Restorative Dentistry in ABQ


Restorative Dental Services Decorative Image

Brian K. Dennis, DDS PC provides restorative dentistry in Albuquerque, NM. Call 505-292-1051 to learn more and schedule your appointment. 

When you choose a dentist who specializes in aesthetics for your restorative dental procedure, your damaged tooth will be restored to its original function and appearance. Dr. Dennis is a skilled cosmetic dentist with advanced training in restorative dentistry, including prosthodontics, and he completed an advanced general dentistry residency program upon graduating from dental school.


The Biomimetic Approach


Dr. Dennis takes a biomimetic approach to restorative dentistry. This means reconstructing damaged or decayed teeth to replicate their natural biomechanical function and aesthetics. We preserve your teeth whenever possible and when restorative treatments are needed, we act conservatively, only removing the damaged portions of the tooth. Biomimetic restorations include stress-reduced direct composite restorations, porcelain or composite inlays and onlays, and dental crowns.


Composite Fillings


Tooth shade guide being held up to teeth

Composite fillings use tooth-colored material to restore teeth with cavities and maintain a natural appearance. Once the decay is removed, the tooth is filled with a composite material which is then cured using a specialized light to harden the material. Composite fillings can be done in one visit.

Learn more about Fillings


Inlays and Onlays


Inlay

An inlay or onlay is a partial crown restoration that can be placed when there is not sufficient tooth structure to support a filling but enough tooth structure left that a full crown is not needed. Inlays/onlays are made of porcelain or gold, and they aesthetically and functionally replace the missing tooth structure.

Learn more about Inlays and Onlays


Crowns


Porcelain crowns

When a tooth is cracked, broken, worn down, or severely decayed, dental crowns are used to restore its health, function, and appearance. Our office uses CEREC technology to offer our patients same-day restorations, eliminating the need for multiple visits and temporary crowns while your restoration is being fabricated. 

The process of getting a crown involves taking digital impressions, preparing your tooth by removing all areas of damage and decay, and then bonding your crown to the prepared tooth. The material we use for crowns provides a strong restoration that lasts many years and looks completely natural.

Learn more about Dental Crowns


Dental Bridges


Porcelain bridge

The same CEREC technology we use to make crowns can be used to make dental bridges. Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. A traditional dental bridge involves placing crowns on the two teeth adjacent to the missing teeth; these crowned teeth provide support for a span of replacement teeth, also known as pontics. Other options for bridges include implant-supported bridges, cantilever bridges, and Maryland bridges. 

When Dr. Dennis designs and fabricates bridges, his goal is to create a restoration that both feels and looks natural. Once your bridge is in place, your ability to eat, speak, and smile with confidence will be restored.

Learn more about Dental Bridges


Implant Restorations


Dental implant illustration

Dental implants are composed of three pieces: a small screw made of a biocompatible metal called titanium, an abutment which connects the screw and the final restoration, and the final restoration. The screw, which is placed in the jawbone, acts as a replacement for the tooth root, providing a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. The screw begins to fuse with the bone over the course of a few months. After the fusing process, known as osseointegration, the abutment is inserted into the screw to allow for the permanent attachment of the restoration.

Learn more about Dental Implants


Dentures


A denture is a replacement for multiple missing teeth within the same (upper or lower) arch.  A denture differs from a crown or bridge in that it does not rely on an existing tooth structure, and it completely replaces the missing teeth.

There are several different types of dentures:

  • Full or Partial
  • Removable or Fixed
  • Traditional or Implant-Supported

Learn more about Traditional Dentures


Other Restorative Dental Procedures


Our office offers a wide range of restorative dental services that optimize both form and function for beautiful, long-lasting results. These include composite fillings to restore teeth with cavities, inlays and onlays, dental implants, and dentures.

Call 505-292-1051 to schedule your appointment.


Restorative Dentistry FAQs


How much does it cost to get a tooth crown?


It is really difficult to give an exact cost because there are so many different types of crowns. This includes gold (high noble metal) crowns, non-precious metal crowns, porcelain-fused-to metal crowns, and porcelain crowns. There are crowns for back teeth and crowns for front teeth. Crowns for front teeth are one of the most difficult procedures to do in dentistry to get the correct color match. Some teeth are decayed, some are broken and cracked. These teeth may need extra work in addition to the crown. If you are looking for the lowest fee in town then our office does not have the lowest fee. You can find lower crown fees in other offices, as well as higher fees. But if you are looking for an excellent crown we may be the office for you. The fees for our crowns range from $900 to $1300. What we are about is providing the best dentistry possible for our patients. If you would like to come in and see Dr. Dennis then we can evaluate the tooth and can you exactly what the cost would be.


How much are crowns and bridges?


It is very hard to give an exact fee for a bridge because the answer depends on the type of bridge needed. There are Maryland-type bridges, cantilever bridges, and crown-supported bridges. The cost will depend on the type of bridge, the number of tooth units required, the materials the bridge will be constructed out of and if any additional treatment is needed to successfully support a bridge. If you are looking for the lowest cost for a bridge there will be other offices that are cheaper. But if you are looking for the best bridge possible then call our office.


Why is a dental crown so expensive?


A crown is a prosthetic body part placed over a living human organ, the tooth. The advantage of a crown is that it allows you to keep that tooth, get rid of pain in the mouth, prevent future breakdown and restore that tooth to normal chewing and function. It preserves that space to prevent the other teeth from shifting and causing bite problems if that tooth is lost. It is much more expensive to replace a tooth once it is gone. The making of a crown requires sending the impression to a laboratory to be fabricated. This requires an interim crown to protect the tooth while the crown is being made. CAD/CAM technology allows a crown to be made in one visit but the investment in this device can cost well over $100,000. Laboratories must charge a federal medical device tax which is passed on to the consumer. Esthetic crowns are more difficult to make, more time consuming and require a high degree of skill by the laboratory technician to get it right, often involving custom shading and remakes to get the tooth to match. Materials that make up the crown are very costly such as gold and platinum. We work with the best laboratories and dental technicians in the United States. We use only the highest quality materials that are certified by the American Dental Association and the FDA. Many dental offices will send their crowns to be made overseas to countries such as China, Taiwan, and the Philippines to reduce their cost of a crown.


How long does a crown last?


According to studies and the American Dental Association, the average lifespan for a crown is 10 years. Most dental benefit plans will cover a portion of the crown fee every 5 years. However, a crown, when done properly can potentially last a lifetime. Even the most beautiful crowns can be compromised by gum problems, recurring cavities, and poor oral hygiene habits. Part of our commitment to you is to provide you with the proper information to keep your gums and teeth (natural or restored) in good health. Professional cleaning by a dental hygienist at recommended intervals keeps your mouth healthy and can intercept potential problems early enough to avoid additional restorative work or unnecessary discomfort. It is also important to maintain a professional cleaning schedule throughout the course of your dental treatment.


Can I get a crown without a root canal?


Most crowns do not need root canals. If a tooth is not infected or acutely inflamed, it will not need a root canal. However, statistically, according to research and studies, 16 percent of the teeth that require crowns will need root canal therapy in the future. When a tooth is so badly broken down that it needs a crown, it is difficult to tell the overall health of the tooth. Bacteria from tooth fractures or decay may have already reached the nerve of the tooth, requiring future endodontic therapy.


How long after tooth extraction can a bridge be fitted?


An interim tooth replacement bridge can be fitted immediately after a tooth has been extracted. However, due to swelling and the healing process, a gap could result between the gums and the bridge. For a bridge replacing a back tooth, it is better to wait at least 8-12 weeks before the final prosthetic bridge is made. Studies show that it is best to wait 6 months before the final bridge is made when replacing a front tooth.


Can you get a cavity under a crown?


Yes, you can get a cavity under or around a crown. Wherever there is a natural tooth structure, that area is susceptible to getting recurrent decay. That is why it is so important to keep the gums and tooth clean that has a crown. You must have the best fitting crown possible. If a crown fits poorly due to gaps between the crown and the tooth, what is called open margins, then decay can leak in under the crown. That is why it is important to maintain a professional cleaning and dental examination schedule regularly, to make sure the crown stays healthy and free of disease.


How much is a root canal and crown without insurance?


This is a tricky question to answer because after root canal therapy the tooth could require a crown buildup or post and core, in addition to the crown. Dental benefits plans help defray the cost of dental treatment and rarely cover the cost of the entire treatment. Most insurance plans cap out at $1000 so if a root canal and crown are needed only a small portion will be reimbursed. Our office offers a dental benefit plan, as well as affordable payment plans to help spread the cost of dental treatment over a period of time. Please call our office to schedule a time to evaluate your unique treatment needs.


Does a crown hurt more than a filling?


No, a crown should not hurt more than a filling. However, when a tooth requires a crown, the tooth is broken down so badly the crown is the last resort to save the tooth. Usually, a local anesthetic is required, so a crown can be completed pain-free. However, we can only tell if the tooth needing a crown is alive or dead. Sometimes a tooth may be inflamed, dying or infected, which will make the procedure afterward more uncomfortable. The tooth may have reversible pulpitis, which means it will get better. Sometimes it has irreversible pulpitis, which means that it will get more sensitive and require root canal therapy There is no way of telling what stage the tooth is at.


What happens if I don’t replace an extracted tooth?


Teeth will generally move until they touch something, like another tooth. If a tooth is extracted then the teeth next to the one that was removed will tip into space where the tooth was. The opposing teeth will drift down into that space. This will cause your teeth to become crooked, making them harder to clean and more susceptible to cavities and gum disease. Also, this will put more chewing forces on the remaining teeth, causing the teeth to wear crack and break down faster. Also, more stress will be transmitted to your jaw joints which can cause TMJ pain and problems. Think of a table with one leg shorter than the other three legs. It will wobble and cannot support as much.


Do you need a crown after a root canal?


It depends. According to the American Association of Endodontists (root canal specialists), a root canal on back teeth, the premolars, and molars, should have a crown to withstand the heavy pressures of chewing and eating. The number one reason a root canal fails is that a crown was not placed on the tooth. However, on front teeth, a root canal may not be necessary if the tooth is structurally intact, free of cavities and large fillings. Front teeth, when well taken care of, have less biting force on them. So a root canal on an anterior tooth may only need a small filling.