Why Might Your Teeth Need Repair?

There are several reasons why you may need to repair your teeth, including:

  1. Tooth decay: This is one of the most common reasons for tooth repairs. When the bacteria in your mouth produce acids that eat away at your tooth enamel, it can cause cavities.
  2. Cracks or chips: Teeth can become damaged from accidents, injuries, or biting down on hard objects. This can cause cracks or chips in the teeth that must be repaired.
  3. Wear and tear: Over time, teeth can become worn down from daily use or grinding of the teeth. This can cause damage that needs to be repaired to prevent further problems.
  4. Misaligned teeth: Teeth that are crooked or misaligned can cause problems with biting and chewing, as well as with overall oral health. Crooked teeth leave room for cracks and chips.

Same-Day Dental Crowns

Dental crowns restore and protect teeth that have been weakened or worn down. Your crown covers your entire tooth from the biting surface to below the gumline. Getting a crown, however, normally requires at least two separate trips to the dental office. But here at Life Smiles of Owasso, we use the latest technology to provide you with a dental crown in just one appointment. Benefits of same-day dental crowns include:

  • Timesaving: CEREC crowns are made quickly; you will receive your new crown in less than an hour.
  • No need for a temporary crown: Because your crown is completed on the same day that your tooth is prepared, there is no need to wear a temporary restoration for weeks while you wait. Temporary crowns can be uncomfortable and come off before they’re supposed to.
  • Accurate: Computer-assisted design ensures that the new crown matches the measurements captured with the digital scanner so that your crown fits the tooth perfectly and harmonizes with your bite.
  • Natural-looking results: A same-day crown made from ceramic will blend in seamlessly with your surrounding teeth.
  • Long-lasting: CEREC crowns are made from extremely durable materials. If you take good care of your crowned tooth, it will last you for many years.
  • Only one dental appointment: You don’t have to return for a separate visit to get your crown bonded. Your crown will be designed, manufactured, adjusted, and fitted to your tooth in the same appointment.
  • Metal-free: CEREC crowns are free of the metals that were previously used in dental crowns.

How the Process Works

Dr. Heng Lim designs same-day crowns with the help of a system called CEREC. CEREC uses CAD/CAM technology. CAD/CAM stands for “computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing.” This system uses digital software and 3D milling technology to create durable, high-strength ceramic crowns on-site in a dental office.

First, you will meet with Dr. Lim for a dental health evaluation. He will assess your individual teeth, the fit of your bite, and the health of your TMJ. If a dental crown is necessary, then Dr. Lim will start planning your treatment.

During your same-day crown appointment, Dr. Lim will numb and prepare your tooth by removing damaged and decayed tissue and shaping it into a sturdy base for the crown. He’ll then scan your teeth with a digital scanning wand. This quick scan will capture a digital map of your prepared tooth and the other teeth around it, replacing traditional dental impressions.

Next, your dental scan is uploaded to a computer program that Dr. Lim uses to precisely calculate the size and shape of your crown. The blueprint is then sent to our on-site dental crown milling machine. The machine mills your crown from a solid block of lithium disilicate, an extremely strong ceramic, and zirconia. This process takes about 20 minutes.

Once your crown is done, Dr. Lim will make some finishing touches and then try it on your tooth to check the fit. He will bond it to your tooth if you like how it looks and feels.

In addition to dental crowns, Dr. Lim uses the CEREC system to create other tooth-colored indirect restorations like onlays and inlays within a single appointment.

Inlays and Onlays can give teeth their brilliance again.

Inlays and Onlays

If a back tooth is damaged beyond what a filling can repair, there are two ways to restore it. One option is a dental crown. A crown will cover the entire tooth—the chewing surface and the sides, down into your gum line. The other way is with an onlay. The onlay covers the weak parts of the tooth, possibly even the entire chewing surface, but doesn’t go into the gum line. It thus preserves healthy tooth structure and, by staying above the gum line, is kinder to your gums.

If you have less damage, an inlay is another option to repair your tooth. The inlay sits on your biting surface, just inside the cusps, and protects your tooth from further damage and eliminates pain.

At Life Smiles of Owasso, Dr. Heng Lim designs and places metal-free porcelain inlays and onlays because they’re the most biocompatible and don’t cause undo harm like a metal substance. Your wellness is our higher priority, so we make sure to use biocompatible materials.

How Dr. Lim Creates Porcelain Inlays and Onlays

While we use the more popular terms “porcelain onlay” and “porcelain inlay,” it would be more accurate to call these restorations “ceramic onlays” and “ceramic inlays.” Instead of porcelain, we use advanced tooth-colored ceramics that are much stronger. Using our CEREC machine, he will design your tooth’s protection and mill the onlay or inlay right here on-site.

First, Dr. Lim will prepare your tooth by removing the damaged and decayed areas. Next, he will scan your prepared tooth with a digital instrument that creates a three-dimensional image of your teeth. This image is sent to the CEREC computer, which calculates the precise shape and dimensions of your onlay or inlay. After that, the blueprint is sent to the milling machine, which creates the inlay or onlay. Dr. Lim will then try the restoration on your tooth, test the fit and show you what it looks like. If you’re happy with the outcome, Dr. Lim will bond it to your tooth.

To explore the possibility of getting an inlay or onlay, schedule a visit with Dr. Lim. Call (918) 274-3779 or request an appointment online.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. It is called a “bridge” because it literally “bridges the gap” between your remaining natural teeth. A dental bridge typically consists of one or more artificial teeth (pontics) attached to dental crowns on either end. The crowns are placed over the natural teeth on either side of the gap, anchoring the bridge in place.

Getting a Dental Bridge

Getting a dental bridge typically requires two or more visits to the dentist, but Dr. Lim can create your bridge the same day using the CEREC milling machine. Your Owasso dentist will prepare the abutment teeth (the teeth on either side of the gap) by removing a small amount of enamel to make room for the crowns. Then, he’ll take impressions of the prepared teeth and send them to CEREC. Next, your bridge will be custom-milled.

Once the permanent bridge is ready, your Owasso dentist will check the fit and function of the new bridge. After any necessary adjustments are made, he’ll permanently bond the bridge in place, restoring function and aesthetics to your gorgeous smile. With proper care and maintenance, a dental bridge can last for many years.

Your Owasso Dentist is Here to Help

Are you experiencing damaged teeth that cause pain, reduce functionality, and diminish the aesthetics of your smile? Dr. Heng Lim can help. Call (918) 274-3779 or make an appointment online today for Owasso crowns, bridges, inlays, and onlays.