It’s estimated that most adults in this country have had cavities. In fact, tooth decay has affected more than 90 percent of the adults in the country. I’ve giving you this statistic because — not that I want people to have cavities — but cavities are extremely common. Of course, we’d like nothing more than for our patients to stay cavity free their entire lives, but that’s not the reality we live in. The reality is that most of use will need restorative dental work at some point in our lives.

So, today I have a special quiz on just that topic. I want to see how much you know about restoration dentistry. This is important because you need to know what a dentist can do to repair damaged teeth. Don’t worry, there’s nothing at stake with the dental quiz. I just want to give the best information about restorative dentistry.
Here’s your quiz:

1. Dentists cannot use tooth-colored filling material on molars.
A. True
B. False
2. How many visits does it take to place a dental crown?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. None of the above
3. Restorations are not subject to dental decay.
A. True
B. False
4. We use dental crowns for:
A. Broken teeth
B. Teeth with large fillings
C. To restore teeth after root canals
D. All the above
5. Big fillings grow up to be crowns.
A. True
B. False

Here are your answers:

1. B. Dentists typically offer two types of dental fillings, metal fillings and tooth-colored composite fillings. When composite fillings were first introduced into dentistry, we typically used them to restore front teeth. But now things have changed for the better. Composite fillings have gotten stronger and more durable over the years, so much that we can restore any tooth with composite fillings. Our composite fillings match the natural color of your teeth and are bonded to the teeth.

2. A. In many cases, we can restore a tooth with a dental crown in one visit. Our office uses CEREC same-day crown technology to prepare your tooth and design a permanent dental crown in one visit. A typical dental office takes about two or three visits to place a permanent dental crown, and you’ll have to wear a temporary crown while your permanent restoration is being fabricated. With CEREC, we can prepare the tooth and then design a permanent dental crown in about 90 minutes. The best part is that you don’t have to wear a temporary crown at all.

3. B. A dental restoration can get plaque, tartar, and even cavities just like your natural teeth. It’s important to treat your dental crowns just like your natural teeth. A healthy dental crown can last years with proper maintenance and oral care.

4. D. We can use dental crowns to restore teeth with large fillings, to restore teeth after dental crowns, or to restore teeth that have broken. Whether we use same-day CEREC crowns or traditional crowns, the method for preparing the tooth is the same. To place a crown, we remove a large portion of the enamel and tooth structure. The crown works as a cap that covers the remaining healthy portion of the tooth.

5. B. There is no guarantee that a large cavity will need a crown. This is where dentistry gets a little trickery and somewhat unpredictable. A large cavity can certainly need a dental crown in the future, but that’s not always the case. When we introduced composite fillings, we could be more conservative about the amount of tooth structure we needed to remove to place a restoration. Additionally, tooth-colored resin fillings bond to the tooth, reducing the overall risk of future cavities developing between the filling and tooth.

How’d you do on our quiz? I understand that no one wants to think about restorative dental work, but you need to educate yourself in case that day comes! Don’t hesitate to call our office at 248-972-8720 for more information about our services — or to schedule a visit.