Many advances in dentistry have occurred over the last few years and are continually developing. Dental researchers and providers have formulated upgraded materials and perfected advanced techniques that have optimized dental care. These folks have examined the effect of oral health on overall health and the importance of considering a multitude of factors when placing a restoration. We’re not just “filling a hole” anymore. We are considering all the possibilities and impact that restoration will have on the patient’s whole mouth. Dr. Saylor attends many Continuing Education courses with his peers and leaders in the field of dentistry to stay abreast of all the new developments in the industry. He regularly introduces new and upgraded materials to his practice to ensure the best restorations for his patients. The following article is an example of how upgrading the materials of existing restorations can make a drastic improvement in a smile. 🙂
This patient was dissatisfied with the Porcelain Fused To Metal (PFM) bridge that was placed in the front of his mouth. The existing bridge is bulky, monochromatic with little natural anatomy, lacks translucent characteristics, and doesn’t fit very well at the gumline or into the patient’s bite.
Restorations made of PFM are extremely strong, are tooth-colored, and have been used for many years successfully. Porcelain Fused To Metal material has a couple of drawbacks, though. For one, the opacity of the metal substructure in a PFM crown or bridge reflects most of the light off the restoration, making them appear dull, one color, and unnatural. Certainly another factor to consider with the use of a PFM restoration is the impact of the abrasive porcelain on the natural teeth of the opposing arch. The before photo clearly illustrates significant wear of the enamel on the lower teeth caused by the bulky porcelain bridge on the upper arch. This patient’s oral health has actually been compromised by the material used for this restoration.
Dr. Saylor used all-ceramic e.max bridge material for this patient and it has improved the appearance of this patient’s smile exponentially! All-ceramic restorations are translucent, like natural tooth enamel. Real enamel allows light to travel through it, leaving subtle shade variations in the appearance of the natural tooth. For example: the incisal edges, or the edges of your front teeth, will look lighter than the portion of the same tooth by the gumline. If this translucency and shade variance is no longer there, it draws the eye to it and makes the tooth/teeth look fake. All-ceramic restorations mimic this translucency, so they are ideal for use on anterior, highly-visible teeth.
To add to the effect of upgrading the materials, this patient whitened their teeth. Dr. Saylor also restored the worn lower teeth with composite resin and ensured the bite fit together perfectly, so as not to cause anymore attrition. Dr. Saylor chose the e.max System, made of Lithium Disilicate, for the bridge. This is a new material that combines strength and beauty. The end result is a restoration that is beautiful, natural-looking, and durable. See below for before and after photos.
If you or someone you know has a dental restoration that could be upgraded, search your area for a qualified cosmetic dentist like Dr. Saylor. It may not take a lot of work for your smile to be completely upgraded!