Restorative Dentistry is the art of replacing decayed teeth, missing tooth structure, or missing teeth
Tooth Colored Fillings
Tooth colored fillings provide a great material to restore your teeth instead of amalgam.
Tooth colored fillings are a great material instead of amalgam (silver fillings) when used to restore decayed or missing tooth structure.
Composites (tooth colored fillings) are used to replace tooth structure lost to decay (cavities) or to cosmetically enhance your tooth (see the Cosmetic Dentistry section of our website). Composites are bonded to the tooth which allows for added retention and less drilling of the tooth. Once the composite is hardened using a high intensity light, the material is very stable and strong. The composite contains material which is very compatible with the tooth and non-harmful to your health.
Silver amalgams have none of these properties and many disadvantages. Amalgams are not able to be bonded to the tooth, are continually reacting causing expansion of the filling, expand and contract with temperature changes, and contain mercury. Mercury has been the center of a long running debate concerning health problems associated to its use in fillings.
For these reasons, Dr. Laurilla only uses composites to restore teeth. In doing so, Dr. Laurilla is able to provide fillings that are not only durable and healthier for your tooth, but also look great!
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are porcelain restorations used when a regular filling is inadequate, but a crown is too aggressive in treating the tooth.
Many times when a tooth needs to be restored, a filling may not be the best long-term solution and a crown may require too much drilling of healthy tooth structure. For example, when the cavity between teeth is large, it is often difficult to place a filling that contacts the adjacent tooth tight enough to prevent food from collecting between the teeth. Or, a significant portion of the tooth may be fractured or lost to decay. In either situation, an inlay/onlay may be a better restorative choice because they are made from porcelain for strength, they are made at a dental lab so the contact between the teeth can be made as tight as needed, and they are bonded into place so the tooth is as strong as it was originally. Inlays/onlays require less drilling of the tooth when compared to a crown. If the remaining tooth structure is healthy and strong, the inlay/onlay will replace only that part of the tooth which is involved, thereby conserving the good parts of the tooth.
Dr. Laurilla's conservative approach to dentistry includes inlays/onlays as a treatment choice to not only restore the tooth with a strong, long lasting restoration, but to also prevent unnecessary drilling of healthy tooth structure.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns, or caps, are used to restore teeth that are severely broken, contain large fillings, or are endodontically treated (root canal) teeth.
Crowns are used to restore teeth for many reasons. Teeth that have fractured, have large fillings, or had a root canal performed very often cannot nor should not be restored with a conventional filling. Crowns are used to either replace lost tooth structure of a broken tooth, or to provide protection from future breakage. Once the tooth is prepared and the crown made at a dental laboratory, it is cemented into place with a permanent cement providing a strong chewing surface. Crowns are made from various materials: all metal, porcelain fused to metal (used mainly on back teeth), and all porcelain (mainly used on front teeth). The material used is determined by the location and needs of the particular tooth, and through discussion between yourself and Dr. Laurilla.
Bridges are a series of connected crowns used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. They are permanently cemented in and provide a strong chewing surface over a greater area.
Dr. Sean Laurilla can utilize the cutting edge technology of implants to replace your missing tooth, or multiple teeth so you can eat and smile as if they were never missing.
Implant dentistry has revolutionized our ability to replace missing teeth. From the replacement of one tooth, to the rehabilitation of an entire mouth, Dr.Laurilla can utilize the cutting edge technology of implants for your specific need.
Implants are a titanium screw placed by a Periodontist or an Oral Surgeon. Once placed and allowed to heal, the jawbone fuses with the implant forming a solid anchor. The implant can now be used to support a crown (just like a tooth root) or as an anchor point for a full denture or modified bridge. The chewing efficiency of the mouth, which is diminished when a tooth is lost, is restored with the solid support provided with dental implants.
Dentures are a great way to replace many missing teeth with one prosthesis. Whether its a full denture or a partial denture, each is made to return the function and esthetics that were lost when the teeth were removed.
Replacing missing teeth is very important for many reasons. When back teeth are lost, your chewing efficiency is greatly reduced, while missing front teeth reduces your ablility to bite into food in addition to esthetic concerns. Improperly chewed food is not digested properly which can affect your health.
Partial dentures use your natural teeth to "hook" onto. Traditional partials are made with a metal base with plastic teeth and gum tissue. Metal clasps rest on and around the teeth to hold the denture in place. Valplast is a newer partial denture made completely with plastic with no metal clasps. These partials are light, flexible, and very comfortable. Dr. Laurilla examines your teeth to determine which type of partial is best suited for your individual needs.
Full dentures are used when all of the teeth are lost. An upper denture is held in place when a vacuum, or suction, is created when the denture is placed in the mouth. A lower denture can not form this vacuum, and simply rests on the gum tissue. For this reason, lower dentures tend to move more when used. It has become more common to use implants to hold the denture in place. To learn more about implants, see the Restorative Dentistry section of our website.