For many people, tooth damage has reached a point where it cannot be fixed by regular brushing or flossing. This would include issues like cavities, broken or missing teeth, discoloration, etc. In such cases, your dentist may recommend tooth restoration procedures. These can range from simple procedures like fillings to complex, invasive procedures like implants. Restoration is essential to restoring the natural functioning of the teeth, especially in cases of severe damage like a broken tooth. We must remember that dental issues that require restorative care are not only caused by poor oral hygiene. Tooth damage from accidents can also require restoration. Thus, it is important that we understand the different types of tooth restoration procedures and their functions.
Fillings are one of the milder restoration procedures. It is used to treat mild cases of cavities. It involves removing the decayed part of your tooth and filling it in with resin or dental amalgam. Fillings are a form of direct restoration where the material used for restoration is directly applied to the teeth.
Tooth bonding is done to treat discoloration and chips/cracks on teeth. It involves applying a composite resin to the tooth. This resin is usually the same color as the teeth and is hardened by exposure to ultraviolet light. Much like fillings, bonding is also a direct restoration procedure. The material used is not as durable as crowns or veneers and, thus, can chip easily and require regular maintenance.
Inlays and onlays are used to tackle more advanced cases of cavities that are too big for fillings. They are custom-made for each patient by preparing a mold of the affected area. After cleaning the teeth and removing the decayed tissue, the inlay is used to fill the cavity at the center of the teeth. Onlays are used when the outer areas of the teeth are removed and need to be restored. Unlike direct restoration procedures, these require materials to be fabricated externally and then placed on the teeth. Thus, inlays and onlays are a form of indirect restoration.
Like inlays and onlays, crowns are used to treat severe cases of cavities. It is also used when large parts of the teeth are chipped or broken. A dental crown is a cap that is fixed atop the affected tooth. It provides structural support for the tooth while also protecting it from infection and further damage. Crowns are also a form of indirect restoration. They require a mold of the affected teeth to be taken so that the crown is a correct fit.
These are some of the different tooth restoration methods. Other methods, like implants, dentures, bridges, root canals, etc., also exist to treat different dental issues. Understanding the different types of restoration practices and what they are useful for can help you choose the right treatment for yourself if you require one. If you’re still unsure about the right method to choose or you want to know more about any of the different procedures, we here at Fountains Dental Care can help. We have over 30 years of experience serving Chandler patients with best-in-class care. Call us at 480-222-8083 or contact us online to speak to our dental care professionals.