Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics

Losing your natural teeth can affect much more than appearance - it might even interfere with your ability to eat and enjoy food as you used to. If you're in this kind of situation, don't panic! You can regain your health and happiness again, and return to a life of carefree smiles with the help of our prosthodontists!

Caring for Missing Teeth
We provide high levels of care to patients who have missing teeth. Our prosthodontists work with patients who have birth or congenital defects and other problems that occurred due to trauma or neglect. A broken smile can damage a person's image, reputation and self-esteem. Missing teeth can be very traumatic and it can affect an individual's outlook on life. This can cause significant damage to an individual in a physical, mental and emotional way.

People who have dental problems may have difficulties chewing food, loss of underlying bones, insufficient facial support, dysfunction and pain in the joints or jaw, and have trouble adapting or getting their dentures to function properly.

Our prosthodontists can help you throughout this entire process. We will be able to introduce several alternatives that may be available to you. These options include crowns, bridges, partial or full dentures, and dental implants. These are just some of the procedures you may be interested in. You will be able to select from a range of choices including those that are temporary and permanent fixes. We will also help you develop a comprehensive treatment plan and find innovative ways to improve your smile.

Remember that we are highly-trained professionals, and that we deal with people who require complex care, need rehabilitation after traumatic events, and have genetic defects. We use our special knowledge and skills to help build and restore people's smiles every day. We will help you setup your initial consultation, walk you through your entire procedure, and assist you with follow-up care. We know how to provide our clients with complex care and manage the most complicated dental procedures.

Other things that we can do include putting caps or crowns over teeth, concealing defects by placing veneers in the mouth, utilizing bonding technology to transform the shape or surface of dentition, and bleaching teeth to brighten or whiten them.

We are a resource to the community because we can help people manage and fix cosmetic problems and diagnose dental issues. Some people are born with genetic and congenital failures in the face, mouth and neck. Others may have experienced some sort of trauma, which will require surgical interventions. Prosthodontists can help resolve all of these issues and make people feel better about themselves.

You should contact us if you are unsatisfied with your current dental treatment; surgical intervention has not met your expectations; you need an expert to provide you with more care; you have severe tooth decay or dry mouth; or you have unresolved dental problems. Keeping a healthy smile is a necessity for good dental care.

Regain your self-confidence, improve your appearance, and restore your beautiful smile by contacting our prosthodontists today! We will get you back on the road to a happy, healthy smile.

Dental Implants
Dental implants have been successful for more than 30 years. They have proven to be biocompatible with the oral cavity and, as an artificial tooth root, they support and hold single crowns, fixed bridges, or removable prosthesis.

What are the advantages of dental implants?
•  Helps to preserve bone
•  Could eliminate the need for a removable prosthesis
•  Ensures the security of upper or lower dentures
•  Helps improve self-esteem and boosts confidence
•  Helps to maintain the shape of the face

In planning for implants, several factors have to be taken into consideration prior to surgery including:
•  Is there sufficient bone for an implant?
•  What type of crown or prosthesis is going to be placed on it?
•  Is there enough room for a crown or prosthesis?
•  How is the crown or prosthesis going to look after the implant has been placed?

Careful and meticulous treatment planning and honest patient education prior to implant restorations guarantees a better outcome with no surprises.

Dental Implants
A dental implant is not, on its own, a replacement tooth. It is actually a type of prosthesis that is placed in your jawbone. This prosthesis eventually becomes part of your jawbone — it grows into the existing bone and becomes a sturdy and natural fixture. Once this integration has happened, dentures, crowns, and fixed bridges can be placed on top of the dental implant post. In total, there are three pieces to a dental implant tooth — the original fixture that is placed in your jaw, the cap or tooth that is placed on top, and the abutment that is used to connect the post to the replacement tooth.

Dental implants are good options for the majority of people who have lost teeth, be they multiple or singular. There are also a number of advantages to using dental implants. One of these is that, because the implants become a part of your jaw, they feel and work naturally. This enables you to live your life without worrying about denture adhesive or constantly adjusting your bite. Another benefit is that, because they are composed of titanium, dental implants don't decay. This means that you don't have to worry about the structure breaking down or weakening: once they are in place, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Taking Care of Dental Implants
While dental implants can last a lifetime, maintaining good oral hygiene is still an important part of your daily routine. In patients with good oral health, implants are routinely successful — that is to say, far more often successful than they are not. Success rates of at least 90% to 95% are routinely reported, and many patients are surprised at the difference they make in their daily lives. Additionally, the risk of infection or inflammation is low with dental implants. In fact, our prosthodontists will be able to guide you through the post-surgery process and make sure that you heal correctly.

While dental implants are typically a good option for the vast majority of patients, make sure to schedule an appointment with us in order to discuss your particular needs. The procedure is quick and relatively inexpensive — that is, it tends to cost the same as a replacement fixed bridge. The benefits of the procedure are undeniable, and we think you'll be surprised how dental implants can work to increase your daily happiness.

Aesthetic and Reconstructive Dentistry

Are you unhappy with your smile? If you are looking for an expert aesthetic solution, then you have come to the right place. Our qualifications go beyond continuing education courses and aesthetic certifications.

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is one of the traditional dental methods for replacing missing teeth.

The type of bridge used most often is called a fixed bridge, and consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached on either side of the artificial teeth (pontics), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants. Although there are other teeth replacement modalities such as dental implants, sometimes fixed bridges are the first option due to large bony defects, medical contraindications for surgery or patient preference.

Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years with proper home care; however, they may need to be replaced or re-cemented due to normal wear.

Reasons for a Fixed Bridge
•  Fill the space left by missing teeth
•  Maintain facial shape
•  Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
•  Restore chewing and speaking ability
•  Restore your smile
•  Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance

What Does a Fixed Bridge Involve?
Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for about two weeks until your next appointment.

At the second visit, your bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted and cemented to achieve a proper fit and comfortable bite.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new bridge.

A crown is typically a tooth cover or a cap that surrounds the tooth in all dimensions.

It can be made of a combination of metal and ceramics, or just high strength ceramics or porcelain.

A crown looks like a natural tooth and functions like one too.

There are several types of porcelain crowns available, and ultimately the decision to use a particular type of ceramic is based on the following:
•  Translucency, shape, and color of the adjacent natural teeth
•  Location of tooth to be crowned (front or back of the mouth)
•  Diagnosis of grinding or clenching
•  Amount of remaining tooth structure to be crowned

The three types of porcelain crowns are: all-porcelain (tooth colored), porcelain fused to metal, and gold.

A very aesthetically pleasing crown usually recommended for front teeth only. There is a higher risk of this type of crown fracturing if placed on posterior teeth.

Porcelain Fused to Metal
A metal based crown with porcelain baked to the outside to make it more aesthetically appealing. This type of crown is great for someone who wants a tooth colored crown but still wants durability. There is still a risk of fracturing these types of crowns but usually it is just the outside porcelain that chips off.

This type of crown is very durable! They are recommended for back teeth where the crown cannot be seen, and they are often recommended for people who grind or clinch their teeth. Gold crowns are most like your natural teeth and your tissue adapts best to this material. Also, less actual tooth structure needs to be removed for this type of crown.

If a crown is needed, Dr. Sergio Ortegon will discuss what type of crown would be best for you.

Reasons for Crowns
•  Broken or fractured teeth
•  Cosmetic enhancement
•  Decayed teeth
•  Fractured fillings
•  Large fillings
•  Tooth has had a root canal

What Does Getting a Crown Involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. During your first appointment, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Then he or she will take impressions that will be sent to the lab to create your custom crown. You will wear a temporary crown for approximately two weeks while your custom crown is being fabricated.

At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your crown. As always, proper oral hygiene will help extend the life of your new crown.

Dentures are a "replacement" option for missing teeth. There are two variations of dentures: partial dentures and full dentures. The difference between the two lies in how many natural teeth remain.

When the condition of the teeth has deteriorated so far that they can no longer be repaired, removal is the only option.

A complete denture is a removable prosthesis of white plastic teeth in a pink gum-colored plastic base; the denture rests on the remaining gum ridge once all of the teeth in the arch have been removed.

It is important to note that life with an upper and/or lower denture is a major lifestyle change when compared to natural teeth. Dentures impact the type of food you are able to eat, your self-confidence in social situations and even your self-esteem.

Reasons for a Full Denture
•  All teeth missing in the same arch
•  Restore chewing ability
•  Restore a natural looking smile
•  Economical alternative to other procedures

An upper full denture will almost always feel better than a lower full denture. In order to dramatically improve the fit of a lower full denture, we frequently suggest using dental implants as a retentive mechanism. Implants placed in the lower jaw can help anchor the denture and significantly improve comfort. Sometimes, the implants can even be placed in the jaw after a denture has been in use for several years.

Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth-shaped porcelain that are custom-made (for shape and color) by our professional dental laboratory. They are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful and attractive smile. Typically a small amount of tooth structure must be removed to make room for the porcelain veneer and to avoid making the tooth look big and bulky.

Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile. They can often be alternatives to crowns and the ideal solution in treating many cosmetic dental conditions for the front teeth. These bonded restorations can improve significantly the way your front teeth look. They could even close spaces or gaps between your teeth.

As with most dental restorations, veneers may someday need replacement; however, they are still very durable and will last many years, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for Porcelain Veneers
•  Crooked teeth
•  Misshapen teeth
•  Severely discolored or stained teeth
•  Teeth that are too small or large
•  Unwanted or uneven spaces
•  Worn or chipped teeth

What Do Porcelain Veneers Involve?
Receiving veneers usually requires two visits to complete the process. The teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer. A mold or impression of each tooth is taken and a shade (color) will then be chosen by you and Dr. Sergio Ortegon.

On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond. Bonding cement is then placed between each tooth and veneer and a special light is used to harden and set the bond.

After your visit you will receive care instructions for your veneers. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your beautiful veneers.

Dental Cancer Care

If you are about to begin chemotherapy, it is very important to make sure that your oral dentition and gums are in good shape.

Oral Cancer
Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgical procedures to the head and neck in particular have a significant impact on the oral cavity and dentition. A maxillofacial prosthodontist/dental oncology specialist can help prevent oral complications during and after cancer treatments. During chemo your immune system will become weak and might not be able to fight gum or tooth infections efficiently, complicating your medical treatment.

Head and neck radiation will decrease the ability of your jaw bone to heal and remodel after dental surgery for life; therefore your oral health needs to be verified and achieved prior to radiation treatment, in order to reduce the need for dental surgery in the future.

Head and neck radiation will also change the oral flora and saliva quality of your mouth, which in turn will also increase the risk for tooth decay and dental problems. To counteract the side effects of these changes a prosthodontist will design a personalized oral hygiene protocol, including the use of tooth remineralizing agents and fluoride treatments.

The proper management of oral cancer is extremely important, but there are possible side effects that are known to occur during chemotherapy and radiation, as well as some that are known to develop after chemotherapy. Oral infections and injuries can complicate the treatment process, which is why it's important to seek help from prosthodontists both during and after your cancer treatment begins.

Chemotherapy and Radiation
There are a number of issues stemming from chemotherapy and radiation that can impact oral health. Oral mucositis, for example, is a condition defined by the development of inflammation and ulcers in mucous membranes. This inflammation and ulceration can lead to a higher chance of oral complications including pain and infection. Salivary gland dysfunction, also known as Xerostomia, is another issue that is frequently seen in cancer patients. This is a condition marked by an altered salivary function in the mouth, which results in dry mouth and can lead to difficulties in speech as well as the chewing and swallowing processes. Xerostomia also increases the risk of infection, and it is therefore very important that the issue be resolved.

Chemotherapy and radiation can also cause a patient's tastes to shift. Individuals might find themselves spitting out food that they've always loved, for example, due to a new, unpleasant taste that they perceive when eating. Some patients might find the taste of food to simply wane, with nothing tasting particularly good or awful. These issues can lead to poor nutritional habits that can, in turn, affect their already compromised health and further decrease their oral health.

In addition to the issues mentioned above, there are side effects that are unique to both chemotherapy and radiation, respectively. Chemotherapy, for example, can often lead to neurotoxicity, a painful condition that incites oral pain similar to that of a toothache. No solution or cause for the pain can be found when studying dental and mucosal records, however. Another issue caused by chemotherapy is an increased chance of oral bleeding due to decreased clotting factors and platelets.

Radiation can cause a number of issues to develop, including that of trismus. Also known as tissue fibrosis, trismus impairs the ability of the patient to open their mouth. This can be an issue for several reasons, not the least of which is the increased difficulty for both patient and physician during oral exams. Osteonecrosis also stems from radiation, and manifests in the necrosis of bone and blood vessels due to high levels of radiation. This impedes the healing process should any kind of trauma occur.

Oral complications are incredibly common in patients who are receiving chemo or radiation therapy, and it's better to stay on top of the issue than to wait until things become unbearable. Consider meeting with us both before treatment begins and after it concludes to examine any possible side effects that might develop. This helps keep the danger of oral complications at bay, and allows for the quick location and treatment of any kind of preexisting oral infection or issue. Meeting with us before and after treatment also helps to alleviate oral pain and reduce the risk of oral infections that could negatively impact cancer treatment. Helping to minimize pain and complications will also encourage a patient to complete their treatment.

Your risk for oral complications is not over once treatment concludes. In fact, there are certain issues that are known to occur after completing treatment. Radiation caries, for example, is a very serious potential complication that increases the risk of rapid and pervasive oral decay, and it can begin to manifest within three months after treatment concludes. It is important to pay close attention to your oral health and meet regularly with our experts who can help address any problems that may arise.

4747 Bellaire Blvd Suite #525
Bellaire TX, 77401


(713) 380-9988


Ortegon Prosthodontics | | (832) 968-9108
4747 Bellaire Blvd, Suite 525, Bellaire, TX 77401


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