The teeth are made up of multiple layers, with the pulp of the tooth at the core, and a hard, protective layer of enamel on the outside. The design of the teeth allows them to bite and break down foods without disrupting the sensitive nerves and tissues at the center of the tooth. Unfortunately, there are many dental complications that can damage tooth enamel and leave people vulnerable to oral pain and issues such as root canal infection. Restorative dentistry treatments repair dental damage to restore a protective layer around the teeth.
One common cause of dental damage is tooth erosion. Tooth erosion is caused by exposure to acidic foods and drinks and daily wear and tear on the teeth. At Windsor Dental Group, Dr. Patrick Seely offers a range of treatments for tooth erosion that allow our Windsor, CA patients to restore the health and strength of their smiles.
It is always our goal to diagnose and treat tooth erosion before it destroys a substantial amount of tooth structure. When patients schedule routine dental exams and cleanings biannually, this goal can usually be accomplished.
Tooth-colored fillings are the most appropriate treatment for minor cases of tooth erosion. A filling is applied directly to a damaged tooth, where it is shaped to repair the damage caused by tooth erosion and rebuild a protective shield around the inner layers of the tooth. Dental fillings are durable restorations that prevent further dental complications associated with tooth erosion. And thanks to the tooth-colored fillings that Dr. Seely uses, they repair damaged teeth without compromising the aesthetics of the smile.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are restorations that are appropriate for larger areas of tooth erosion. Inlays repair damage that extends to the biting surface of the tooth, while onlays can address damage that has compromised the cusps of the tooth (the small bumps on the top of the tooth).
Inlays and onlays are applied using an indirect bonding method. Rather than shaping material directly to the tooth, inlays and onlays will be fabricated in a dental lab before being bonded to the damaged tooth. Prior to designing the patient’s inlay or onlay, Dr. Seely will clean the tooth to remove any material damaged by erosion. He will then take molds of the teeth to ensure that the inlay or onlay will fit securely, providing both comfort and protection. Inlays and onlays are customized to blend in with the natural teeth so they strengthen the smile while maintaining its beauty.
For more advanced cases of tooth erosion, a dental crown is likely to be the best treatment option. A dental crown is also applied using an indirect bonding method, meaning it is bonded to the tooth after it has been fabricated in a dental lab. A dental crown is larger than inlays and onlays; it surrounds the entire crown of the tooth, sitting over the pulp of the tooth like a small cap. A dental crown can repair significant dental damage while preserving the natural root structure of the tooth. As with fillings, inlays, and onlays, dental crowns are comprised of durable tooth-colored material that strengthens the tooth while preserving the beauty of the smile.
If tooth erosion has damaged your teeth, it is important to seek restorative dentistry treatment before further dental complications develop. Contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more about the wide range of tooth erosion treatments offered by Dr. Patrick Seely.