What is restorative dentistry and can our family dentist do it? You bet! Some of the most common services we offer are dental restorations to help with tooth decay.
Restorative dentistry is basically anything a dentist does to help fix damaged or missing teeth. They can help keep your teeth functioning properly and also help improve the appearance of dental issues.
Got Cavities? You’ll Need Dental Restoration from our Family Dentist
Cavities happen when your tooth starts to decay or break down. This is usually due to plaque buildup, which is a film of bacteria that turns sugars into acids that eat away at your teeth. If you think you have a cavity, it’s important to schedule an appointment with our family dentist as soon as possible. Untreated cavities can cause some pretty unpleasant issues. For example, without treatment, cavities can lead to infections, tooth abscesses, and may even destroy the tooth pulp.
How do we treat cavities? First, we’ll need to get rid of the decayed area. Then, we seal the part of the tooth off with a dental restoration. The type of restoration depends on many different things, such as how bad the cavity is.
Some services we offer to help with your cavities include:
- Dental fillings
Restorative dentistry also helps with missing teeth or teeth that must be extracted because of severe decay, damage, or infection. Some of these restorative options include:
If you notice signs of a cavity, like a toothache, sensitivity, or tooth discoloration, visit our family dentistry professional to help keep your teeth healthy.
Direct vs. Indirect Restorations
While there are many different types of dental restorations, they generally fall into two categories: direct and indirect. Direct dental restoration means that we apply and form the “seal” directly to the tooth after getting rid of the tooth decay. Fillings are a type of direct restoration.
By contrast, indirect restorations means that the piece that helps protect the damaged part of the tooth is formed outside of your mouth. Generally, a lab shapes these restorations and then our family dentist affixes them to your tooth during a second appointment.
Fillings from our Family Dentist
Fillings are a type of direct dental restoration. They’re one of the most common services we offer for cavities. When you come in for a filling, we’ll remove the tooth decay with specialized equipment like dental drills. Once we’ve removed the damaged areas, then we fill the hole with a filling material. After the filling cures, then we shape and smooth it so it feels comfortable in your mouth.
Dental fillings are generally a good option for smaller cavities that don’t necessarily threaten the structure of your teeth. They are also generally the most economical option for cavities. If we catch tooth decay early enough, such as during one of your twice a year exams, we may be able to fill the cavity instead of needing more aggressive, and costly, dental restoration.
Types of Dental Filling Materials
There are a few different types of fillings you can choose from. Today, the most common type of filling is a composite resin. This is made of ceramic and plastic. They are tooth-colored and we can even customize the color to match the shade of the surrounding tooth so that your filling is unnoticeable. This type of filling is long-lasting and durable. While eventually all fillings will need to be replaced, composite can last up to ten years or more.
Another common filling material is amalgam. This is a silver-colored filling made out of a mixture of metals. Amalgam is generally more durable than composite and can last up to 15 or more years. It’s also the least expensive type of filling material. However, because it is silver-colored, you will often be able to see the filling on the tooth.
For smaller cavities, glass ionomer cement is another option. Glass ionomer cement is made of glass and organic acids. A cool thing about glass ionomer cement is that it can release fluoride over time to help re-mineralize and strengthen the tooth where the cavity was! However, this type of filling is not as durable as the others, so we generally only use it for areas of the teeth that you don’t use for chewing, like below the gum line.
Inlays for Cavities
Inlays are a type of indirect dental restoration that our family dentist offers. Usually we use inlays for cavities that are more severe. Most of the time, we use inlays to help with cavities that are in the center of your tooth. When you come in for an inlay, we remove the decay and take a mold of your tooth. We use this mold to send to the lab where they make your inlay out of porcelain or composite resin. The dentist will then place a temporary inlay on your tooth until the new permanent one arrives. During the next appointment, we affix the inlay and make any necessary adjustments.
Onlays from our Family Dentist
Onlays are very similar to inlays. The main difference is that an inlay sits in the center of your tooth, while an onlay covers the cusp (the top edge) of your tooth. Like inlays, our family dentist may recommend an onlay if your tooth is so damaged or decayed that it can’t support a normal filling. Dental onlays are seen as a compromise between inlays and dental crowns, where the damage is bad enough that an inlay or filling won’t be enough to repair the damage, but the damage doesn’t warrant a full dental crown.
They are also made of either composite or of porcelain and formed in a lab to match the shape of your tooth. Both inlays and onlays also will need to be replaced at some point, just like fillings. Generally, if well taken care of, they can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years before needing replacement.
When you have a severe cavity or multiple cavities that threaten the structural integrity of your tooth, then our family dentist may recommend a dental crown. Also known as a dental cap, these types of restorations cover the tooth. For this service, our family dentistry team will reshape the tooth to allow the crown to sit on top. That’s why many people call these restorations dental caps, because they sit like a hat on the tooth.
Crowns can also help restore the size, shape, strength, and appearance of your tooth after serious decay or damage. They can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years, depending on how you care for them. Crowns are made in a lab out of metal, porcelain, or a mixture of both. Metal crowns tend to last the longest and be the most durable option. However, they are generally silver or gold in color, making them easy to spot in your mouth.
All porcelain crowns look much more natural than metal crowns. They are the only type of crown material currently that offers a slightly translucent look to the tooth. This can make it difficult to tell the difference between a real tooth and a crown when people look at your smile. However, they are also less durable than other options.
Porcelain fused to metal crowns use a metal base, with an outer shell made of porcelain. These will look similar to an all porcelain crown, but are often more durable and longer-lasting than all porcelain options.
Dental Bridges, Implants, and Dentures from our Family Dentist
For significant tooth decay or tooth infection, our family dentist may need to extract the tooth. This is generally a last resort for treating tooth decay. Once the tooth is extracted, we also provide restorative dental solutions for missing teeth. Bridges are to help replace one missing tooth between two intact teeth. The bridge is generally anchored by dental crowns on the teeth on either side of the missing area. However, one of the main concerns about choosing a bridge is that it doesn’t address bone loss after you lose a tooth.
Dental implants, however, mimic the tooth and its root quite well when it comes to your jaw bone. After inserting the implant, the jaw bone usually grows around the implant post. This can help reduce jaw bone loss after tooth extraction. However, they are also more expensive and may need multiple appointments to place.
Dentures, like bridges and implants, help restore your smile after losing a tooth or needing tooth extraction. Generally you should remove them each night before you go to sleep. This option is generally the least expensive for replacing missing teeth. If you’re not a candidate for a bridge or implants, then our family dentist may recommend fitting you with a set of custom dentures. Like bridges, dentures won’t help with bone loss and jaw bone shrinkage the way implants do. However, they can help improve the appearance of your smile.
Personalized Family Dentistry Care at The ToothBooth
At The ToothBooth, we offer family dentistry care in a warm, welcoming, and state-of-the-art facility. Whether you need help with a cavity or need an emergency dentist near me for broken or missing teeth, Dr. Taha offers specialized care to suit your needs. We offer dental care for people of all ages to help you care for your smile. Call us today at (832) 437-0841 to book an appointment!