A guide to deciding which treatment option is best for you
Dentists are often able to give you multiple options to solve a toothache or other dental problem. Sometimes, your dentist may even present two different treatment plans and help you decide which one is the best fit for you. There are lots of factors to consider, including cost, quality of care, and longevity of the treatment. This can be confusing if you’re not sure how to compare different treatment options. The goal of this post is to provide you with information about different dental procedures so that you have the tools to assess the quality of your dental care. We hope you never need to know details about these procedures, but you know what they say: “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best!”
A dental crown is a prosthetic tooth that fits directly over an existing tooth. The tooth beneath the crown is still alive. The purpose of the crown is to protect the decayed or broken tooth from further damage. You may also have heard of dental bridges. A bridge replaces a missing tooth by securing a crown to the teeth on either side of the empty space and having a false tooth in between two crowns. The prosthesis is cemented directly to the adjacent teeth.
Crowns and bridges are permanent and easy to clean. They typically last many years. Regular check-ups are an important part of maintaining all restorative dental work. Dr. Mansfield uses crowns made of zirconia because of its extreme durability and beautiful look. All crowns are custom made by a professional dental lab here in Nampa.
Fillings can repair chipped or decayed teeth as long as the damage isn’t too extensive. This is the least invasive restorative procedure a dentist can do to repair a tooth that has been damaged by decay or has been chipped or broken.
With a filling, the dentist removes decayed material from the tooth. After removing the decay, the dentist places new filling material and bonds it to your tooth. Fillings can be made of composite resin (tooth-colored material), amalgam, porcelain, or gold. Dr. Mansfield recommends composite resin for all fillings.
While fillings are most commonly used to treat cavities, more serious cavities may require crowns. It depends on how large and how deep the cavity is, as well as what previous dental work has been done on the tooth.
A dental implant is the major alternative to a bridge. This procedure involves placing an implant into the jawbone. The implant is made of metal (usually titanium), which is compatible with the body.
Osteointegration is the process of your jawbone cells fusing to the dental implant. This process takes about 3 months from the time the implant is placed. While bridges compromise adjacent teeth, implants will not. They are stable and durable. Implants can last a lifetime with good care. Implants are an option that doesn’t affect nearby teeth and are easy to care for. Because of the durability of dental implants, the surgery involved, and the expensive materials implants can be more costly. However, dental implants are widely recognized as the most permanent, stable and effective solution to replacing missing teeth.
In the end, our goal at Nampa Dental is to give the best dental care available. Sometimes there are multiple treatment plans that can lead to excellent outcomes. Dr. Mansfield will always recommend the best option for optimal oral health. Our office staff will help you determine the financial details of the treatment plan so that you can make a decision about your oral health with all of the factors in mind.