Restorative and Cosmetic Services
Composite (White) Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings are the most lifelike material used to fill cavities. Composite fillings can be done in one visit. Once the decay is removed, the tooth is filled with this composite material that hardens immediately after placement.
Cosmetic bonding is the process of filling or restoring teeth with a tooth-colored material in order to maintain a natural appearance.
Pulp Therapy (Pulp Capping, Pulpotomy)
Pulp therapy refers to treatment of the areas around or inside the pulp (nerve) chamber of the tooth in order to preserve the tooth. If the pulp of a tooth is traumatized or affected by decay it will gradually worsen without treatment. Pulp therapy involves the removal of decay, medicating the area around or in the pulp chamber, and placing a restoration in order to prevent the pulp from dying. In the case of a primary (baby) tooth, the goal is to preserve it until it naturally exfoliates (falls out). For permanent teeth, pulp therapy can often prevent the need for more extensive treatment including root canal therapy.
Dental Crowns (Ceramic White or Stainless Steel)
A crown is a dental restoration that completely covers the outside of a severely decayed tooth. Dental crowns can be completed in two visits. During the first visit, the tooth is prepared (shaved down) and an impression is taken. A temporary crown is placed while the permanent crown is being made. During the second visit, the permanent crown is carefully fitted and then cemented into place for a permanent restoration.
A dental extraction is the removal of extremely decayed or broken teeth. To perform an extraction, the area is anesthetized to minimize discomfort and the tooth is then carefully removed from its socket.
Restorative Dentistry FAQs
Is it necessary to restore (fill) cavities in baby teeth?
While it may seem to be unnecessary to fill baby teeth, since they all fall out eventually, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Tooth decay is a bacterial infection that will spread the longer it is in the mouth. It is always best to fix cavities once they are found to keep things from getting worse over time. Baby teeth can remain in the mouth for many years and by fixing them early, you not only restore proper health but function as well. Severe tooth decay directly affects a child’s quality of life and by restoring teeth you prevent tooth pain and future infections. Waiting too long to fill baby teeth may cause their ultimate treatment to become more involved and losing baby teeth early (to decay or by extraction) can also cause additional functional and orthodontic issues down the road.
Are fillings safe for kids?
Yes. We use BPA-free, white composite fillings. The main bulk of the filling is composed of glass, ceramic and resin particles that are biocompatible and safe in children’s mouths. We use the same material for both children and young adults. The benefit to these types of fillings, is that they require less tooth removal than the older metal (amalgam) fillings so we are able to preserve as much original tooth structure as possible.
What happens if you don’t fill a cavity in a baby tooth?
Every cavity is evaluated by the dentist to determine the proper course of treatment. Small cavities on teeth that are close to exfoliation (falling out naturally) can often be watched and not restored. Teeth that will remain in place for many years should certainly be restored to prevent larger treatment later. Every decision is individual and made in the best interest of the child being evaluated. Every effort is made to avoid future pain and infection and to protect the developing permanent teeth.
How do dentists fill cavities in toddlers?
Very carefully. Pediatric dentists have years of additional education and training to properly and safely treat children of all ages including those with special needs. It is important to understand the nuances in treating young children, and to have experience in handling the unique situations that often arise. Pediatric dentists employ various behavior management techniques that make visits safe, simple and fun while accomplishing the main goal of promoting proper oral health for children of all ages.
Why does my kid get so many cavities?
Cavities can arise from various factors. Diet, oral hygiene technique and frequency, saliva production, time and genetics can all play a role. Part of every visit to the dentist is an oral hygiene evaluation and an individualized consultation on “where your child stands” vs. “where they should be” as far as their oral health is concerned. These talks are just as important, if not more, than the regular teeth cleanings themselves.
What do you do if my child has two rows of teeth (shark teeth)?
The term “Shark teeth,” or permanent teeth erupting in front of or behind the baby teeth, is a very common occurrence. Treatment depends on the position of the new teeth vs. how loose the baby teeth are and can vary accordingly. Sometimes the solution is as simple as continuing to wiggle the baby teeth so they fall out at home. In other cases, it is best to allow the dentist to gently remove the over-retained baby tooth. Come in for a quick evaluation if you have a concern.