Dental fillings are used when an area of decay is removed from a tooth. The decay is removed and filling material is used to restore the tooth to function. A composite, tooth colored filling material is used. Advances in this material make it a good choice to use for dental fillings. It bonds to the tooth so it can be used conservatively to restore teeth while removing as little tooth structure as necessary.
A crown is used as a dental restoration often when there is too much tooth structure missing to support a dental filling. This can be caused by large areas of decay, broken or leaking existing fillings, fractures in teeth, or after root canal therapy on teeth. This procedure consists of removing the decay or broken part of the tooth and shaping it so it is the proper shape and size to allow a crown to fit over the tooth. This crown restores the function of the tooth allowing patients to chew as they would with their natural tooth. Crowns can be made of all porcelain material, metal, or a combination of porcelain and metal. The dentist can explain the benefits of each type of crown depending on patient's specific needs to help them decide which type of crown would benefit them.
Fixed Bridgework can be used to restore a missing tooth. This process involves shaping the teeth on either side of the missing tooth for crowns and then a bridge is fabricated that consists of crowns over the adjacent teeth and one in the space of the missing tooth. This is permanently cemented in place and can function like a normal tooth. It does require some exra care in flossing and may not be the best replacement option. There are other tooth replacement options that may better fit a patient's particular need. Our dentists would be happy to discuss replacement options for teeth with you and help you decide which wold be best for you.
Dental implants are increasing in popularity and use in replacing missing teeth. They have many benefits in specific situations. An implant is placed below the gums, in the boney support of the jaw. The implants fuse to the bone and serve as the new support for the tooth. Once this process is complete, our dentists simply attach a small abutment to the implant and a crown restoration is cemented over this abutment. Implants can be used for single crowns to replace one or more individual teeth, for bridges to fill in multiple spaces, and to attach to the underside of dentures to give them more stability and to give patients more confidence in their smile and in the function of their mouth. Implant retained dentures are changing the way patients wear dentures. Once ill fitting, moving dentures can be secured to implants giving dentures stability when patients chew and speak. Implants are an excellent option for replacement of teeth and for use in dentures. If you would like to see if an implant is a good option for you, our dentists would be happy to evaluate you and your needs.