When a tooth is severely-decayed or cracked and not restoreable or when the support of the tooth is compromised due to gum disease, extraction is performed to prevent chronic or acute pain and infection. Untreated infection in the mouth can put constant strain to the immune system and affects the course and development of certain systemic diseases.
Dental fillings use restorative materials to repair teeth which have been compromised due to cavities or trauma. New advances in dental science and technology provide different material options appropriate to use in a specific situation which restore back function and esthetics of natural teeth. The discovery and release of new materials now allow us to arrest the progression of decay and prevent tooth loss.
Often when the tooth has become infected or abscessed as a result of decay or injury, it is possible to save the tooth by performing root canal treatment. During the treatment, an opening is made in the tooth to access the infected nerve. Using very fine dental instruments, the pulp is removed by cleaning and enlarging the canal system and filling it. Following root canal treatment, a temporary or a permanent filling is placed over the tooth.
Depending on the complexity of the root canal system, this treatment might be done by a root canal specialist who has more training and expertise in complex cases. Most teeth that have had a root canal treatment will require a crown to support the remaining tooth structure.
Crowns are used to protect and stabilize heavily restored teeth (large fillings) or to prevent root-canal treated teeth from fracturing. Crowns can also be used to cosmetically cover enamel that is discoloured and defective. In this procedure, the tooth is first prepared by being filed down, making room for the crown. The tooth is then completely covered or “capped” by the crown.
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