|Restorative dentistry includes procedures that restore your teeth from decay, disease, or replace missing teeth that have been lost. The most common type of restorative dentistry is the placement of fillings to repair tooth decay. Read more to learn about some of the services Dr. Tom Flath uses.
Fillings are used to restore tooth damage caused by tooth decay. After removing the decay and cleaning the area the dentist adds filling material. Fillings are made from traditional amalgam (silver colored) gold, porcelain, or a composite (tooth colored). Unlike traditional fillings, composite and porcelain fillings are more aesthetic and bond directly to the tooth surface.
Crowns are used to restore severely damaged teeth due to fracture or decay. After the tooth surface is cleaned and prepared the crown is placed to cover the remainder of the tooth. The crown strengthens the tooth structure and helps prevent future decay. Crowns also improve the tooth’s look, shape, and alignment. Crowns are used to:
• Restore a fractured tooth
• Restore a tooth severely damaged by decay
• Protect a tooth from fracture
• Cover a discolored or unattractive tooth
• Cover a dental implant
• Improve the color, shape, or alignment of a tooth.
• Anchor a bridge
Bridges are used to replace a missing tooth in both a cosmetic and functional fashion. A bridge structure is one or more artificial teeth anchored in place by natural teeth, crowns, or implants, on each side of the bridge. Using a bridge to fill the gap from missing teeth helps restore proper bite and prevent teeth from shifting to fill the gap (which may lead to additional bite and jaw joint issues). Bridges can be constructed from gold, porcelain and metal, or all ceramic. Ceramic bridge color is made to match your natural tooth color. Material choice will depend on structural requirements, wear, and esthetics.
In most cases, implants are the best option for replacing a single or multiple missing teeth. An implant is a titanium post that is firmly attached to the bone. After the bone has bonded to the implant, a functional and aesthetic tooth is then built onto it; ready for smiling and chewing. Implants provide superior benefits when compared to bridge work and partial dentures as they do not damage or depend on neighboring teeth for structural support. Implants are the closest dental structure in durability to natural teeth and have greater cosmetic appeal. Best of all, implants don’t get cavities!
Dentures & Partial Dentures
Dr. Flath also makes both dentures and partial dentures as an option for replacing teeth. They are now more aesthetic and often less bulky than they were in the past. Ask how your denture can be made more comfortable and secure using dental implants.
Root Canal Therapy
A root canal becomes needed when bacteria from deep tooth decay reaches the tooth pulp. Once the pulp is infected it cannot heal on its own. Sometimes cracks or tooth trauma can create the need for a root canal as well. In addition to being painful, untreated infections can spread past the root tip and infect the surrounding bone and beyond.
A root canal procedure involves getting nice and numb, cleaning out and disinfecting the inside of the tooth, and filling the void with a special substance to prevent further infection. Sometimes a crown is recommended to restore the tooth shape, look, and to strengthen the tooth structure.