What Is Restorative Dentistry? (Is it right for you?)

Excerpt: This is one of the primary branches of dentistry and it is why most people need a dentist...
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Restorative Dentistry

Restorative dentistry is a branch of dentistry that is focused on repairing damaged and or decayed teeth back to their original function.

What Is Restorative Dentistry?

This is one of the primary branches of dentistry and it is why most people need a dentist. If you have ever had:

 

 

Then you will most likely have experienced a restorative dentistry procedure. Restorative dentists treat patients at many different stages of life, from infancy to seniors. Restorative dentists also have a wide range of procedures that they use on a daily basis since they have to deal with many different issues. These dentists often use procedures that are associated with endodontics, prosthodontics, and periodontics.

One of the most reliable ways to avoid needing restorative dentistry is proper oral care, and going to the dentist on a regular basis (once every 6 months).

Restorative Dental Materials

Restorative dentists have a wide range of materials that they work with for a variety of different reasons. The materials used will depend on the role they have to fulfill, the location of the tooth, and the budget or insurance coverage of the patient. Some of the materials they use are:
 
  • Metals
  • Amalgam Alloys
  • Polymers
  • Ceramics
  • Composites
  • Glass Ionomers
  • Denture Base Resins
  • Noble and Base Metals
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Procedures And Treatment Types

There are many different restorative procedures, and most of these are very common. 60-90% of children have had dental cavities, and nearly every adult has had at least one. Most cavities will need treatment before they turn into a more serious infection. Many people also suffer from accidental injuries, bruxism, sports injuries, etc. most of these will need restorative measures. You also may need restorative measures from birth if your bite is misaligned among other things, these will need to be corrected to ensure their proper use.

Tooth Crowns (dental Crowns)

Tooth crowns, also known as dental crowns, are used to fortify and strengthen the tooth. Crowns are also needed if there has been significant restorative work on the tooth, i.e. root canal therapy. Tooth crowns can be made out of many different options. Some of these include gold, composite materials, and porcelain. The different materials will have different attributes like strength, color, etc. If the tooth ends up being fractured due to trauma, a crown is still an option to restore the tooth. In some cases, as little as two millimeters of the remaining visible (above the gum line) tooth is all that is needed for a crown.

Dentures

Traditional dentures are orthopedic devices that are used to replace teeth. They are either full or partial sets of fake teeth that can easily be inserted or removed by the patient when they need to do so. These dentures are an excellent way to fill in the gaps of missing teeth which will prevent other teeth from shifting over time. A dentist can also use implant-retained (temporary/removable) dentures, or implant-supported (permanent) dentures. The implants are metal screws that are inserted into the jaw bone. Dentures that use implants are significantly more expensive than regular dentures and most people tend to get traditional dentures instead.

Dental Implants

Implants are used when the jawbone is healthy, but there is enough support for a tooth-supported bridge. A screw, usually made out of titanium, is inserted into the jaw and then a crown, or possibly a bridge will be placed on the screw. These two outcomes are the most likely used for a dental implant. The screw is meant to mimic the root of the tooth since it is the part that is anchored into the gum line. Even if you have dental implants, you will still need to practice good oral care as the gums will still be vulnerable. If the structural integrity of the gums deteriorates, the implant may not be as effective.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is used to fill a gap that has been left by a missing tooth. If you have teeth that are healthy on either side of the gap, they can be shaped and fitted with “abutment teeth”. These are the teeth that are used to connect the one, or more “pontic teeth” on the bridge. The pontic tooth is the tooth that will “bridge the gap” and is used to fill in for the missing tooth.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is the act of using adhesive to secure different materials to the tooth in order to repair cavities, fill cracks, or even shape the tooth. Dental bonding materials when done correctly can last for decades, are very strong and durable, but can also be prone to staining. Cutting back on substances like wine, nicotine, coffee, and tea will help to keep these materials as stain-free as possible.

Inlays & Onlays

Inlays “lay in” the tooth, they fill the cracks and crevices on the surface of a tooth. An onlay “lays on” the tooth, it will cover the entire top portion of the tooth. Inlays & onlays can enhance the strength of the tooth, and change its appearance. 
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