Restorative Dentistry FAQs

Are you curious to find out if a particular reparation treatment is right for you? Are you stuck between two or more treatment options for tooth decay? Pearl White Dentistry is here to help. Our Fort Lauderdale dentist, Dr. Natalia Benda-Celenski, explains the differences between popular procedures and answers some of the most commonly asked questions about restorative dentistry.

Q. What is the difference between a filling, dental inlays/onlays, and dental crowns?

A. Fillings, dental inlays/onlays, and dental crowns all serve the same purpose: to stop existing tooth decay or cavities and prevent further tooth deterioration. Depending on the size and location of the issue, we may recommend any of these restorative dentistry treatments. Fillings are the most common among these three tooth restoration treatments and can be administered on the spot at our dental office, while inlays/onlays and crows must be sent to a laboratory for creation. Inlays and onlays can replace fillings, especially when the affected area of the tooth is more extensive. They are also sturdier and last longer than fillings because they are designed to precisely fit your teeth. Inlays and onlays also remain intact after application, unlike fillings, which can shrink by a small percentage as they cure. Dental crowns require the most tooth alteration, and essentially, are more of a replacement than a restoration method. Crowns require a significant portion of the existing tooth to be removed to make room for the crown and are typically reserved for more advanced cases of tooth decay, severe tooth fractures, or when a cavity has reached the tooth’s nerves.

Q. I had a tooth removed several years ago but never had it replaced. Now I am considering tooth replacement options. Should I choose a denture or dental implant?

A. The decision between a denture or a dental implant is a very personal one that should be considered carefully. Both dentures (full and partial) and dental implants can be used to replace single or multiple missing teeth, but the main difference lies in the fact that dentures are removable while implants are permanent. That being said, implants are some – if not the most – sturdy and durable of all restorative dental options for lost missing teeth because they adhere and eventually integrate with the bone in your jaw. To determine what the best choice is for your unique situation, we recommend a thorough evaluation with our Fort Lauderdale dentist to review your options and candidacy for either – or both – treatments.

Q. I still have my wisdom teeth and have been told they should be removed, even though they have never posed a problem. Is this true?

A. No. At Pearl White Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale, we explore every possible option to save your teeth from removal. A tooth extraction is often necessary if, for example, a tooth has reach a point where decay has considerably spread deep into the gums and underlying bone, if crowding has occurred and teeth neighboring teeth continue to shift, or in cases where a tooth is causing someone severe and constant pain because of its position or because it is impacted. However, extraction is not – and should not – be the standard, go-to treatment for wisdom teeth (also known as third molars). If someone’s wisdom teeth have already come in and do not show any signs of cavities or decay, have not caused any shifting among adjacent teeth, are not causing pain, or never erupted but pose no discomfort or additional dental issues, we do not recommend removal. Wisdom tooth removal is especially not advised in patients over the age of 35, unless absolutely necessary to maintain oral health.

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