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Drs. Smith and Domingue
200 Beaullieu Drive Bldg. 2 Lafayette, LA 70508

Frequently Asked Questions: Restorative Dentistry

How can we help you?

At our Acadiana dental office, we believe strongly in educating and empowering our patients to take charge of their own dental care. We encourage and welcome all your questions about our practice, dental procedures, and your treatment.

Please take a moment to browse through this selection of questions we are often asked. If your question isn’t answered here or if you’d like more information, don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact us online!

Restorative Dentistry

Dental bonding utilizes the same tooth-colored composite material we use for filling cavities. Dental bonding is useful for minor repairs and cosmetic flaws on your teeth. One of the big benefits of dental bonding is that minimal tooth prep is required, so you maintain much of your tooth structure, and the repair fills in the damaged or affected area.

What Dental Bonding Can Fix

We can repair small cracks, gaps, chips, discoloration, oddly shaped teeth, and other minor flaws with dental bonding. We choose to use dental bonding in only certain areas of the mouth that do not receive a lot of force because bonding is not as strong as a dental crown or onlay. Crowns distribute force more evenly and protect your tooth structure, that is why the two treatments are not interchangeable.

Dental Bonding in Lafayette

Dental bonding can make small cosmetic repairs to your teeth and can prevent decay because of exposed dentin, but for big jobs, think dental crowns, veneers, or onlays. 

Just like any dental work, we match the shade of your teeth with the bonding material we use, so make sure if you have plans to whiten your teeth that you do so prior to your dental bonding procedure because bonding material will not whiten along with your teeth.

Dental Chair | Dental Crowns in Lafayette Each person is different in regards to how long their dentistry lasts. Because of individual biology and behavior, it is often difficult to predict how long a dental crown will last, but once we do an exam, we can probably give you a pretty good estimate.

The Lifespan of Dental Crowns

How long your crowns last depends a lot on you. Your oral hygiene and behavior can significantly affect the life of your crown. If you suffer from gum disease or if you have a strong bite, causing you to clench and grind your teeth, the lifespan of your dental crowns may be affected significantly.

If you are generally healthy, your crowns can be expected to last for about 15 years; however, with proper care, they could last for a lifetime. During your regular checkups, we will examine your crowns for any signs of damage or weakness to prevent your crowns from breaking or coming loose.

The materials and technology used to create and place dental crowns has improved dramatically over the last ten years. Crowns today are custom made and fitted to each individual patient.

Contact Our Lafayette Office

At our office, Drs. Smith and Domingue are experts at crown placement. Their years of expertise will help your crowns last for as long as possible, especially if you return to our office for your regular dental exams and cleanings.

Dental Onlays in Lafayette A broken tooth can be a real pain in more ways than one. Having a broken tooth compromises the integrity of your tooth, creates sensitivity, and may cause sores due to rough spots.

Restorative Dentistry

Dental onlays are a restorative technique used to repair damaged teeth that do not need a full crown. They are created in a lab from our impressions to fit the missing portion of your tooth and then bonded permanently in place.

Onlays are usually made from composite resin that is colored to match perfectly with the natural shade of your teeth so nobody can tell that you have onlays in place. Onlays may also be made of porcelain or a combination of porcelain and metal.

Benefits of Onlays

The benefit of using a dental onlay instead of a full crown is that you are not needlessly prepping a tooth for a full crown when only partially prepping it for an onlay may be necessary.

Contact Our Lafayette Dental Clinic

At our Lafayette, LA dental office, Drs. Smith and Domingue approach treatment in a conservative way, preserving your natural teeth as much as possible. We believe that anytime we can repair a tooth effectively with minimal prep work, we should do so, keeping the invasiveness of treatment and cost to a minimum for our patients.

Missing teeth can cause issues with eating, speaking, and your self-esteem. Having missing teeth means that you may not be able to eat the foods you want or to smile confidently. Drs. Jerome Smith and Daniel Domingue know that this can decrease your quality of life. That is why they are dedicated to finding the tooth replacement option that will work best for you.

Tooth Replacement Options in Lafayette

Missing teeth can be restored in a number of ways:

  • Dental implants replace missing teeth with natural-looking crowns held in place with biocompatible titanium roots. They function in the same way as your own teeth would.
  • Dental bridges can replace one or more missing teeth. They are held in place by crowns fitted onto the adjacent teeth or dental implants. Bridges are usually covered by dental insurance and may be a more affordable option if you need to replace multiple teeth.
  • Partials and dentures are made up of artificial teeth attached to a plastic or metal appliance. This appliance can either be removable or held in place with implants. While partials and dentures are often the most affordable option, they may not prevent the bone loss that occurs with missing teeth.

We will work with you and discuss your goals, your needs, and your lifestyle to help you find the solution that is right for you.

Dental Fillings in LafayetteThis decision is ultimately up to you.

Why a New Filling?

Many of our patients report being unhappy with the appearance of their amalgam fillings, especially after a period of time. Over time, they may begin to darken your entire tooth and become unsightly. For people with large smiles, even the back fillings may cause them self-consciousness when smiling.

Multiple studies have shown that despite containing mercury, amalgam fillings pose no health risk. On the other hand, amalgam fillings can leak, and metal fillings expand and contract slightly with heat changes, which can lead to the filling becoming loose, fall out, or even causing cracks in the teeth.

If your amalgam fillings are breaking down, they may even cause an unpleasant taste in your mouth. They can also make your teeth more sensitive to temperature and sweets.

Whatever your decision is regarding your amalgam fillings, Drs. Smith and Domingue are highly skilled in replacing your old amalgam fillings with new durable and attractive composite fillings that match your teeth and enhance the beauty of your smile.

White Fillings in Lafayette

If you are concerned about the condition of your fillings or are interested in replacing metal fillings with tooth-colored composite fillings, please give our Acadiana dental office a call today. We look forward to helping you make the best decision possible regarding your dental health.

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