If something happens to your tooth or teeth, it’s important to repair them the right way.
In some cases, you may need a dental crown. In other cases, you may need something smaller or bigger to restore your smile.
Whatever you need, we can meet it at Atlanta West Dentistry.
Dental crowns are one of the most common services used to repair teeth that have been weakened by damage or decay, but we also want to explain when other options — like inlays, onlays, and dental bridges may be more appropriate.
Our dentist office offers all of these services for our patients in and around Marietta, GA.
When A Filling Won’t Work
If we could have one wish, it might be that none of our patients would ever have a cavity. So many other oral health problems start with tooth decay, if we could eliminate that small problem we would stop so many bigger ones, too.
If your cavity is treated early, we can usually fix with a dental filling. Unfortunately, some cavities are too large for a filling by the time a patient visits us.
We still have plenty of ways to restore the tooth to its original appearance once the decay is removed, however.
▶︎ Inlays and Onlays
You could think of these as the next step up from dental fillings. Like fillings, these treatments are used to prevent small issues from turning into bigger ones.
If the decay has eaten away at the biting or chewing surface of your teeth, then you would receive an inlay. Inlays filling cracks and crevices that were made deeper as a result of a cavity.
Onlays are used when the damage extends to the sides of your teeth. In other words, this differs from an inlay because it is used to repair a different part of the tooth.
▶︎ Dental crowns
A dental crown is in order when a large area of a tooth has been lost to decay or injury (such as a broken tooth).
The purpose of any crown is to restore the shape and the function of your tooth. This way your smile will look complete, and you will be able to continue eating the foods that you like to eat.
When you dental crown is placed, it also helped to protect your tooth against additional damage or decay.
Our crowns are made of materials like porcelain and zirconia. We use these materials in part because they look like natural teeth. We also use them because of their durability. Having a dental crown won’t do you much good if it doesn’t last.
Hopefully, you won’t let your decay get too deep into your tooth. If it does, then we may need to perform a root canal to remove an infection from your tooth. As part of that process, a dental crown could be used to seal the tooth when the infection is gone.
▶︎ Dental bridges
If your tooth decay does cause an infection or severely damages your tooth, then you may need to have that tooth extracted to prevent additional oral health issues.
Whenever a patient loses a tooth, we recommend replacing it as soon as possible.
One way to do that is with a dental bridge. A bridge consists of dental crowns that have been fused together.
To place this kind of bridge, we would form the teeth on each side of the tooth that was removed into supports. The crowns on the ends of the bridge (call abutment crowns) will be bonded to those support teeth. The crown between them (the pontic) would fill in the space where your extracted tooth once was.
Today, we have another option for replacing extracted teeth, however. Today, we can use a dental implant to support a dental crown.
With a dental implant, you are replacing the root of your missing tooth. The implant is placed directly into your jawbone. The bone grows around the implant to hold it secure. This also makes it a stable foundation to support a dental crown.
And this combination serves to replace your entire tooth, and it does not require us to do anything to your neighboring teeth.
Recreate Your Smile
You may never need an inlay, onlay, crown, bridge, or implant, but if you do, then we hope you will talk to one of our dentists in Marietta, GA.
At Atlanta West Dentistry, we know how to repair your smile, and we have the experience and the skill to make it happen.