Creative Dimensions in Dentistry

Castro Valley (510) 881-8010

San Leandro (510) 895-1776

Griggs Orthodontics (510) 537-3050

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Hard Tissue

dental inlays and onlays

Inlays and Onlays

An inlay or onlay is a method of repairing a tooth that is somewhere between a filling and a crown. They are used when the tooth is unable to support a filling, but is not damaged to the point that it needs a crown. An inlay is much like a filling but is inserted into the ridges (cusps) of the chewing surface. An onlay is a little more extensive than an inlay and covers multiple cusps of the tooth. Inlays and onlays are commonly made with ceramic or composite materials but can also be made of gold. They are very durable and can last a long time depending on the material used and how well the patient takes care of them with regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist.

Root Canal

Why do you need a root canal?
Root canals are necessary when a cavity that has been left untreated becomes larger. Once the cavity reaches the pulp (nerve) of the tooth, an infection forms at the base of the tooth root. This is called an abscess. Abscesses are generally painful and will need to be treated.

The doctors at Creative Dimensions in Dentistry know that serious tooth decay can often lead to a root canal. A root canal may be needed if the decay has reached the tooth's nerve. Essentially, a root canal involves cleaning out a tooth's infected root, then filling and sealing the canal.

Root Canal Procedure:

  1. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
  2. The infected pulp is removed, and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped.
  3. The root canals are filled.
  4. The crown opening is filled with a temporary.
  5. The tooth will need reinforcement and a protective crown in most cases.

If you are experiencing severe tooth pain, you may need a root canal. The only sure way to know is to call either our Castro Valley office at (510) 881-8010 or our San Leandro office at (510) 895-1776 and setup an appointment with Creative Dimensions in Dentistry.

Tooth Fractures

There are many types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depends on the type, location and severity of the crack.

Unlike a broken bone, a fracture in a cracked tooth will never heal. Early diagnosis is important, even with high magnification and special lighting, it is sometimes difficult to determine the extent of a crack.

A crown will bind and protect the cracked tooth. When a crack reaches the tooth root, root canal treatment is frequently needed to treat the injured pulp. A cracked tooth that is not treated will progressively worsen, eventually resulting in the loss of the tooth.

Types of Crowns

dental crowns

With today's advances in dentistry there are several options when choosing a type of crown. The most common crown utilized in dentistry is referred to as a PFM or porcelain-fused to metal crown. For those that have sensitivities to metals or are worried about aesthetics there are all porcelain crowns or crowns that are composed of a material called composite. There have been several advances in the all porcelain crowns and some labs are now utilizing zirconia which is much stronger than a typical porcelain crown. Also, they still are making all metal crowns, which are typically gold. Usually a gold crown will be utilized on a molar or back tooth. Of course all of these different options vary in durability, appearance and cost. Please contact our office for any further questions. We would be more than happy to find the crown that is right for you and your situation.

Crown technology has made significant advances in recent years. In the past most tooth colored crowns were porcelain baked onto a metal framework. They served as the standard for years but now advances in porcelain technology allows a better cosmetic option. Porcelain crowns now have sufficient strength and have no metal margins which eliminate the dark lines at gum margin.

The particular crown best for you will be determined by many factors your dentist will discuss with you before choosing your best option.

Many porcelain crowns can now be accomplished in ONE VISIT with CEREC technology. After the tooth is prepared a video impressions is taken, the crown is designed, a color is selected and the crown is manufactured right before your eyes. It is then cemented onto your tooth and you are done. No impressions, No second appointment and No temporary crowns. CEREC crowns cannot be used in all situations but ask your dentist if it is right for you.