When a tooth is damaged, a dental restoration is used to restore its function and appearance. Dental restorations are commonly used to repair damaged teeth and fix common dental issues like tooth decay, cracks, and fractures, restoring your ability to chew and speak and the beauty and health of your smile.
Listed below are the most common dental restoration procedures we use at Old Town Dentistry:
A dental crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth after it has been damaged. It is typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance. In addition to restoring the tooth, a crown can be used to improve its strength or fix cosmetic imperfections. Once the crown is bonded to the remaining part of the tooth, it will protect its structure from further damage.
In some cases, this is the only procedure needed to restore the tooth. However, if the damage is too great, additional procedures may be necessary before the crown placement.
Dental Inlays and Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are restorations that cover the top part of a tooth. An inlay fits inside the tooth’s cusps, while an onlay covers one or more cusps.
A traditional bridge is used for replacing one or more missing teeth in a row with a prosthetic tooth or teeth. The bridge is custom created to fit in the space in your mouth where your teeth are missing, with crowns attached to the natural teeth on each side of the space. The false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, metal alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.
Bridges are typically cemented to the surrounding teeth and are not removable by the patient. Traditional bridges can last for many years with proper care.
A dental filling is a procedure performed when a tooth has a cavity or when part of the tooth has chipped off. To place a dental filling, the dentist will remove the unhealthy portion of the tooth and place the filling material in its place. The most commonly used filling material is composite resin as it is designed to match the shade of your tooth so that it blends in nicely.
How Are Dental Fillings Placed?
Our dentist in Alexandria, VA, will first remove the decayed portion of the tooth and clean the affected area using an antimicrobial liquid or gel. After preparing the tooth, we will apply a conditioning agent and carefully place the filling material in the cavity.
The composite resin material is molded and sculpted so that it matches the contour of your natural tooth. Once you and the dentist are satisfied with the look and feel of the filling, we will harden it using an ultraviolet light or laser. Most patients can return to their normal routine immediately after treatment.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Restorations and Fillings?
Dental restorations and fillings restore a tooth's strength and functionality and also prevent further decay and possible tooth loss.
Cavities are the most common reason our dentist in Alexandria, VA, may recommend a dental filling. A cavity is a hole in your tooth caused by tooth decay. It occurs when the bacteria in your mouth break down food particles and produce acids that can damage the enamel of your teeth.
When the acids wear through the outer layers of the tooth, they may expose the dentin underneath to bacteria, which causes more acid wear until the bacteria finally reach the pulp.
This results in an infection called an abscessed tooth that can spread to the rest of the body if left untreated. Fillings prevent this condition from occurring and prevent further damage to the tooth’s structure.
If you have any questions about restorations or fillings or want to schedule an appointment, call Old Town Dentistry today at (703) 683-0800.