Restorative dentistry is used to repair damaged tooth structure, alleviate pain and rehabilitate a healthy smile. Some common examples of restoration treatment you may be familiar with include fillings and crowns. Restoring a smile can also involve a combination of extractions and implant placement, root canal therapy, bridge and denture design and periodontal treatment.
A healthy smile is one that is free of disease and decay. Mailloux Dentistry is always accepting new patients and Dr. Mailloux is able to provide a number of restorative dental solutions. If you are currently experiencing dental pain or you have concerns about restorations that may be necessary to ensure your dental health, please contact our office today.
COMPOSITE & AMALGAM FILLINGS
The concept of “filling” a tooth is to replace and restore damaged tooth structure with another material. Typically, there are two types of filling materials to choose from. Most fillings will either be composed of an amalgam material (metal fillings made up of a silver-tin alloy, copper and mercury) or composite resin (tooth-colored fillings made up of acrylic plastics, quartz fillers and colorants).
Amalgams have been used in dentistry for a long time as they are extremely durable and less expensive than other filling materials. The silver-colored fillings will typically last several years and can be especially useful for filling larger cavities in back molars where we do most of our chewing. There are a few reasons why patients may not want to have amalgam fillings. The dark-metal color can be unsightly. And because the material cannot actually bond to your tooth, there is often a need to remove excess healthy tooth structure to make the filling wider at the bottom and narrow at the top so it will be held in place and not fall out. In addition there is always the ongoing debate about the safety of using mercury as a bonding agent inside amalgam fillings.
White composite resin is often the preferred choice of filling material especially when used on front teeth because it can be matched to the shade of your existing tooth structure to minimize visual detection. Another advantage is that minimal tooth structure needs to be removed in order for the material to create a strong bond. Composite fillings have not proven to last as long as amalgams and they can tend to be a bit more expensive, but technology has improved their durability.
If you’re worried you may have a cavity that needs to be filled or have had an existing filling that has come loose, please contact our office today at (616) 392-3717 for an evaluation. Early detection of a cavity is key to preventing further, more complex dental treatment.
Bridges & Crowns
Bridges and crowns are common restorative solutions used in the dental world everyday. Mailloux Dentistry specializes in providing quality dental restorations that are not only functional, but beautiful.
Crowns can be used to cover implants or to protect frail or damaged teeth by completely covering them with a sturdy material such as ceramic or a type of metal. Ceramic can be sculpted to closely replicate natural tooth enamel and the material’s white color can be matched to the shade of surrounding teeth. All-ceramic crowns are often used on front teeth and can dramatically transform the appearance of a patient’s smile while offering longterm structural support. Sometimes metal crowns are necessary, especially on back molars where we do most of our chewing.
Bridges are used to literally “bridge” the gap when there is a missing tooth, or two teeth, between existing teeth on either side that are structurally healthy and free of decay. The appliance consists of two crowns that are cemented to the outer teeth and a floating “pontic”, or fake tooth, in the middle, that is bonded by ceramic material to the neighboring crowns. A bridge is a great treatment option especially if the gum tissue is healthy and the surrounding teeth have existing fillings or other restorations that could be enhanced by crowns. Patients with periodontal disease are not good candidates for a bridge.
Both bridges and crowns are designed using impressions and models of your teeth. Dr. Mailloux and a lab technician will use your dental records to manufacture a solution that will meet your individualized needs. These restorative treatments are permanently cemented in your mouth but can be hygienically maintained similarly to regular teeth.
If you have questions or concerns about an existing bridge or crown, or think you may benefit from having dental restorative treatment, please contact our office today at (616) 392-3717 for an evaluation appointment.
RESTORATION OF IMPLANT CROWNS
Recognizing the growing popularity of implant dentistry, Mailloux Dentistry has developed a strong working relationship with West Michigan Oral Surgery whose offices are located within the same building. Implant patients are often referred from West Michigan Oral Surgery to Dr. Mailloux for the restoration of their implant crowns.
The process for designing an implant crown is similar to how regular ceramic crowns are made. Dental impressions are taken of the surrounding teeth and a lab technician manufactures a crown to fit that unique space and the post—a metal implant that has been surgically anchored into your jawbone but isn’t shaped like a natural tooth. A connector, called an abutment, attaches the base of the ceramic crown to the implant post. While there are stock abutments available, Dr. Mailloux typically prefers to use custom abutments that are designed specifically for an individual site according to the position of the implant and contour of the surrounding tissue. A special interim cap is used to cover the implant post to allow for the design and manufacture of the final crown. The custom abutment and final crown will come back from the lab together to be permanently seated on the patient’s implant.