5 Types of Tooth Restoration & How They Can Improve Your Oral Health
Even if you don’t have a perfect smile, you have no reason to worry. These days, there are plenty of ways to bring your smile back to its former glory – or even make it look better than ever before! Here at St. Luke’s OMS, we are committed to helping our patients regain smiles they can be proud to show off. While we don’t perform every type of tooth restoration, we educate our patients and help them find the right treatment option for them. Learn a little bit more about some of the most common types of dental restoration below and be sure to call us if you’d like to set up a consultation!
What They Are: Dental fillings are a method of replacing parts of the teeth that have been lost to dental cavities (or caries). As the name would suggest, a filling “fills in” the hole left behind by tooth decay. Fillings can be made of many different materials, like dental amalgam and tooth-colored resin, and are generally placed by your family dentist.
How They Help Your Oral Health: If you have suffered from tooth decay, having a filling put in is essential. Without a filling, bacteria, plaque, and other irritants can find their way into the tooth and the sensitive pulp. This can lead to serious infections. Plus, dental fillings help keep your smile whole and intact to the casual eye – especially if you choose tooth-colored resins.
What They Are: Think of a dental crown as a prosthetic tooth. If a tooth has been lost or severely infected, a crown replaces the visible portion of that tooth. Like dental fillings, crowns are made of a wide range of materials. They are carefully shaped and colored to fulfill the lost function of the tooth and fit into your mouth perfectly.
How They Help Your Oral Health: It’s not good to go too long with missing teeth. Every tooth in your mouth is essential and losing one or more can make it difficult to speak and chew. Losing multiple teeth can even lead to jaw decay. Having a crown put in can make the difference between a full, healthy smile that will serve you well for life and a smile that decays more and more as time goes on.
What They Are: Dental bridges are very similar to crowns. Like crowns, they replace the visible portion of a lost or misshapen tooth. They are also constructed to fit perfectly into a patient’s mouth and blend in well with the surrounding teeth. However, while crowns only replace one tooth, a dental bridge will replace several teeth.
How They Help Your Oral Health: Dental bridges are important for all the same reasons that dental crowns are – the only difference is that they replace several consecutive teeth instead of just one.
What They Are: Dental implants replace the invisible half of lost or severely decayed teeth, i.e., the roots. They can be made of a wide range of materials and used for many different purposes. Some implants hold a crown, others anchor bridges. Dental implants can even be used as part of a complete solution to tooth loss, such as trefoil dental implants and all-on-four dental implants.
How They Help Your Oral Health: Again, missing teeth are hazardous to your oral health. Dental implants hold a space in your jaw (preventing decay) and provide a strong root to affix a crown, bridge, or other tooth replacement option.
What It Is: Teeth whitening is a self-explanatory procedure: it’s the art of making the teeth look whiter and brighter. There are many options available, including take-home trays that gradually whiten teeth over time and in-office laser procedures. Your family dentist can walk you through the options he or she offers and help you decide which would be best for you.
How It Helps Your Oral Health: Teeth whitening is a purely cosmetic procedure, so it’s not necessary for your oral health. However, it can do wonders for your self-confidence!
If you’re interested in learning more about these restoration procedures or any other procedures completed by our office, we invite you to contact us. Our team is proud to help patients in Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Stroudsburg, PA and the surrounding areas enjoy full, healthy smiles. Call today to learn more.