Chipped, cracked, decayed or missing teeth affect your oral health and detract from the brilliance of your smile. The dentists at La Jolla Family Smile Design offer a selection of dental restorations to repair or replace affected teeth. In our experience, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution that works for everyone. We will work with you to determine your unique needs and then recommend a customized treatment plan that restores function and beauty to your teeth.
Restorations with Dental Fillings
We frequently place dental fillings over teeth that have developed decay. After removing the decayed tooth material, we use fillings to replace the missing enamel. This restores full biting and chewing function to the tooth and reduces the risk of future decay. Tooth-colored fillings are particularly popular at our practice, as they look very natural and blend in with the surrounding teeth.
Other Types of Dental Restorations
Sometimes dental decay or damage is too extensive for a dental filling. Depending on the extent of the problem, our dentists may recommend another restoration, such as an inlay, onlay, dental crown, dental bridge or dental implant, to rebuild or replace the affected tooth.
Dental Inlays and Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are used when a cavity is too large for a simple dental filling. They are created as a single piece and specifically made to fit the exact shape and size of the cavity. An inlay fits into the center of the tooth’s chewing surface; an onlay is slightly larger and covers at least one cusp (or point) on the tooth’s chewing surface.
A dental crown completely covers the exterior of a tooth. Crowns are used on teeth that are severely decayed and teeth that become infected and need a root canal. We also use crowns to protect badly cracked or chipped teeth from further damage; by covering the tooth, we can protect the remaining pieces and strengthen the tooth.
If the tooth is missing or must be pulled because of severe damage or decay, we can fill the gap with a dental bridge. There are several different kinds of dental bridges, with traditional bridges being the most common. These bridges are made up of a false tooth anchored by two dental crowns. The crowns cover the teeth on either side of the gap and the false tooth fits perfectly into the gap.
Like dental bridges, dental implants replace missing teeth. But dental implants mimic an entire tooth, from root to crown. A titanium post or screw functions as the tooth root and is placed in the jawbone beneath the missing tooth. The post is mounted with a dental crown that blends in with the adjacent teeth. Implants are a strong standalone solution that help keep the jawbone stimulated so it does not waste away from lack of chewing forces.
Learn More About Dental Fillings
Our knowledgeable dental team can help you reclaim a complete, healthy smile and maintain it for life. For more information about the strong, attractive dental restorations we use at La Jolla Family Smile Design, please call or email us today.