To understand the tooth-coloured restoration process, you need to understand what dental restoration is and why it is necessary. Dental restoration is the repair of a damaged or decayed tooth, to restore it to normal, in both appearance and function. an excellent example of this is when the dentist wants to treat a cavity. The decayed portion of the tooth will be removed, and replaced with a restorative resin. Tooth coloured restorations are also used to repair cracked or worn down teeth, caused by trauma, nail-biting or tooth grinding.
In what case would a coloured restoration be used?
There are various situations where you might require tooth-coloured restorations. These include:
- In the aftermath of a root canal treatment.
- To help with settling a tooth’s nerve if the pulp, which carries blood and contains the nerves attached to the tooth become irritated.
- In case you have had an emergency, and dental work is required. Restorations can be used in the interim before a permanent crown is placed. These emergencies include such instances as toothaches, broken teeth or extreme cavities.
Why would you need a tooth-coloured restoration?
The reasons why you might require a tooth-coloured composite filling vary. Some are medical, while others are aesthetic. They include:
- For a better smile: Composites are very close in colour to the natural shade of teeth. This means that they are a suitable substitute for natural teeth regarding aesthetics, especially incisors which are easily visible.
- For bonding purposes: Composite restorations create firm chemical bonds with tooth structure, thereby providing strong support for your teeth.
- They are versatile: Tooth coloured restorations can be used in a bunch of other procedures including the correction of decaying, chipped, worn out, or broken teeth.
- As preparation: composites are excellent where teeth need to be removed. They are used to ensure that only a minimum amount of tooth is removed.
So what goes on?
As fancy as tooth-coloured restorations sound, they are not that complicated. The entire process is a fairly simple 6 step procedure. Any reputable dentist can perform it with minimal difficulty. The process takes place as follows:
- The dentist will apply a local anaesthetic to numb the area of the mouth where the composites will be applied.
- The decayed part of the tooth will then be removed using dental handpieces and other necessary equipment.
- The dentist will then check that area for whatever necessitated the composites in the first place (n this example tooth decay). The dentist will remove the affected area and stain it with an anti-decaying agent.
- The dentist will then clean the cavity to keep it clear of all the bacteria, debris and any other thing that would compromise the procedure. This is to make sure the area is sufficiently prepared for the restoration.
- The tooth-coloured restoration material is then applied in layers. A special light source (as with clay products) hardens each layer as it is applied.
- Once the layering process is completed, your dentist will shape the composite material. This involves trimming off any excess material and polishing the remaining composite to standard, depending on the tooth’s shape. Once the final layer of the restoration is applied, your bite will be checked to make sure that the composite is functioning properly.
What should you expect after the restoration?
After the restoration has been put in, you should expect a numbness that will last about 2 to 3 hours after the procedure. During this time, you are required to make sure you do not bite or chew on the numb tissue.
Sometimes, the restoration could be a bit high, depending on the procedure, which could result in some discomfort. This can be corrected through a simple 5-minute procedure that corrects the pain and unease.
After the procedure, the tooth might be sensitive for a while, anywhere from a few hours to a few days. In case this persists, talk to your dentist to make sure it is nothing serious.