Teeth are constantly being exposed to oral bacteria and plaque acids, inevitably causing them to break down over time. After enough decay, you just might need to get them repaired. What’s unfortunate is the number of people who avoid seeing the dentist because they fear that the tooth will need to be extracted. This is not necessarily the case.
With the right expertise, dentists can restore teeth damaged by decay and replace teeth that need to be extracted. Keep reading to learn exactly how dentists make it happen!
How Dentists Repair Damaged Teeth
When it comes to repairing damaged teeth, dentists have multiple options to consider. The method they choose will largely vary on the level of damage present inside the tooth. For example, if there’s a single cavity that requires attention, a tooth-colored filling can fill much of the cavity while still offering a very natural-looking appearance. Tooth-colored fillings utilize composite resin to restore damaged teeth without the use of metal materials.
If the damage covers more than two-thirds of the tooth, then a dental crown would be a better solution. Dental crowns can be made from metal, porcelain fused to metal or all-porcelain, depending on your preference. They can last for at least 10 to 15 years when properly maintained and are considered the most common type of dental restoration provided to individuals. This method typically requires the removal of existing tooth enamel so the crown has room to anchor properly.
Lastly, teeth with extensive decay or damage that reaches past the enamel and inside the pulp can be salvaged through root canal therapy. This treatment has an incredibly high success rate when it comes to saving teeth. To perform, the dentist accesses the inner tooth through the top of the crown, removes infected tissue, irrigates the canal and fills it with replacement material to prevent future infections. A crown is then placed on top to protect the hole used to access the pulp.
How Dentists Can Replace Your Extracted Teeth
In the event that your tooth is too damaged to save and needs to be extracted, you can still fill the gap in your smile. The main methods of accomplishing this include bridges, dentures and dental implants.
Bridges are made up of several crowns connected together, with one crown on either side hollowed out so they can fit on top of existing teeth. The crowns in between the hollowed-out crowns are known as pontics and effectively bridge the gap in your smile.
If you’re missing several consecutive teeth or an entire arch, a full or partial denture can be created. These prosthetics are kept in place either through the natural suction of the gums (full) or through metal claps that hook on to existing teeth (partials.)
Finally, dental implants use titanium posts that integrate with existing bone and gum tissue to replace the root and crown. Not only does this method offer the most stable and longest lasting solution for tooth loss, but it can be paired with existing methods to offer a better replacement (i.e. implant-retained bridges and dentures.)
Want to learn more on how you can save and restore your teeth? Schedule an appointment with a dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Brian C. Oyler earned his DDS degree from the Indiana University School of Dentistry. His practice offers many treatments and techniques for replacing damaged teeth, so you can trust him and his team to make sure your smile is as functional as it is beautiful. To learn more about his practice, you can contact him through his website.