Although your teeth are made of sturdy stuff, they can be susceptible to damage, injury and decay and this is when restorative treatment comes in handy. Restorations are used to strengthen and repair the teeth, enhancing the function of the tooth and often providing aesthetic benefits. If you have a chipped, broken or worn down tooth, your dentist will be able to find the perfect solution!
Modern tooth restorations
Like most areas of dentistry, restorative dentistry is advancing all the time and modern tooth restorations are a far cry from treatments of old. Today, it is almost always possible to repair a damaged tooth, rather than remove it and treatment can make a real difference to oral health, as well as the look of the smile. Examples of modern restorative treatments include:
Fillings: fillings are used to treat tooth decay and the aim of treatment is to fill a cavity to prevent infection from spreading and make the tooth stronger. Today, white fillings, which are made from dental composite and resins, are very popular, as they restore the tooth invisibly. White fillings usually last up to 5 years.
Crowns: crowns are designed to strengthen decayed and damaged teeth; they are commonly made from ceramics, including porcelain, to provide a seamless aesthetic and they last around 5-10 years. A crown is custom-made to fit over the tooth perfectly and it is sometimes known as a cap, as it sits on the tooth. Crown treatment usually involves 2 sessions 2 weeks apart; however, it is possible to get same-day crowns using Cerec technology. You may be advised to have a new crown if you have a severely decayed tooth, your tooth is infected and you have had root canal treatment or the tooth is fractured.
Dental bridges: dental bridges are a popular treatment for missing teeth; they are often used to replace a single tooth and are most commonly made from a false tooth and a crown on either side. Bridges can be made from metals and ceramics and porcelain is a popular choice because it matches the shade of the natural teeth around the gap. Bridgework usually involves 2 sessions and a bridge should last up to 15 years.
Inlays and onlays: inlays and onlays are often described as the middle ground between fillings and crowns; they may be recommended when damage is too extensive for a filling, but not severe enough for a crown. Inlays are placed inside the tooth, while onlays also cover the biting cusps on the outside of the tooth.