The overriding objective of dentists is to do whatever they can to maintain and/or ameliorate the quality of their patient’s life. This aim is accomplished by dental practitioners through several means and includes providing pain relief, enhancing or reinforcing masticatory efficiency, improving the ability of speaking well and working on the cosmetic appeal.
To achieve and deliver all of these objectives, alteration of the existing tooth structure, replacement of the missing dental structures and sometimes, removal of teeth with poor prognosis, has to be done. Here is an exhaustive review of the dental options that can repair an extensive range of dental problems, from minor to major.
Dental Repair Options for a Healthy Mouth
Myriad of Dental Fillings
Believe it or not, there are a countless number of restorative dental materials that can be put to use for either repairing or replacing a certain portion or layer of tooth structure. Such fillings are indicated in patients whose teeth are invaded by caries, chipped tooth or the one that has been exposed to the ill effects of dental erosion, abrasion or habits such as bruxism. All of these conditions need a specific dental material that not only covers the cavity prepared but also aids in protecting the restored tooth from further ingress of harmful bacteria or oral fluids.
Take a look at some of the materials that work perfectly as tooth fillings. Direct filling gold is probably one of the oldest material for dental repair. If placed with utmost precision, a direct gold restoration can last for an unexpectedly long time. Being unaesthetic, this almost ideal material, which is resistant, to tarnish or corrosion and renders a leak proof seal, preserves tooth structures of posterior (or back) teeth or low stress areas.
Dental amalgam is the silver coloured restoration that continues to serve the role of a durable, easy to use and economical dental repair option for many patients. However, the presence of mercury in amalgam has been the subject of endless controversy, owing to which its application has declined in the last few years.
Dental composite is a tooth coloured restoration which consists of several ingredients, including synthetic resins. Not only does such fillings offer enhanced aesthetic appeal and demand minimal tooth preparation, their excellent resistance to wear makes it a preferred choice of many dentists. Dental ceramic is probably one of the most popular restorative dental material for fabrication of real looking crowns, bridges, implants or veneers. The seamlessness with which this biocompatible material blends with the natural tooth colour is impressive.
Root Canal Treatment Salvages the Infected Tooth
The aim of this endodontic treatment form is to ensure thorough elimination of infection and dead tissue so as to protect the unaffected tooth structure from further ingress of microbes. This repair option is recommended in patients who show up with any of the following clinical features or symptoms (confirmed through intra-oral and radiographic evaluation)- An extensively destroyed tooth, either caused by carious attack or trauma, in which the nerves and vessels within the pulp chamber have been infected.
This is the only way to control the damage caused by the bacterial toxins and save the tooth from undergoing extraction. The entire treatment is performed in more than two dental sittings and involves removal of the necrosed tissue along with cleaning of the root canals, finally followed by substitution of the pulp with an inert material.
Dental Crown, a Replica of Your Tooth
There are three types of dental crowns that are frequently used to either ‘cap’ the damaged tooth and implant, replace single or few missing teeth. This mode of dental repair enables the patient to retain the original shape and size of the endodontically treated tooth/teeth without endangering the health of the neighbouring hard or soft structures. One of the primary roles of a dental crown is to prevent the heavy masticatory forces from inflicting further stress or load on the brittle root canal treated tooth, which is already devoid of its vitality.
Besides that, the tooth coloured cap (all ceramic dental crown) does a wonderful job at mimicking the appearance of the adjacent teeth. A well adapted dental crown, which is taken, care of by the patient via regular cleaning and flossing can easily last for ten years or so.
Fixed Partial Denture
Commonly known as dental bridge, this prosthesis is an ideal option for patients wishing for a permanent fix for their missing tooth. This bridge framework consists of two artificial crowns to cover the anchoring or abutment teeth on each side of the edentulous span, and another crown between the two (which acts as a tooth replacement or pontic).
The dimension and extent of the fixed partial denture are decided on by the doctor by using a specific law (Ante’s Law), along with a couple of other factors, such as the periodontal status of the supporting teeth and so on. The perks that can be expected from a well fabricated, comfortable dental bridge are, the restoration of an even, attractive smile, improvement in the chewing and speaking ability and even distribution of force all across the teeth, inclusive of the replaced tooth.
Porcelain Veneers Promise Enviably Well Aligned Teeth
In the field of cosmetic dentistry, Porcelain veneers can be regarded as nothing less than a dental revolution which is being welcomed by increasingly more people. The paper thin material must not be mistaken for a weak dental repair option. It is, in fact, a sound restorative option which does a world of good for uneven or widely spaced teeth. Even a chipped tooth or an extra or intracoronally discoloured tooth can be masked using this minimally destructive dental procedure.
Inlays and Onlays
Not all teeth related problems can be rectified by using one material. Each case has separate factors that are always taken into full consideration by the dentist. Even though, Inlay and onlay restorations are not quite popular as the other options, they are more conservative. Onlay is a restoration that covers a larger surface area as compared to inlays.
The indications for Onlays are cuspal damage, tooth decay running across a substantial area. While metal restorations show changes in dimension on being subjected to temperature variations, both inlays and onlays resist contraction or expansion. This makes them a superior dental repair option that nullifies the risk of tooth fracture owing to frequent dimensional changes.
Dental Implants Offers Permanent Perks
With the unquestionable success rate of dental implants, one can find the perfect and permanent solution to a missing tooth. Titanium’s ability to successfully fuse with the jaw bone is known as osseointegration. This enables the implant to support itself within the oral cavity without compromising the structural and functional integrity of the adjoining teeth.
Besides cosmetic enhancement, implants also keep the bone level from resorbing, and aids in keeping the overall dental health intact.