Restore Damaged or Decayed Teeth with Dental Crowns and Fillings
Tooth decay, cracks, and fractures weaken the tooth structure and make you vulnerable to more serious dental problems. At Creative Smiles in Vancouver, WA, Dr. Carl Futenma can restore damaged or decayed teeth with treatments in restorative dentistry, such as crowns and fillings. For nearly 20 years, our practice has been serving families in our community with comprehensive dental care. Whether your dental damage is mild or severe, we can help you restore your smile and improve your quality of life.
Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings
Mild and moderate dental damage can be repaired with fillings. In years past, dental fillings were made of amalgam, which is a mixture of tin, copper, zinc, silver, and mercury. Some dental practices still place amalgam fillings today. While the FDA has declared amalgam safe, many people are concerned about the long-term effects of mercury.
Since the 1990’s, tooth-colored fillings have been used as an alternative to amalgam fillings, and are now widely considered to be the standard treatment for dental decay. Tooth colored fillings are made from composite resin, which is biocompatible and aesthetically-pleasing. Another advantage of tooth-colored fillings is that composite resin does not expand and contract with temperature changes as amalgam does. Therefore, composite fillings do not weaken the tooth structure over time. For these reasons, many patients choose to have their old amalgam fillings replaced with composite ones.
Receiving a Dental Filling
Dental fillings are extremely common in dentistry. Receiving a filling is a fairly straightforward process, and can usually be completed in about 30 minutes in our office.
To prepare the tooth for a dental filling, Dr. Futenma will remove any decay and smooth out any damaged or rough surfaces. He will then place dental etch, which is a mildly acidic solution designed to roughen the surface for optimal bonding. Once the etch has had time to work, your tooth will be thoroughly rinsed off and dried. Next, the composite resin will be applied to fill in the void left behind. Dr. Futenma will use a curing light to harden the material. Finally, he will smooth the filling, check your bite, and make any final adjustments.
Larger cavities or fractures will need to be repaired with a dental crown. This tooth-shaped restoration fits over the entire tooth structure to restore its shape and size and to restore strength to your bite. Crowns can be crafted from a variety of materials, including all-ceramic, zirconia, metal, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. Dr. Futenma can help you determine which type of crown will most effectively meet your needs.
Receiving a Dental Crown
If Dr. Futenma determines you need a dental crown, there are a few simple steps involved. When you have a crown placed at Creative Smiles, here is what you can expect:
- Tooth Preparation: Before a crown can be placed, the damaged portions of the tooth must be removed. In order to make room for the restoration, your tooth will need to be slightly reduced so the crown will fit properly.
- Impressions: Once your tooth has been prepped, we will take impressions of your teeth. These impressions will be sent to our trusted dental lab.
- Temporary Crown: A temporary crown will be placed over the tooth to protect it while we wait for the lab to fabricate your final restoration.
- Fabrication: Once the lab receives your impressions, they will use them to create a study model of your teeth. A skilled technician will then carefully craft your new custom crown.
- Placement: Once your final crown arrives from the lab, we will schedule you in our office to have it placed.
- Final Adjustments: Carefully checking the fit, Dr. Futenma will make any necessary adjustments and assess your bite. Once placed, you can use your new crown right away.
Contact Creative Smiles
If you have a cavity or a damaged tooth, the solution may be easier than you think. To find out your options, or learn more about dental crowns and fillings, schedule a consultation with Dr. Futenma. Contact us online or call our office at (360) 574-3061.