Dental Tips Blog

Apr
22

Dental Restorations

A dental restoration is a way to restore missing, broken, damaged, or worn-down teeth.  The process may differ depending on the type of treatment selected, but by the end of the restorative process, you will have a bright and healthy smile.  More importantly, you will have teeth that are completely functional and work well!

There are many different types of dental restorations.  If you have heard the term ‘dental restoration’ you may have wondered what exactly your dentist was referring to.  A dental restoration is any dental procedure that will repair your tooth or teeth so that it is healthy and functional again.

One of the most common types of dental restorations is a simple filling.  Fillings can be made with composite materials that will ‘blend’ with your other teeth, so that when you smile no one will know they are there!

For larger tooth damage or decay, a crown may be necessary.  Crowns can be matched to the surrounding tooth color, also, and serve to protect the tooth as well as prevent further decay from occurring.  Crowns are especially important if you have a larger filling, have had a root canal procedure, or have other reasons that the tooth may have worn down.

For more extensive damage, your dentist may discuss with you bridges, implants or dentures.  All of these will allow you to continue to eat, communicate and smile without embarrassment.  One of the most important functions your teeth play is helping you maintain adequate nutrition.  With your teeth in place, you will be able to eat and speak without problems.

If you are missing teeth, or have a broken or damaged tooth, contact your dentist today for an evaluation about a dental restoration.  One of the best gifts you can give to yourself is the ability to smile brightly and eat well…and all of this can be done with a dental restoration!

Jun
22

How Long Should Fillings Last?

Posted in Fillings

An important component of a routine dental cleaning and check up is identifying any tooth decay.  If cavities are found, your dentist will restore the tooth by removing the decayed material and filling the cavity with silver amalgam or tooth colored composite material.

The filling provides support and stability to the tooth while preventing bacteria from entering the decayed area.  A typical amalgam filling can be expected to last ten to fifteen years but it depends on the patient’s oral hygiene habits.  Some patients who take good care of their teeth are walking around with fillings that are twenty to thirty years old or more.

Composite fillings are stronger and bond more securely to the surface of the tooth, but they are not quite as durable as amalgam fillings for dental restorations.  The average composite filling will need to be replaced after five to seven years.

The most common reasons for replacing a filling include a broken filling, a broken tooth, and a new cavity or tooth decay forming under the filling.  It is more likely for a new cavity to form under a composite filling than under an amalgam filling.  The metal content of amalgam makes it difficult for bacteria to survive under the filling.  On the other hand, composite fillings bond better to the teeth and can do a better job of preventing bacteria from entering the cavity.

A worn, cracked, or chipped filling should be replaced as soon as possible.  Bacteria can enter the crack or chip and start forming a new cavity.  The longer the patient delays getting the filling replaced, the bigger the cavity will get.  If the patient waits too long, there may not be enough healthy natural tooth left to place a filling and the dentist may need to restore the tooth with a crown.

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