Restorative treatment entails some of the most common procedures we do in dentistry. These procedures are needed to restore teeth back to proper form and function after cavities have been filled, old fillings have been replaced or teeth have fractured.
Fillings are needed to restore teeth that have small to moderate areas of decay and defects. This is a routine procedure and completed under local anesthesia. The decay is removed and replaced with the filling material or the defect is prepared in a favorable fashion so that the filling material will stay in place. The filling material is then sculpted and smoothed to mimic the proper form of the natural tooth.
There are different types of filling materials, such as composite resin (tooth-colored), silver-colored and gold. Dr. Abernathy uses tooth-colored filling materials to repair teeth.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are lab-fabricated dental fillings that are used to replace old moderate to large fillings that need to be replaced or teeth that have moderate to large fractures. Because it is made in the lab, it fits the tooth perfectly with little chance for voids or the filling material failing (requiring a replacement or even a crown). These can be made out of gold, porcelain or a special composite resin and cemented into the tooth.
This typically only takes two visits and performed under local anesthesia. The old filling is removed and/or the tooth is prepared in a specific pattern, an impression is made and a temporary filling is placed inside the tooth. In about 10-14 days, the inlay or onlay is returned from the lab, placed and cemented in the tooth. Dr. Abernathy primarily uses tooth-colored inlays and onlays and the results are amazing.
Crowns are needed when there is extensive decay, large fractures or teeth with large fillings that need to be replaced and an inlay or onlay is not the best choice. Crowns are also used to cover teeth that have had root canal treatment.
This procedure is performed under local anesthesia and typically takes 2 visits. The tooth is prepared in a specific way, an impression is made and a temporary crown is placed on the tooth. In about 10-14 days the crown returns from the lab, is tried in and adjusted, then cemented onto the tooth.
Root Canal Treatment
The most common reasons root canal treatment is needed is when decay has reached the nerve of the tooth or a tooth has been fractured to a point that the nerve has been damaged or exposed. If treatment is not done as soon as possible the condition may get worse. For instance, the tooth can abscess and the infection can spread (making things more complicated) or the tooth can fracture beyond repair and will need to be removed.
People often cringe at the thought of root canal treatment, but there is no reason to fear. We will make you as comfortable as possible with local anesthesia and place a protective sheath (called a dental dam) around the tooth and over your mouth. The nerve and any decay are removed from the tooth, the space where the nerve once was is cleaned out and disinfected and a rubber-like filling coated with medication is placed inside that space. This treatment may require 1-2 visits and you should be able to go back to work or school after treatment.
Once the root canal treatment is completed, a large filling (with or without a post) in placed in the tooth and a crown are placed on top of the tooth to prevent further fracturing.
Full Mouth Rehabilitation
Because of severe grinding and TMJ disorders (collectively known as occlusal disease), medical or genetic conditions, missing teeth and accidents, some patients may require advanced restorative methods to restore the teeth and alignment of the jaw back to an optimal health. These advanced cases may require full mouth rehabilitation.
This type of treatment is carefully planned and executed and will require a time commitment to complete. Within a full mouth rehabilitation, a patient may need every tooth restored with a combination of crowns, veneers, inlays/onlays and may even require orthodontics and/or surgery. The patient may initially wear a splint or long-term temporary crowns/bonding to retrain the jaw muscles to be in the ideal position. After the jaws have been retrained, then treatment will continue with the placement of the permanently cemented restorations resulting in a beautifully curated smile.
If you feel you are in need of full mouth rehabilitation, please contact us to set up your consultation appointment.