Dental implants can make a smile look fabulous – I know I have them. However, if you are just thinking about getting them, you may have a lot of questions. You may be wondering how smoking affects implants, whether or not wine will stain them, if they can be whitened or other concerns. I also know from experience that it can be intimidating to ask some of these questions to your dentist. In my dental implant blog, I am going to answer the questions that can be hard to ask. I hope you find the info you need in this blog and that it guides you to the right decision about dental implants. Thanks for reading!
There's something wonderfully satisfying about completing a jigsaw puzzle. The final piece clicks into place, and the picture is complete. If you happen to be missing a sizable portion of a tooth, wouldn't it be fantastic if you could just click the missing piece back into position? In a way, it can be done, although you're going to need some assistance from a cosmetic dental professional.
Inlays and Onlays
It doesn't matter if the tooth has been abruptly reduced in size because of an accident, or if it has slowly worn away due to decay. Just as long as not too much has been lost, the missing piece can be recreated and bonded to your tooth, and then the tooth is whole again. This is a form of cosmetic dental care known as an inlay or onlay (depending on where on the tooth it needs to be attached).
The Middle Ground
A filling is generally only the necessary restoration work when a small amount of tooth has been lost. A total dental crown is often the only solution when a large portion of the tooth is gone. But when the partial loss of a tooth occupies the middle ground, an inlay or onlay can restore the tooth to its previous form in size, shape and colour.
Obvious or Natural
A mold of the tooth is taken so that the exact dimensions of the missing section can be calculated. This missing section is then manufactured out of ceramic or composite materials in the precise shade of the surrounding tooth. Some people even opt to have an inlay or onlay made out of gold, but this form of restoration is rather obvious, and you will probably prefer the end result to look natural (and therefore, invisible).
The compromised tooth needs to be prepared, and this is the most uncomfortable part of the process (and even then, there won't be any significant discomfort). Your dentist will use a miniature sanding disc to smooth the tooth in order to create the ideal surface for the bonding agent. The utmost care is taken not to breach the dental pulp cavity (which contains the nerve inside the tooth), but if you're particularly sensitive to dental work, the site can be numbed. The inlay or onlay is then bonded into place, with results that are both immediate and seamless.
You might not have thought that you can complete a missing tooth like a puzzle piece, but it's possible for a dentist to make the piece and finish the puzzle for you.