Our teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Sometimes teeth become damaged. Decay may cause a deep cavity, an injury may chip or crack a tooth and grinding or clinching while you sleep may even cause damage. Left untreated, these conditions only worsen and may lead to infections. Only in the worst cases disease or infection causes pain. Leaving needed treatment unattended may only lead to larger and more costly treatments.
Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings
A filling is needed when a relatively minor amount of tooth decay has caused a cavity to form. Tooth-colored fillings are used to fill cavities in order to prevent further decay. For years, dental patients have relied on metal-based fillings to fill cavities. Drs. Martin, Martin & Hauer offer patients innovative tooth-colored fillings. Amalgam fillings, or metal-based fillings, used to be the only option for filling cavities. These fillings often cause patients to feel self-conscious about their smile. Tooth colored fillings, commonly known as white fillings, are composite dental fillings that restore teeth while mimicking the natural appearance of the tooth’s structure.
Onlay — When tooth decay is left untreated and becomes too large for a filling or a tooth becomes fractured, an onlay may be needed. Onlays replace the missing tooth structure and also cover part of the outer surface of the tooth to prevent fractures. It doesn't cover the entire outer surface so it isn't called a crown. You could think of it as a partial coverage crown. Similar to a crown, an onlay is created in a dental laboratory, fitted to the tooth and cemented into place. A temporary onlay is created and placed while the final restoration is custom made for each. A return visit is then required to fit and place the final onlay.
Crown — Dental crowns are necessary when a tooth is significantly broken down or when a patient has had a root canal. Crowns are a restorative procedure that cover, or "cap", a tooth to restore or make changes with the tooth shape, reinforcing a structurally compromised tooth, improving a tooth’s appearance. The dental crown gives the appearance of a natural tooth and allows the patient to go back to normal eating. The procedure is less costly than restoration alternatives that may require bridges, dentures or implants. Good oral hygiene will help preserve the restoration, as well as averting the contributing factors that may make similar procedures necessary. Crowns are created in a dental laboratory, fitted to the tooth and cemented into place. A temporary crown is created and placed while the final restoration is custom made for the patient. A return visit is then required to fit the final crown.
Bridge — Bridges are commonly used to cover a space caused by missing one or more teeth and are cemented to natural teeth surrounding the space where the tooth once stood. A traditional bridge is made by creating a crown for the teeth on either side of the space and placing a false tooth or teeth between the crowns. The crown, sometimes called a cap, can be supported by natural teeth. The false tooth or teeth are attached to the crown and fill the empty space. Just like onlays and crowns, bridges are created in a dental laboratory, fitted to the teeth and cemented into place. A temporary bridge is created when the final restoration is custom made. A return visit is then required to fit the final bridge.
Endodontic Therapy (Root Canal Therapy) — Root canal therapy performed by Dr. Thomas A. Martin in Lancaster, NY is an endodontic therapy used to address conditions affecting the pulp of a tooth, such as infection, damage, or decay. Even though you may not currently be experiencing any pain, the disease may still be present. It is important to be proactive so any damage does not worsen. Root canal therapy is quite common. The pulp of the tooth is made up of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, all of which are removed during the root canal therapy. Root canal therapy becomes necessary, when damage has been sustained to the pulp and nerve. Endodontic therapy involves the removal of these structures, the subsequent shaping, cleaning and decontamination of the canals with small files and irrigating solutions, and the replacement of the decontaminated canals with an inert filling such as gutta-percha.
Only in the worst cases does disease cause pain so leaving root canals unattended may only lead to more costly treatments.