A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative material used to restore the function, integrity and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma. It is also lost intentionally during tooth preparation to improve the aesthetics or the physical integrity of the intended restorative material. Dental restoration also refers to the replacement of missing tooth structure that is supported by dental implants.
Dental sealants are very thin coatings used to fill in deep grooves and pits in teeth that can harbour bacteria. Sealants are applied to healthy chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent decay and cavities – especially among children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, tooth decay affects more than half of children ages 6 – 8, and even older children and teens. By applying sealants, families can prevent decay and the save on the costs associated with filling cavities. If you plan to get dental it is recommended doing so shortly after the molars have erupted from the gums – usually beginning around age 6.
Tooth extractions are routine dental procedures used to remove decayed, damaged or otherwise problematic teeth. Dentists usually make every effort to preserve natural teeth, although sometimes an extraction is necessary. Although the procedure is performed in a dentist’s or oral surgeon’s office, it is considered surgery. Depending on which teeth are removed, they may be replaced with a dental implant or another oral prosthetic.
A scale and polish cleans your teeth very thoroughly. Scaling removes the hard tartar which forms on your teeth like scale inside a kettle. You can’t remove it just by brushing your teeth. Scaling also removes trapped food and plaque containing millions of germs, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental crowns and bridges are custom-fitted tooth prosthetics that are used to replace or restore damaged or missing teeth. Crowns – also known as caps – are fixed over the surfaces of natural tooth structures or dental implants. Bridges are used to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth and are anchored in place by the natural teeth or crowns nearest the empty space. Both crowns and bridges are non-removable and must be cemented in place by a licensed dentist. Patients who get crown or bridges to restore their smiles achieve both the function and appearance of natural, healthy teeth.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
Root canals are valuable dental procedures used to treat and preserve teeth with badly infected roots. The pulp is the live portion of the tooth that extends into the root and contains nerve endings and tissues. When it becomes infected, patients can experience pain, swelling and even total tooth loss unless treated. Root canals remove the damaged parts of the tooth and infected root. In some cases, an antibiotic is prescribed to help prevent further infection within the tooth. The organic portion of the tooth that remains may be restored using a cap or crown that provides a natural appearance and normal tooth function.
Teeth whitening procedures are used to brighten the appearance of a patient’s smile – sometimes by as many as 5 to 10 shades in a single session. Teeth whitening procedures have become some of the most popular aesthetic dental treatments among patients. Professional teeth whitening services can be performed in an office setting or prescribed for take-home use by a patient. In comparison to over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments, professional whitening uses stronger whitening agents that deliver faster and more effective results.
Orthodontic treatments like braces help move teeth that are crooked or that do not fit together right. By fixing these problems, orthodontics can also help keep your mouth healthy. Crooked teeth can be harder to clean, putting you at risk for cavities and gum disease.