While our goal at LakeView Dental Arts is to prevent dental problems before they occur, there are times we need to restore a tooth to prevent further damage or decay. Dr. Walmsley may recommend treatment for teeth that are decayed, fractured, stained, or chipped or if there is a developmental or trauma-related defect. Our goal is to prevent the need for dental restorations but to catch and treat any problems early so that they don’t grow into more significant and costly problems.
Our Restorative Dentistry Services:
- Dental Fillings
- Dental Crowns
- Dental Bridges
- Dental Implants
- Root Canals
- Implant Restoration
- Tooth Extractions
- Laser Gum Recontouring
- Composite and No-prep Veneers
- Crown Lengthening
During a routine appointment, Dr. Walmsley will perform an exam to determine the condition of your oral health. The exam typically involves mechanical and radiographic techniques to analyze the surfaces of your teeth, gums, and underlying bone. Once we have accurately diagnosed your oral health condition, we can move forward with treatment if there is a problem.
There are four primary types of material used to restore teeth: porcelain, composite resin, gold, and dental amalgam. Porcelain is used for restorations where aesthetics are the main concern. Of all the restoration materials, porcelain best mimics the light-reflecting properties of natural enamel. Sometimes, for durability, Emax or zirconia is used instead of porcelain. Composite is also an aesthetically-pleasing material that can be used for minor alterations such as tooth-colored fillings or to repair small chips or gaps, although it is not as durable as porcelain. Gold is an extremely long-lasting choice for restorations, but many people don’t prefer the look of flashy gold in their teeth. Due to the controversial makeup of amalgam (which contains small amounts of mercury) and because amalgam fillings can fracture teeth by the metal expanding and contracting with hot and cold beverages in your mouth, we do not place amalgam fillings. In fact, if you choose to have amalgam fillings removed, we can replace them with composite or porcelain for both aesthetic and health-related reasons.
Repairing Damaged Teeth
If left untreated, the bacteria in dental plaque can wreak havoc on your teeth, eventually leading to cavities. Our first line of treatment for cavities is dental fillings. Fillings are designed to restore the structural integrity and the aesthetics of a decayed tooth. Composite is the most common material used for dental fillings because it can be matched to the color of your tooth. They can also be placed in both the front and back regions of the mouth.
Inlays and onlays, also known as indirect fillings, are used to restore teeth with moderate to severe decay. Unlike regular fillings, indirect fillings are prefabricated in a dental laboratory and placed at a later date. Indirect fillings are considered a conservative alternative to dental crowns.
When a tooth has been severely decayed, broken, cracked, or damaged, Dr. Walmsley may recommend a dental crown. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that are used to help save a tooth from further damage or extraction. The crown actually helps support and save the tooth. Like most restorations, crowns can be fabricated from porcelain or another ceramic material, or even Emax or zirconia, or even gold which are all extremely durable. To place a crown, Dr. Walmsley will completely reshape the enamel of the tooth, removing the decay and broken areas. If a large amount of tooth structure has to be removed, the tooth may have to be built up in order to have enough structure to stabilize the crown. After the crown has been fabricated, it will be permanently cemented into place.
We know you’re busy! Here at LakeView Dental Arts, whenever possible, we try to fabricate same-day crowns in order to save you from having a return visit as well as to prevent you from having impressions taken and wearing a temporary crown for weeks.
Replacing Missing Teeth
If the tooth is beyond saving, Dr. Walmsley will recommend a tooth extraction. Luckily, we offer several tooth replacement options, two of which are bridges and dental implants.
A traditional bridge literally “bridges” the space left by a missing tooth using two dental crowns and a pontic, or false tooth. The downside to a bridge is that the adjacent teeth will have to be cut on to be reshaped to hold the bridge. This might not be an issue if these two teeth coincidentally have large metal fillings that need replacing. However, if the teeth on either side of the space are perfectly healthy and intact, a bridge may not be the best option.
Dental implants tend to be the most ideal solution to replace lost teeth. An implant-supported restoration will look, feel, and function just like a natural tooth. The implant, a small titanium screw, is surgically embedded into the jawbone and serves as the root component of a prosthesis. Then, after the screw has time to be integrated into the jawbone, the restoration is placed on the dental implant. The restoration can vary from a single crown to a bridge to a full denture, depending on the patient’s needs.
This can be a tremendous help to patients missing most or all of their teeth. LakeView Dental Arts also offers several denture options for patients looking for a lower-cost tooth replacement option. Contact us today for a free consultation to see what treatment is available.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you are interested in restorative dentistry, call (865) 248-2199, and schedule your appointment now!