Almost everyone will experience tooth decay at some point in his or her life. Swift detection and correction of tooth decay can minimize the significant expenses and inconveniences associated with more serious problems caused by tooth decay. Restorative dentistry treats all phases of tooth decay, from simple cavity fillings to entire tooth replacements.
Why should I get a tooth filling?
You should get a tooth filling when tooth decay has led to the development of a cavity, or small hole, in the tooth.
What is a tooth filling?
Your dentist will remove all areas of decay, and replace with a filling made of composite resin. Composite resin fillings have surged in popularity because their appearance perfectly matches the natural appearance of teeth.
What are the alternatives to tooth fillings?
In cases of more extensive decay, porcelain inlays and onlays are an advisable alternative.
Inlays & Onlays
Tooth decay, weakened tooth structure, need for tooth restoration and reinforcement.
What are inlays and onlays
After the decay is removed, your dentist will take an impression of the area to be restored. A dental laboratory works from this impression to create a restorative inlay or onlay that fits perfectly on the tooth. They are usually made out of a porcelain or composite resin to match the tooth's natural color. Inlays cover one or more tooth surfaces, where onlays are used on the chewing surface of the tooth. The inlay or onlay is cemented securely into place, for an incredibly durable, stable tooth restoration. Porcelain is the preferred restorative material; it is extremely strong and can perfectly match the patient's natural tooth color.
What is an alternative to dental inlays and onlays?
Crowns may be the only alternative when tooth decay is in advanced stages.
When should I consider getting a dental crown?
You should consider a dental crown if you have a tooth that is chipped, cracked, badly decayed, or otherwise weakened.
What are dental crowns?
Dental crowns maintain the aesthetic appearance of teeth by covering the entire visible surface of the tooth, while adding significant reinforcement and protection to the tooth. After removing all areas of decay, your dentist will take an impression of the tooth to be crowned and send it to a dental laboratory to create the crown. Crowns can be made of composite resin, porcelain or gold. Composite Resin and porcelain crowns are extremely natural looking; virtually indistinguishable from other teeth, making them an ideal choice for visible teeth. Gold crowns pose no risk of chipping, and therefore are useful when crowning back teeth.
What are the alternatives to dental crowns?
Teeth that are badly decayed may require extraction, leaving bridges or implants as viable alternative treatments.
When should I consider a fixed bridge?
You should consider a fixed bridge if you experience difficulty chewing and speaking, dental shifts, or have an undesirable sunken facial appearance due to missing a tooth or several teeth. In addition, missing teeth can eventually lead to jaw and joint problems that are costly to treat.
What are fixed bridges?
Fixed bridges can improve chewing and aesthetic appearance, restoring the smile with a more permanent solution than dentures. Bridges replace missing teeth with artificial teeth. Your dentist will take a mold of the gap where a tooth is missing, and then send it to a laboratory to prepare a customized bridge. Before inserting the bridge, the surrounding teeth are prepared. The bridge is set into place and the artificial tooth is securely cemented to the adjacent teeth, restoring the attractive natural appearance and functionality of the tooth that was lost. If a resin-bonded bridge is chosen, the artificial tooth is secured by means of a metal appliance that attaches to the backs of adjacent teeth.
Is there an alternative to fixed bridges?
Dental implants are permanent, stable alternatives to bridges that do not rely upon surrounding teeth for support.
Root Canal Therapy
When do I need a root canal?
The inside of each tooth is filled with "pulp", which carries the tooth's blood supply and nerves. If bacteria gain access to the pulp, through a fracture or deep cavity, the pulp may become infected, leading to pain and a risk of tooth loss.
What is a root canal?
In a root canal, your dentist will remove the infected pulp and replace it with a rubber sealant. The tooth is then covered with a protective crown, which reinforces the tooth against future fractures and enhances the tooth's appearance. Root canals have an extremely high success rate in saving teeth that would otherwise be lost to infection.
Is there an alternative to a root canal?
The only alternative to root canal therapy is tooth extraction.