Having strong, functional teeth is important to your overall well-being in addition to your oral health. Oral diseases can cause a variety of symptoms, including discomfort, infection, bad breath and other concerns. Furthermore, damaged teeth are not as efficient and effective at chewing, which can compromise your nutrition and create the potential for ripple effects throughout your body. If your teeth are damaged, it’s important to seek restorative treatment as early in the process as possible to reduce your risk of additional harm and be able to take advantage of fairly conservative treatments.
The most common causes of damage to the teeth are oral diseases, including tooth decay, and dental trauma. These issues can cause teeth to weaken, break or even be lost completely. Fortunately, treatments are available to repair damaged teeth and improve their function and appearance. The specific restoration recommended in your case will depend on the degree of damage sustained by your tooth.
Different restorative dental interventions can repair small areas of damage or more extensive problems. The following treatments may be used to address your particular issues.
These restorations are used to restore smaller cavities. The dentist will remove any decayed material from the tooth and apply composite materials to replace the diseased portion of the tooth. These composite materials have a number of advantages, including a tooth-colored appearance and improved bonding with the biological enamel, which means that less natural material needs to be removed from the patient’s tooth.
Dental crowns are placed to restore a patient’s tooth when larger areas of decay are present. As with a filling, any decayed material is removed prior to crown placement, and depending on the circumstances, some healthy enamel may also be removed to make room for the crown. CEREC crowns can be created and placed in a single appointment, and these crowns are highly durable and aesthetically pleasing.
If oral bacteria has reached the innermost portion of the tooth or the patient has suffered an injury that exposes the tooth’s core to the oral cavity, root canal treatment is indicated. In this procedure, the dentist will remove the diseased pulp material from the tooth and replace it with an inert rubber-like substance. A crown is also placed on a tooth following a root canal for additional protection.
Bruxism, which is marked by grinding or clenching the teeth, can cause wear and tear on the teeth that may require one of the above restorations to preserve the tooth’s structure. In addition to restoring teeth damaged by bruxism, the dentist may also prescribe treatment to prevent further harm to the teeth, such as wearing a custom-designed mouthguard during sleep.
When a patient has suffered tooth loss, the options to restore the smile include conventional prosthetics, such as fixed dental bridges or dentures, or implant-supported appliances. There are many factors to consider in deciding upon such a treatment, including costs – both initial and long-term – as well as the patient’s oral health and overall health, along with bone loss and other concerns.
An increasing number of patients are opting for dental implants because they offer the only structurally complete tooth replacement, but conventional appliances have improved dramatically in their fit and function and can be a reasonable alternative as well.
Restorative dental services focus on repairing teeth that have been damaged by issues such as cavities or injuries to the teeth. They can be fairly conservative when the damaged area is small but may be more extensive for larger areas of decay or significant effects from trauma to the teeth.
Restorative dental treatments may include composite fillings, onlays, and crowns to repair teeth that can be saved. They may also include appliances such as dentures and dental bridges for teeth that are lost or must be extracted. Restorations that replace missing teeth can help to reduce the risk that remaining biological teeth in the smile will be compromised.
Treatments such as fillings, inlays, and onlays are generally considered to be minor restorations, as they preserve the largest amount of the patient’s biological tooth material and can be completed in as little as an hour.
A restorative crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is bonded on top of a biological tooth that has been affected by a large cavity that cannot be adequately treated with a filling or other smaller restoration. Dental crowns are also placed on teeth that have been treated with a root canal, as that process leaves teeth more susceptible to breakage. The crown reduces the risk of such damage to the teeth. Our practice offers CEREC crowns, which are created from an in-office milling unit, reducing the treatment timeline from several weeks (which it is when crowns are crafted by an outside dental lab) to a matter of hours.