When is a Filling Necessary?
When a tooth begins to decay, a filling is often the best way to restore that tooth to its natural shape and normal function. Plus, due to recent advances in dental technology, the entire procedure can generally be accomplished in just one appointment. The first step in the filling process is to remove the entirety of the decayed tooth material. After removing the decay, the cavity left behind is thoroughly cleaned and then filled in with a filling material.
The most commonly used filling materials are silver, amalgam and composite. Although every situation is unique, composite fillings are usually the best option because they are durable, tooth-colored and offer a more natural and visually-appealing result than silver or amalgam.
As with most dental restorations, fillings are NOT permanent and someday may have to be replaced. You will be given detailed care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment; good oral hygiene practices, eating habits and regular dental visits are essential to extending the life of your new filling(s).
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a custom fabricated tooth that encases the entire surface of a severely decayed tooth. A crown may be necessary if the decay is so substantial that the tooth requires an additional level of protection that is just not feasible through the placement of a simple filling. Once placed, a dental crown doesn't just restore the tooth back to its original shape, size and strength, it can also drastically improve your smile's appearance!
There are several types of crowns available, such as porcelain, gold or solid zirconia. Although all of the aforementioned materials offer attractive and durable solutions, porcelain is by far the most popular option. Porcelain dental crowns are highly durable and custom-made to match the shape, size and color or your natural teeth.
The process of placing a dental crown typically requires two appointments. First, your dentist will take several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. Then an additional mold will be used to create a temporary crown which will be placed onto the tooth while your new crown is being fabricated by a dental laboratory.
Approximately two weeks later the temporary crown will be removed and the surface of the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned. Dr. Arnold will then carefully place your new crown, taking great care to ensure that both the spacing and bite are accurate and properly aligned.
What Are the Benefits of a Dental Bridge?
A bridge is a fixed (non-removable) dental appliance that can offer an excellent solution for replacing missing teeth. There are several types of bridges available; as such, it is necessary that you have a detailed discussion with Dr. Arnold, and his team of dental professionals, to determine the best options available for your unique case.
The most commonly used type of dental bridge is a "traditional bridge". Typically constructed of porcelain fused to metal, a "traditional bridge" consists of two crowns that go over the two anchoring teeth (a.k.a. abutment teeth). These crowns are attached to artificial teeth known as pontics that are used to fill-in any gaps or spaces that were left by one or more missing teeth.
Fixed bridges can help solve a variety of dental issues including:
- Filling space(s) left behind by missing teeth
- Maintaining facial shape
- Preventing the remaining teeth from drifting out of position
- Restoring chewing and/or speaking ability
- Revitalizing your smile
With proper care and routine check-ups, Dr. Arnold's state-of-the-art restorative dental care services can provide the perfect solution to give you the long-lasting, beautiful smile you've always dreamed of!