Restorative dentistry improves your chances of having good dental health for a longer period. When teeth that are diseased or damaged are repaired and restored the health of the individual is improved. Tooth decay and infections can lead to pain, cardio problems, and tooth loss. Anyone who has cavities, damaged teeth, or missing teeth is a candidate for dental restoration services.
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What is the difference Between Cosmetic and Restorative Dental Procedures?
People often get cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry confused. Cosmetic dental work improves the look of your smile. Restorative procedures improve the functionality of your teeth. Some procedures may accomplish both things, but when they do they are still considered to be restorative rather than cosmetic. Many dental insurance plans do not cover cosmetic procedures but will cover most restorative ones.
What Types of Dental Restoration are there?
Several different dental procedures are considered a part of the restoration services.
When you have tooth decay parts of your tooth deteriorate and this can leave a hole in the tooth. A hole in the protective surface can allow the nerves to be exposed to cold, wind, or other factors. When the nerve is exposed, you will feel pain.
A filling is a specialized material a dentist uses to fill holes in your teeth and protect you from further decay or loss of teeth. Fillings are made from:
- Gold that can last up to 15 years but is the most expensive alternative.
- Silver that can last up to 15 years but may require more of the tooth structure to be compromised.
- Composite materials that match your natural enamel coloration but normally last only five years.
- Porcelain that can last up to 15 years but is as expensive as gold.
- Glass ionomer that is normally on used below the gum line because it is weaker and prone to breakage.
Crowns are coverings or caps that are placed over your teeth to cover up severe damages. They are often used to cover broken teeth so the tooth does not break anymore, and so the edges of the broken tooth do not cut your gums, tongue, or cheek. Crowns are made from:
Inlays and Onlays
The inlays and onlays are like fillings but they are pieces designed to fill a larger gap. These are known as indirect fillings. These indirect fillings are often used on people who have a habit of clenching and grinding their teeth. They are also used to repair a cracked tooth and can be used like a regular filling.
A root canal is an endodontic treatment that addresses the inside portion of a tooth. This procedure addresses the pulp of a diseased tooth.
Beneath your protective enamel layer lays the pulp and when this portion of the tooth is diseased or damaged there is a great amount of pain, and a very high risk of tooth loss.
Endodontists are restorative dental specialists who perform root canals to save as much of the natural tooth as possible.
Saving the natural tooth with its roots intact can:
- protects the rest of the teeth from excessive wear
- allows the individual to retain their normal biting force and abilities
- allows the patient to chew more efficiently
- creates a more aesthetically pleasing appearance
A bridge is a section of false teeth that are designed to create a bridge effect where two or more teeth are missing in a row. They are often anchored to the teeth on each side but they can also be permanently secured into position.
Permanently secured bridges (implant-supported) cause less damage to the teeth before and after the bridge section.
There are three basic types of dental bridges:
- Traditional which will be anchored to the healthy teeth in front of and behind the bridge. This does require alterations to be made to the healthy teeth and eventually places the healthy teeth at risk.
- The cantilever bridge is a dental crown that is used when the next tooth already has a crown in position.
- Implant-supported bridges that anchor to a surgically inserted implant device. This bridge alternative does not cause damage to the healthy teeth in the mouth. They last about 15 years and they cost more than the other alternatives.
Dental implants are surgically implanted devices designed to hold false teeth, bridges, crowns, and dentures in place. The implants make it possible for the person to be able to chew more naturally and not have to worry about their false teeth moving, or falling out of their mouth.
These devices are expected to last a minimum of 25 years before needing to be replaced.
A denture is a replacement for missing teeth. They can be complete and replace all of the teeth in the mouth or partial and replace only a few of the teeth.
These replacement devices can be made in advance so they are placed in the mouth as soon as the extractions are completed. They can also be made and placed in the mouth after a period of several weeks have passed so the gums have time to heal after the extractions.
Dentures are considered restorative because they do allow a person to chew and eat normally. They are the last resort decision though. Dentists will encourage you to do everything you can to save your natural teeth before deciding to have them extracted and replaced with false teeth.
The Pros and Cons of Dental Restoration
- Some of the restorative processes can be more expensive than a simple extraction would be
- Some of the restorative processes take several visits to the dentist before they are complete
- Most of the fixes will only last about ten years before they need to be done again.
Dental restoration is a way that oral healthcare professionals can help you have a healthier mouth. It is the tooth repair services that keep you chewing, and out of pain when your natural dental parts start to wear or be damaged.