Yikes! A painful tooth can be an unwelcome surprise. When you bite down and experience sensitivity or pain, restorative dental treatments could be necessary. Restorative dentistry can eliminate the painful symptoms of teeth that have been damaged due to decay, infection, or trauma. Typically, for mild to moderate damage, your Denver restorative dentist will restore teeth through dental fillings or dental crowns. To understand the differences between these two common treatments, and to learn which one could be best for your painful tooth, read on!
To schedule your appointment with a restorative dentist near downtown Denver, call our practice at 303.534.2626.
Repairing a Damaged Tooth
Teeth suffering from decay, due to harmful bacteria found in plaque, can form small holes in the outer layers of enamel. This decay, called a cavity, must be treated by your Denver dentist to prevent further damage. Additionally, a tooth that is fractured or cracked from trauma requires restoration to protect the vulnerable inner tooth and prevent infection. Two restorative methods that treat these different issues are composite fillings and porcelain crowns.
Fillings are best used to restore small areas of damage, such as small cavities. They also are best suited for repairing areas of the tooth that sustain less pressure from biting and chewing. At Metro Dental Care, we exclusively use composite fillings that match the natural color of your teeth. When complete, the filling won’t be visible. In addition, we choose to use non-metal filling materials for those patients who may have sensitivities to various metals, or who wish for the peace of mind of non-metal fillings. Composite fillings can last for up to 10 years with proper care, and can be easily replaced and maintained.
Crowns are used for restoring a tooth that has suffered more extensive decay or damage, and is more vulnerable to future damage. Dental crowns are a protective cap, shielding the natural crown of the tooth in an impenetrable, ceramic layer. Bacteria, pressure, and food particles are kept away from the vulnerable tooth thanks to permanent dental bonding agents. Durable and long-lasting, porcelain crown treatments require a couple of appointments with your restorative dentist.
Once placed, the porcelain crown can withstand regular eating and drinking and offers a seamless appearance that does not detract from your natural smile. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings and exams can extend the life of your crown up to 20 years.
The Right Treatment for You
At your appointment with one of our restorative dentists, we can determine which restorative treatment is best for you. Usually, your treatment is determined by:
- The overall state of the tooth: If the affected tooth has had previous fillings or is displaying signs of eroded or damaged enamel, your dentist could repair the tooth with a porcelain crown to provide greater protection.
- The size of the damage: Bigger areas of decay or damage (such as a large crack or deep fracture) require a greater restoration than a tiny cavity. Many cavities, when detected early, can be effectively treated with a small filling. Dental crowns are usually unnecessary for these types of tiny areas of decay.
- The location of the restoration: Porcelain crowns offer more support for teeth in areas of high pressure and frequent use (such as a molar). However, areas of damage that are away from high impact locations may be more easily repaired with a composite filling.
Meet with a Denver Restorative Dentist
If you experience painful symptoms in one or more of your teeth, don’t let it go untreated. By receiving prompt restorative care, you can prevent more invasive procedures in the future and save your natural tooth! Contact our Denver practice to schedule your appointment with an experienced restorative dentist.