Silver fillings are too visible, what are my other options?

Natural tooth-colored fillings have become widely accepted and are used in place of silver fillings. There are even studies that show that in some cases, use of certain tooth-colored materials can strengthen a tooth, making it a better choice than the metallic predecessor - amalgam. Two basic types of tooth-colored restorations are used: composite and ceramic.

What is a bridge?

A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. Two crowns holding it in place are attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures.

What is the difference between a bridge and a partial?

Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures.

What is a dental implant?

Dental implants are a restorative dentistry option designed to replace missing teeth. Implant dentistry involves embedding a screw or post into the bone, creating a stable base for a prosthetic tooth. When properly performed, dental implants can achieve the look and feel of natural teeth. It is the closest thing to getting your natural tooth back.

What are sealants?

A dental sealant (also called a pit and fissure sealant) is a plastic, professionally-applied material that is put on the chewing surfaces of back teeth to prevent cavities. Sealants provide a physical barrier so that cavity-causing bacteria cannot invade the pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth.

How can I whiten my smile?

Teeth whitening, or teeth bleaching, is a cosmetic dentistry procedure designed to remove stains and discolorations as well as lighten the teeth. The level of bleaching that can be achieved will depend on the level of discoloration of the teeth and what types of stains are present. Teeth that are brown or yellow due to coffee, tea or smoking will generally lighten more than teeth that are gray due to stains within the teeth.

How often should I have a professional dental exam and cleaning?

The American Dental Association recommends that you see your dentist and/or dental hygienist every 6 months. However, some people require this service more often due to their periodontal condition.