To treat a cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decay was. Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding).
Our office uses composite resin to restore fillings. Most fillings last between ten and fifteen years. We may also discuss the option of an inlay or onlay, if you want the longest lasting material available.
Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that, in certain cases, are a conservative alternative to full coverage dental crowns. Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays offer a well-fitting, stronger, longer lasting reparative solution to tooth decay or similar damage. These restorations are beneficial from both an esthetic and functional point of view. Inlays and onlays can often be used in place of traditional dental fillings to treat tooth decay or structural damage. Dental fillings are molded into place within the mouth during a dental visit, while inlays and onlays are fabricated indirectly in a dental lab before being fitted and bonded to the damaged tooth by your dentist.
The restoration is dubbed an "inlay" when the material is bonded within the center of a tooth. Conversely, the restoration is dubbed an "onlay" when the extent of the damage requires inclusion of one or more cusps (points) of the tooth or full coverage of the biting surface.
A crown, sometimes referred to as a cap, covers a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving its appearance. A crown may be recommended to cover and support a tooth with a large filling. It can be used to attach a bridge, protect a weak tooth from breaking, or restore one that is already broken.
A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth, thereby “bridging” the space between two teeth. Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, bridges are used to replace missing teeth with artificial teeth. Bridges can be made of gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination. Fixed bridges are cemented onto the teeth on either side of the space. Unlike removable partial dentures, fixed bridges cannot be taken out of the mouth by the patient. If you are missing any teeth and are committed to maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you may be a good candidate for a bridge. If left unfilled, this space can cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position and can cause teeth and gums to become more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease that can cause further tooth loss. Fixed bridges not only correct an altered bite, improve your chewing ability and speech, but they also safeguard your appearance by preventing the collapse of your facial features that can cause premature wrinkles and age lines.
Full Mouth Reconstruction
Full mouth reconstruction, full mouth rehabilitation, and full mouth restoration are terms often used interchangeably to describe the process of rebuilding or simultaneously restoring all of the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. Full mouth reconstruction typically involves general or restorative dentists (performing procedures like crowns, bridges and veneers), and can incorporate dental specialists like periodontists (specializing in the gums), oral surgeons, orthodontists (specializing in tooth movements and positions) and endodontists (specializing in the tooth pulp).
The need for full mouth reconstruction may result from:
- Teeth that have been lost due to decay or trauma.
- Teeth that have been injured or fractured.
- Teeth that have become severely worn as a result of long-term acid erosion (foods, beverages, acid reflux) or tooth grinding.
- Ongoing complaints of jaw, muscle and headache pain requiring adjustments to the bite (occlusion).