A filling repairs and restores the surface of a tooth that has been damaged by decay, minor fracture, or wear. If tooth decay or tooth wear is not repaired at its early stages, it will worsen and additional or alternative dental treatments may be necessary.
With proper care and routine oral hygiene, a filling has a lifespan of 5-30 years, depending upon the type of filling material used.
After a thorough exam of your teeth, gums and supporting bone structure, Dr. Kokinias will discuss treatment options with you and answer your questions. If the agreed-upon treatment is a dental filling, Dr. Kokinias will:
- Apply a local anesthetic to the area where work will be performed
- Use a hand-held instrument to prepare your tooth by removing the decayed or damaged tooth surface
- Cleanse the prepared tooth to remove debris and bacteria
- Select the dental filling material based on which tooth, the location of the damaged area of the tooth, and the extent of its surface damage
- Apply adhesives and filling material to the prepared area and shape it to match the look and feel of a natural tooth. An ultraviolet light is used to harden the material
- The restoration is adjusted and polished so it feels smooth and natural
A dental crown restores a tooth's shape, size, and strength. It fully encases the visible portion of your tooth or dental implant. Once it is permanently bonded in place, only a Dentist or Specialist can remove it.
With proper care and good oral hygiene, the life of a crown can range from 5 to 20 years.
A crown may be prescribed by your Dentist to:
- Restore and protect a tooth that is worn, decayed, cracked, or fractured
- Protect and support a tooth after a very large filling or root canal treatment
- Cover a dental implant
- Hold a dental bridge or other prosthetic device in place
- Improve your smile by covering a misshapen or severely discolored tooth or teeth
Dr. Kokinias will recommend the best type of crown for your dental restoration needs based on the location of the tooth and structure of the tooth or implant that requires protection. There are three types of crowns. Each type has its own characteristics and qualities:
Porcelain is attractive, strong, stable, and highly resistant to wear. It offers a high level of biocompatibility because it does not contain metal. A porcelain crown provides the best natural color match to the rest of your teeth and is an excellent choice for front teeth.
Metal offers strength and endurance. A metal crown may be recommended for back teeth where the forces of biting and chewing are the greatest. A metal crown virtually never fractures. In addition, it requires minimal removal of tooth structure.
A gold or other high-noble metal crown offers biocompatibility. A base metal crown is often the least expensive treatment options; however, it lacks biocompatibility and may cause allergic reactions or gum line discoloration
Porcelain-fused-to-metal offers the benefits of a natural surface color that resembles the rest of your teeth and the strength of a metal substructure. Similar to the full metal crowns, they are primarily placed on the back teeth.
A crown is utilized to restore an existing tooth back to its natural appearance, whereas a bridge uses surrounding teeth to help fill the gap of a missing tooth. A lost tooth creates a gap in the alignment of teeth. Therefore, once the space is no longer occupied with a tooth, the teeth are likely to shift and move out of place. A bridge fills the gap and helps to maintain the structure of your smile.