Treating Cavities with Dental Fillings and Crowns

Regular visits to your dentist and good oral hygiene are the first defence against tooth decay, but sometimes your teeth need intervention with a filling or crown. If your dentist at Horizon Family Dentistry finds a brown or black spot on a tooth, he will take an X-ray to confirm if that spot is dental decay – a cavity.

If the cavity is very small, we may check it later to see if it has grown, or we can fill a small cavity right then to play it safe. If you have a large cavity, a dental filling is necessary before the decay worsens and causes pain.

If you have a filling that is loose or broken, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

The Options of Metal or Tooth-Coloured Fillings

At Horizon Family Dentistry, our dentists can take care of your cavities with one of two kinds of fillings: a metal filling or a tooth-coloured filling.

  • Tooth-Coloured Fillings: Some people prefer composite fillings or fillings made out of glass ionomer cements because they are the same colour as your natural teeth. Your dentist will be glad to discuss the filling appropriate for your needs.
  • Metal Fillings: Metal fillings made of dental amalgam are the most common fillings used in Canada today. Your dentist can use another type of metal filling depending on your tooth’s condition or your health needs.

Dental Crowns – A Solution for Damaged Teeth

dental crown procedure

If you have a large filling, have needed a root canal, or have broken a tooth, a dental crown may the solution to restoring your damaged tooth. If you have not lost the affected tooth, a crown – also known as a cap – will cover your tooth to protect it from more damage or decay. It will also restore its natural shape and functions like a natural tooth.

Some patients choose a crown as cosmetic dentistry to cover a badly shaped or stained tooth.

Dental Crowns – The Process

Your general dentist or a specialist in dental restoration called a prosthodontist can perform the procedure. When you receive a crown at Horizon Family Dentistry, your dentist follows these steps during your first visit:

  • Administering a local anesthetic
  • Filing down the tooth that needs to be restored to make room for the crown
  • Making an impression of the tooth and nearby teeth to custom fabricate your new crown
  • Placing a temporary crown to protect your filed tooth until your permanent crown is ready
  • Building the new crown based on the impression to fit your mouth

When you return for your final crown, the dentists checks the fit, shape, colour and bite before cementing it permanently into place. If you need special gum treatments or a root canal, you may need more than two and longer dentist’s visits before you receive your permanent crown.

The Right Crown for Your Tooth

Not all crowns are made from the same material, and your dentist in Lindsay and Havelock will offer a crown appropriate to the affected tooth’s placement and function.

A crown is made of one material or a combination. The types of crowns and their qualities include:

Porcelain crowns: People choose porcelain crowns for their natural look. Your dentist may not place a porcelain crown on a back tooth because the material is somewhat brittle and may chip under pressure.

Composite crowns: Dentists choose composite crowns because they look natural and won’t chip as easily as porcelain crowns. Composite crowns may wear more quickly and lose their polished surface, which leads to staining.

Crowns made of porcelain fused to metal: These crowns have the advantage of looking natural and being less likely to chip than both porcelain and composite crowns. However, if you have thin gums or your gums shrink, the crown’s metal base may show.

Gold crowns: Usually lasting a long time, gold crown doesn’t chip or break, with an added benefit of being gentle to the opposing natural teeth. Gold crowns are generally used on back teeth since its colour doesn’t look natural.

Take Care of Your Dental Crown

If you take care of a dental crown, it can give you 10 or more years of effective use. All you need to do is treat crowns like natural teeth; brush and floss regularly, don’t crack ice or hard objects with them, and never open stubborn packaging or containers with your teeth.

Offices in Lindsay and Havelock

Do you have tooth pain or think you might have a cavity? Don’t put off a visit to the dentist. You might need a simple filling, but pain can be a signal that you need a crown to preserve a decayed or cracked tooth.

Call Horizon Family Dentistry for an appointment. Our dentists in Lindsay and Havelock are now accepting new patients.

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