- Dental Bonding (Fillings)
A conservative options for cosmetic dental results are tooth
colored composite resin fillings. These are best when used
to correct esthetic flaws and minor damage to a tooth. An
advantage to fillings are that they are completed in a single
visit and requires minimal removal of remaining tooth structure.
When can bonding (filings) be used?
Bonding is a option to correct small areas of discoloration, to remove tooth decay, to repair damage to minor damage to teeth including small chips, and in some situations can be used to close gaps between teeth. Dental fillings can be closely matched to existing tooth color. This is a good option for small dental repairs and small esthetic concerns.
Is it right for you?
Although tooth color composite resin fillings have improved and are stronger and more esthetic than before they are not the gold standard for lasting longevity or in regards to durability in addition they can scratch, discolor and fade much quicker than other dental like porcelain. That being said bonded fillings are quick, and less expensive treatments which make them the most common dental restorative procedure.
- Dental Crowns/ Veneers/ Inlays and Onlays
Porcelain is a much stronger material than resin used in fillings,
not only is it more durable creating a longer lasting restoration and
it is also more esthetic. Porcelain is often used in crowns
(restorations covering most of a tooth), veneers (restorations
designed for esthetics and covering only the front of teeth),
and inlays and onlays (which are used when only a portion of a
tooth needs to be repaired and does not warrant placing a crown
designed to cover the entire tooth).
When should porcelain be used?
Porcelain is a stronger material and looks very pretty but it is more
expensive and at times requires more tooth to be removed to
accommodate the restoration. In highly esthetic areas such as the
front of the mouth, molar areas of high bite stress, and in areas
where a tooth is highly broken down or decayed. Porcelain offers a
longer lasting restoration both in longevity and cosmetically. Porcelain
does not stain, scratch, crack or break nearly as easily as tooth
colored composite fillings.
Is it right for you?
Restorations made of porcelain are longer lasting, and maintain there luster longer but are more expensive because they must be fabricated by a lab. At Stringham Dentistry we create some of these restorations with our in office CEREC milling chamber, and some are sent out to a dental lab. The procedure takes a little longer than a filling if we create the restoration in office. Some situations require the restoration to be sent to the outside lab requiring an additional appointment, but this is rare and most restorations of this nature are completed on the same day. In most situations porcelain restorations are superior to dental resin fillings and last longer, but also a more expensive treatment.
If you're missing one or more teeth, you may notice a difference in
chewing and speaking. There are options to help restore your smile.
Bridges help maintain the shape of your face, as well as alleviating
the stress in your bite by replacing missing teeth. Sometimes called
a fixed partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial
teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more
teeth may have been. The restoration can be made from gold, alloys,
porcelain or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto
surrounding teeth for support. Unlike a removable bridge, which you
can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a
source: American Dental Association
When should a fixed bridge be used?
Fixed bridges are used to fill missing teeth, but in most situations can only fill a gap of 1-2 teeth and require a tooth on each side of the missing area. A fixed bridge like a crown is bonded or cemented in place and is not removable like an removable partial denture. The advantage of a fixed bridge is that is provides a good bite function, and looks esthetic.
Is it right for you?
Dental bridges are a good option when a tooth or two are missing to fill the gap however this is difficult area to clean because the teeth are connected together. Dental implants are a an alternative which allow you to floss more easily. Removable partial dentures are another alternative but are not fixed and come in and out of the mouth, the removable partial denture is often a solution for multiple missing teeth, when the fixed alternatives including bridge or implants are too expensive.