In a perfect world, each of your teeth would stay healthy, strong, and brilliantly white throughout your life. But most of us will need to restore a tooth at some point, and the dentists at Winston-Salem Dental Group can help.
A tooth can be compromised by cavities, enamel erosion, a chip or crack, gum disease, or injury. Sometimes old restorations break and need to be replaced or root canals performed decades ago develop an abscess.
Here are 7 different options for repairing a damaged tooth:
Bonding, officially called direct composite veneers, is used to fix minor cosmetic problems – small chips, cracks, discoloration, and spaces between teeth. We apply moldable tooth-colored composite resin and shape it as desired. The resin is cured with a special light to harden and adhere tightly to the tooth. Bonding is typically the most affordable option for improving healthy teeth with minor cosmetic issues.
Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin tooth-shaped fronts that are permanently bonded to your natural teeth. They are used when the underlying tooth is structurally sound and free of tooth decay. A beautiful veneer can cover a chip or crack or repair the alignment of a tooth that appears slightly off kilter as compared to surrounding teeth.
Modern white fillings are strong and inconspicuous. A minimally invasive filling leaves you with more of your enamel and dentin. We can also replace old amalgam fillings with white fillings. This makes your teeth look a lot better every time you open your mouth. Get rid of all that metal!
Inlays and Onlays
A traditional filling is shaped and molded after it is applied to the tooth. Because inlays and onlays are produced in a dental lab, they are generally called indirect fillings. A less invasive inlay or onlay may be used instead of a traditional filling or, in some cases, a crown. Inlays are applied to just the center of the biting surface of a tooth (not to a cusp or point) and are often smaller than onlays. An onlay restores one or more cusps of a tooth.
A crown replaces the entire visible portion of the tooth, restoring appearance, strength, and function. A crown is generally necessary for a tooth that has had a root canal, a tooth with severe decay, or as the replacement tooth in a dental bridge. Attaching a crown to the abutment is the final step of a tooth implant procedure. Crowns can be made of all metal (such as gold), porcelain-fused-to-metal, all ceramic, or all resin.
Soft Tissue Grafts
Gum recession puts teeth and underlying bone at risk. Soft tissue grafting can cover the exposed root of a tooth to prevent further damage. Gum surgery is also carried out for cosmetic reasons such reshaping a gumline to eliminate a “gummy” smile.
What if a tooth has to be extracted because it is beyond saving? For many Winston-Salem Dental Group patients, a dental implant anchored into the bone is the prime solution. A tooth implant consist of a strong metal post (artificial root), abutment (connecting piece), and beautiful crown. A dental implant had many advantages over a dental bridge. They are stronger, provide virtually natural function, prohibit bone recession, and do not influence the surrounding teeth. For patients with multiple missing teeth, customized implant-anchored dentures can be developed in any configuration necessary.
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