Fillings, or restorations, can be applied using one of two different materials. Amalgam, the silver coloured fillings, are not as common but are still a great choice for certain areas of the mouth. Composite, or white fillings, are the standard and can be matched to your tooth colour. Fillings are used to restore your tooth’s shape and size after having a cavity removed or to fill in areas caused by over-brushing or natural defects in your teeth. White fillings are light-cured and fully set before you leave the office.
Silver Diamine Fluoride
SDF, as it is sometimes known, is a liquid placed on specific teeth to stop cavities from growing larger or spreading to the teeth close by. It’s an antibacterial that remineralizes the damaged areas, although it does have a dark staining effect. This treatment works well for young children, especially in baby teeth, who cannot sit for longer appointments or tolerate traditional fillings. Adults can also benefit from this type of application, depending on the size and location of the cavity.
A crown is like a little cap, placed on a tooth that has been weakened by a root canal or has broken down too much for a filling. They are used to restore shape and size for a tooth that has been worn away or to replace a tooth where a dental implant has been placed. Additionally, crowns can also be used to change a tooth’s shape, size and colour for more aesthetic reasons, and they are created to look and feel natural. Crowns can be made of a several types of materials including porcelain covering metal, full porcelain or even gold!
A bridge does exactly what the name implies, it bridges a gap in your teeth. There are crowns at each end, called abutments, that anchor the bridge in place. Joined to these are one or more solid lab-made teeth to replace what’s missing, called a pontic. Each tooth is created with the same anatomy and colouring to match exactly and give the illusion of a full set of teeth. A bridge can provide either a functional or an aesthetic change by helping you bite together, speak and smile!
If you’re missing more than one tooth, especially in different areas, a partial denture could be the right option for you. Partial dentures are a lower cost option to replacing multiple teeth and can be worn all day, even when eating. These removable teeth replacements are typically made of metal and acrylic, designed to mimic your own teeth in shape and colour as well as provide form and function. If there are changes to your natural teeth, partial dentures can usually be adjusted and even have teeth added to them if needed.
A root canal always sounds scary, but it’s actually a simple procedure! Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. This can be due to a variety of causes including deep decay, repeated procedures on the tooth or a crack or chip. An injury to a tooth may have no visible signs but can still cause pulp damage. If left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess. The dentist will remove the pulp, clean and shape the canals and then fill them and seals it all in place. A crown is usually recommended afterwards, as the tooth is now weaker and may require extra protection.