Fillings are used to restore tooth damage caused by tooth decay. After removing the decay and cleaning the area, Dr. Wong will add filling material. Fillings are made from traditional amalgam (silver-colored) or composite (tooth-colored) material. Composite fillings, unlike traditional fillings, are more aesthetically pleasing and bond directly to the tooth surface.
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Dentures are a "replacement" option for missing teeth. Dentures come in two variations: partial dentures and complete or full dentures. The difference between the two lies in how many natural teeth are replaced in the mouth.
For some of our patients, removal is the only option because the condition of the teeth has deteriorated so far that they can no longer be repaired. Dentures are used when:
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Bridges are used to replace a missing tooth in both a cosmetic and functional fashion. A bridge structure is one or more artificial teeth anchored in place by natural teeth, crowns or implants, on each side of the bridge. Using a bridge to fill the gap from missing teeth helps restore proper bite. It also prevents teeth from shifting to fill the gap (which may lead to additional bite and jaw joint issues). Bridges can be constructed from gold, porcelain and metal, or ceramic. Ceramic bridge color is made to match your natural tooth color. Material choice will depend on structural requirements, wear and aesthetics. Bridges are used to:
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Crowns are used to restore teeth severely damaged by fracture or decay. After the tooth surface is cleaned and prepared, the crown is placed to cover the remainder of the tooth. The crown strengthens the tooth structure and helps prevent future decay. Crowns also improve the tooth's look, shape and alignment. Crowns are used to:
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Dental bonding is composed of a ceramic resin that is brushed onto the tooth and hardened with intense light. Prior to bonding, an etchant is placed to roughen the surface, and a primer agent is then applied so the bond will adhere properly. Dental bonding is used for:
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A root canal becomes needed when tooth decay is so deep that it reaches the tooth pulp. Once the pulp is infected, it cannot heal on its own. Sometimes tooth trauma, such as a fracture, can lead to the need for a root canal as well. In addition to being painful, untreated infections can reach the root tip and compromise the entire immune system. Symptoms of pulp infections may be:
A root canal procedure includes cleaning out the infected pulp, disinfecting the canals and filling the void with a rubber like substance. A crown is recommended after a root canal to restore the tooth shape and to strengthen the tooth structure.
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Crown lengthening (AKA: "crown-elongation" or "crown-extension") is a surgical procedure that is done when the tooth is too short to provide adequate retention for a restoration (usually a crown). When a tooth has a deep cavity, a crown and buildup are usually needed to restore the tooth. If the cavity extends too far below the gums, it becomes impossible to predictably make a crown that will last for any length of time. Performing crown lengthening where indicated improves the prognosis for the tooth.
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