Restorative Dentistry

Dentistry Icon Restorative dentistry focuses on repairing damage caused by trauma or tooth decay. Aesthetically-conscious and time-tested techniques can help to essentially erase any evidence that the tooth was ever damaged. Often, when a dentist talks of "restorative" measures, he or she is referring to a filling or a crown. As most people already know, fillings are necessary when a small amount of decay has affected a portion of a tooth. The process includes removing the decay and then filling in the area with a composite (tooth-colored) material.

Broken Tooth Photo Tooth with a broken cusp and wall

A crown is a more involved process, which is often the best course of action on a more severe case of decay or damage. With a crown, the dentist removes the affected area and a tooth-shaped crown is placed on top, restoring the look of a natural tooth. Restorative dentistry is crucial to the dentist’s ability to maintain the patients’ oral health. Even patients with the most diligent oral hygiene regimes can find themselves in need of the occasional filling or crown. We feel it is important for our patients to know that they can have virtually all of their dental concerns addressed within our one office.

Crown vs. Filling ?

Many patients ask why some teeth can be repaired with a filling, while others require a crown. Often, the answer depends on the size of the affected area. Most of us are familiar with the process for a simple cavity that needs to be filled. However, as we encounter more stress in our daily lives, and as we continue to take out that stress on our teeth—by grinding and clenching, often without realizing it, or at night when we are asleep—more patients are coming in with broken teeth. Usually, it is not advisable to attempt a filling on a broken tooth because too much of the tooth has been damaged and the likelihood of that tooth being strong enough to support the filling on a long-term basis is not good. Crowns are commonly considered for teeth with large fractures or one that has been treated with a root canal procedure and need to retain maximum strength.

Note: If you think that you are grinding your teeth, especially at night, then a bite splint might be the answer for you.

Occlusal Filling Photo
Occlusal Decay Photo

Fillings: For small cavities, a simple filling is usually all you need. The affected area of the tooth is cleaned and the damaged area is repaired with the latest filling materials. Because the cavity is small, most of the tooth's original strength is left intact.

After
Before
CEREC Crown
Fractured tooth

Crowns: For larger cavities that involve more than two surfaces of the tooth or for extensive decay, a crown restoration must be considered.

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