This post from Mason Dental in Grapevine looks at six cosmetic and restorative dentistry procedures that are used routinely to repair damaged teeth.
A Porcelain Veneer
These wafer-thin covers can hide a chip or crack or correct the alignment of a tooth that is slightly crooked.
A Filling, Inlay, or Onlay
This procedure has been used to restore teeth for over a century though the materials and techniques have advanced. One fairly new option is white filling replacement for metal fillings. A traditional filling is shaped and molded after it is applied to the tooth. Because inlays and onlays are produced in a dental lab, they are ordinarily called indirect fillings. Inlays are applied to just the center of the biting surface of a tooth (not to a cusp or point) and are frequently smaller than onlays. An onlay restores one or more cusps of a tooth.
Bonding, officially called direct composite veneers, is used to correct chips, cracks, stains, and make teeth longer. It is also sometimes used to fill cavities. A skilled cosmetic dentist applies pliable composite resin and molds it to the precise shape needed. The resin is then hardened with a special curing light.
A Dental Crown
A crown replaces the entire visible portion of the tooth, restoring appearance, strength, and function. Crowns are used for teeth that have had a root canal, teeth with severe decay, the replacement tooth in a dental bridge, and the visible portion of a dental implant. Crowns can be made of all metal (such as gold), porcelain-fused-to-metal, all ceramic, or all resin.
Dental implant may be the ultimate restoration because they restore the entire tooth, both root and crown. Most dental implant recipients report that the implant is indistinguishable from a natural tooth.
Implants also prevent bone recession, which is common at an extraction site.
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