RESTORING DAMAGED TEETH
Dentistry offers various procedures to restore damaged teeth, addressing issues such as decay, fractures, or structural damage. The specific treatment depends on the nature and extent of the damage. Here are common dental procedures for restoring damaged teeth:
- Used to repair cavities caused by tooth decay. The decayed portion of the tooth is removed, and the resulting space is filled with materials such as amalgam (silver-colored) or composite resin (tooth-colored).
- Also known as caps, dental crowns cover the entire visible surface of a damaged tooth. They are used to strengthen weakened teeth, restore their shape, and improve their appearance. Crowns can be made of various materials, including porcelain, metal, or a combination of both.
- Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of artificial teeth (pontics) that are anchored to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. Bridges restore the function and appearance of the smile.
Dental Inlays and Onlays:
- These are indirect restorations that are used when a tooth has too much damage to be repaired with a filling but doesn’t require a full crown. Inlays fit within the cusps (points) of the tooth, while onlays cover one or more cusps.
- Implants are used to replace missing teeth. A titanium post is surgically placed into the jawbone, acting as an artificial tooth root. A dental crown is then placed on top of the implant, providing a natural-looking and functional replacement for the missing tooth.
- Dentures are removable appliances that replace multiple missing teeth. Full dentures replace all teeth in an arch, while partial dentures replace only the missing teeth and attach to remaining natural teeth.
Root Canal Therapy:
- When the pulp (innermost part) of a tooth becomes infected or damaged, root canal therapy may be performed. The infected pulp is removed, and the space is cleaned and filled. This procedure saves the natural tooth and eliminates pain and infection.
- Dental bonding involves applying a tooth-colored resin material to the damaged tooth and then shaping and polishing it to match the surrounding teeth. It’s often used to repair chipped or cracked teeth and for cosmetic improvements.
- Thin shells of porcelain or composite resin that are bonded to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers can be used to address issues like discoloration, chips, or minor misalignments.
- In cases where damage is related to misalignment, orthodontic treatments like braces or clear aligners may be recommended to correct the alignment of teeth and improve overall oral health.
It’s important to note that the choice of restoration depends on factors such as the extent of damage, location of the tooth, and the patient’s overall oral health. Dentists consider both functional and aesthetic factors when recommending a specific restoration method. Regular dental check-ups can help identify issues early, allowing for timely intervention and a range of restoration options.