When a tooth is damaged or has a cavity, there may be a couple of restoration options available. The spectrum of tooth restoration options ranges from fillings and crowns to more aggressive implants and root canals. We’ve assembled a quick review of your tooth restoration options, in case you want to know what can happen if you have a cavity, broken tooth, missing tooth, or other tooth problem.
The simplest form of tooth restoration is a dental filling. If you have a cavity, this is the preferred form of fixing the tooth so it does not continue to decay. Some broken teeth can be repaired with dental filling material, as well. Today, with composite white filling material, the tooth can look almost exactly like a natural tooth. So, if the tooth in question is visible, a white filling provides a more natural appearance than a dark, metallic filling.
Repairing a tooth with a filling requires some local anesthetic. A filling typically only takes about 20-30 minutes for your dentist to complete. He will clean out any decay and fill the hole or space with material that adheres to the existing tooth. It is a fast, convenient, and cost-effective solution for most cavities and some broken teeth. Learn more about dental fillings.
For larger cavities or heavily damaged teeth, a filling may not be enough. In the case of large cavities, a crown or partial crown can be made to cover part to 100% of the top of the tooth. A crown replaces the tooth material. Some dental offices, including Uptown Dental, offer in-office crowns. This is faster and more convenient than getting a temporary crown and waiting for a crown to be made off-site. At Uptown Dental, we can take images of the tooth and create a crown in just one visit. Learn more about dental crowns.
Sometimes, a tooth is missing, broken, or decayed beyond repair. Perhaps an old bridge or denture has finally failed. That is where a dental implant can come in. A dental implant permanently replaces the entire tooth, from the root on up. The implant process requires several visits once the tooth is extracted. The gum and jaw must heal. In place of the tooth’s root, an implant post is placed into the jaw as a base for a ceramic tooth. The jaw must heal up to three months before a crown can be made in the office and placed on the implant post. While the dental implant process takes longer and requires more steps, the nice thing is that it will stay in place for many years and will never decay. Learn more about dental implants.
Sometimes, a tooth gets infected or damaged in a way that affects the tooth pulp. This reaches and attacks the nerves in the tooth, causing extensive pain. At that point, the options include extracting the tooth or having the root canal cleaned out and replaced with filling material.
People think that root canals are painful, but the process is like getting a large dental filling. In reality, a root canal resolves the pain because it removes all the nerves inside the tooth that were causing the pain. Learn more about root canals.
Do you have symptoms that concern you? Read up on the symptoms of tooth decay.
If you have questions about restorative dentistry, please let us know. Uptown Dental offers convenient and affordable tooth restoration options for making your smile complete following an injury, cavity, or dental bridge breaking.