There is more than one way to fix a tooth. If you are the lucky owner of perfectly healthy teeth, you may never need any of these procedures. Most of us will, sooner or later. This post from Neal C. Johnson DMD in Billings looks at six procedures that are commonly used to repair damaged teeth:
A Porcelain Veneer
These wafer-thin covers can hide a chip or crack or fix the alignment of a tooth that is slightly crooked.
A Filling, Inlay, or Onlay
This procedure has been used to restore teeth for over a century though the materials and techniques have advanced. One fairly new option is white filling replacement for metal fillings. A traditional filling is shaped and molded after it is applied to the tooth. Because inlays and onlays are fabricated in a dental lab, they are frequently called indirect fillings. Inlays are applied to just the center of the biting surface of a tooth (not to a cusp or point) and are generally smaller than onlays. An onlay restores one or more cusps of a tooth.
Bonding is used to repair chips, cracks, stains, and make teeth longer. It is also sometimes used to fill cavities. We apply soft composite resin and mold it to the exact shape necessary. The resin is hardened with a special curing light.
A Dental Crown
A crown replaces the entire visible portion of the tooth, restoring appearance, stability, and function. Crowns are used for teeth that have had a root canal, teeth with acute decay, the replacement tooth in a dental bridge, and the visible portion of a dental implant.
Dental implants are titanium posts inserted into the jaw, where they fuse with the bone. One implant can support one artificial tooth. Multiple implants can support a dental bridge, or even a full dental arch.
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