Restorative Dentistry

Composite Fillings
Dental composite is a tooth-colored material used to replace and restore tooth structure that is lost due to decay. In this form of restorative dentistry composite fillings are highly esthetic and unnoticeable. Current research has shown that conventional amalgam or “metal” fillings do not need to be removed for health reasons. However, replacement of these fillings with composite can provide you with a more esthetic smile.

Dental crowns or “caps” are necessary when significant tooth structure is lost due to decay or a severely chipped or fractured tooth. Crowns are also indicated after root canal treatment and in instances where tooth fillings are large and additional reinforcement is necessary. Both metal and highly esthetic porcelain crowns are available.

In preparing your tooth for a crown, Dr. Helfrich will remove a small amount of enamel from the surface of your tooth. The removal of tooth structure is necessary so that sufficient space can be created for the crown material (metal or porcelain). Regardless of whether the crown is in the front or back of your mouth, dental porcelain can be used to make the appearance of your tooth highly esthetic.

A dental bridge uses existing teeth to replace a missing tooth. Teeth adjacent to a missing tooth are connected by a “bridge” that can be made of an esthetic porcelain or metal material. This is an excellent way of replacing a lost tooth.

A dental bridge is not removable but rather it is cemented to existing teeth. Teeth adjacent to a missing tooth are prepared for crowns or “caps,” and the missing tooth is replaced with a floating tooth or “bridge” that is welded or rigidly attached to the adjacent dental crowns. A dental bridge functions and appears just like a natural tooth providing you with great esthetics. If dental implants are not indicated or desired, a dental bridge becomes the next best option for tooth replacement.

Root Canal Therapy
Within the roots of teeth are the blood vessels and nerves that give our teeth that unpleasant sensation of cold or hot. If a tooth becomes infected, sensitivity of the nerves within the tooth may become heightened resulting in a painful sensation. Root canal therapy eliminates the pain and removes the infection from inside the tooth. It is our priority to make you as comfortable as possible during this procedure.

When a tooth can not be saved, a dental extraction may become necessary to alleviate pain or the development of an infection. If an extraction is indicated, there are several options for its future replacement, and Dr. Helfrich and her restorative dentistry team will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan.

Partial Dentures and Complete Dentures
When several teeth are missing or lost, partial dentures or complete dentures are options for the replacement of these teeth. Conventional dentures, as opposed to implant-supported dentures, rest on the bony tissues where teeth once were located and are easily removed for sleeping and cleaning purposes. Dentures may require adjustments and will need to be relined and/or replaced over time. Dentures not only provide a great way to replace several missing teeth but also restore function and improve facial appearance.