Dental Restoration: It’s Not as Scary as it Looks!
As frustrating as it is to learn you have cavities, it is important to take care of them as soon as possible. Left untreated, dental decay leads to bigger problems that require complicated and costly procedures to treat them. Fortunately, there are simple methods of dental restoration that can have you smiling again in no time.
What is dental restoration?
At its simplest, dental restoration is the practice of restoring damaged or missing teeth. Many people tend to think it is replacing broken or missing teeth, but it covers a wide array of dental procedures, including fillings, crowns, and root canals to name a few. A dentist would much rather preserve your natural teeth as much as possible before replacing them.
Different Types of Fillings
The word ‘amalgam’ means mixture, and fillings of this material are a combination of elemental mercury and powdered alloy consisting of silver, tin, and aluminum that creates a silvery appearance. While mercury is a toxic chemical, the FDA notes that amalgam fillings are safe to use in adults and children 6 and older with no adverse effects.
Resin or composite fillings are quickly becoming the preferred choice for patients because they are more natural looking. Off white and translucent like normal teeth, it is a mixture of glass and plastic that can also be used to reshape teeth. The only downside to composite fillings is that they may not last as long in larger cavities and can discolor if the patient drinks or eats foods that stain.
Fillings are administered under local anesthesia and completed within a couple of hours. There is generally no pain after fillings, although some patients may complain of soreness or reactions to the numbing agents. Sometimes a patient might require a medicated filling, which is a specialized filling that contains medicine to help fight off infection in the tooth.
Another form of restorative dentistry is the root canal. Within the tooth structure, the roots are the long portions that attach to the jawbone and hold the teeth in place. The tooth’s nerves run through the channels of the root and into the large part of the tooth called the pulp chamber. If a tooth decays badly enough, the pulp becomes infected and causes pain. A root canal removes the infected pulp and the nerve to prevent any further decay or pain. The procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling, but some people experience soreness and discomfort for a couple of days after the procedure as their mouth heals.
For severe cavities that are too large for a regular filling, your dentist may recommend a crown, which is essentially a large cap placed over a tooth. The crown can be made from different materials including precious metals (gold alloy), resin, stainless steel, ceramic, or zirconia. Some crowns are a temporary measure until more extensive work can be completed, or placed permanently.
Brushing and flossing regularly are still the best way to prevent these services, but if you need them, Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental is here to help you. We understand that going to the dentist can be nerve-wracking, and your comfort is one of our top concerns. Using state of the art technology, we make dental restoration quick and easy. You can take comfort in knowing that we’re committed 100% to making your smile the best it can be. Click here to find out more about some of the other types of dental restoration we offer or call us today at 210.877.2273, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!