Restorative Dentistry


Restorative Dentistry

Your teeth will not always stay in pristine shape. Because of a continually ongoing process of decay and erosion of your tooth enamel, you are going to have problems with your teeth sooner or later. When they do, restorative dentistry can help your smile be what it once was – and it can often be done rather quickly.

Oral Exam

When you go to the dentist’s office at Champion Dental to get your smile back, the dentist will start by providing an oral exam. This exam will consist of several steps, and by the time it is over, you can be sure that the dentist knows what problems are in your mouth. 

Before you see the dentist, you will fill out a form about your medical history. This lets the dentist know what illnesses you have had or currently have, as well as what medications you are taking. Since disease can affect the overall health of your mouth, and vice versa, it may give the dentist an idea of some special problems to look for. 

The oral exam will also be used to evaluate the condition of your teeth. The dentist will look for cavities, exposed tooth roots, decay on the roots of your teeth, and whether or not you have gum disease. This reveals what treatments you need to be performed to restore a healthy mouth and teeth. Your jaw will also be examined for bite problems. 

The oral exam will also include screening for oral cancer. This will be conducted by feeling your neck and below the chin for swollen lymph glands, which are a symptom. Also, any sores in your mouth will be examined and if cancer is suspected, a brush biopsy will be taken and then sent to a lab. 

The dentist or dental therapist will also provide a dental cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar that may be present. Stains will also be removed. Tips will also be provided for the best way to clean your teeth by brushing and flossing.

Digital Xrays

When you go to the dentist for an oral exam, the dentist may take an x-ray. This will depend on whether a need is seen for it. Our dentists at Champion Dental use digital x-rays which gives us several advantages, including being able to view them instantly, and also to enlarge them to see finer detail. They also produce high quality images. 

X-rays are necessary because they provide a lot more information than can be seen with the eye. Digital xrays may reduce radiation exposure by as much as 90 percent of a traditional x-ray. The following problems can be viewed by an x-ray:

  • Decay that exists between teeth
  • Problems below the gum line or inside a tooth
  • Bone loss
  • Abscesses 
  • Cysts
  • Tumors (cancerous and non-cancerous)
  • Poor positions of teeth.

Several types of digital xrays are available for the dentist to be able to determine possible problems. External (extraoral) xrays may be taken if there is a suspected problem with the jaw or jaw joint. They are used to look for possible impacted teeth and problems that may exist between the teeth and the jaw. 

A CT scan will likely be used to determine the condition of the jawbone for the placement of a dental implant. It can reveal the thickness of the jawbone as well as the depth. It may also be used to check for jaw fractures or to check for tumors in your facial bones. 

When an x-ray is required, the dentist will use a minimum amount of radiation. A lead apron will also be provided to protect the body. The radiation is reduced when it is required for children, but they may need x-rays more often because their jaw and teeth are growing and changing. A lead thyroid collar is also available. The lead apron and collar will also protect women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

Dental Fillings

Restorative dentistry will also help protect your teeth. When placing a dental filling, the dentist will first remove the decay and then install the filling. This will restore the tooth for years to come.

Fillings come in a variety of materials and each material will have different levels of durability and benefits. They include materials such as:

  • Gold – long-lasting and expensive
  • Silver amalgam – very common and inexpensive
  • Composite fillings – white or tooth-colored
  • Ceramic – durable and tooth-colored
  • Glass ionomer fillings – used with children and they will release fluoride.

When you want white teeth, it does not make sense to have dental fillings that are obviously anything but white. Having all white teeth not only makes your teeth and smile more beautiful, but it will also make you look younger. 

A metal-colored filling will often show through the tooth, making the tooth look darker. Tooth-colored fillings can match the color of your teeth. They take a little longer to install than an amalgam filling because the dentist must apply the composite material in layers and then harden each layer with a special light. 

Besides being white, composite fillings will also strengthen the tooth because it bonds with it – but other filling material will not do this. The filling can also be installed in just one appointment, but some other materials require two visits. Another benefit is that less drilling is required because the dentist does not need to shape the space. 

If you have other types of fillings and want a white smile, Our dentists at Champion Dental can remove other fillings and a tooth-colored filling can be put in its place. Composite fillings are not as durable as some other materials, but can be expected to last five or more years.

Dental Crown (Cap)

Dental crowns, also called caps, can completely change the visible portion of a tooth. If the tooth is damaged (chipped or cracked), or decayed, a dental crown can make it look new and healthy – just like your other teeth.

Crowns come in a variety of materials including several types of metal, such as gold, nickel, palladium, and chromium. These are the most durable, but they are also highly visible. 

When you want white teeth, there are several different types of materials to choose from. They include:

  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain – Crowns made of these materials are the most natural looking. They are strong, but also somewhat brittle. 
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal – These are porcelain crowns with a metal base, which makes them stronger than all-porcelain types. Over time, if your gums recede, the base may become visible as a dark line above the gum line. 
  • Pressed ceramic – Pressed ceramic crowns have a hard core, and the ceramic is pressed onto it. They are more durable than the all-porcelain.
  • Composite resin – This material is less durable and less expensive than other types, and is better used to replace teeth that do not receive a lot of biting pressure. 
  • Zirconium – A dental crown made of zirconium is the strongest type possible. The material is almost indestructible. Older types of zirconium crowns are all white, but newer zirconium crowns will look more like your natural teeth. 

A strong benefit of a zirconium crown is that it can be made without having to return for a second visit. They are made on a CAD/CAM milling machine in the office of Champion Dental and are installed before you leave. It also eliminates the need for a temporary crown.

Dental Bridges

Missing teeth can be replaced with several options – one of them being dental bridges. Dental bridges are made up of two crowns on both ends of a gap and one or more false teeth (called pontics) cemented in between. 

A bridge is made by preparing teeth on each side of the gap with a dental crown. The pontic is cemented to the two crowns and then the single piece is placed and cemented, making it permanent. When a tooth does not have teeth on both sides, a Maryland bridge can be prepared to fill the gap. 

Patients can choose the type of dental crown that they want to go into their dental bridge. You can have them made from gold, various alloys, porcelain, or zirconia. If you want white teeth, you will want to choose from porcelain, zirconia, or composite. 

Bridges require two visits to complete. After the teeth are prepared for the crowns, an impression is taken of them. It will be sent to a lab for them to make the bridge. Before you leave the dentist’s office, you will be given a temporary bridge. 

An implant-supported bridge is the strongest kind you can get. The implants will also provide the advantage of helping to keep your jawbone from being absorbed into your body. They will need to have sufficient jawbone before being implanted and, if possible, the best way to do this is to have the implant installed when the tooth is extracted.

Inlays and Onlays

Another way to get a tooth restored that has a cavity in it is to get inlays and onlays. After the decay has been removed from the tooth, a mold is made of it, or you will get a digital scan. It is then sent to a lab to make the inlays or onlays. The difference from a dental filling is that an inlay is used to seal anything that is between the cusps of the tooth. An onlay will cover one or more cusps of the tooth.

An inlay or an onlay may be used where the hole is too big for a filling, which would require more of the tooth to be removed. This will weaken the remaining portion of the tooth. The inlay or onlay is premolded and can be made to match the color of the tooth. They are made from gold, porcelain, amalgam, or composite resin. 

The procedure would be somewhat similar to getting a dental crown, except that they are smaller and only cover a portion of the crown. This enables more of the tooth to be saved. 

On your return visit to the dentist’s office, the temporary onlay or inlay will be removed. The permanent one will be tested to ensure a perfect fit. Once assured it fits correctly, it will be bonded into place. It will last for many years. 

Onlays and inlays are better than regular dental fillings. Besides matching your tooth color, they will fit perfectly, not preventing you from flossing between your teeth. It will also protect the areas of the tooth that are weak. 

If your smile is not looking as good as it once was due to damaged or decayed teeth, Champion Dental can restore them for you. We use all the above forms of restorative dentistry to restore your smile. We also provide cosmetic dentistry to make them look even better if you want those services. You can set up a consultation or to get more information about our restorative dentistry techniques by contacting our office today.

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