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If you have noticed that your teeth have become worn, damaged, and decayed over time, you are not alone. Over the years, disease, trauma, diet, and the aging process itself can cause your smile to lose its former appearance and strength.

With a variety of restorative solutions, Dr. Lee T. Frost creates treatment plans that recapture your smile’s aesthetic appeal. With so many choices, deciding which restoration will work best for you may seem daunting. To alleviate some of that confusion, getting familiar with some common restorations can help you decide what will best serve your needs:

Direct Restoration

Conservative options for correcting damage and decay, such as fillings or dental bonding, are included in the category of direct restoration. These procedures are recommended in cases where the majority of your tooth’s structure is intact. Unlike indirect restorations, preparation of the tooth during these treatments is minimal and can typically be completed in a single visit.

There are a variety of materials that can be used for fillings, with benefits varying depending on which option you choose. Amalgam fillings are made up of mostly mercury, along with other metals like silver, tin, and copper, and are considered to be the least expensive material for restoration. They are strong enough to withstand routine oral function and have shown to last for at least ten years, but will not match your teeth’s natural shade. By contrast, the ability of composite resin to resemble the color of natural teeth without as much tooth preparation has made it favored among dentists and patients.

Indirect Restoration

When the condition of a damaged tooth requires more care than a filling can provide, an indirect restoration is usually recommended. Options for treatments in this category include crowns, onlays, and inlays. Crowns cover the entire surface area of the affected tooth. This process for this treatment requires the remaining tooth to be reshaped to take on the added size of the crown, making crowns  perfect for teeth whose structure have been moderately to severely damaged. If the restoration involves just the interior section of the tooth, an inlay is used. For external damage that affects an outer wall of tooth’s structure, an onlay is used as a more conservative option than a crown.

Indirect restorations are rarely same-day procedures. In addition to any tooth shaping that is needed to fit the restoration, these replacements are custom-made by a laboratory, based on the shape of your teeth and bite pattern.

Like fillings, the effectiveness of your crown, onlay, or inlay comes from the material it is made out of. Dr. Frost provides modern, life-like, and durable options for restoring your teeth that include e.max®, zirconium, porcelain, and other tooth-colored materials.

Whether through a direct or indirect restoration, your unique dental needs can be met. Our practice prides itself on giving patients access to treatment that effectively restores their smiles.

Contact our office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Lee T. Frost.