A cavity. That old metal filling. a missing tooth. These things may feel like major problems, but for me, they are daily occurrences. Well, OK, not in MY mouth. In the mouths of my patients. And though I always say how much I wish people’s teeth could stay strong and whole and healthy in their natural state, I get that life happens — even to your smile. I’m here to help. And not just with your teeth.

No matter what kind of restoration you need — from a simple filling to a dental implant to replace a missing tooth — I consider you as a whole being. That means I think about the way your restoration will look and function, as well as the effect it will have on your body.

Because I put my patients first, I always use biocompatible materials, balance each restoration for a comfortable bite, and make sure there is no infection in your mouth. Your smile will be stronger, healthier, and more beautiful for it.

Metal-Free, Biocompatible Dentistry: Is There Mercury In My Mouth?
Mercury. Believe it or not, this substance found in old thermometers is one of the ingredients in “silver” fillings. Can you believe that? Here’s a fun fact: If the amount of mercury found in one filling ended up in a five acre lake, that lake would be declared unsuitable for fishing. Now really, if you can’t put it in a lake, why can you put it in a mouth?

I just think it is too much of a risk to expose a single one of my patients to it.

That’s why I only use biocompatible restorations and materials like composite resin fillings or porcelain inlays, onlays, or crowns to restore teeth to natural beauty and function. Both composite resin fillings and onlays are the same color as your natural teeth so no one can see them when you yawn, smile, or laugh. Plus, they are long lasting, conservative, and stronger than you would expect. While traditional fillings reduce tooth strength by more than 50 percent, composite resins and onlays can actually increase the strength of your teeth by up to 110 percent.

Now that you understand the dangers of mercury-based fillings, maybe it is time for an update. The next time you are at the mirror, open your mouth wide and take a good, hard look at the metal fillings in your mouth. Just how contaminated would a lake be if you fell in there today?

When you smile, do you reveal teeth filled with metal? Not only do metal fillings detract from the natural beauty of your smile, they can actually damage the teeth they were meant to protect.

Metal fillings react to temperature changes, expanding when exposed to heat (coffee, tea), contracting when exposed to cold (ice cream, cold drinks). This constant movement of the filling (expanding and contracting) can cause the tooth wall to break or fracture. It also creates a space between the metal filling and the tooth wall, allowing bacteria to sneak in and cause more decay.

There are safer — and more attractive — solutions to tooth restoration.

To restore small cavities, I use tooth-colored composite fillings. These fillings are made right in the office, are safer for your teeth than metal fillings, and restore your tooth to a healthy look without weakening the remaining tooth.

Made of tooth-colored porcelain, inlays and onlays are used for larger restorations. They restore the functional, stress-bearing parts of the tooth, extending over one or more sides of the tooth. They can also be used as a crown or cap. They are conservative restorations that require less drilling than metal fillings. An inlay or an onlay can often be used to repair only the damaged portion of the tooth, leaving much more of the original tooth structure intact. Inlays and onlays are custom-fabricated by our lab technicians, then placed on your tooth.

At some point in your life, you may damage or lose a tooth or teeth because of disease or injury. When a tooth has major damage or is lost, it changes the bite, causing excess stress to be placed on the remaining healthy teeth. This stress causes the healthy teeth to wear unevenly and can even cause jaw-related pain. What’s more, missing teeth can also change your facial appearance, resulting in a loss of confidence and embarrassment.

Our office offers a variety of options for restoring and replacing teeth, returning your smile to an attractive appearance and your bite to optimal function.

Metal-Free Crowns
A crown, also called a cap, is a custom-made restoration that repairs and strengthens a tooth that has fractured, has a large cavity, has an old filling that has failed, or has had root canal therapy. Unlike an inlay or onlay, a crown completely covers the tooth. We only use crowns fabricated of all-porcelain for strength, endurance, and appearance. Crowns can also be used for cosmetic purposes, enhancing the appearance of a tooth that is discolored or misshapen.

Metal-Free Bridges
We want to be as ‘metal-free’ for our patients as possible so we do metal-free dental bridges. A dental bridge is a custom-made false tooth (or teeth) placed between two teeth, filling in the area left by a missing tooth. The bridge is held in place by porcelain crowns placed on the teeth on each side of space to be filled. Without metal, the bridge absorbs light, creating a natural looking smile. As the bridges are metal-free, they are also non-reactive to temperature changes, improving fit, durability, and comfort. Bridges reduce the risk of gum disease, help correct some bite problems, and help improve speech.

If you have missing teeth, or are suffering from ill-fitting dentures that slip when you speak or eat, consider dentures created by our office.  Made of resin and acrylic, a partial denture is a removable appliance that replaces several missing teeth. A partial denture may also keep the remaining healthy teeth from shifting position in the mouth. Our office offers precision-fit partial dentures that do more than replace missing teeth. Since they do not have a metal base, they are more flexible and comfortable. The results are attractive, secure dentures that allow you to speak, eat, and smile with comfort and confidence.

By using advances in technology, materials and instrumentation, our entire office makes this previously feared procedure not only tolerable, but also often quite comfortable.

You’ll never need to schedule an appointment with an out-of-town specialist — it can all be done in our office!

Root canal therapies are commonly completed in just one visit. Patients are usually pleasantly surprised when they are finished, astonished at how painless it was.

You may not get excited about the idea of oral surgery, but at our practice, you can at least relax about it. I have years of experience in many aspects of oral surgery from minor extractions to bone grafting. And unless full sedation is required for your procedure, it can all be completed in our comfortable and soothing office while you are cared for by our compassionate staff.