As the name indicates, we can restore the lost and broken down tooth structure with help of restorative materials.
Fillings are used to fill holes (cavities) that have formed, usually as a result of decay or tooth wear. There are many types of filling, each suitable for different cavities.
Tooth-colored fillings can now be used instead of amalgam (silver) fillings, making them a natural-looking alternative.
The decayed and weakened parts of the tooth are removed using small drills and the cavity is prepared and conditioned to accept the filling. The filling material is then packed in.
Tooth-colored filling materials are very technique sensitive and require good skill by the dentist and cooperation of patients. Salivary contamination can lead to failure of the restorations.
If the cavities are too deep and the decay has destroyed lot of tooth structure, patient may feel pain while the decay is being removed. In that situation, local anesthesia can be given to make the treatment pain free.
Sometimes faulty brushing technique leads to abrasion cavities which cause sensitivity to hot and cold. These cavities can be filled with tooth colored materials and sensitivity can be cured.
When the decay has reached the nerves in a tooth, or there is infection in the tooth, the tooth can be saved by doing root canal treatment.
After root canal treatment, the tooth is dead, but still functional. Since lot of structure is lost, due to decay, and dead tooth, tends to be brittle, we need to protect the tooth by the crown (cap).there are various types of materials used for making crowns.
If a tooth has been broken, or weakened by a lot of decay or a large filling, a crown (or cap) can be fitted. Crowns are shaped like natural teeth. For teeth near the front of the mouth crowns are usually made of porcelain-like materials. Crowns on back teeth may be made of porcelain or gold.
Inlays and onlays are similar to fillings. However, like crowns, they are made in a laboratory and then cemented to the tooth with special adhesive. The process of fitting crowns, inlays and onlays requires two visits to the dentist.
Inlays and onlays are very strong and, in some circumstances, may be more durable than ordinary fillings. They are suitable for the grinding surfaces of the back teeth and can be made out of gold, porcelain or composite material.