Nowadays, there are a variety of tooth repair options available thanks to cosmetic dentistry. There are even more reasons why a tooth might need to be repaired. It can be the result of an injury caused by trauma, the result of extensive tooth decay or a tooth can be badly stained because of bad habits like smoking.
Tooth repair options 101
Regardless of the reason why teeth have become damaged, it is important to fix them as soon as possible to prevent further damage from taking place.
Here are three common cosmetic dentistry procedures that are often used to repair damaged teeth:
1. Dental crowns
A broken or otherwise damaged tooth can be fixed with a crown. Also known as caps, these prosthetic protect the wearer's tooth from further damage while restoring its function. Crowns are often made from ceramics and porcelain since these materials look like natural teeth, but these devices can also be made from metals like silver and gold. Some crowns are made from composite resins.
A root canal is sometimes performed on a damaged tooth that will be crowned if the pulp chamber has been breached. That eliminates the possibility of an infection developing later down the road.
Before a tooth is crowned, the dentist will take an X-ray or CT scan to get a picture of what is going on underneath the surface of the patient's mouth.
2. Dental implants
Dental implants are often used to replace missing teeth. If a tooth is severely damaged or infected, the dentist might decide to extract it and replace it with an implant. Implants are almost as natural as real teeth since these devices mimic the behavior of teeth and their roots.
During the procedure, the dentist will surgically insert a titanium screw into the patient's jawbone. Screws made out of materials like zirconium can also be used. Once the implant has fused with the person's jawbone – which typically takes three to six months – a crown is attached to the external-facing end.
The main advantage of implants is that these devices look, function and feel just like real teeth.
Fillings are often used to address damage caused by tooth decay. This is caused by acids from the bacteria in the person's mouth, which eat away at the enamel and inner layers of the tooth. Fillings are economical, and these can restore a tooth's appearance and function if composite resins are used.
Composites are particularly effective when being used to improve the appearance of a tooth. These materials have the same color as natural teeth, making it hard to detect when a tooth has been repaired with them. During the procedure, the dentist will prepare the tooth for the composite, then apply a putty-like substance to the tooth. It is molded into the desired shape and hardened with an ultraviolet light. Finally, the newly restored tooth is trimmed and polished so it looks just like the rest of the patient's teeth.
Looking to repair a damaged tooth? Explore your tooth repair options with one of our cosmetic dentists today!
Call (405) 506-7274 today to reach The Dental Lodge of Noble.
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