Restorative Procedures

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.


Fillings

Problem

Tooth decay that has led to the development of a cavity, or small hole, in the tooth.

Solution

Fillings. We will remove all areas of decay, and replace with a filling made of silver (amalgam) or composite resin. Composite resin fillings have surged in popularity because their appearance perfectly matches the natural appearance of teeth. Oftentimes the composite resin filling can be less invasive and help keep the tooth integrity intact.

Alternatives

In cases of more extensive decay, porcelain inlays and onlays are an advisable alternative.


Porcelain Inlays & Onlays

Problem

Tooth decay, weakened tooth structure, need for tooth restoration and reinforcement.

Solution

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, usually out of gold or porcelain, that fits perfectly on the tooth. 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.

Alternatives

Crowns may be the only alternative when tooth decay is in advanced stages.


Porcelain Crowns

Problem

Teeth that are chipped, cracked, badly decayed, or otherwise weakened.

Solution

Porcelain 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 porcelain or gold. 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.

Alternatives

Teeth that are badly decayed may require extraction, leaving bridges or implants as viable alternative treatments.


Porcelain Fixed Bridges

Problem

Patients who are missing a tooth or several teeth may experience difficulty chewing and speaking, dental shifts, and an undesirable sunken facial appearance. In addition, missing teeth can eventually lead to jaw and joint problems that are costly to treat.

Solution

Porcelain 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.

Alternatives

Dental implants are permanent, stable alternatives to bridges that do not rely upon surrounding teeth for support.


Root Canal Therapy

Problem

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.

Solution

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 cap, 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.

Alternatives

The only alternative to root canal therapy is tooth extraction.