Repairing Smiles with Restorative Dentistry in Arlington
If for any reason you or a loved one experiences dental decay or damage, we offer a variety of restorative dentistry solutions at the Arlington, TX dental office of James T. Gray, DDS. Dr. Gray and his team offer a variety of treatments to renew oral health including cavity repair with composite resin fillings, dental crowns, and root canal therapy. We have the skills and experience necessary to completely renew oral health. Contact our dedicated team to find out more or schedule an appointment.
Traditional Crown & Bridge
Dental crowns are one of the most often used restorative dentistry methods. Crowns completely cover a decay or damaged tooth, restoring full form and function. Additionally, dental crowns protect the damaged tooth from potential damage. We craft dental crowns from a variety of materials depending on the patient’s specific needs. We may recommend patients receive a gold, porcelain bonded to metal, or all-ceramic restoration depending on the location of the damaged tooth and the patient’s smile goals. Gold crowns offer maximum durability, and they cause the least wear to surrounding teeth. However, the noticeable appearance of this material makes it less than ideal for those teeth visible when patients smile. Porcelain bonded to metal have an improved cosmetic appearance, but the porcelain layer wears away over time revealing the darker colored metal below. All-ceramic restorations are ideal for teeth that are visible within the smile line as they retain their natural appearance even after years of wear. Additionally, this is the only material completely safe for those patients who have allergies or sensitivity to metal.
Regardless of the material we select, the process remains the same. Patients will schedule two appointments in our Arlington, TX office. During the first visit, we’ll prepare teeth by removing a small amount of dental structure to accommodate the extra material for the crown. Then, we will capture impressions of the prepared teeth that our dental lab will use to create the custom restoration. Finally, we’ll place a temporary crown to protect the tooth, while the custom crown is crafted. Once we receive the final crown, the patients return to our practice to exchange the temporary for their final restorations. We can also connect a row of dental crowns to surrounding healthy teeth to replace a missing tooth, creating a prosthetic known as a fixed bridge.
Metal fillings restored dental structure lost to decay or damage with an amalgam, metal material. While these fillings repaired lost structure, they did not have an ideal appearance and typically needed to be replaced over time. Today, we utilize a much more cosmetically appealing solution, composite resin fillings. Like their amalgam counterparts, these fillings are able to restore the lost shape and structure of damaged teeth, but composite fillings can be shaded to exactly match surrounding dental structures. Additionally, tooth-colored fillings are applied directly to the tooth in a putty-like consistency where they are shaped into position, filling in the smallest chips and crevices in the tooth’s surface. That means we’re able to preserve a greater amount of healthy tooth structure as we do not need to smooth or remove parts of the tooth to accommodate the filling. Once the composite resin is in position, we use a curing light to harden the material. The entire process takes about thirty minutes, and can be completed in a single visit to our office. For those patients interested in concealing a purely cosmetic flaw, we can use composite resin as part of a cosmetic service known as direct bonding. This procedure can correct a number of minor flaws quickly and painlessly.
Dentures & Partial Dentures
Patients with more extensive tooth loss may want to consider a partial or full denture. These dental prosthetics combine replacement teeth with a gum-colored base material that supports and anchors the denture. Partials are used to fill in gaps when patients have lost a number of consecutive and nonconsecutive teeth. They are attached to healthy remaining teeth using metal clasps. Full dentures are used to replace an entire arch of teeth, so they cannot be attached to remaining teeth. Instead, full dentures are shaped to fit snuggly against the gum line.
When tooth decay or damage reaches the innermost pulp layer of the tooth, we’ll need to perform root canal therapy. Most patients know when a root canal is necessary because they experience a severe toothache and dental sensitivity to temperature changes. This occurs because the tooth’s nerve system is housed within the pulp, so when damage is able to access the nerve directly, patients experience tooth pain. Root canal therapy allows us to reduce pain, remove the damaged structures, refill the tooth, and replace lost strength and shape using a dental crown.
We will do our utmost to repair damaged teeth, but in some cases, removing a damaged tooth is the best way to ensure optimal oral health. When this is necessary, we’re happy to provide safe, comfortable tooth extractions in our Arlington dental office. If necessary, we’ll also plan for tooth replacement at this time. Some of the most common reasons we extract teeth include:
- Severe decay or damage
- In preparation for orthodontic treatment or during the denture creation and placement process
- Third molars, wisdom teeth, are the most often extracted teeth as they can cause a number of oral health concerns including crowding or dental drift