When a tooth has a cavity, it is most often repaired with a filling. During a filling procedure, the tooth is numbed, the cavity is removed, and the filling is placed. A filling can either be composite (white/tooth-colored) material or amalgam (silver) material. Due to advances in composite materials, tooth-colored fillings are more conservative, esthetic and durable than ever before. Although the majority of patients are now opting for tooth-colored fillings, amalgam (silver) fillings are still an option in certain situations. Dr. Lamont will discuss all of your options so that you can make the best decision for the health and longevity of your teeth.
When a tooth has significant damage, either from decay, fracture, or an existing large filling, a crown (or “cap”) is often needed. A tooth that has had root canal treatment will also require a crown. Once a crown is placed, it looks and functions just like a normal tooth. A crown procedure requires at least two appointments. During the first appointment, the damaged portion of the tooth is removed and the tooth is shaped and smoothed to make room for the crown to be placed over it. You will leave this appointment with a temporary crown to cover and protect your tooth while our lab custom fabricates your new permanent crown. When your new crown is ready, you will return and the crown will be tried in and adjusted to fit perfectly in your mouth. The crown is then cemented into place. With proper care, a crown can last many years.
Root Canal Therapy
When the nerve at the center of a tooth becomes irritated or damaged, root canal therapy is indicated. There are many factors that can cause this damage, including a deep cavity, previous filling or crown, trauma to the tooth, and fracture or breakage. Sometimes a tooth that needs root canal therapy is painful, other times it is not. Sometimes the need for root canal therapy does not become apparent for many months or years after the initial source of irritation or damage.
If your tooth needs a root canal, don’t worry! Root canal procedures have come a long way, and are now much faster and easier than ever before. Most patients are surprised at how advances in technology and materials have made root canals a fairly simple procedure.
During your root canal procedure, the damaged nerve at the center of your tooth is removed, and the inside of your tooth is cleaned and shaped. A filling material is then placed in your nerve canals. In order to fully protect your tooth after a root canal procedure, a crown needs to be placed on your tooth. The crown covers and protects your tooth and prevents it from breaking.