Cavities are a fact of life for many people. In fact, studies show that only 1% of Americans are immune to developing a cavity in their lifetime. Tooth decay (the clinical term for cavities) is a widespread infectious disease caused by a specific strain of oral bacteria – Streptococcus mutans are most often transmitted to infants by their parents. Because tooth decay can compromise your oral health and dental structure, our team of talented dentists at Dental Associates of Moreno Valley offer helpful information regarding the restoration of decayed teeth.
Fillings are used to fill in small decayed portions of teeth. Traditionally, fillings were made from dark amalgams of metal which contained small levels of mercury. However, today, patients can enjoy tooth-colored fillings made from composite resin material. This type of material is dyed to precisely match the color of surrounding teeth. Composite resin fillings chemically bone to teeth and provide discreet, yet durable restorations.
Crowns, made from a variety of materials, are used to completely cover the outside of the tooth above the gum line. For teeth that are badly decayed, brittle, or worn down, a crown is normally placed like a cap over the tooth to protect it from further damage. Crowns also restore the tooth to its proper shape and size. Our dentists will take precise impressions of your teeth and your crown will be crafted in a dental laboratory. Crowns are commonly made from high-quality porcelain, zirconia, porcelain fused to metal, gold, or silver. Porcelain fused to metal and ceramic crowns discreetly address tooth decay without compromising the appearance of a patient’s smile.
Inlays and Onlays
Like crowns, inlays and onlays are manufactured by dental lab technicians but do not cover the entire tooth. An inlay is bonded in between the cusps of a tooth and may be made from metals or ceramics. Made from the same materials, an onlay is placed over a tooth’s cusp and may extend down the side. Like white fillings and crowns, inlays and onlays that are crafted from porcelain provide inconspicuous restorations.