Tooth Talk with Dr. T: dental restorations

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 7:48 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Good morning i'm dr. Kris tumilowicz at dental dimensions at edgebrook center.. today on tooth talk we are going to talk about a variety of dental restorations..should you have silver, gold or white? Do you need an inlay, onlay, a cap or a crown.. so many questions.

When you have a tooth that needs a restoration, we can choose from a range of different types, including fillings, inlays, onlays and crowns.

All restorations seal out bacteria and restore the shape of the tooth, so the type we recommend usually depends on how strong the tooth is and how much tooth structure has been lost.

Both silver and tooth colored fillings can usually be placed in a single appointment.

They work well to restore the tooth when only a small amount of tooth structure has been lost.

But when a tooth has suffered more extensive damage, there may not be enough structure remaining to hold a filling in place without risk of breaking the tooth.

On the other end of the scale is a crown.

Crowns completely cover the top and sides of a tooth, protecting it and restoring its shape and function.

We may choose a crown when a lot of tooth structure has been lost, and in cases where the tooth is weak, has had root canal therapy, is under a lot of stress from heavy biting forces, or is cracked or broken off above the gumline.

When a tooth needs more than a filling, but less than a crown, we may recommend an inlay or onlay.

Like a crown, inlays and onlays are custom crafted to precisely fit your tooth, so they may take two or more appointments to complete.

An inlay fills in the area lost to tooth decay, usually in the grooves between the cusps of the biting surface of the tooth.

We might choose an inlay over a filling when we need to use a stronger material or when a more durable restoration is needed.

An onlay is more like a crown because it covers both the grooves and one or more of the cusps.

We might choose an onlay over a crown when the biting surface needs to be restored, but much of the tooth structure is still strong and healthy.

If you are thinking about delaying treatment, you should know that tooth decay will never go away on its own.

It grows slowly while its still in the hard outer enamel, but if decay is allowed to reach the softer inner dentin, it grows much more quickly, and can infect the pulp chamber.

If it gets into the pulp chamber, you'll need root canal therapy to save the tooth.

That’s why we recommend treating the tooth as soon as possible with the best restoration for your situation.

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