Composite fillings are white-coloured dental restorations designed to be inconspicuous in appearance. Dentists can use composites to fill cavities or broken teeth. They blend in more naturally with surrounding teeth structure compared to silver-coloured amalgam fillings. Most dentists select composite materials in areas that are more noticeable when patients smile, such as the front teeth. Advancements in dental technology and composite filling composition allow for dentists to use these materials on molars as well.
that white-coloured composite fillings are chemically bonded to the teeth surfaces? This can preserve more natural teeth structure while enjoying a restoration that is discreet and understated.
You may be a candidate for a tooth-coloured filling if you have a cavity, broken tooth, or deteriorated filling. Schedule a dental assessment with Dr. Bellusci or Dr. Chow to find out if composite fillings are an option for your dental situation.
During your visit, Dr. Bellusci or Dr. Chow will numb your gums and teeth with a local anesthetic. Once the area around the tooth is anesthetized, your dentist will remove the decayed or damaged portion of your teeth and then place filling material on it. He or she then uses a hand-held light to harden the material. Finally, the dentist shapes, polishes and checks your filling.
You should be able to return to normal activity and oral home care once the numbing has worn out. Please inform us if you experience bite. It is normal to have some sensitivity to hot and cold in the days following treatment. This usually goes away on it’s own. However, please inform us of temperature sensitivity that persists beyond a week.
What are crowns and bridges, and how are they different?
Crowns (also known as caps) are tooth prosthetics that restore natural teeth or dental implants. Reasons for getting a crown on a natural tooth include:
Bridges are tooth prosthetics that replace missing one or more missing teeth. They are anchored by the stable natural teeth or implants that are adjacent to the missing teeth.
Did you know…
that the Etruscan civilization were the first to use crowns as a means of restoring damaged teeth? The materials they used were ivory, gold, and bone.
Generally speaking, crowns and bridges can be of gold alloy, porcelain bonded to metal, or all ceramic.
Crown and bridge fabrication is generally a two-appointment process. The teeth that will support the restoration will first be shaped to provide enough space for the thickness of the restorative material. Impressions are then taken. If you are opting for a tooth-coloured restoration, such as one with porcelain, the dentist will suggest a shade that blends with your other teeth. You will be fitted with a temporary restoration until the permanent one is ready. Your crown or bridge will be inserted at a second appointment.
Yes. After the first appointment, the dental team will instruct you on how to floss around your temporary crowns and bridges. Avoid eating hard or sticky foods with the temporary. You may experience some mild heat and cold sensitivity, and soreness at the gums initially. This is usually manageable over-the-counter pain medications. If there is any discomfort on biting with that tooth, please inform your dentist.
Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are more extensive than dental fillings but less so than caps and crowns. They are typically formed in a dental lab and are made of gold, porcelain or resin depending on the patient’s needs and aesthetic goals. An inlay refers to a restoration that is formed to fit the center of a tooth, whereas an onlay refers to a restoration that encompasses at least, one cusp of the tooth. Both inlays and onlays are bonded to the surface of damaged teeth and matched to the color of the surrounding teeth.
Did you know…
that inlays and onlays can serve as alternative treatments to dental crowns when you have a broken or damaged tooth? When fillings are not enough to adequately repair a tooth, an inlay or onlay can be custom-created to fit securely onto the tooth’s surface. Depending on the materials used, the restoration can be created to appear natural and will have the same function of an organic tooth. Inlays and onlays have extremely high success rates and because they are custom made for each patient, most last longer than traditional fillings.
You could be a candidate for an inlay or onlay in if you have moderate tooth damage or decay and are in search of an alternative restoration option to a crown or cap. Schedule a dental consultation for a complete examination and to find out if an inlay or onlay is right for you.
Your inlay or onlay restoration will be completed over multiple dental treatments. First, your tooth will be prepared for treatment, and an impression will be taken to serve as a mold for your new restoration. You may be fitted with a temporary restoration while your permanent inlay or onlay is fabricated. Once completed, you will return to have the temporary restoration removed and the permanent one bonded to the surface of the teeth.
Special care needs to be given to your teeth while temporary restorations are in place. It is important to avoid sticky or hard foods that could cause significant damage to temporaries. Once you receive your permanent inlay or onlay, you can resume normal eating, brushing and flossing habits.
Partial dentures are removable tooth prosthetics that replace one or more missing teeth. Many patients elect dentures for tooth replacement if they are not candidates for implants or bridges, or are otherwise looking for a more budget-friendly option. Partials are affordable alternatives, and are custom-made to blend in with natural teeth. (If you are missing all your upper and/or lower teeth, you may want to read about complete dentures).
Frequently Asked Questions
You may be a candidate for partial dentures if have some stable teeth in the same dental arch. To explore your prosthetic options, book a professional consultation with your dentist.
Denture fabrication is a process that will take several appointments. After the initial consult, in which the dentist discusses the design of your denture, slight modifications to the surfaces on a few natural teeth may be needed to help with denture stability. This is followed by impressions of the upper and lower teeth. Throughout the process, the dentist will take records that will be shared with the dental laboratory that makes your denture.
Partial dentures require gentle care and frequent cleaning.
It takes time to adjust to a new denture. However, a follow-up visit is suggested if your partial denture is causing you discomfort. Also, continue with your usual exams and cleanings, and don’t forget to bring your partial dentures along to each visit. After a few years of use, you may find that your partial needs to be relined to better adapt to the changes in your mouth.