Fillings are a very common dental treatment which is required when small to moderate amounts of decay have left a tooth cavity. There are different materials we use to fill a cavity as listed below. Your dentist will offer the type of filling they consider clinically necessary.
This is the metal-based filling that has many great properties that lend itself to be used as filling material, such as its strength and resistance to wear and tear. This is why it has been in use for over a hundred years.
Unfortunately, however, the metal means the filling has a silver appearance which contrasts with the surrounding white teeth. This poses less of a problem for teeth which are hidden further back in the mouth. Hence why it is the standard filling material for NHS use on back teeth.
Amalgam does contain mercury but many studies have shown that the levels involved have no consequences for human health.
Many people opt for tooth-coloured alternatives solely for the cosmetic benefit.
These fillings, along with the bonding agents we use with them, have developed over the years and have revolutionised how we do dentistry. They are comprised of a resin and glass mixture.
This mixture produces excellent cosmetic results and enables us to fine-tune different tooth colour shades and translucencies.
Additional to their exquisite aesthetics, composite fillings can also produce a strong bond to the tooth so are strong enough to use on the biting teeth at the back of the mouth.
Composites are more time consuming to place and more technique sensitive than the traditional amalgam and so tend to be more expensive and in most cases are not applicable to back teeth on the NHS.
A crown, sometimes known as dental cap, is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods.
Crowns are often used to improve the strength and/or appearance of teeth. Crowns can be an important part in preventing further deterioration of oral health as when when a large cavity forms, often from decay, they provide a barrier between the vulnerable pulp and harmful bacteria in the mouth.
At the Butts we pride ourselves on being a modern state-of-the-art dental practice, as such many of our treatments, including Crowns, which would have previously required taking a putty impression can now be carried out using a computerised handheld scanner making the process quicker and more comfortable for the patient.
Once a scan has been taken, we can use the computer-generated 3D model of the tooth to design and fabricate the crown in our on-site lab. The crown can then be inserted at a subsequent dental appointment.
Using this indirect method of tooth restoration allows use of strong restorative materials requiring time-consuming fabrication methods which would not be possible to complete inside the mouth.
A bridge is a fixed dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth by joining an artificial tooth definitively to adjacent teeth. With bridges it feels as if the missing teeth are still present and unlike a denture they are not removable.
Bridges can be divided into two categories traditional and adhesive.
Conventional bridges are bridges that are supported by full coverage crowns on the teeth adjacent to the gap. In these types of bridges, the adjacent teeth require preparation and reduction to support the crowns.
An alternative to the traditional bridge is the adhesive bridge (also called a Maryland bridge). An adhesive bridge utilises "wings" on the sides of the artificial teeth which attach it to the adjacent teeth. Unlike in a traditional bridge, the adjacent teeth require minor or no preparation. They are most often used when the adjacent teeth are whole and healthy (i.e., no crowns or major fillings).
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment (also known as endodontic therapy) is a treatment sequence for the infected pulp of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and the protection of the decontaminated tooth from future infections.
Root canals, and their associated pulp chamber, are the physical hollows within a tooth that are naturally inhabited by nerve tissue, blood vessels and other cellular entities. Together, these items constitute the dental pulp.
Endodontic therapy involves the removal of these structures, the subsequent shaping, cleaning, and decontamination of the hollows with small files and irrigating solutions, and the filling of the decontaminated canals. Filling of the cleaned and decontaminated canals is done with an inert filling such as gutta-percha and a dental cement. Epoxy resin is employed to bind gutta-percha in some root canal procedures.
Dentures (also known as false teeth) are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth, and are supported by the surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity.
Conventional dentures are removable (removable partial denture or complete denture). However, there are many denture designs and materials that can be used. There is the traditional plastic dentures either full or partial. In the traditional category you would also place metal chrome cobalt which is a precise hard wearing material. Newer more exciting materials are the flexi dentures which can be more comfortable and retentive. With metals there is titanium which is lighter and less likely to fracture.