Do you have a broken, fractured, or missing tooth? Is your smile affected by tooth decay or gum disease? These kinds of problems involving the structure of your teeth are best addressed with restorative dentistry. Dr. K. Pat Brown, DDS, is a highly skilled restorative dentist with more than 25 years of experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.
What Are Dental Restorations?
Dental restorations are prosthetic materials which are designed to fix damaged teeth. They come in full or partial tooth sizes and can be to repair existing teeth or replace missing ones. Most dental restorations are made to last for many years while also protecting against future decay or difficulties related to damaged or missing teeth. Maintaining a healthy, functional mouth is one of the keys to an overall healthy and functional body.
Types of Dental Restorations in Temecula, CA
At our dental office, Dr. K. Pat Brown offers a complete range of dental restorations for all kinds of dental problems. These include:
Dental Bonding and Filling
Dental bonding is a process where a biocompatible material — composite resin — is attached to the tooth to fix a minor defect. The material commonly used for bonding is composite resin, a soft and sculptable compound created from a combination of plastic, glass, and silica. The bonding compound is used for both internal and external restorations. When it is applied inside the tooth, such as for closing root canals and cavities, it is called a dental filling.
During the bonding process, the tooth will first be cleaned thoroughly. If the tooth has cavities, all the decayed areas will be cleaned out and trimmed before the bonding material is applied. When the tooth is ready, an acid etching gel will be applied to the surface where the composite resin will be attached. Acid etching roughens the surface of the tooth, making it easier for the resin to adhere to the tooth.
Dental bonding is a great restorative option for minor dental damage such as chips, cracks, and fractures. It is also the standard restoration after cleaning out cavities, since the clay-like material can perfectly seal off small, hollow, crater-like surfaces.
Dental Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns and bridges are made using similar materials and procedures, but they are used for different applications. Crowns are used to cover severely damaged teeth, such as those which have undergone root canal treatment or been fractured to the pulp. If dental bonding won’t be sufficient to repair the damage, a dental crown is an option.
When placing a crown, the tooth will first be cleaned and shaped into an abutment. If the pulp has been damaged by decay, the tooth may need to undergo root canal treatment to remove the infected pulp before the crown is applied.
Bridges, on the other hand, are made specifically to replace missing teeth. If you have had a tooth extracted or fall out, a dental bridge is one solution to restore it. A bridge is made up of three different prosthetics: two crowns and a pontic between them.
In order to place a bridge, the two adjacent teeth will need to be trimmed into abutments first. The two crowns will be cemented over the abutments while the pontic remains unattached to the gums, only held in place by the crowns. A bridge may also be supported by implants.
Both crowns and bridges are made of materials such as porcelain, gold, and silver. For aesthetic purposes, porcelain is the standard material used in modern dentistry. Metal components may be added to strengthen the restoration.
Dentures and Implants
Dentures and implants are both used to replace missing teeth, but they have very different functions. Dentures are removable appliances shaped to fit over the gums to ensure a solid fit. The false teeth attached to the gum base may be made of porcelain or plastic.
Implants are more complex yet highly beneficial restorations because they replicate the natural anatomy and functionality of real teeth. The implant itself is made of titanium which integrates with the jaw bone to create an irremovable bond. The crown placed on the implant is often made of porcelain or zirconia.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is an endodontic treatment procedure which involves the removal of infected tooth pulp and disinfection of the root canals. It is only recommended for patients who have been diagnosed with an infected pulp or tooth root. This diagnosis can only be officially made after getting X-ray images of the affected tooth.
During root canal therapy, your dentist will drill through the crown of the tooth to reach the pulp chamber. The soft tissues and nerves inside the tooth will be removed and the root canals will be cleaned using endodontic files. Dr. Brown uses rotary endodontic files which are faster, more efficient, and safer for removing infected tissues.
Once the inside of the tooth has been completely disinfected, the root canal(s) will be filled with gutta percha and the center of the tooth will be filled with composite resin. In some cases, a full new crown will be needed.
How to Get Dental Restorations in Temecula
Dr. K. Pat Brown, DDS, is well-skilled and experienced in general and cosmetic dentistry, and serves Temecula, Murrieta, and neighboring cities. He has been practicing for almost 30 years, and his expertise is centered on improving not just the appearance, but also the functionality of teeth. He will restore your teeth to their natural beauty and strength.
If you would like to get a dental exam from our office or have any questions about dental restorations, please call us at (951) 695-6269 or send us a message. Our friendly staff will be happy to answer all of your queries.