Restoration Dentistry: Fillings, Crowns, Bridges
Unless we are talking about jelly donuts or éclairs, no one wants to hear the word “filling.” It means our dentist has used the oh-so-sad “cavity” word and that means there is decay and that means drilling and filling. Before you ignore our advice to “fix it now” and go out to buy some jelly donuts, remember that cavities don’t get better with neglect. Saving a tooth with a filling is a triumph, not a failure.
With advances in pain management (such as “sleep dentistry“), cavity preparation and composite materials, let the team at Marconi Dental Group put this little dental setback behind you. Fillings are a relatively quick and simple procedure that can help to avoid more involved and serious future problems, such as root canal therapy or extraction. While not as fun as choosing between chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, here are your filling choices:
Composite fillings are made of quartz or glass material mixed with a tooth-colored resin. The benefits of a tooth-colored filling are obvious, but composite restorations have another plus. This material bonds to your tooth, so a cavity requires less preparation, which means less drilling. Less drilling is better for us all so, whenever possible, our Carmichael dental office uses composite fillings.
Ionomer fillings are translucent and tooth-colored, made by combining acrylics with glass powders. For patients with a history of problems with tooth decay, ionomers are available that release protective fluoride over a period of time. Ionomer restorations are less aesthetically pleasing than composite fillings, but they are an option that can be discussed with the team at our Carmichael office.
Traditional and economical, amalgam fillings use an alloy which combines silver, tin, copper and other metals. They have been used in dentistry for many decades and might be used for specific circumstances.
Crowns, Inlays and Overlays
Your dentist says you need a crown, yet those words don’t make you feel at all like royalty. Why? We may have the impression that crowns will show, that they’ll fall off, that they won’t last. It’s time to learn why you may need a crown, which type is best for you and how to make it last.
If you have a tooth that is heavily damaged, decayed or broken, there won’t be enough tooth for a filling to fill. The next step up from a filling is an inlay. As the word denotes, this smallest of crowns fits within the shape of your tooth’s chewing surface. An overlay goes one step further, covering all or most of the upper part of your tooth. Lastly, for those royal pains of damaged teeth, is the crown. Also known as “caps,” crowns cover and protect the entire tooth.
Working hard to save as much of your tooth as possible, the team at the Carmichael office of the Marconi Dental group will carefully assess your need for an inlay, overlay or crown. Initial preparation will be done and a mold of your tooth and its neighbors will be taken. You are provided a temporary crown for your tooth and you even get some options for the type of materials available. Your choice will be based on what is best for your tooth and dental health, the cost and what will make you feel most like a prince or princess. All of our fixed dental appliances are crafted on site by our skilled dental lab technician, so there’s no delay for shipping of molds or delivery of your crown.
Materials Used for Crowns
Porcelain, or ceramic, is now the most popular and effective choice for inlays, overlays and crowns. The color is matched to your own teeth, they are durable and look extremely natural. The newest materials available create no extra wear to your adjoining teeth, solving a former problem with aging porcelain dental appliances.
Gold and Silver Alloys
Providing the standard of crowns for years throughout the world, gold is highly resistant to tarnishing and wear. Because of its lasting qualities, it won’t damage surrounding teeth. Silver metal alloys provide the necessary durability at a more affordable price. It is possible to provide gold crowns at the Marconi Dental Group, but naturally, due to the royal cost of the materials, there is an additional materials charge.
Bridges connect two things together. To get your smile and confidence back, there may come a time when you need to “bridge the gap” in your mouth with a custom-made dental appliance. Since an area of missing teeth can also cause issues with speech and eating, it’s time to come into Carmichael’s Marconi Dental Group and talk with us about building bridges.
Just like crowns, bridges can be made from a variety of dental materials. Your likely choice will be natural-appearing, true-to-tooth porcelain affixed to a metal support. Typically, a bridge is anchored by crowns on healthy teeth, with the new span of replacement teeth in between. Besides doing the obvious and replacing a gap in your teeth, the bridge acts as a support to keep your healthy teeth where they’re supposed to be, preserving your smile and your bite.
Standard bridges stay where they belong and cannot be removed by the wearer. They are super durable and will last many years before needing replacement or reattachment. A bridge can also be affixed to your gums by using dental implants. Implants also give us the option of creating a removable bridge or partial denture with a firm foundation.
With a standard bridge, during your first visit your surrounding teeth will be prepped, a mold will be made of your jaw and careful measurements will be taken of your jaw and teeth. Don’t worry, you’ll leave that visit with a temporary bridge that will get you through to your second visit. That’s when your customized bridge is cemented into place, securing your new appliance into place.