Cosmetic Dentistry

Pebble Family Dentistry offers several treatment solutions to correct your smile. The most common procedures Dr. Shim performs are the placement of veneers, crowns and bridges, onlays and inlays and composite bonding of teeth. Click on the links below to read more about each procedure.

Bridges | Fillings | Inlays & Onlays | Composite Bonding

Bridges

A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. This is the ideal aesthetic solution for people who have lost teeth and still want a full, beautiful smile. A bridge may be necessary to:

  • Safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
  • Prevent shifting of the teeth. This can also lead to bite problems, jaw problems and/or resultant periodontal disease.

There are three main types of bridges, namely:

  • Fixed bridge- the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
  • The “Maryland” bridge- commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.
  • The Cantilever bridge- often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.

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Fillings

With today’s advancements, you will no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of unsightly and unhealthy silver fillings of the past. Eliminate the dark, black appearance in your teeth with new-age, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials.

Silver amalgam used to be the norm when it came to materials for fillings. However, silver fillings do not have much aesthetic appeal to the patient and can even cause damage to your tooth years down the road. The amalgam can break down the tooth, causing a fracture and the need for a crown to salvage the tooth.

After much research, some new tooth-colored materials have been developed that are stronger, longer lasting and more aesthetically pleasing to our patients. Composed of porcelain and composite resin, these new tooth-colored restorations bond directly to the tooth, strengthening it by restoring most of its original shape. The restorations can even be custom-colored to match your teeth to help give you the most natural-looking smile possible.

In order to use these new fillings, they require less removal of your healthy tooth structure than silver amalgams, especially when filling a new cavity. Dramatically smaller holes are needed with a tooth-colored restoration filling. They are also healthier because no traces of mercury are used, unlike silver amalgams.

Please ask us about our new tooth-colored materials and how we can restore your smile!

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Inlays & Onlays

Inlays and onlays are a great alternative to traditional metal fillings, primarily because less of the tooth structure needs to be removed. Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations, suitable for treating mild to moderate decay, and can be used to restore a cracked or fractured tooth if the damage is not extensive enough to require a crown.

Generally, inlays are small restorations that fit within the contours of the biting surface of a tooth, while onlays cover a portion or the entire chewing surface.

Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain, gold or composite resin, but porcelain yields the most natural-looking result. Once fabricated, they are securely bonded to the tooth.

The advantages of inlays and onlays include:

  • Being more aesthetically pleasing since they can be fabricated from tooth-colored materials. Unlike traditional metal fillings, the inlays and onlays are virtually invisible.
  • Removing less of the tooth structure to achieve optimal results.
  • Not causing excessive wear and tear to opposing tooth structures.
  • Preventing the need for more significant treatment in the future.

The process for placing inlays and onlays generally requires two or more office visits. Initially, once the decay is removed, your dentist will take an impression of the tooth. A temporary restoration is placed until the custom-made inlay or onlay is manufactured in a laboratory.

Following a proper oral hygiene regimen daily ensures the success and longevity of your new restoration. Ask how inlays and onlays can help improve your smile today!

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Composite Bonding

If you would like to fix chipped or cracked teeth, reduce unsightly gaps or spaces between your teeth or hide discoloration on your teeth’s surface, then composite bonding may be for you. Composite bonding is often used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.

Composite bonding has many advantages, including:

  • Composite resins come in many different shades and provide better matching of shades to the natural color of your teeth.
  • It is a quick process, which typically lasts less than one hour.
  • It does not reduce the tooth’s original structure and is relatively inexpensive.

The only negatives about composite bonds are that they are not as durable as veneers and crowns and may need to be re-touched or replaced in the future. They stain more easily and require regular cleaning. In order to ensure the longest possible duration of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily.

Please contact our office to see if composite bonding is the right restoration for you.

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