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Restorative dentistry

Restorative Dentistry is the art of reconstructing or ‘restoring’ tooth structure that has been lost. Tooth Structure can be lost for many reasons but the most common reasons are:

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  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum disease
  • Wear
  • Erosion
  • Trauma

At Windsor Smiles for the most part we use cutting edge dental materials that are “aesthetic” and thus are designed to make your restorations look as natural as possible. We do not use Dental Amalgam “Mercury” Fillings.

Teeth can be “rebuilt” using the following methods:

  • Direct Restorations (often called “fillings” and placed same day directly into the tooth) – Glass Ionomer, Composite Resin
  • Indirect Restorations (made outside the mouth and bonded in later) –Veneers, Inlays,
  • Onlays, Crowns and Bridges. They can be made of Porcelain, Porcelain fused to Metal, Composite Resin and Gold.

DIRECT RESTORATIONS:

GLASS IONOMERS

Glass Ionomers are a material that naturally bonds to tooth structure and have the benefit of fluoride which can help control and prevent the recurrence of tooth decay. They are tooth coloured “white” fillings but with slightly less natural appearance than composite resins (see below). They are however less costly and have a more simplified placement technique. For many patients they are an extremely acceptable way to fill teeth with a natural colour. Life expectancy would be in the region of 3-5 years.

COMPOSITE RESINS

Often what we refer to when we say “white fillings”. They are a highly aesthetic method of rebuilding a tooth with a very life like appearance. They require a very high level of skill to be able to use the material properly and to ensure that they last for a decade or more, but the results can be extremely natural and life like. They are a more expensive method of filling teeth than Glass Ionomers but will look far more natural and should last twice as long. They can be “bonded” or glued to the tooth structure and therefore require less tooth preparation than traditional metal fillings and are thus better at preserving your teeth in the long term. A lifespan of 8-10 years would be expected.

To arrange an appointment, please click here or call 01753 833 755 to contact us.

INDIRECT RESTORATIONS:

These are usually required when a lot of tooth structure has been lost, and there is not enough to surround and support a “filling”. They are hand-made outside the mouth, most often by a dental laboratory technician, and fitted at a second appointment. However with modern dental technology, more and more they are made by digital scanning and milling technology right in the dental practice and fitted same day.

INLAYS AND ONLAYS:

These are used to rebuild a tooth that has lost a lot of volume whilst at the same time preserving as much of the remaining strong tooth structure that is left. They tend to be more ‘conservative’ of your teeth and there can help make the teeth last longer and remain healthy. They are often bonded directly to the remaining tooth structure. They are most often made of high strength ceramics (porcelain) but can be made of Gold alloy in situations where very high strength is needed. A lifespan of 10 to 15 years would not be uncommon.

VENEERS

Veneers are often used in Cosmetic Dentistry to make teeth look very beautiful. They are the most common form of treatment referred to in the term “Smile Makeover”. They can also be used to rebuild and strengthen teeth that have been heavily worn down. They are thin shells rather like false nails that are glued on to the front and biting edge of your teeth. A very thin layer of tooth is removed to make the space required to add the veneer. They can be made of porcelain or composite resin, depending on what we are trying to achieve or the budget of the patient. Click here to find out more about Veneers.

CROWNS

If your tooth has very significantly been broken or is damaged, you may require a crown to help repair and strengthen it as more conservative methods would not be suitable. Back teeth that have had root canal treatment are often recommended to have crowns to help support an prevent the tooth fracturing over time. At Windsor Smiles, we regularly use crowns to restore teeth to full functionality.

Also known as caps, a crown is a custom made dental restoration and can be made from porcelain, gold or porcelain-fused-to metal. The correct choice of crown for you depends on many factors, such as where in the mouth your tooth is located, the strength of your bite, sturdiness of the tooth underneath, and the overall look and level of aesthetics that you are trying to achieve.

Many patients opt for porcelain crowns as they look natural and can be virtually undetectable, unlike traditional gold crowns which are commonly used at the back of the mouth for their strength and longevity.

Crowns can last for decades or more if looked after properly and in a healthy mouth with a stable bite.

Treatment

If you require a crown, your Windsor Smiles dentist will explain why and what the next steps are. Impressions will be taken of your teeth and while you wait for your crown to be created for you by our highly experienced dental technicians you will be fitted with a temporary restoration.

At the next appointment, the dentist will ensure the crown fits securely before it is adhered into place. The dentist will advise you how to look after your new dental restoration and may arrange a follow up appointment to see how you are managing.

To arrange an appointment, please click here or call 01753 833 755 to contact us.

BRIDGES

If you lose a tooth or teeth, your Windsor Smiles dentist can act quickly and efficiently to fill the gap with a dental bridge. This is a restorative treatment which looks and feels natural and functions just like a normal tooth.

A bridge is simply an artificial tooth which is held in place on either side by crowns or sticky ‘wings’, placed upon or behind your natural teeth. Bridges are often long lasting and durable replacements for missing teeth.

At Windsor Smile we offer a variety of dental bridges and will advise you which is the most suitable. The most common types are:

  • A conventional bridge which is supported on both sides of the gap by your natural teeth. It is cemented into place and will be made to match the colour of your existing teeth
  • An adhesive bridge is fixed to the sides of your natural teeth with special dental adhesive
  • An implant-retained bridge is held in place by a titanium screw, also known as an implant
  • A cantilever bridge is cemented to one adjacent tooth and is used to replace a single missing tooth
  • A resin-bonded bridge is used to replace a missing front tooth and is fixed to the adjacent tooth using a specially created ‘wing’ mechanism
  • A removable bridge is a type of denture which can be held in place with attachments or on existing crowns placed on the remaining natural teeth

Treatment

Following a thorough assessment of your dental health and bite, the treatment usually involves only two appointments, if you are suitable for a bridge. At the first visit, the dentist will prepare your surrounding teeth to make space for the bridge and to ensure it fits securely into place.

We will also take an impression of your teeth to create the new bridge. While you wait for the permanent replacement to be created, we will provide you with a temporary bridge.

At the next appointment, the dentist will ensure the bridge fits properly before cementing or adhering it into place. They will advise you on how to best look after your new dental restoration and may arrange a follow up appointment to see how you are managing.

To arrange an appointment, please click here or call 01753 833 755 to contact us.

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