Restorations or “fillings” as they are sometimes called are necessary in cases where there is tooth decay or a previously filled tooth requires a restoration to be redone due to wear and tear. Restorations can sometimes be done to repair broken teeth.
They are usually easily done at the time of the appointment with some anesthetic used to numb the tooth being treated. We may require a follow up appointment to re-polish and finalise a restoration’s contour and surface texture.
Restoration materials are usually either Tooth Coloured (Resins/Cements) or Silver coloured (Amalgam). We will recommend the restoration material that we feel will provide the best results however patients’ preferences are taken into consideration which ultimately affects the type of restoration that will be placed.
• Inlays/Onlays and Crowns
In some instances, the damage to teeth is quite severe and in these instances, very little of the original healthy tooth remains. To reinforce these teeth and to preserve them for the long term, we may recommend placement of an inlay/onlay or a Crown.
An Inlay/Onlay is essentially a large restoration that is generally made in a dental laboratory, to fit the tooth. These are designed in such a way as to reinforce the remaining tooth while preserving as much of the original tooth as possible. Because they are made in a dental laboratory, we take a mould of the tooth being treated and place a temporary restoration in the tooth while the restoration is being fabricated. Generally the temporary restoration sits on the tooth for approximately 2 weeks while our local laboratories fabricate the restoration.
A crown or a “cap” completely encircles a tooth and is similar to an inlay/onlay in that it is also custom made to fit a specific tooth. This type of treatment is usually reserved for weakened teeth where the majority of the original tooth structure missing and teeth that we cannot predictably restore with an inlay/onlay.
Inlays/Onlays and Crowns can be manufactured from Gold or Porcelain. For crowns, we are able to combine cosmetics and strength by fabricating a Porcelain Fused to Metal Crown which appears like a tooth however has a metallic substructure for strength.
Inlays/Onlays and Crowns are glued to teeth with permanent cement and once placed, will generally perform the same function as a tooth. As with all teeth, due care must be taken with respect to oral hygiene and proper maintenance around all restorative work.
In cases where a tooth is not restorable due to the amount of decay/size of fractures etc, we will recommend its removal (an Extraction). We are able to perform some extractions of wisdom teeth however any difficult cases will likely be referred to an oral surgeon.
• Worn teeth
Where teeth are worn down due to age, diet or grinding, we will recommend appropriate restorative treatment where required but may also suggest a ‘bite guard’ to wear at night to prevent further wear or damage to teeth during episodes of grinding.