A filling repairs and restores the surface of a tooth that has been damaged by decay, fracture, or wear. A tooth colored dental filling strengthens the tooth. If tooth decay is not repaired at its early stages, it will worsen and additional or alternative dental treatments may be necessary. Dental amalgam is a tooth filling material that can be up to 50% mercury. It is sometimes misleadingly calling it a “silver filling”, even though it contains mercury and other metals. Mercury is a heavy metal, and is known to be poisonous to the human nervous system. Dr. Fuller strives to provide the best quality care for his patients, thus he will not use amalgam material. He only uses resin composite material (tooth colored).
Dental crowns, also known as “caps,” preserve the functionality of damaged teeth. This common dental restoration may be used to protect a cracked tooth, restore functionality of a tooth with excessive decay or replace a pre-existing crown. A dental crown encases the tooth with a custom-designed material.
Dr. Fuller typically uses a dental crown to restore a tooth that has been damaged, but crowns can also improve the appearance of your smile.
A dental bridge is a way to replace a missing tooth. The new tooth is held in place by two crowns on either side. As an experienced dentist, Dr. Fuller makes sure that the new tooth is aesthetically pleasing and matches the surrounding teeth for a look that is beautiful and natural.
The benefits of dental implants include functionality, aesthetics and promoting heathy bone levels, as well as being permanent tooth replacement. A dental implant is highly functional, acting exactly as a normal, healthy tooth would. Having missing teeth can cause bone loss, problems in the mouth, from trouble chewing and eating to causing the shifting of adjacent teeth. Implant crowns are created in a laboratory to mimic natural teeth.
Dental implants stimulate the bone, like a normal root of a tooth would. This is perhaps the most important difference between an implant and a bridge. A bridge will replace the crown or top portion of a tooth but not the root, so bone loss is inevitable. An implant, however, will anchor the crown to the jaw and effectively prevent bone loss from occurring, provided that the patient maintains good oral hygiene.
Titanium is currently the most suitable implant material. Titanium dental implants are biocompatible and do not trigger any allergic reactions. Before you can get started, your gums need to be healthy, and your jawbone needs to be strong. If Dr. Fuller diagnoses any cavities or signs of gum disease, they will need to be addressed first. Ask Dr. Fuller if dental implants are the right choice for you.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear. There are two types of dentures:
1. Complete Dentures – complete dentures are necessary when all of the teeth are missing. Complete dentures are removable by the patient, and can be fabricated to fit over crowned teeth or attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit.
2. Partial Dentures – partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.
Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink.
Regular dental examinations and check-ups are important for the patient so that gum tissues can be checked for any changes. Dr. Fuller will help you determine if this is the best way to replace your teeth or if an alternative solution would help you achieve your goals.