Dental Restorations

Amalgam Fillings

Dental amalgam fillings are sometimes called "silver" fillings. They are the most common type of filling used in Canada today. Because these fillings are silver in colour, they are used to fill back teeth. They are a mix of metals such as mercury, silver, copper and tin.

 

  • Advantages

    • They last a long time.

    • They are easy to put in place; because they are a direct filling, one visit to your dentist will do the job, in most cases.

    • These fillings are the least expensive type of filling.

 

  • Disadvantages

    • The silver colour may not appeal to people who want a "natural" look.

    • Tiny amounts of mercury are released from the filling when you chew. For most people, this bit of mercury is nothing to worry about. Studies have shown that amalgam fillings do not cause illness. They have been used on people for more than 150 years.  Health Canada advises pregnant women in need of a filling to wait until the baby is born before they go ahead with the procedure. Your dentist can suggest other kinds of fillings, if the work is urgent.

 

Composite Fillings (Tooth Coloured)

Composite fillings are also called plastic or white fillings. To place this filling, your dentist cleans all decay from the tooth and puts a glue (or bonding material) on the inside of the hole. Composite resin is put into the hole in thin layers. Each layer gets hard with the help of a special light that your dentist holds over the tooth. When the last layer of the filling is hard, your dentist shapes the filling so it looks and feels natural.

  • Advantages

    • These fillings will be the same colour as your natural teeth. 

  • Disadvantages

    • This kind of filling can break more easily than amalgam or gold fillings, and may not last as long. 

    • Composite fillings cost more than amalgam fillings. 

    • Recurrent decay is more of a problem than with amalgam or gold fillings.

Stainless Steel Crown (Metal Crown)

The stainless steel crown provides an effective and practical way for restoring badly broken down baby and permanent teeth. While dentists in general would prefer to do small, traditional fillings, on occasion these fillings may not be expected to withstand the forces of chewing for a long enough period of time. Alternatively, the stainless steel crown is very durable and can be expected to provide good functional service for many years or until that time when the tooth is ready to fall out. On young permanent teeth the stainless steel crown can act as an excellent temporary filling and is often replaced with a porcelain crown once the child has reached adulthood.

There are a few common reasons for placing a stainless steel crown:

  • Repairing baby and/or adult teeth that are significantly decayed.

  • Repairing baby and/or adult tooth following a nerve treatment

  • Repairing baby and/or adult teeth that are structurally deficient due to a genetic or other unknown condition

 

On occasion a tooth may be too damaged to be repaired with a stainless steel crown. If this is the case the dentist may discuss other treatment options including extraction of the broken tooth.

 
 

Composite Crown (White Crown)-for front teeth only

Composite crowns are made of composite "white" filling material, making them much more esthetically pleasing than stainless steel and therefore perfect for front teeth. This material looks quite natural; but eventually, composite crowns have a tendency to stain and discolor. Placing composite crowns requires skill and time to perform, but it is worth the effort to cosmetically restore severely broken down front teeth. Composite crowns are weaker than stainless steel, and fractures and breaks over time are common, so special care is needed and biting on hard things like ice will cause them to fracture.

 

White Ceramic Crown

Fully-"white", prefabricated, ceramic crowns are especially designed for children. These crowns are made of solid Zirconia, a bio-compatible material that, until now, has only been used in high-end, adult cosmetic dentistry. Composed entirely of one solid tooth-colored material, they look extremely esthetic, both from the front view and on the inside of the mouth. Each crown is glazed with a hint of natural color, making them very smooth, shiny, and impermeable to staining. They are exceptionally strong, and their unsurpassed esthetics allow them to blend in seamlessly with surrounding natural teeth.  Due to the hard nature of the crown, it is more difficult to prepare the tooth to fit well and as a result has higher failure rate than stainless steel crown.  

 

Space Maintainer

When a primary molar tooth is lost prematurely, dentist may recommend a space maintainer to "save" the space created by the missing tooth. Your child's baby teeth exist to save space for the arrival of their permanent teeth, which should erupt into the position once held by the primary tooth. If a primary tooth requires early extraction due to an abscess or severe decay, a space maintainer is designed to save the space. This space needs to be preserved to prevent other teeth from drifting, which can cause crowding and other orthodontic problems. Space maintainers are unnecessary for front teeth.

 

Nerve Treatment

Primary (or baby) teeth are very small, and decay can be serious. If decay reaches the dental nerve, nerve treatment in the form of either a pulpotomy or a pulpectomy (depending on the extent of decay) will be needed.

 

If the decay has just reached the nerve, a pulpotomy will be performed. A pulpotomy involves removal of the nerve in the crown (part of the tooth above the gum line), which is then filled with a sedative material placed into the nerve chamber. This maintains the vitality of the remaining nerve tissue. Following the nerve treatment, dentist will cover the tooth with stainless steel crown to protect against fracture.

 

In the event that the decay progresses deep into the nerve and creates an abscess in a baby tooth, dentist will usually need to extract the baby tooth, but in some instances will perform a pulpectomy. An abscessed baby tooth often causes little or no discomfort because the bone housing the roots is spongy and porous. However, the abscess can drain through the bone and gums into the mouth without pressure buildup. Treatment is like a root canal on a permanent tooth, but a pulpectomy is completed in one visit. Dentist will clean, irrigate, dry, and fill the nerve chambers of the tooth. We will then restore the tooth with a composite or stainless steel crown

 

604-222-2206

3770 West 10th Ave

Vancouver BC V6R 2G4

778-355-0622

120 - 1920 Como Lake Ave

Coquitlam BC V3J 3R3