While teeth are very strong and durable, wear and tear is a fact of life. Damage to a tooth requires professional treatment for one simple reason: a tooth cannot regenerate new tissue to self-heal. Since a tooth cannot repair itself, professional treatment is needed to guard against further damage and oral health complications associated with diseased or broken teeth. Artistic Smiles delivers an array of restorative dental solutions so that our patients can enjoy lifelong oral health and attractive smiles. Our dentist, Dr. Gonzalez, places fillings, crowns, bridges, inlays and onlays.
Since tooth decay is an infectious disease and affects up to 99% of the population, it is safe to say that nearly everyone will require a filling at least once in their lifetimes. A filling is a very small and conservative restoration and the procedure for placing one is minimally invasive.
Our practice places composite resin fillings, which are biocompatible and tooth-colored. This will protect teeth from further damage without negatively affecting the aesthetics of a smile. Composite resin fillings appear lifelike, require less tooth removal than metal fillings, and bond incredibly well with the structure of teeth. Moreover, patients concerned about trace mercury vapors in metal (amalgam) fillings can rest easy knowing that composite resin contains only biocompatible materials.
Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns are more extensive restorations than fillings because they cover an entire tooth. These restorations are custom made so that they fit perfectly over a patient’s tooth above the gum line. Crowns are reserved for when teeth are markedly worn down, cracked or broken, and severely decayed. Essentially, a crown restores the tooth to its proper shape and size. It is permanently cemented around the base of a biological tooth. Dental crowns are constructed from different materials from which patients can choose. Popular materials among patients are porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, and metal alloys like silver and gold.
Bridges are prosthetics that close in the gaps of a smile by anchoring to existing biological teeth. A bridge is a series of crowns that can replace up to four teeth in a row. These custom restorations are made from the same materials as dental crowns.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are two other common restorations. Inlays are larger than a filling and fit inside the cusps of the biting surface of a tooth. Inlays are often used to replace an old filling and may be constructed from gold or porcelain. An onlay is a little more extensive than an inlay. This restoration is placed on the biting surfaces of teeth and extends over a tooth’s cusp. Like inlays, onlays are most commonly made from porcelain and gold.
Restorative dentistry is the specialty that focuses on repairing teeth damaged by decay or injury. Teeth targeted by restorative dentistry may be broken, chipped, cracked or discolored. A patient may also work with a restorative dentist to replace missing teeth. This dental field helps to preserve the functionality of teeth, as well as their appearance, by making them whole again. Restorative dentistry may rely on a variety of different techniques and approaches to repair teeth, and different options are available depending on the extent of the damage present.
Restorations can be made of different materials. Many dentists are offering composite fillings that are tooth-colored to reduce the impact on the patient’s appearance. Crowns may be made of ceramics, porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal or metal alone. Many of the materials used in restorations can be customized in shade to match the color of your teeth.
Some restorations will be quite small, as in the case of standard fillings for cavities or dental bonding to repair a small chip or crack. These restorations can be placed in a single appointment that takes about an hour. Similarly, inlays and onlays are rather minor approaches to replacing old fillings.
Other restorative treatments are more involved. For example, dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that are placed on top of a biological tooth with an area of decay too large to be addressed with a more conservative restoration. Dental bridges or dentures can be used to replace teeth that are missing. Your recommended treatment will depend on your needs and smile goals.
Restorative dental treatment costs will vary depending on the specific restoration used as well as characteristics unique to the patient’s case. We can give you more details about anticipated costs of your treatment at your initial consultation. Dental insurance typically does not cover the entire cost of restorative dental treatments, but we will work to maximize any benefits that you do have. We accept multiple payment options so that you can pay out-of-pocket costs in a way that works for you.
Our team at Artistic Smiles is here for all your restorative dentistry needs. Our objective is to deliver comfortable and effective treatment as conservatively as possible. Call our Nassau Bay, TX dental practice today at (281) 316-8900.