In a perfect world, each of your cherished teeth would stay healthy, strong, and brilliantly white throughout your life. The truth is, however, that most of us need to restore a tooth at some point. That’s where The Parkway Dentist in Fort Worth comes in.
A tooth can be compromised by cavities, enamel erosion, a chip or crack, gum disease, or injury. Sometimes old restorations break and need to be replaced, or root canals performed decades ago develop an abscess.
Here are seven different options for repairing a damaged tooth:
Bonding, also called direct composite veneers, is used to address minor cosmetic troubles – small chips, cracks, discoloration, and spaces between teeth. We apply moldable tooth-colored composite resin and shape it as desired. The resin is then cured with a special light to harden and adhere tightly to the tooth. Composite bonding is typically the most affordable option for improving healthy teeth with minor cosmetic issues.
Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin tooth-shaped fronts that are permanently bonded to your natural teeth. They are used when the underlying tooth is structurally sound and free of decay. A veneer can cover a chip or crack or repair the alignment of a tooth that appears slightly off kilter compared to surrounding teeth.
Fillings are one of the most common procedures we do. They’re used to repair decay in a tooth.
Inlays and Onlays
A traditional filling is shaped and molded after it is applied to the tooth. Because inlays and onlays are produced in a dental lab, they are generally called indirect fillings. A less invasive inlay or onlay may be used instead of a traditional filling or, in some cases, a crown. Inlays are applied to just the center of the biting surface of a tooth (not to a cusp or point) and are often smaller than onlays. An onlay restores one or more cusps of a tooth.
A crown replaces the entire visible portion of the tooth, restoring appearance, strength, and function. A crown is generally needed for a tooth that has had a root canal, a tooth with acute decay, or as the replacement tooth in a dental bridge. Attaching a crown to the abutment is the final step of a tooth implant procedure. Crowns can be made of all metal (such as gold), porcelain-fused-to-metal, all ceramic, or all resin.
Soft Tissue Grafts
Gum recession puts teeth and underlying bone at risk. Soft tissue grafting can cover the exposed root of a tooth to prevent further damage. Gum surgery is also performed for cosmetic reasons such as reshaping a gumline to eliminate a “gummy” smile.
If you’re missing a tooth, a dental implant is the ideal solution. An implant consists of a strong metal post (artificial root), abutment (connecting piece), and crown. Implants have many advantages over a dental bridge. They are stronger, provide virtually normal function, prohibit bone recession, and do not influence the surrounding teeth. They can even be used to anchor a set of dentures.
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