When tooth enamel is permanently damaged by acid or wear and tear, teeth become very vulnerable to decay and breakage. This is because the structure under tooth enamel is much softer and porous. If a person were to forego a recommended restoration, he or she could lose their tooth to decay or injury. Restorations reinforce teeth after tooth enamel and other dental structures have developed damage.
There are a few types of restorations. Some restorations are very small. For instance, a filing is a common restoration used to treat small areas of decay. Fillings protect teeth from developing deeper and wider caries. Other restorations, such as onlays and inlays, can be applied to specific areas of a tooth such as a cusp or in between cusps. Unlike fillings, however, onlays and inlays must be custom made in dental laboratories because precision is necessary for their proper placement. The most extensive restoration available is a dental crown. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped restorations that fit over a damaged tooth like a cap. A crown will protect all sides of a tooth as well as its biting surfaces.
Custom restorations like inlays and crowns can be made from a few different types of materials including metals and porcelain. Fillings are commonly placed with composite resin – a tooth-colored compound.
When placing restorations, our practice takes all measures necessary to ensure our guests are comfortable. We strive to offer a serene, welcoming environment. Call our practice to set up an appointment with our caring dentist, Dr. Kuban.
Tooth-colored, Metal-free Fillings
We use composite tooth-colored fillings to repair teeth affected by decay, cracks, fractures, and other wear and tear. We will remove the decayed or affected portion of the tooth before filling it in with the best available filling material option. Composite fillings and silver fillings are among the most commonly used. You may need a composite filling if you have:
Closing space between two teeth
Cracked or broken teeth
We generally place composite fillings in one appointment. Once we’ve numbed your tooth, we’ll remove decay, clean the space thoroughly, then place the new filling. Should decay be near a nerve, we will first add a special medication to protect that nerve. Should you feel sensitivity to hot or cold after receiving your filling, be aware that this is normal, and you will adjust shortly.
When you need a crown, you need a covering that encases an entire tooth’s surface to restore that tooth to its original shape and size. Getting a crown protects and strengthens the tooth structure that cannot be restored through fillings or other types of restorations. Porcelain is the most common type of crown. These are made to match the shape, size, and color of your teeth to give you a natural-looking smile. Reasons you may need a crown include:
Broken or fractured teeth
Tooth has a root canal
Plan on two appointments to receive a crown procedure. Your first appointment with us will involve us taking accurate molds that will then be used to create your custom crown. In the meantime, we will create a temporary crown, which will stay on your tooth for about two weeks while your permanent crown is manufactured in our factory. While your tooth is numb, we will prepare it by removing any decay and shaping the surface so that the crown will properly fit. We’ll then use temporary cement for the temporary crown and check your bite. At your second appointment, we will remove the temporary crown, clean the tooth, and then carefully place the new crown.
Dentures and Partial Dentures
When you get dentures, it’s to provide you with a removable appliance that replaces missing teeth and their surrounding tissue. We make them resemble your natural teeth and enhance your smile. We offer two types of dentures. We use complete dentures when all of your teeth are missing while we use partial dentures when only some of your natural teeth are missing. A partial denture can also protect your other teeth from shifting their positions.
Complete dentures can be of two types. Conventional dentures are made once we’ve removed all of your teeth and allowed your gum tissue 8 to 12 weeks to heal. During the time your teeth are healing, you will go without teeth. Immediate dentures, on the other hand, are made in advance and placed in your mouth immediately after teeth are removed, preventing you from needing to be without teeth during the healing process. Once your mouth tissues heal, you will need a reline so that a proper fit is formed. There are a number of reasons one might need dentures, including:
Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch
Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch
Enhancing smile and facial tissues
Improving chewing, speech, and digestion
When we create dentures for you, it requires several appointments over several weeks. It is important that we make accurate molds and take accurate measurements of your mouth to create your custom dentures. We will also have several appointments to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At your final appointment, we will adjust and place the completed denture to ensure a natural and comfortable fit. You may find increased saliva flow, soreness, speech, and chewing difficulty as you get used to your dentures, but as your muscles and tissues acclimate to them, this will dissipate.
Dental bridges make great solutions for replacing missing teeth. They are non-removable. We have several different types of bridges that we use, and we’ll discuss what will work best in your individual case. The most common type of bridge we install is the traditional bridge, made of porcelain fused to metal. This consists of two crowns that cover two anchoring teeth and then attach to artificial teeth so that the gap in your mouth is closed. There are many reasons you may need a fixed bridge, including:
Fill space of 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
Plan on two or more visits for getting a bridge installed. When your teeth have been numbed, we will prepare the anchoring teeth by removing enamel to allow for the placement of crowns. Next, we will take a mold to send to a dental laboratory where our bridges are constructed. Additionally, we will create a temporary bridge for you to wear for several weeks while waiting for your next appointment. At your next appointment, we will check and adjust your permanent bridge for a perfect fit.
When you want to replace teeth that have gone missing with a permanent solution, dental implants may be the right option for you. Implants are artificial roots and teeth, usually made of titanium, that is placed into the upper or lower jaw bone through surgery. Teeth installed this way are natural looking and can enhance or restore your smile. They are strong, stable, and will last many years with good hygiene and care. When you want dental implants, we will work with you over several months, starting with x-rays and impressions and finishing with beautiful, functional artificial teeth that feel like your own. We will provide you with a referral for an excellent implantologist to place the implants.
Root Canal Therapy
Sometimes, we have to provide a root canal. This is needed when we can tell that your tooth’s nerve has been affected by decay or infection. So that we may save the tooth, the pulp, nerves, bacteria, and decay are removed and we fill the space with special medicated dental materials, restoring the tooth to its full function. Root canals save teeth that would otherwise die and require extraction, causing more problems for your oral health. A root canal usually lasts for a lifetime. Signs and symptoms that you may need a root canal include:
An abscess, or a “pimple”, on the gums
Sensitivity to hot and cold
Severe toothache pain
Sometimes no symptoms are present
Swelling and/or tenderness
You will need a root canal if:
Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
Injury or trauma has occurred to the tooth
Root canals can be completed in one or more appointments and can be performed by our dentist or by an endodontist. Once we’ve numbed your tooth, we will use a sheet of rubber to place around the tooth to keep it free of saliva and dry. We will then make an access opening at the top of the tooth and place a series of root canal files into the opening one at a time to remove the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. We will also remove any tooth decay present. We will then thoroughly clean the tooth and seal it with a permanent filling. At another appointment, we will place a crown to prevent the tooth from breaking.
What is restorative dentistry?
Restorative dentistry involves treatments that strengthen the outside of teeth with materials like composite resin, gold, and porcelain. When a tooth is permanently damaged by injury, tooth wear, or decay, a restoration is necessary to prevent further degradation of the tooth. A restoration can also bring a tooth back to its rightful dimensions, thus increasing oral function and supporting adjacent teeth.
Having a restoration placed in a timely manner can prevent the development of internal dental issues such as infected root canals that require more invasive treatment. Since it’s important to save biological teeth whenever possible, restorations are beneficial for preventing the need for extraction. Restorative dentistry helps us keep our teeth healthier and functioning for far longer than they would last without treatment.
What are my restorative dental treatment options?
There are a few ways to restore teeth. Restorations come in different sizes and shapes. Some must be custom made in a dental laboratory while others are placed in one office visit. Extensive restorations like dental crowns, inlays, and onlays must be made specifically for a person’s tooth so that they fit properly. Fillings, on the other hand, are placed with a liquid compound that is later hardened with a curing light. These types of restorations do not need to be made in a laboratory to produce a beautiful and long-lasting result. If a tooth is lost, our practice does offer dental implants and other prosthetics like bridges to restore the gaps in a smile.
How many teeth can be replaced with dental implants?
Dental implants make for revolutionary dental prosthetics. This is because dental implants replace the roots of teeth. Other prosthetics can only replace the visible structures of teeth, not their roots. A single dental implant can hold a crown or bridge to replace one or a few consecutive teeth. If multiple dental implants are embedded throughout the jaw, an entire denture can be supported. For total tooth replacement, dentures are anchored to strategically embedded implants so that they can draw on support from below the surface of the gums. Similarly, to how natural teeth are anchored by the jawbone. With implants, people can enjoy beautiful replacement teeth that function like biological dental structure.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a restoration used to protect teeth that have developed substantial decay and/or structural damage. Crowns are like caps; they fit over all a tooth’s structure above the gum line. This means that the biting surfaces and all the sides of a tooth are protected from oral bacteria, debris, and forces during oral function. Since they must fit over a tooth, a crown must be made to very specific dimensions. Dental crowns are made from a variety of materials including metals like silver or gold and tooth-colored materials like porcelain.