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92983651-xsSoCal Smiles proudly serves patients in the Rancho Santa Margarita area, providing them with diverse dental treatments to meet their needs. This includes general dental care services and advanced restorative treatments, such as using dental implants to support restorations in tooth gaps, which restores the appearance and functionality of smiles.

We’d like to go over dental implants briefly and consider the different kinds of restorations that they can be used to support.



Why is anything bad in life always compared to a root canal?

Root canals get a bad rap. It could be because by the time someone needs one, they are usually already in pain. But whether you need one to ease your pain or prevent it, you are going to be very glad you had one.
At the center of every tooth is a nerve. This nerve is very important during the development and growth of the tooth. Once the tooth is fully grown and erupted, however, it doesn’t really do anything. People never really think about having nerves inside their teeth. That is, unless one of them starts to cause you pain. In that case you become very aware of them.


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As children, when we were introduced to the basic concepts of good oral health, we were taught that the purpose behind brushing and flossing was to ward off cavities. As we grew, we became aware of other threats to our teeth and gums, including periodontal disease and root canal infections, but for many of us, cavities retained their grip on our consciousness. We brushed and flossed and visited our local restorative dentistry practice regularly because we wanted no part of those dreaded cavities.

Yet, most people, including many who brush, floss, and visit the dentist at least somewhat regularly, have experienced at least one cavity in their lives. Unfortunately, when the enamel that protects our teeth is eroded or otherwise damaged, the underlying layer of the teeth becomes highly vulnerable to decay. Dental caries – the holes and crevices that we refer to colloquially as cavities – can easily form in the teeth at this point.

Fortunately, we offer a variety of outstanding treatment options for cavities at our Rancho Santa Margarita, CA restorative dentistry practice, SoCal Smiles Dentistry. These options not only restore structural integrity to teeth damaged by cavities, but also a stunningly natural and aesthetically pleasing appearance.

The Most Common Treatments for Cavities

All treatments for cavities begin with the removal of any damaged material from the affected tooth. This is necessary to contain the spread of decay. Once this has been accomplished, one of our dentists will then reconstruct the tooth, restoring its full form and function. This is done using one of three possible methods, depending on the amount of structure missing from the tooth:

  • Tooth-colored filling: For many decades, dentists used metal materials such as silver amalgam to fill small cavities. While these fillings were durable and functional, they were also conspicuous and cosmetically unappealing. Modern fillings, however, are made of a composite resin that blends seamlessly into the smile while withstanding the pressures of daily use. While there is no definitive evidence that metal fillings pose a health hazard, it is worth noting that tooth-colored fillings are also free from mercury.
  • Inlays and onlays: Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are ceramic restorations that are used to fill cavities that are too large to support composite resin fillings. Inlays and onlays are bonded directly to teeth. Inlays fill cavities that occur within the protruding cusps of a tooth, while onlays fill cavities that have spread to one or more of the cusps.
  • Dental crowns: If a cavity is particularly large, it may not be possible for the tooth to support a filling, an inlay, or an onlay. In such cases, it may be advisable to cover the entire visible surface area of the tooth with a dental crown. A dental crown is custom-crafted to mimic a tooth in its appearance and function while protecting the natural tooth from further harm from bacteria and other elements.

Learn More about Treatment Options for Cavities

If you would like to learn more about the treatment options we offer for cavities, please contact SoCal Smiles Dentistry today.



141447985-xsThere are many reasons why a tooth may be weakened or reduced in size. Physical damage, bacterial decay, and necessary dental work can all leave a tooth in a more vulnerable condition, threatening its health. Fortunately, you can protect your teeth with dental crowns, restoring their functionality and preventing further harm.

In addition to the restorative capabilities of dental crowns, the cosmetic quality of porcelain allows patients to maintain or even improve a smile. If porcelain crowns are recommended to you by our Rancho Santa Margarita dentist, you can expect to gain numerous benefits.

Uses for Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns can be used to preserve a tooth that may be otherwise damaged or lost completely due to a number of factors. Common reasons for crowns include:

  • Physical damage: Large chips or cracks can threaten the integrity and health of teeth, and may not be reliably fixed through smaller restorations.
  • Tooth decay: Dental fillings may not be an adequate solution for all cavities. When a significant portion of tooth tissue has been lost to decay, a crown may be necessary for full restoration.
  • Worn or eroded teeth: When enamel has been eroded around a tooth, a crown can replace the outer layer and protect the sensitive, softer dentin tissue.
  • Undersized or misshapen teeth: A tooth may be too small or oddly shaped due to genetic or environmental factors. By covering it with a crown, the tooth can be resized and shaped.
  • Root canal therapy: When a tooth requires root canal treatment, it is left vulnerable due to the amount and type of tissue removed. A crown is often necessary following treatment.
  • Dental implants or bridges: Crowns are used to cap dental implants and as a means of support for dental bridges, making them a vital part of the tooth replacement process.

Porcelain crowns can also be used for cosmetic purposes, as they cover the entirety of a tooth’s surface. For instance, if a tooth has severe discoloration that cannot be fully concealed by dental bonding or veneers, a cosmetic dentist can more adequately mask the imperfection with a crown.


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Family dentist Scott Karafin in Rancho Santa Margarita can help you and your entire family to enjoy outstanding oral health. He offers comprehensive general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services in a relaxing, friendly environment.

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SoCal Smiles Dentistry
p (949) 766-0006
e info@socalsmilesrsm.com

Rancho Santa Margarita Office
22195 El Paseo, Suite 220
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

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