Northbridge Dental can bridge the divide between the smile you have and the smile you want – with the help of implant supported restorations.
Dr. Jim Richart practices restorative dentistry, which can improve the function, feeling and appearance of teeth and gums and prevent further damage or decay; alleviate pain and discomfort; and restore confidence in your smile. Northbridge Dental offers a range of restorative dental services to address various oral health concerns, with the goal of helping patients regain the health, function and beauty of their smile.
Severely decayed, damaged or weakened teeth may benefit from a dental crown. Custom made to fit over the natural tooth, a crown strengthens and protects the tooth while offering an improved appearance. Using advanced technology, Northbridge Dental can create a crown that blends seamlessly with surrounding teeth.
Once a tooth cracks down to the root, it cannot be restored, and it will have to be extracted. A cracked tooth, which is quite uncomfortable, can be diagnosed visually or by using radiography.
“That’s where the implants come in – in regards to replacing one tooth,” said Dr. Richart.
A crown can be affixed to the implant piece to replace a cracked tooth entirely.
“That’s getting the broken tooth out, putting in an implant and making the crown on the abutment look just like a natural tooth coming out of the bone,” said Dr. Richart. “It’s really amazing.”
“Implants are basically a foundation,” said Dr. Richart. “They connect directly to the bone and serve as an anchor for crowns, bridges and dentures. They are what stabilizes tooth additions in the mouth. You place the implants in, and then you have what we call an abutment – that’s what screws into the implant and kind of sticks out. Crowns or dentures are then screwed into the abutment.”
To replace several teeth in a quadrant of the mouth, two implants can be installed and a bridge can be cemented onto those implants. Artificial teeth, supported by dental crowns on adjacent teeth, are a natural-looking, functional replacement. This solution can restore smiles and help maintain the alignment of remaining teeth.
In the presence of widespread tooth decay or bone loss, multiple implants can be put into place, and a denture can be screwed into the implants.
“With the hybrid, it screws into the implants so all the weight, all the structure, goes on the implant, down to the bone,” Dr. Richart explained.
“I know people don’t like the term denture, but this is basically fixed into the implant,” said Dr. Richart, noting how it differs from what people often associate with the word denture. “It doesn’t come in and out. Rather, it stays in the mouth and is not removed at night or for eating. It allows people to eat and smile without worrying about their dentures popping out, which is a real fix.”
A patient of Dr. Richart who was in her 90s had worn floating dentures for about 45 years. She didn’t have much bone, but the surgeon was able to put two small implants on the bottom to stabilize the lower denture.
“It was amazing to her that she could do that,” said Dr. Richart.
Some people may be concerned about addressing issues they have coped with for a while. Although they could continue to survive with the ailment or defect, they are forgoing the opportunity provided by these treatments.
Northbridge Dental is located at 1164 Northbridge Drive in Charleston. To learn more, visit northbridgedentist.com.
By Molly Sherman