If you have ever needed a dental restoration, you know that nothing cures the phobia of dentists like a toothache. The dentist becomes your new best friend, the one who will make take away the pain.
Toothaches happen when teeth get damaged by cavities, chipping, and fractures. If the tooth is not too damaged to save, it is restored using one of two popular methods: Tooth fillings or dental crowns. How does the dentist decide which procedure to use? Keep going to find out.
Two popular dental restorations
1. Dental fillings
Fillings are used to restore teeth that are only moderately damaged by cavities or injury. In the case of cavities, the dentist removes the decayed part of the tooth. Next, they clean and disinfect the tooth. If the nerve becomes exposed, a protective silicon-based liner is applied to the floor of the cavity. Finally, filling material is poured into the space where the decayed part of the tooth used to be. After it solidifies, the filling is made smooth and polished. Fillings create a barrier that protects the inner tooth from decay-causing bacteria. They also make teeth structurally stronger.
What are fillings made of?
Dental fillings come in many materials and colors. Older types of fillings are made of gold or dental amalgam (silver). Although they are durable, they should only be used on molars because of how they look. The most popular types of fillings are made from tooth-colored materials like ceramics and composite resin. They may not be as durable as metal fillings, but they are a much better option for front teeth.
How long do fillings last?
Gold fillings can last for 30 years while ceramic and amalgam fillings last for about 15 years. Composite fillings last for about five years.
2. Dental crowns
If the damage to the tooth is extensive, a crown is used instead of a filling. A crown is a dental appliance that completely covers a damaged tooth. It is used to protect the tooth from further damage. It is also used to restore the shape and strength of the tooth.
The process of fitting a crown is done in two sessions. In the first session, the damaged part of the tooth is removed. The tooth is then filed down and shaped to prepare it for the placement of the crown. The dentist then makes an impression of the tooth and sends it to the lab. The impression the template used to fabricate the crown. Lastly, a temporary crown is placed on the tooth, and the patient goes home.
In the second session, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent one fitted. Dental crowns restore the health and aesthetics of the tooth. They are considered both a cosmetic and a restorative dental appliance.
What are dental crowns made of?
They can be made of metals like stainless steel and gold. They are also made with tooth-colored materials like resin, porcelain, and ceramic.
How long do they last?
If fitted right, dental crowns last decades. Crowns are a far more permanent restorative treatment compared to dental fillings.
We can always answer any dental crown questions. Contact us today!
To avoid more severe tooth restoration procedures, ensure your dental health by getting a skilled set of eyes to check on your teeth and gums twice a year. Even restored teeth need to be monitored to make sure that they do not come loose or wear out. The dentist is always happy to see you, so drop by every six months.