Restorative Dentistry Overview
Many patients who have lost teeth, or have teeth that are severely damaged, may feel self-conscious about their appearance and shy away from social situations. They may also find it difficult to eat properly. Restorative dentistry can help patients regain their confidence and enjoy a better quality of life by repairing damaged teeth and replacing missing teeth.
What is Restorative Dentistry?
Restorative dentistry is a branch of dental science that restores teeth to full function. It repairs damage, including tooth decay, cracks, and chips, using materials such as porcelain, gold, or composite resin to recreate the natural appearance of teeth. one can also use restorative procedures to replace missing teeth with bridges, crowns, or implants.
The goal of restorative dentistry is to effectively restore teeth that have been affected by periodontal disease, an injury or infection, or tooth loss. This can be achieved using many different techniques, from simple fillings to more complex procedures such as dental implants or tooth-colored fillings.
Types of Restorative Dentistry
The following are the most common types of restorative dentistry procedures performed today:
A crown, also known as a "cap," completely encases the damaged tooth and is designed to restore it to full function. Crowns can be made of porcelain or gold and bonded with cement. Although crowns can be used for both decayed and cracked teeth, they're most commonly used to cover misshapen teeth due to decay or fracture.
Another option for replacing a missing tooth is a fixed bridge, which can span the distance between two teeth or as a partial denture. Generally made of porcelain and metal, a fixed bridge replaces missing teeth.It is a group of connected crowns, some of which are suspended over the area of a missing tooth or teeth, and the neighboring teeth or dental implants anchor the others for support. A fixed bridge can be either removable or non-removable, depending on the type of abutments used.
Another removable alternative to a fixed bridge is a removable bridge that can span the distance between two teeth or a partial denture. Generally made of porcelain and metal, a removable bridge replaces missing teeth.
Bridges are recommended in complex dental situations to restore support and function in the case of several missing and damaged teeth. Removable bridges on tooth implants can be easily removed for enhanced oral hygiene and convenience.
One of the most common dental procedures, a root canal, removes the infected nerve tissue and cleans out an abscessed or decayed tooth. Tooth decay can spread into the jawbone and surrounding tissues if left untreated for an extended period.
A deep filling alone will not stop the infection, which should be treated with antibiotics before assessing a dental specialist. We know, we have heard it before: this term SOUNDS "scary!" However, times have changed, and a root canal is not as fearsome as it once was.
Another procedure involving replacing a missing tooth or teeth is that dentures are removable appliances made from acrylic and metal. Alternatives to the traditional denture include implant-supported devices, giving patients more stability and comfort.
A full or partial set of dentures, a removable version of teeth and gums, brings so many benefits to the patient. Having "teeth" can extend one's life by improving the "quality of life" they may be living with aging teeth. Dentures allow people to eat and enjoy the foods they love, have a healthy and beautiful smile, speak confidently, and support facial muscles.
Dental implants replace missing teeth that look and function like real teeth. They're small titanium posts drilled into the jawbone to provide a surface on which tooth crowns can be placed. While they don't come cheap, one implant plus the restoration is more cost-effective than multiple bridges and may be covered by some health insurance plans.
Dental implants are made of titanium, a safe metal that's compatible with your body. Titanium is used in many medical devices and has been used for years as part of dental implants, but the fact that its titanium makes no difference to you.
If tooth decay or disease has left teeth so damaged that one can no longer restore them, your dentist may recommend their removal.
Extractions are often performed to make room for dental implants or bridges that will help keep teeth in place. After the tooth is removed, you'll need to wear a space maintainer until the area has healed completely. Within six months of extraction, most spaces close up by 80 percent.
Small cavities that form on the surface of teeth are easy to spot and treat with a simple filling, which is bonded to the tooth's enamel to prevent further decay. Before placing a filling, it may be necessary to numb your mouth to avoid discomfort during the procedure. Dentists can repair some tooth decay with a tooth-colored filling, which is matched to the color of your teeth. White fillings, made from a type of plastic resin, are a less expensive alternative that may last longer.
A composite filling, also known as a "white filling," consists of small particles of glass or quartz in a resin. Composite fillings are meant to serve as sealants and not be load-bearing.
Composite fillings can sometimes fail if not done properly, but fixing the problem is usually possible. If a composite filling is not properly adhered to your tooth, it can lead to pain and sensitivity.
A veneer is a thin covering placed over the front of teeth to improve their appearance. These ultra-thin shells can correct stains, chips, and other imperfections on your teeth with minimal prep work from the dentist. In most cases, porcelain or ceramic veneers are used because they mimic the look of natural teeth.
Who needs Restorative Dentistry?
Many people who have lost a single tooth due to an injury of decay can benefit from restorative dentistry, especially if they are otherwise in good health and free of major oral diseases such as periodontal disease.
Some dental insurance plans provide partial reimbursement for therapeutic procedures, depending on your policy and type of dental work performed. If you're planning to visit The Center for Implant and General Dentistry in Lindale, TX in the near future, now you can say that you know why Restorative Dentistry is needed.
A qualitative study of patients' motivations and expectations for dental implants. https://www.nature.com/articles/sj.bdj.2012.1178 Grey, E., Harcourt, D., O'Sullivan, D. et al.
Assessment of Oral Health-Related Quality of Life for Complex Mandibular Defects Rehabilitated with Computer-guided Implant Restoration. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2018 May-Jun; 8(3): 277–281. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5985687/
Farhana, Fathima, et al. "Biomimetic materials: A realm in the field of restorative dentistry and endodontics: A review." International Journal of Applied Dental Sciences 6.1 (2020). https://www.oraljournal.com/pdf/2020/vol6issue1/PartA/6-1-5-555.pdf
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