With the availability of dental restorations today, tooth decay of any level can be treated, helping people maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. A dentist in New Bern, NC, can offer restorative treatments that extend beyond traditional fillings. With the many options available to choose from, patients can get treated for tooth decay without undergoing an extensive procedure.
Restorative Options Other than Traditional Fillings
Metal filling or amalgam fillings used to be the go-to treatment for cavities. However, teeth-colored options are now available. Those who need a new dental filling or want to replace their old fillings can choose from any of the following:
- Tooth-colored fillings. These modern dental fillings can be made of composite resin or porcelain. They are customized to match your remaining natural teeth’s shade, ensuring they are not noticeable. Those who have enough of their visible metal fillings can ask their dentist about getting tooth-colored fillings for restoring their teeth’s look.
- Inlays and onlays. These options are often used to treat cavities in the molars. For minor to medium decay in molar cusps, onlays are a great option. Meanwhile, onlays are ideal for treating more extensive decay. Patients must discuss with their dentist the right option for molar decay to restore and protect their teeth’s health.
- Porcelain veneers. Patients whose front teeth have mild decay can benefit from porcelain veneers. These thin, tooth-shaped shells are custom-made for every patient. A dentist will make the veneers to the tooth’s specific shape, shade, and size.
Options for Treating More Serious Tooth Decay and Damage
If dental decay has become too serious that cannot be repaired by dental fillings, veneers, and inlays or onlays, the following are recommended options for treating tooth decay:
- Dental crowns. Porcelain dental crowns are available to restore the look of teeth that have big fillings and protect them from further damage. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps placed over damaged teeth and are customized to ensure they blend and fit in with the surrounding natural teeth. Also, dental crowns can save seriously decayed or damaged teeth.
- Dental implants. If teeth need to be extracted because of serious damage, dental implants can replace them. The implant procedure involves surgically placing a titanium post into the jawbone of the patient. The implant is allowed to fuse with the bone and heal completely before an abutment is attached to it. After complete healing, a dental crown is placed on top of the implant.