Restorative Procedures

Almost everyone will experience tooth decay at some point in his or her life. Swift detection and correction of tooth decay can minimize the significant expenses and inconveniences associated with more serious problems caused by tooth decay. Restorative dentistry treats all phases of tooth decay, from simple cavity fillings to entire tooth replacements.

Fillings

Problem

Development of a cavity caused by decay in the tooth.

Solution

Dr. Smith will remove all areas of decay, and replace with a filling made of amalgam (silver) or composite resin (tooth colored).

Alternatives

In cases of more extensive decay, inlays and onlays or crowns are an advisable alternative.

Back To Top

Inlays & Onlays

Problem

Tooth decay, weakened tooth structure, need for tooth restoration and reinforcement.

Solution

After the decay is removed, Dr. Smith will take an impression of the area to be restored. A dental laboratory works from this impression to create a restorative inlay or onlay, usually out of gold or porcelain fused to metal, that fits perfectly on the tooth. Inlays cover one or more tooth surfaces, where onlays are used on the chewing surface of the tooth. The inlay or onlay is cemented securely into place, for an incredibly durable, stable tooth restoration.

Alternatives

Crowns may be the only alternative when tooth decay is in advanced stages.

Back To Top

Crowns

Problem

Teeth that are chipped, cracked, badly decayed, or otherwise weakened.

Solution

Crowns are used to completely cover the prepared tooth in order to give the tooth additional strength and improved function and appearance. After removing all areas of decay, Dr. Smith will take an impression of the tooth to be crowned and send it to a dental laboratory to create the crown. Most laboratory crowns are made of Gold, porcelain, or a combination of porcelain fused to metal.

Alternatives

Teeth that are badly decayed may require extraction, leaving bridges or implants as viable alternative treatments.

Back To Top

Fixed Bridges

Problem

Patients who are missing a tooth or several teeth may experience difficulty chewing and speaking, dental shifts, and an undesirable sunken facial appearance. In addition, missing teeth can eventually lead to jaw and joint problems that are costly to treat.

Solution

Fixed bridges can improve chewing and aesthetic appearance, restoring the smile with a more permanent solution than dentures. Bridges replace missing teeth with artificial teeth. Dr. Smith will take a mold of the gap where a tooth is missing, and then send it to a laboratory to prepare a customized bridge. Before inserting the bridge, the surrounding teeth are prepared. The bridge is set into place and the artificial tooth is securely cemented to the adjacent teeth, restoring the attractive natural appearance and functionality of the tooth that was lost. If a resin-bonded bridge is chosen, the artificial tooth is secured by means of a metal appliance that attaches to the backs of adjacent teeth.

Alternatives

Dental implants are permanent, stable alternatives to bridges that do not rely upon surrounding teeth for support.

Back To Top

Root Canal Therapy

Problem

The inside of each tooth is filled with "pulp", which carries the tooth's blood supply and nerves. If bacteria gain access to the pulp, through a fracture or deep cavity, the pulp may become infected, leading to pain and a risk of tooth loss.

Solution

In a root canal, your dentist will remove the infected pulp and replace it with a rubber sealant. The tooth is then covered with a protective cap, which reinforces the tooth against future fractures and enhances the tooth's appearance. Root canals have an extremely high success rate in saving teeth that would otherwise be lost to infection.

Alternatives

The only alternative to root canal therapy is tooth extraction.

Back to Top