Restorative Dentistry

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Restorative procedures are the most important part of a dentist’s skill set because, as well as maintaining a visually aesthetic appearance, their main focus is on improving the function of the teeth. Experience and skill in this area of dentistry is crucial because patients often come to us during an emergency in which their teeth have been severely damaged. As your Santa Cruz dentist, Dr. McClure’s goal for his patients is to help them regain the ability to chew and speak without pain, and return their self-confidence with the beauty of their smiles. While calmly consulting with each patient about their particular case, Dr. McClure will use his skills and knowledge to find the most appropriate procedures to return him or her to excellent oral health.


Cavity Fillings

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When cavities (or small holes) begin to form, it is important that they be filled as soon as possible. Dr. McClure stresses this importance because cavities compromise the strength of a tooth, making chips and severe breaks much more likely. Additionally, since the surface of the tooth has been penetrated, cavities can lead to more severe infections of the interior tooth, which may lead to root canal treatment or even tooth loss. At New Street Dental we have several options available for treating cavities.

Composite Fillings

To restore a small cavity, the most common method is to use a composite resin filling. Many prefer this material because the coloring of the filling can be matched to the natural shade of tooth color, making them (if at all) much less visible than amalgams (silver fillings). They provide significant strength to the restoration, but are best used on small to mid sized cavities that will endure moderate chewing pressure. There is frequently less drilling required for this type of filling, so more of the natural tooth can be preserved.

Ionomer Fillings

Ionomer fillings are made from glass particle mixed with acrylic acids. They are colored to match your natural teeth, so they are practically invisible once placed. Ionomer fillings are the most fragile, which is why they are only placed on very small cavities, especially those affecting the root surfaces of the teeth. As these cavities are often very small, there is very little drilling required when compared to other types of fillings.

Dr. McClure is very experienced at determining the best style of filling based on each patient’s needs, and he will be sure to take great care reviewing your case. Cavities will usually be identified during an initial examination or a cleaning appointment, and then filled at a later appointment. If you need to schedule an examination and cleaning, or for more information on cavity fillings in Santa Cruz, contact Dr. McClure.

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Onlays/Inlays

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At New Street Dental, we typically use onlays and inlays to restore rear teeth have become too damaged or weakened to be treated with traditional fillings. The difference between an onlay and inlay is determined by the positioning of the damage in regards to the chewing surface of the tooth. If the damage is restricted to within the depression (within the cusps) of the tooth it may be restored with an inlay. If more extensive damage has progressed and the cusps must be recreated, an onlay will be used.

Dr. McClure can create your onlay or inlays using gold, porcelain, or a composite resin colored to match your natural tooth. The latter two options are the most popular today due to their aesthetic appearance, but gold is available as an extremely strong material in areas in which esthetics are not as critical. The making of these restorations is a two step process in which impressions of the affected area are taken, and then sent to a dental laboratory where a skilled technician will oversee fabrication of the final restoration. At your next appointment, the restoration is bonded into place and ready for use. For onlays and inlays in Santa Cruz, contact New Street Dental.

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Crowns

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A dental crown is a covering that fits over a damaged or weakened tooth, restoring it to its original shape and function. Porcelain crowns are an integral piece of restorative dentistry because of their versatility in the treatment of a wide range of tooth problems. Dr. McClure uses crowns to strengthen teeth that are chipped or cracked, to seal teeth that are temperature sensitive, and even to close gaps between teeth. Crowns are also used as components in root canal procedures and to build dental bridges.

A crown procedure usually takes two appointments. During your first appointment at our Santa Cruz, CA office, Dr. McClure will remove any damaged or decaying enamel to make room for the crown before making an impression of the affected area. Making the impression ensures that your crown will be perfectly fitted to your mouth’s specifications. The color is then matched to your natural shade of tooth enamel and a temporary crown is placed with temporary cement.

At your second appointment, the tooth is cleaned and the new crown is carefully placed over the prepared tooth and bonded into place, making a strong restoration that can be used just as you do your normal teeth. For dental crowns in Santa Cruz, contact New Street Dental today.

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Bridges

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At New Street Dental, a dental bridge is an effective and simple solution that can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. In addition to being unattractive and inhibiting proper eating and speaking, missing teeth can cause significant problems as the adjacent teeth tip or drift into the space, further inhibiting proper function. To create a strong, new tooth or teeth, Dr. McClure first takes precise measurements of the gap. Using these measurements he will carve a replacement tooth from a block of porcelain and perfectly match the color to your surrounding teeth. The sculpted replacement is then bonded so that it is suspended between two porcelain dental crowns. These crowns fit over the teeth adjacent to the gap and are bonded to hold the bridge in the correct position.

Once the procedure is completed, bridges can be used normally. For dental bridges in Santa Cruz, call Dr. McClure’s office to schedule an appointment.

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Dentures

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Dentures are one of the options available for those patients who have lost their natural teeth. At New Street Dental our goal is to provide dentures that replicate those natural teeth as closely as possible, both in functionality and appearance. Achieving this requires Dr. McClure to get exact measurements and molds of the gums and surrounding supportive tissue. This prevents slippage and ensures as tight a fit as possible, while also helping to create an aesthetic appearance by determining optimal position. Remember that as a person ages, their gum and mouth tissues can distort and alter the effectiveness of the current dentures. If you have not been measured for dentures recently and this is what you are experiencing, it may be necessary to get a re-fitting. If you think you may need a new set of dentures, please contact us for a consultation.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are an excellent option for patients who have lost just a few teeth in one or several areas. A metal framework is used to clasp to the adjacent natural teeth, supporting a replacement tooth or teeth in the desired position. A properly customized fit is essential to keeping these dentures in place, which will make messy bonding gels unnecessary. Dr. McClure will take an impression to get the correct specifications for the dentures, and then typically work with a dental laboratory for fabrication. The entire process of removable partial dentures usually requires up to three visits to achieve a comfortable, tight fitting restoration. For partial dentures in Santa Cruz, contact New Street Dental.

Vinyl Dentures

When patients with sensitive gums experience irritation (or in some cases a full allergic reaction) to the plastic materials used in traditional dentures, vinyl dentures are the best solution for a comfortable prosthetic. A soft, high impact vinyl allows for a small amount of flex in the dentures while still maintaining a tight fit in the mouth. This greatly reduces irritation for patients with sensitive gums, and does not contain the monomers (the most common cause for allergic reactions) that are present in plastic dentures. Dr. McClure will take an impression to get the correct specifications and have your vinyl partial ready by your next appointment. For vinyl dentures in Santa Cruz, contact New Street Dental.

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