Dental Restorations San Francisco, CA

People with damaged or decayed tooth structure can benefit from dental restoration. These treatments can repair, restore, and rebuild smiles. Different restoration methods are available to restore varying levels of dental trauma.

Dental restoration is available at Union Street Dental Care in San Francisco and the surrounding area. Our team provides treatment to restore and protect your smile. Call us today at (415) 200-1286 to schedule an appointment or learn more about the services we offer.

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Understanding Dental Restoration

Dental restoration aims to restore the functionality of the mouth and teeth. It includes various dental procedures that repair damaged or missing tooth structure resulting from poor oral hygiene, infection, or trauma to the teeth or gums. There are two types of dental restorations, direct and indirect.

Besides restoring the mouth to a functional state, dental restoration also aims to preserve as much of the patient’s natural teeth as possible. Patients may experience missing tooth structure due to decay, chips or fractures, or deterioration of a previously placed restoration. Dental restorations can help fix such problems.

“What is dental restoration?”

Direct Dental Restoration

A direct dental restoration is one that is created and placed entirely within the mouth. During this process, we will replace small amounts of damaged tooth structure with a filling. Once the filling is in place, our dentist will harden the material with ultraviolet light to create a permanent seal which restores tooth functionality by preventing reinfection or further damage. There are various types of filling options, including:

  • Amalgam: Amalgam fillings consist of a mixture of mercury, tin, copper, or silver and are very durable but do not match the color of surrounding teeth.
  • Cast gold: Cast gold fillings are strong enough to last for longer than 15 years but are more expensive than other filling materials.
  • Ceramic: Ceramic fillings are usually made of porcelain and are more resistant to staining than composite fillings.
  • Composite: Composite fillings provide durability and strength for small to mid-size cavities and are tooth-colored to appear more natural.
  • Glass ionomer: Glass ionomer fillings consist of silicate glass-powder used in temporary fillings, decay around the gum lines, or baby teeth.

“A direct dental restoration is one that is created and placed entirely within the mouth.”

Indirect Dental Restoration

Indirect dental restorations are fabricated outside of the mouth before being placed inside the mouth at the treatment site. These customized tooth replacements include:

  • Bridges: Bridges restore gaps from one or more missing teeth to mimic the look, shape, and function of natural teeth.
  • Crowns: A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that restores a tooth’s shape, size, strength, and appearance.
  • Implants: Dental implants are artificial tooth roots placed to support replacement teeth so they can feel, look, and function naturally.
  • Inlays: Inlays mold to the cusps areas and replace minor tooth structure loss due to decay.
  • Onlays: Onlays, also called partial crowns, are more extensive than inlays and can cover one or more cusps to repair more extensive tooth decay.
  • Veneers: Veneers are thin coverings applied to the front, visible part of the tooth to restore stained, chipped, or worn-down teeth.

“Indirect dental restorations are fabricated outside of the mouth before being placed inside the mouth at the treatment site.”

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When a Dental Restoration Is Necessary

Dental restoration can help weakened teeth due to severe decay or damage and help prevent further complications. Direct dental restorations or fillings are necessary to stop the decay process while leaving the teeth intact. Fillings can also restore fractured, broken teeth, or worn down teeth resulting from misuse such as nail-biting or tooth grinding.

Indirect dental restorations are necessary when a filling is not enough to restore teeth functionality. Crowns are good restorative options for unstable teeth, while a bridge can replace multiple damaged teeth to restore proper chewing function. Additionally, a dental implant can replace a missing tooth and prevent problems like jawbone erosion and impaired chewing.

“Dental restoration can help weakened teeth due to severe decay or damage and help prevent further complications.”

Dental Restoration Candidacy

The right patients for a dental restoration procedure are people with structural tooth damage. Our dentist will consider several factors when determining the right dental restoration treatment for a patient. These factors include the type, extent, and location of the damage.

These procedures are best for patients with cavities or other localized dental problems. Patients who do not have enough supportive tooth structure to restore a tooth properly are good candidates for indirect restorations. Patients with more extensive tooth damage may require indirect dental restorations to provide additional strength.

“These procedures are best for patients with cavities or other localized dental problems.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the types of dental veneers?

A. Dental veneers typically consist of porcelain or resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers are a popular choice since they better match the appearance of natural teeth. Patients should consult with our dentist to choose the veneer materials for their needs.

Q. How do I take care of my filling?

A. Patients need to maintain their oral health to prevent decay from forming under or around the teeth. Patients should brush their teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. Eating a balanced diet with limited amounts of sugary foods and drinks and avoiding hard-to-eat foods can prevent tooth damage and decay and extend a filling’s lifespan.

Q. What happens if I don’t have a cavity filled?

A. If a cavity is left untreated, the dental decay can spread beyond the enamel and into the tooth’s soft tissues. If the decay reaches the tooth pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels, it may be too late for a filling. It is best to fill a cavity before it gets too large and requires more extensive treatment.

Q. How do I choose the right type of filling?

A. Although various types of fillings are available, some are more suited for certain conditions. Patients should consult our dentist and consider certain factors to determine the material best suited for their needs. When deciding which filling is the best option, patients should factor in the cavity location, visibility, extent of decay, cost, and insurance coverage.

Q. What type of crowns are available?

A. Depending on the patient’s oral situation, different crowns are available to restore tooth function. Our dentist will advise each patient on which crown material or combination of materials is the best option for their needs. Crowns commonly consist of stainless steel, metals, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all-ceramic, all-resin, or all-porcelain.

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By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need. Instead of waiting around and allowing the symptoms to get worse, we can provide you with treatment options.

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Definition of Dental Terminology

Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the function) of a person’s teeth, gums and/or bite.
Decay
Tooth decay is when the enamel of the tooth begins to decay and cause erosion from plaque and tartar on the teeth.
Dental Caries
Dental caries are also known as cavities and result from a lack of proper oral hygiene leaving plaque that forms tiny holes in the teeth.
Dental Checkup
A dental checkup is an appointment that involves cleaning the teeth, identifying any signs of infection and removing said signs of infection at least once every six months in the office.
Dental Filling
A dental filling involves restoring the structure of the tooth by using metal, alloy, porcelain or plastic to fill the tooth.
Dental Prophylaxis
A dental prophylaxis is a professional and detailed cleaning that involves the removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the teeth.
Dental Sealants
Dental sealants contain a resinous material that we apply to the chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth to prevent dental caries.
Dentist
A dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity.
Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissue that results from plaque, other infections in the mouth and poor oral hygiene.
Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry is the dentistry that focuses on maintaining oral health in order to prevent the spread of plaque, the formation of tartar and infections in the mouth.
Tartar
Tartar forms when plaque builds up on the surface of the teeth and calcifies into a hard surface that is much more difficult to remove and will require professional treatment.
Tooth Enamel
Tooth enamel is the protective visible outer surface of a tooth that contains the dentin and dental pulp.

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