exposure of the implant. Another incision is made in your gums, and a small extension is placed to bring the implant above the gumline. Then we start a series of appointments to create the final crown. Though some of the steps might be different in your case, they usually include removing any temporary and taking impressions of your mouth. The lab uses the impressions to make an accurate model of your mouth, including the implant. They use the model to create a crown that precisely fits the implant and your bite. When your beautiful final crown is ready, we check the fit and your bite and then secure the crown to the implant.
Alternatives for Implants; Fully Edentulous
- When you are missing a full arch of teeth, you have several choices for replacing them:
- Modify a current denture
- Wear a new conventional denture
- Wear an implant-retained denture
- Delay treatment
Modifying a current denture
If you now wear a denture that does not fit well, we may be able to adjust or reline it so that it is more comfortable and functional. Sometimes we can create a better-fitting denture base, reusing the teeth in your current denture.
Wearing a denture
If you have not worn a complete denture before, or if your old one needs replacing, we can create a new denture for you. Dentures can look good and fit well at the start. However, when teeth are missing, the jawbone gradually shrinks, and in some cases, dentures can accelerate bone loss. This shrinkage changes your appearance. It also causes dentures to become loose, making it difficult to chew and talk and causing sores and tender spots to develop.
Wearing an implant denture
An implant denture (fixed denture) is different than a removable denture. An implant denture stays in the mouth, and a removable denture can be taken out of the mouth. Depending on your situation, an implant denture may not be the best choice for you, in which case you have two alternatives to consider: either modify an existing denture or have a new one created.
If you are thinking about delaying treatment, you should know that the jawbone will continue to shrink due to the missing teeth. This means that delaying treatment now will make future treatment more complex.