What are they?
With the advancements in dental care and the increase in patient awareness over the years, the occurrences of tooth decay have gone down significantly. Despite such great news, the teeth are still prone to decay, infections, damage and other issues brought on by normal use. When a tooth has been damaged in some way or another, restorations can be used to bring back the tooth’s normal shape, appearance and function. Due to the improved techniques in dentistry, there are now several restoration options available to patients, so they can select the best one for their individual situations.
If you ever need a restorative treatment, we’ll take the time to sit down with you and discuss the different options you have available, making recommendations for what we believe would be the most effective and least invasive treatment. Our number one goal is helping you create a beautiful smile, and our excellent care is a reflection of that goal.
Restorative dentistry can:
- Enhance your smile
- Fill in unattractive spaces between teeth
- Improve or correct an improper bite
- Prevent the loss of a tooth
- Relieve dental pain
- Repair damaged and decayed teeth
- Replace missing teeth
- Replace old, unattractive dental treatments
- Restore normal eating and chewing
Restorations – Onlay Restorations
Also referred to as partial crowns, onlay restorations are custom-made fillings. They can be made of gold, tooth-colored porcelain or a composite material. Dentists place the onlays by permanently cementing them into the teeth.
Similar to inlay restorations, onlays are used to repair teeth that have large fillings and/or decay and damage. As the name partial crown implies, onlays do not require as much of the tooth surface to be removed as a full crown. Onlays cover more of the tooth than inlays, as the chewing cusps are typically included in this restoration process.
Though highly durable, onlays might need replaced after experiencing normal wear over time.
Reasons for onlay restorations:
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Decayed teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Large fillings
You can help extend the life of your new onlay by following the care instructions given to you and by maintaining good oral hygiene, a healthy diet and regular dental visits.
Onlays are made in our office using Cerec 3D.
Restorations – Composite Fillings
See description given under Cosmetic Dentistry.
Restorations – Crowns (Caps)
See description provided under Cosmetic Dentistry.
Restorations – Dentures & Partial Dentures
Dentures work as replacements for missing teeth and the surrounding gum tissue. These removable dental appliances are designed to resemble a patient’s teeth as close as possible, oftentimes even enhancing the patient’s smile.
Dentures can be either complete or partial. Complete dentures are necessary when all the teeth are missing; partial dentures, on the other hand, can be used when only some of the natural teeth are missing. Partial dentures are effective not only at filling in the spaces left by other teeth, but they are also good at keeping the other teeth from shifting.
Complete dentures can fall under two categories – conventional and immediate. Conventional dentures are made after the teeth have been removed by Dr. Giaquinto and the gum tissue has healed. The healing process typically lasts 4 to 6 weeks, and during this time the patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are created before the teeth are removed and are put in right away. With immediate dentures, the patient does not have to go without teeth, but adjustments will be necessary after the gum tissues heal and shrink.
Dentures are created to last for several years, but they might have to undergo repairs or readjustments. Sometimes, they must even be remade.
Reasons for dentures:
- Loss of all teeth in an arch (requires a complete denture)
- Loss of several teeth in an arch (requires a partial denture)
- Enhancing smile and facial tissues
- Improving chewing, speech, and digestion
What does getting dentures involve?
Getting dentures is a process that takes several appointments spread out over many weeks. Highly-accurate molds and measurements are necessary to create a well-fitting, custom denture. It might take several appointments to ensure that the dentures are the correct color, shape and fit. Dr. Giaquinto will adjust and place the completed denture at your final visit, giving you a comfortable, natural-looking fit.
When first adjusting to new dentures, it is normal to experience some soreness, difficulty in speaking and eating, as well as increased saliva flow. As you get used to the dentures, these issues will resolve themselves.
Proper care of your dentures, along with regular visits to Dr. Giaquinto, are necessary to extend the life of your dentures, and you will be given instructions on how to best care for your new dental appliance.
Restorations – Fixed Bridges
See description provided under Cosmetic Dentistry.
Restorations – Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is utilized to save the tooth after the tooth’s nerve has been affected by infection or decay. During this treatment, the pulp (living tissue inside of a tooth), nerves, bacteria and decay are removed. The space that remains after the procedure is filled with medicated dental materials that will restore the full functionality of the tooth.
Root canal therapy is typically done to keep a tooth from having to be removed. Though pulling out a damaged tooth may seem like the easiest solution to the problem, it actually turns out to be more costly for the patient. In addition, it typically causes significant problems for the teeth on either side of the damaged one.
This procedure is very successful in its purpose, and it typically lasts a lifetime. On the rare occasion, a tooth will have to be treated again due to more infections.
Common signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Severe toothache pain
- Swelling and/or tenderness
Reasons for root canal therapy:
- Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
- Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
- Injury or trauma to the tooth.
What does root canal therapy involve?
One or more appointments are necessary for a root canal, and either a dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist) will perform the procedure.
After numbing the tooth, an access opening is created on the top of the tooth. A series of root canal files are passed through this opening and are used to remove the pulp, nerve tissue, bacteria and decay.
After a thorough cleaning, the roots and cavity inside the tooth are filled and sealed off; the opening created on top of the tooth is also covered. Crowns are also typically placed on any teeth that have received root canal therapy, thereby protecting the tooth from further breakage and making it fully functional once again.
The tooth will likely be sensitive after the treatment, but this sensitivity will diminish after the tooth has healed.
Care instructions are provided to all patients who receive a root canal treatment.