There are many options to restore teeth from damage or decay. With the most basic white composite filings, or dental amalgam fillings, the existing tooth structure is used as a frame to replace the tooth structure that is damaged or decayed.
But by removing the damaged tooth structure, you are inherently weakening the tooth. So over time, fillings can break down around the tooth structure, or the tooth structure can break down around the filling.
If damage or decay is larger than for a natural filing, then inlays or onlays can be used. They are used when a mild or moderate amount of decay is present in the tooth. These types of restorations can be made from gold, composite or porcelain. They have more durability and longevity than a normal dental filling, but there is an increase in cost.
Sometimes a crown is the best option to repair a tooth, especially if you have suffered a broken tooth, had a large filing or undergone a root canal. Also called a cap, it is like an artificial piece of tooth that covers the original one, once all the decay has been removed. Crowns can also cover teeth that are broken, misshapen or discolored.
If the damage or decay is extensive, then the only option is to build the foundation of the tooth, and then replace the crown. If the decay or damage goes too far below the gum line, then removal of the tooth and the placement of a dental implant is sometimes the only option.
If you have a damaged or decayed tooth, talk to us about the best option for you.