Restorative Care :  restoring the tooth to a healthy and fully functional unit.

Fillings:  No matter how decayed the tooth we can usually fix it.  Modern technology and materials make it possible to restore a tooth to it's former glory.  How big is the filling:  Teeth are broken down into surfaces, these range from 1 to 5 obviously if you have a filling which only covers one surface then it is small and doesn't take a long time to fix.  If you have a filling covering the whole 5 surfaces of the tooth then the restoration is complex and requires a lot longer and is therefore more expensive.  Sometimes it is necessary to place a pin retention into the tooth to give the dentist something to bond the materials onto. 

Root Canal Treatment (Endodontic Treatment):  This is necessary when the tooth has been damaged due to decay, disease or injury.  Most people prefer to save their tooth because it generally will function better than an artificial tooth.  The tooth will become inflamed and sensitive to heat or cold and will be painful.  If the tooth is not treated it will die and become infected.  Root canal treatment is then needed to save the tooth.  All root canals in the affected tooth must be treated.  The canals vary from one canal in the front teeth to up to 5 in the molars at the back of your mouth.  Once the nerve has been removed from your tooth the dentist will fill the canals up and the pulp chamber is sealed.  Once this has been completed it is time for the tooth to have a crown inserted to keep it strong and prevent it from breaking.

Crowns and Bridges are usually made of porcelain and gold alloy.  Porcelain is trong and can be made to match the colour of the natural teeth.  It is resistant to staining and can be cleaned if it becomes stained.  Gold is used for strength and durability.  It is especially useful for molars which must withstand the forces of grinding and crushing.  Gold alloy and porcelain are well tolerated by the gum and cheek.  An allergic reaction to gold alloy or porcelain is rare.

Teeth have many functions apart from cheqing and biting, so missing teeth should be replaced for the following reasons:

to improve appearance

to present stresses causing damage to other teeth

to prevent the teeth near the gap from shifting

to maintain the natural bite

to improve chewing ability.

Making the crown.  The dentist takes an impression of the upper and lower teeth to make a permanent record of their appearance and how they fit together.  Then the tooth is shaped using a drill, making it smaller by one to two millimetres.  After shaping, another more accurate impressin is taken to record changes to the prepared tooth.  The impressions are sent to a dental technician who makes the crown according to specifications set by the dentist. 

To protect the prepared tooth a temporary crown is attached to the reshaped tooth with temporar cement.  You should chew on the opposite side of the mouth and avoid hard or sticky foods. 

At the next appointment the temporar crown is removed.  The new crown is placed over the reshaped tooth and cemented permanently in place.  The dental cement usually sets after one hour and reaches full strength in 24 hours.  The crown should feel comfortable, and natural in your mouth. 

Bridges replace one or more missing teeth.  They consist of an artificial tooth anchored to the natural teeth on each side of the gap.  If a tooth is lost through an accident, or is too badly decayed to save with a crown, a bridge may be the treatment of choice.  You can also ask your dentist about implants, which are another way of replacein missing teeth.