Dental Bonding is when material is placed to fill in, build up or otherwise repair a natural tooth. Bonding describes any procedure where material is used to change the shape, color or other aesthetic aspects of the tooth. The material used for bonding is a composite resin. Bonding is more commonly a cosmetic term. This is often the most economical choice when searching for a cosmetic improvement of one’s teeth.
Congratulations, if you have never had a cavity! If you have had one or two you are not alone. Fortunately there are alternative, natural looking materials to conventional silver-colored fillings – materials made from porcelain and composite resins, which are colored to match natural tooth enamel. A filling is a restoration used to repair a decayed or damaged tooth. This prevents the decay from spreading further into the tooth. If untreated the decay can continue into the pulp (nerve) which is located in the middle of the tooth. If this were to happen you would need root canal treatment.
The first step in the placement of a dental filling requires an examination and x-ray of the tooth in order to determine the extent of the decay. Next, we will anesthetize the tooth so you will be comfortable. If you are anxious about the idea of an injection or the procedure, it is possible you would be more relaxed if you used Nitrous Oxide or an anti anxiety medication. After the decay is removed the remaining tooth structure is etched with a mildly acidic solution, then clear bond is applied in order to bond the tooth and the filling material together.
Composite fillings are a popular choice if you don’t want the filling to show. In our office we always opt for the composite resin, matched to the shade of your natural tooth, for our fillings. This preference is due both to the natural result that can be achieved with composite and the capability of modern composite’s longevity.
Crowns & Caps
A dental crown is a restoration that completely covers, or “caps” a tooth. Most commonly a crown is necessary when decay has caused so much damage to the tooth that not enough natural tooth structure remains to support itself. The crown then replaces the broken or decayed area and provides protection for the remaining natural tooth.
There are generally three types of crowns:
- Metal alloy restorations - this is gold mixed a combination of other elements, including platinum, palladium, & titanium
- Porcelain fused-to-metal restoration - a thin coat of porcelain is fused to a metal base to create the crown.
- Non metal restorations - Today with new technology these crown can be fabricated entirely from non-metal materials such as Zirconia, Leucite, Alumina & Porcelain. We are aware of the many cosmetic and health benefits of all porcelain restorations. These have been perfected to consistently provide durable, natural looking restoration with long lasting results.
When do I need a crown?
- Too much tooth structure is lost through either decay or fracture.
- After root canal therapy.
- Implants will also need to be restored using a crown.
What should I expect?
A crown is a two appointment process. The first appointment generally takes 60 minutes. At this appointment the doctor will remove all the decay and prepare the tooth for the crown. We will take a series of impressions so the lab knows exactly the shape of the crown that is needed. A shade will be selected at this time so that your crown matches your natural teeth. If by chance your tooth is a difficult shade to match our lab will come to our office during your appointment and do a custom shade at no extra charge. Finally, the doctor will make you a temporary crown to protect the work that has been done during this visit. This is placed with enough cement to let you function while the permanent crown is being made.
At the second appointment the doctor will deliver and cement your final crown. Prior to cementing it in permanently he will check the fit, shade and bite. Once both you and the doctor are convinced everything is right he will cement it in place. This appointment take approximately 30 minutes.