Fillings and crowns
Why would I need a filling?
Fillings are needed for various reasons, but the main ones are tooth decay, dental wear and tear and aesthetic improvement.
What types of fillings are available?
There are various types of filling material available including porcelain, silver amalgam (which consists of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc and copper), gold, and tooth-coloured composite or ‘white’ fillings, which are made of composite resin and glass and come in a range of colours, allowing us to match the material to the colour of your natural teeth.
White fillings are often preferred over traditional (silver amalgum) filling materials due to their appearance and ability to bond to tooth tissue, meaning less tooth preparation and better preservation of healthy tissue. Amalgam or silver fillings are extremely strong and durable and usually only used on posterior teeth.
Inlays and Onlays
What are inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays are known as indirect fillings. An inlay is a compact filling that fits into a tooth’s biting surface, whereas an onlay covers a broader region of the tooth. Usually, an onlay is used when one or more cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of the tooth are compromised. Onlays are sometimes known as partial crowns. Gold has been used to construct inlays and onlays for many years because of its durability. Tooth-coloured porcelain or composite is often preferred as it gives the repaired tooth a more natural appearance.
In what ways are indirect fillings different from direct fillings?
Inlays and onlays are still types of filling, but they are more durable than fillings and are sometimes a better option for larger cavities. They are recognised as indirect fillers because they are created in a dental laboratory and are placed over the course of two appointments, whereas direct fillings are applied straight into the tooth in a single visit.
Why have an inlay or onlay?
An indirect filling is used when there isn’t enough dental structure to support a filling, but your tooth isn’t so seriously compromised that a crown is necessary. Onlays, like crowns, cover the cusps of the tooth, but require less preparation of the natural tooth than a crown and are a more conservative choice that we will always explore for you. Inlays and onlays are constructed of porcelain, gold, or tooth-coloured composite resin and so are more resilient than standard fillings and can last much longer.
What is a crown and why would I need one?
A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a damaged or broken tooth. It is used to strengthen and protect the tooth structure. Crowns are an excellent choice for repairing natural teeth that have been badly compromised by decay or extensive fillings. They are fitted either to your natural tooth or a dental implant.
What are the different types of crown?
Crowns are offered in a variety of styles and materials. We will talk you through all of the alternatives as part of your personalised treatment plan. Ceramic and porcelain crowns are preferred for a more natural look; metal crowns composed of zirconia or gold are very strong and durable.
What can I expect when having a crown fitted?
Having a crown fitted requires two appointments. First the damaged tooth’s outer surface will be shaped for a custom-made crown to fit over it. Next, we will take an intraoral scan, which will be sent to a laboratory where a team of dental technicians will construct your crown. A temporary crown will be fitted while your permanent crown is being made.
Root Canal Treatment
Why might I need root canal treatment?
When a tooth has been subjected to several treatments or has been injured or badly decayed, an infection can affect the nerve inside the tooth. Inflammation and a build-up of pressure can produce considerable discomfort, especially while biting, and, if not addressed, the infection can become severe. The goal of root canal therapy is to save the infected tooth.
What should I expect during root canal treatment?
Treatment sessions can be lengthy, but root canal therapy is not as unpleasant as some claim.
During your first appointment, your dentist will place a rubber dam around the tooth, which may feel unusual, but not painful. The damaged tooth tissue will then be removed, the root canals cleaned to eradicate the bacterial infection, and a temporary filling applied. This will then be left to settle for a few days. On your second appointment, the root canal will be filled with fine rubber-like points to seal the region and prevent further infection.
Is any follow-up treatment needed?
Pulp tissue loss and the process of accessing the root can compromise the tooth structure, making it generally preferable to fit a crown once the infection has healed.