Restorative Dentistry

4.2

TOOTH COLORED FILLINGS

A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay or trauma back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove any decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter. Dr. Niles uses composite resins which are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance.

CROWN AND BRIDGE

Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged, or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown, also referred to as a cap, is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment.

Crowns may be used to:
• Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
• Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
• Restore a fractured tooth
• Attach a bridge
• Cover a dental implant
• Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
• Cover and protect a tooth that has had root canal treatment from breaking

A bridge is a method to fill the space created by missing teeth that may be used if the missing tooth (teeth) can not be replaced with dental implants. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support, hence the name. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.

INLAYS AND ONLAYS

In dentistry, an inlay is an indirect restoration (filling) consisting of a solid substance (as gold or porcelain) fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place. An onlay is the same as an inlay, except that it extends to replace a cusp. Crowns are onlays which completely cover all surfaces of a tooth.

NIGHT GUARDS & MOUTH GUARDS

Custom designed mouth guards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouth guards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, skiing or other activities where your mouth may get hit. In addition, these guards protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Night guards, often made of a more firm plastic material are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and jaw joints from pain and damage.