The tooth is composed of a hard outer layer called the enamel. This is the hardest substance in the body and it protects the tooth from daily wear and tear. But despite it being strong and resilient, it can still crack or break. It can also be affected by the bacteria in the mouth, causing cavities to appear on the tooth.
When these occur, your tooth will need repair through a dental restoration. This will effectively bring back the natural appearance of the tooth and help it carry out normal functions such as biting and chewing.
Depending on the size of the damage on the tooth, your dentist may recommend a specific type of dental restoration. Read along to know more about them.
What is dental restoration?
In its healthiest state, the tooth should be spotless and feel strong and functional. It should have no cavities or damage. But if there is a nick on the tooth or if you find a white or brown spot of decay, then you should have it checked by your dentist because you are likely to need dental restoration.
A dental restoration is any material placed on the tooth to rehabilitate its appearance, structure, function, and health. Once restored to optimal condition, a dental restoration also prevents further damage that may be acquired if the tooth is left untreated.
Types of dental restoration
At Chinook Dental, we offer several kinds of dental restorations. To determine what you need, our dentist will properly assess your tooth and take X-rays if needed. This will show the severity of the damage or decay and help with proper diagnosis. With this, they can identify the most suitable restoration to repair your tooth.
A tooth with decay is best repaired with a dental filling. This is done using tooth-coloured composite resin packed and bonded to the tooth. It restores the natural anatomy of the tooth and helps bring back its strength for functions such as biting and chewing.
To do a dental filling, your dentist will remove all decay first. This will prevent bacteria from further damaging the tooth. Then, the composite material is layered on the cavity and shaped accordingly. It is then hardened in place with blue light and finally polished to remove surface irregularities that may harbor plaque and bacteria.
If you have a chipped front tooth, our cosmetic dentist can save the day with a cosmetic bonding repair. Like dental fillings, this procedure uses composite resin material layered over the tooth to reshape and restructure it. Meticulous shade matching and sculpting should be done to ensure that the composite blends seamlessly on the tooth.
However, composite bonding is only ideal for the treatment of minor cosmetic concerns. For teeth with significant damage, veneers or crowns may be a better option.
A dental veneer is a thin shell of composite or porcelain material bonded on the tooth to enhance its appearance. It is recommended for teeth that need modifications to their shape, size, length, and colour. For complex smile makeovers, veneers can also help create a more harmonious smile for an improved look.
To differentiate, composite veneers are a budget-friendly option that uses composite resin directly moulded and shaped on the teeth. Meanwhile, porcelain is stain- and wear-resistant material that contributes to the strength and longevity of porcelain veneers.
Inlays and Onlays
The biting surface of the tooth has slopes that enable us to chew and grind the food into smaller pieces. If the decay already involves these slopes or a larger surface area of the tooth, inlays and onlays are a better option compared to regular dental fillings.
These are dental restorations that are fabricated in the laboratory so they offer incredible durability. With this, your chewing is better supported without worries of the restoration chipping off easily.
For a tooth with extensive decay or damage, crowns can help reinstate its appearance and function. A dental crown is a tooth cap that covers the entire tooth. It helps to protect the remaining tooth structure while improving its structural integrity to encourage normal biting and chewing.
Depending on the tooth to be repaired, a crown can be made of metal-porcelain, full porcelain, or zirconia. In a nutshell, zirconia offers the strongest restoration while full porcelain is for superior aesthetics.
Teeth Replacement Options
If the decay or damage on the tooth is left to progress, it will eventually involve the whole tooth. At this point, our options for dental restoration may no longer suffice to save the tooth. Instead, your dentist may opt to remove the tooth. After such, Chinook Dental offers several alternatives to consider that can help complete your smile.
A dental implant is considered to be the most modern tooth replacement solution. The treatment involves the surgical placement of a titanium screw and the attachment of the replacement artificial tooth on top of it. Together, this creates an exact mimic of the biological appearance and function of a natural tooth.
Dental implants are very versatile. They can replace a single missing tooth up to a full set of missing teeth. And with good oral hygiene and proper upkeep, dental implants can last forever. This makes for an excellent, long-term investment for your smile.
If you are missing 1 tooth or 2 adjacent teeth, a dental bridge offers a fixed tooth replacement solution. It uses the teeth on each end of the space to support the artificial tooth crown/s in between. These are called abutments and they help keep the bridge in place to help you smile and eat comfortably.
Dentures are a great option for many patients because they are removable, relatively more affordable than other options, and easily maintained. They can also be used for most teeth replacements. So if you have just one missing tooth or several missing teeth, you may consider dentures to bring back your confident smile.
Dental Restorations at Chinook Dental
At Chinook Dental, our goal is to create healthy and beautiful smiles. If you have tooth decay, chipped tooth, or even missing teeth, our dentist will run you through a complete smile assessment and diagnosis. Then, they will design a suitable treatment plan to restore your teeth using one of our comprehensive solutions for dental restoration.
Book an appointment today to learn more!