Tooth restoration is a term used to describe the process of repairing or replacing damaged teeth. It’s an essential part of dentistry and can help improve your smile and oral health.
Direct restorations include composite fillings, dental bonding and glass ionomer cement. They are made outside the mouth and are used to repair cracks, reshape teeth and reduce gaps between them.
Tooth fillings help to restore the strength and appearance of damaged teeth. During the procedure, your dentist removes the affected tooth structure and then fills it with a suitable material. This not only fixes the damage but also helps prevent further decay by plugging the space where bacteria can enter. A variety of materials can be used for this purpose. The choice will depend on the location and severity of the tooth damage.
Your dentist will use a drill and other tools to remove the damaged tissue from the affected tooth. They may also use an anaesthetic to ensure your comfort. The tooth is then cleaned to get rid of any bacteria or debris. The tooth is then prepared for the restoration by cleaning the area and placing a protective liner. These liners may be made from glass ionomer cement or composite resin.
Composite fillings are tooth-colored and can be matched to your enamel. They are resistant to stains, but they may wear out and chip over time. Amalgam fillings last longer but can crack the tooth and leak, requiring repair or replacement. Porcelain fillings are custom fabricated in a laboratory to match your tooth color and are more expensive but are durable. Indirect restorations include inlays and onlays, crowns, bridges, and veneers and are fabricated outside the mouth using dental impressions taken from the tooth being repaired. These are usually done in two separate visits and can be made from gold or ceramics.
Crowns are custom-fitted caps that cover a damaged tooth to restore its appearance, strength and functionality. Your dentist may recommend them if the damage to your tooth is too severe for a filling or if you require support for a cracked tooth. A crown will also be helpful in preventing infection after a root canal treatment or to help hold together sections of a cracked tooth.
There are several different types of crowns, including porcelain, ceramic, metal and resin. Our team uses state-of-the-art technology called CEREC to create porcelain crowns and other restorative dental treatments right here in our office, which saves you the time and expense of multiple visits to the dentist.
Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, only cover the front of a tooth to improve its cosmetic appearance. While they can strengthen teeth, they aren’t as strong as a crown or an implant.
Before cementing your new crown, we will check the fit and color. We will trim it a little at a time until you and our dentist are happy with it. Then we will clean and etch the tooth to prepare it for the bonding process. Finally, we’ll apply the crown and seal it with a special cement to ensure that it won’t fall out or break easily. You will need to practice good oral hygiene and visit our dentist for regular exams and cleanings in order to keep your crown in place for a long time.
If you have missing teeth, dental bridges can replace them and restore the function of your bite and speech. They also prevent the neighbouring teeth from shifting into the gap and can help keep your remaining natural teeth healthy.
Traditional dental bridges consist of crowns (caps) on either side and artificial teeth called pontics in between. A bridge is only suitable if there are healthy teeth on either side of the gap to support it. This is why it’s important to keep your adjacent teeth healthy with regular check-ups and cleaning.
Before a bridge can be placed, the abutment teeth need to be prepared by reshaping them. This is usually done under a local anesthetic and is painless. An impression is then taken of the area and sent to a lab where a custom-fitted bridge will be made. In some cases a temporary bridge may be provided until the permanent one is ready.
Once the bridge has been fabricated, it is seated in place and checked for fit and colour by our dentists before cementing it permanently in place with a strong dental adhesive. As with all dental restorations, a bridge will need to be replaced over time, generally every five to 15 years or so. However, you can prolong the life of your bridge by keeping the surrounding teeth healthy and maintaining a good oral hygiene routine with twice-daily brushing and daily flossing.
Implants are titanium posts which fuse with the jaw bone to provide a strong foundation for tooth restoration. They are used to replace one or more missing teeth and can also support a denture. They offer advantages over other treatment options such as bridges and removable dentures. They look and feel like real teeth and can restore full chewing function.
Prior to a dental implant procedure, patients will undergo a comprehensive oral examination to determine if they are candidates. The dentist will review the patient’s medical history, including current medications and any chronic health conditions that may affect healing. In some cases, the dentist will request a CT scan or X-ray to evaluate the amount and quality of bone in the area where the implant is to be placed.
After the consultation, a customized treatment plan is prepared. This will include a cost estimate and an estimated timeframe for the entire process. The patient should be aware that implants are a life-long investment and will need periodic maintenance to ensure proper functioning.
A patient can experience discomfort after an implant is placed. However, this is usually controlled with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. During the recovery period, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and avoid smoking or other behaviors that can impede healing.