Almost everyone will experience tooth decay at some point in his or her life. Swift detection and correction of tooth decay can minimize the significant expenses and inconveniences associated with more serious problems caused by tooth decay. Restorative dentistry treats all phases of tooth decay, from simple cavity fillings to entire tooth replacements.
- Inlays & Onlays
- Porcelain and/or Gold Crowns
- Porcelain and/or Gold Fixed Bridges
- Root Canal (Endodontic) Therapy
Tooth decay that has led to the development of a cavity, or small hole, in the tooth.
Fillings. Dr. Stoner, your Oakmont Dental Associates dentist, will remove all areas of decay, and replace with a filling made of silver (amalgam) or composite resin. Composite resin fillings have surged in popularity because their appearance perfectly matches the natural appearance of teeth.
In cases of more extensive decay, inlays, onlays or crowns are an advisable alternative.
Inlays & Onlays
Tooth decay, weakened tooth structure, need for tooth restoration and reinforcement.
After the decay is removed, your Oakmont Dental Associates dentist, Dr. Stoner, will take an impression of the area to be restored. A certified dental technician at a local dental laboratory works from this impression to create a restorative inlay or onlay, usually out of gold or porcelain, that fits perfectly on the tooth. Inlays cover one or more tooth surfaces, while onlays cover or replace one or more cusps of the tooth. The inlay or onlay is cemented securely into place, for an incredibly durable, stable tooth restoration. Many patients prefer porcelain for its ability to match natural tooth color.
Crowns may be the only alternative when tooth decay is in advanced stages.
Porcelain and/or Gold Crowns
Teeth that are chipped, cracked, badly decayed, or otherwise weakened.
Crowns can be made of porcelain, Zirconia, gold or a combination of these materials. All porcelain crowns maintain the aesthetic appearance of teeth by covering the entire visible surface of the tooth, while adding significant reinforcement and protection to the tooth. Porcelain crowns are extremely natural looking, virtually indistinguishable from other teeth, making them an ideal choice for visible teeth. Gold crowns covered with fused porcelain offer more strength while maintaining a beautiful appearance. All gold crowns are the most durable, pose no risk of chipping, and therefore are useful when crowning back teeth that are not very visible. After removing all areas of decay, your Oakmont Dental Associates dentist, Dr. Stoner, will take an impression of the tooth to be crowned and send the impression with a detailed prescription to a local dental laboratory where a certified dental technician creates the crown.
Teeth that are badly decayed may require extraction, leaving bridges, removal partial dentures or implants as viable alternative treatments.
Porcelain and/or Gold Fixed Bridges
Patients who are missing a tooth or several teeth may experience difficulty chewing and speaking, dental shifts, and an undesirable sunken facial appearance. In addition, missing teeth can eventually lead to jaw and joint problems that are difficult to treat and therefore costly.
Fixed Bridges can improve chewing and aesthetic appearance, restoring the smile with a more permanent solution than dentures. Bridges can be made of all porcelain, Zirconia, gold or a combination of these materials. Bridges replace missing teeth with artificial teeth attached to crowns. Dr. Stoner, your Oakmont Dental Associates dentist, will prepare the teeth adjacent to the space where the tooth is missing, take an impression and send it to a local dental laboratory with certified dental technicians who create a customized bridge. The bridge is securely cemented to the adjacent teeth, restoring the attractive natural appearance and functionality of the tooth that was lost.
Dental implants are permanent, stable alternatives to bridges that do not rely upon surrounding teeth for support.
Root Canal (Endodontic) Therapy
The inside of each tooth is filled with "pulp", which carries the tooth's blood supply and nerves. If bacteria gain access to the pulp, through a fracture or deep cavity, the pulp may become infected, leading to pain and a risk of tooth loss.
Dr. Stoner, your Oakmont Dental Associates dentist, will remove the infected pulp and replace it with a rubber-like sealant. A post is cemented in the canal and a core is made to surround the post and replace the missing tooth structure. The tooth is then covered with a protective crown, which reinforces the tooth against future fractures and enhances the tooth's appearance. Root canals have an extremely high success rate in saving teeth that would otherwise be lost to infection.
The only alternative to root canal therapy is tooth extraction. Your dentist, Dr. Stoner, can replace the extracted tooth with an implant, fixed bridge or removable partial denture.