General Dental Restorations

Dental Restorations in their most rudimentary form are more commonly known as fillings. As restorations become more extensive, they can include dental crowns, root canals, and dental implants, all procedures our East Brunswick dentist is very familiar with. Dental restorations involve restoring the strength, shape, and function of a tooth. They can include direct, or indirect methods. This means that dental restorations can include parts that are constructed inside the mouth, in place, or they can be indirect, and constructed outside the mouth, usually in a dental laboratory.

What is the difference between a filling and a crown? Fillings involve removing weak or decayed portions of a tooth, making the walls of the removed parts smooth, and filling the hole with the appropriate choice of materials. Teeth that require fillings are not as structurally compromised as those that require crowns, and so the dentist removes only what is necessary to halt the decay. Gold, silver amalgam, porcelain, or a variety of polymers and types of glass composites can be used to form fillings. Many filling types are formed by a direct method, meaning that the materials that form the fillings are extruded into the hole, and allowed to harden. This common procedure is quick and usually only requires one visit to the dentist. Other materials than the actual filler can be used to slow bacterial growth, to line the cavity to help reduce possible sensitivity due to the nearness to the nerve root, and more.

Dental Crowns are a type of restoration that is made using an indirect method, meaning they are formed outside of the mouth and affixed to the prepared tooth or dental implant. The indirect method involves taking an impression of the shape of the prepared tooth and making the crown to fit that impression. They are then bonded to the tooth using dental resin or acid-base cements. Dental crowns actually form the tooth-shaped top of a dental implant. Technically, the implant is really just the portion that is bonded to the underlying bone. Two dental crowns make up the portion of a dental bridge that overlays the prepared teeth (abutments) that form the anchor teeth. The bridge is affixed to the underlying structure that supports the crowns.

A root canal is a special type of restoration. The purpose of a root canal is to repair a tooth whose structure has been compromised all the way to the tooth pulp. Good indicators that one might need a root canal include tooth sensitivity, pain on chewing, tooth, ear, or eye pain, fracture of the tooth, and pain and swelling of the jaw. Sometimes none of these symptoms appear, and the dentist simply finds the problem on a regular visit. A root canal removes the decayed outer layer, or enamel, the dentin, which is the core layer of hard material, and the infected pulp, or soft inner core that includes blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The hollowed out area of the tooth is smoothed, disinfected, and essentially filled as in an ordinary filling, although this is usually a temporary filling. A crown is later placed over the filling, to protect and reinforce the tooth.

Dental restorations are common procedures, and can be both practical and cosmetic in nature. Dr. Yanni is happy to answer questions regarding dental restorations of all types.