The Ultimate Guide To Restorative Dentistry

The Ultimate Guide To Restorative Dentistry | HealthSoul

A genuine smile makes you look friendly, trustworthy, and agreeable. It also shows that you’re willing to cooperate with other people. However, how can you achieve a genuine smile if you have missing, damaged, and broken teeth? The answer is simple—restorative dentistry.

Restorative dentistry can help address missing teeth, dental cavities, and damaged teeth. It brings back the healthy appearance of your teeth and improves oral health and function.

With restorative dentistry, you can achieve and maintain long-lasting oral health. It can also help restore your smile by fixing broken teeth and replacing missing teeth. This allows you to speak, chew, and eat properly.

If your teeth need restorative dental treatments, you may visit or other similar platforms online. Family dentists offer services and treatment options that can help improve the overall teeth function and bring back your youthful smile.

What Is Restorative Dentistry?

Restorative dentistry focuses on fixing damaged teeth and replacing missing ones. This improves your chewing function and overall oral health.

Restorative treatment procedures can bring back the natural appearance, size, shape, and texture of teeth by:

  • Replacing missing ones via artificial dental procedures such as bridges, dentures, and implants
  • Restoring damaged tooth structure via direct and indirect restorative treatment options such as fillers, crowns, onlays, and inlays
  • Repairing damage caused by incorrect bonding treatment and insufficient dental fillers

Restorative dentistry may also incorporate treatment procedures from other branches of dentistry, including orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, and endodontics. If your condition requires complicated treatments, you might need to consult more than one dental care specialist.

Who Needs Restorative Dentistry?

People who need restorative dentistry are those with the following conditions:

  • Missing permanent teeth caused by severe cavities, injuries, advanced gum disease
  • Damaged teeth caused by impact and injuries
  • Tooth decay or cavities

General and family dentists may start introducing restorative dentistry to children to help them understand the importance of keeping their teeth healthy at a very young age. Nevertheless, adults and the elderly seek restorative dental care most often.

How Is Restorative Dentistry Different From Cosmetic Dentistry?

Most people use these two terms interchangeably. However, it’s important to understand that restorative dentistry is different from cosmetic dentistry. But how?

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on enhancing the overall appearance of your smile. Examples of cosmetic procedures are teeth whitening and veneers. They’re considered as such because they’re not medically required. On the other hand, restorative dentistry is more than a simple beautification project. It aims to improve the overall function of your teeth and maintain oral health.

Nevertheless, some restorative treatment procedures may provide both cosmetic and functional improvements. For example, a dental implant can improve your bite and restore your beautiful smile by making your teeth look uniform at the same time.

What Are The Benefits Of Restorative Dentistry?

Below are the following benefits restorative dentistry can offer:

  • Correct bite problems (e.g., underbite and overbite) to improve chewing function
  • Restore and maintain overall dental health
  • Improve smile
  • Reduced pain caused a variety of dental problems
  • Prevent the development of dental problems in the future

What Are The Risk Of Restorative Dentistry?

After a restorative procedure, patients may experiences light discomfort and increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods, including beverages. Infections and allergic reactions may be possible, but the chances are too small for you to be worried about.

Restorative dentistry has fewer risks compared to other branches of dentistry. However, keep in mind that these risks have the potential to cause problems.

For example, a crown may become loose or cracked, and fillings might leave gaps big enough for food particles to accumulate and cause plaque build up, which can lead to cavities or tooth decay over time.

The Ultimate Guide To Restorative Dentistry - Post | HealthSoul

What Are The Treatment Options Under Restorative Dentistry?

Restorative dental procedures include bridges, fillings, crowns, dentures, inlays, onlays, bonding, and implants.

Here’s a simple guide to help you understand what these restorative solutions are:

1. Dental Bridges

If there are gaps in your smile because of missing teeth, your dentist might be able to close them using a dental bridge. A dental bridge, also known as a pontic, is an artificial tooth between two abutment teeth. They often require at least two natural teeth to bridge or fill in the gaps left by missing teeth.

There are four types of dental bridges: traditional, implant-supported, Maryland, and cantilever. So, what makes one different from the other?

  • Traditional Dental Bridge: This is the simplest type of dental bridge. It consists of an artificial tooth or teeth between two dental crowns. Also, it requires at least two natural teeth to bridge the gaps formed by missing teeth.
  • Implant-Supported Dental Bridge: As the name implies, this type of dental bridge uses implants to support the artificial tooth structure. In most cases, an implant is placed for every missing tooth, making it the most stable and durable system.
  • Maryland Dental Bridge: This type of dental bridge is similar to a traditional one. It requires two fully-intact natural teeth to replace missing ones. However, it uses a metal or porcelain framework instead of dental crowns.
  • Cantilever Dental Bridge: This type of dental bridge is also similar to a traditional one. However, it only requires one natural tooth to fill the gaps created by missing ones. This makes it simpler than a traditional dental bridge.

Dental bridges have a faster recovery period than other restorative solutions such as implants. However, they might not look as natural as your real teeth. Also, they’re more vulnerable to fractures, cracks, and decay than most implants.

2. Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are used to repair damaged, decayed, and worn teeth. They can also restore teeth with mild to moderate cavities. Below are the different types of fillings to choose from:

  • Gold Dental Filling: This filling doesn’t corrode and can last up to 15 years. Also, some patients think it looks better than other types. However, it may cost you a fortune. Gold fillings are so expensive. That’s why dentists rarely use it.
  • Silver Amalgam Filling: This filling can last up to 15 years. It can also withstand forceful chewing. However, it’s not pleasing to the eye due to its unnatural color and may require surrounding teeth to be partially destroyed.
  • Composite Filling: This is a popular option because it resembles natural teeth in terms of color. However, it has a shorter lifespan compared to gold and amalgam fillings. Also, it may require more than one visit to complete the treatment.
  • Ceramics: This type of filling is often made of porcelain, making it more stain resistant than composite fillings. Also, it can last up to 15 years; however, it can be as expensive as cast gold fillings.

Since fillings can be used to treat injury-related dental problems and cavities, dental insurance might cover a part or entire procedure.

3. Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are tooth-colored restoration caps designed to cover damaged teeth. In other words, crowns replace significant parts of a damaged tooth structure caused by fractures, tooth decay, and root canal treatments.

Dental crowns may vary depending on the materials used to create them. These include the following:

  • Porcelain Crown: Porcelain is arguably the best material for dental crowns. It can mimic the natural appearance of your teeth, making it popular with patients looking for natural-looking teeth.
  • Stainless Steel Crown: This crown is often used as protection while a permanent crown is being created. This reduces the risk of bacteria and other particles entering the affected site that can cause infections.
  • Gold Crown: Gold was once a popular material for dental crowns until porcelain and titanium arrived. Some patients still use them up to this date. Usually, gold crowns are used to replace damaged portions of the teeth in the back of the mouth—molars.
  • Titanium Crown: Titanium is popularly known for its superior durability and resistance to decay. Titanium crowns can withstand forceful biting and chewing. However, they’re so expensive.
  • Hybrid Crown: This crown is designed to mimic the natural appearance of porcelain and the durability of titanium. Dentists often recommend hybrid crowns to replace damaged front and back teeth.

Dental crowns can also be recommended after a root canal treatment because it leaves the tooth more vulnerable and fragile.

4. Dentures

Dentures are one of the most common procedures dentists may recommend to restore your smile and chewing function. These removable prosthetic teeth are used to replace missing teeth and damaged tissues.

Below are the different types of dentures your dentist may recommend depending on your condition:

  • Complete Dentures: Also known as full dentures, these are used to replace all of your teeth. Unlike dental bridges, which sit on top of existing teeth, complete dentures are placed above the gums.
  • Partial Dentures: If you still have some teeth left, your dentist might recommend partial dentures instead. These dentures have a metal piece attached to a pink-colored base that resembles your gums, making them appear more natural.
  • Immediate Dentures: As the name implies, immediate dentures can be placed right after your teeth have been extracted. However, due to some risks, you have to be a good candidate to qualify for this procedure.
  • Implant-Supported Dentures: This type uses implants to support and stabilize the structure. It helps the denture stay in place for a longer period compared to other dentures.
  • Snap-In Dentures: When it comes to stability, there’s nothing better than snap-in dentures. These dentures are held in place using dental anchors and implants. Also, they’re removable due to locator attachments placed within the tissue area of the denture.
  • Overdentures And Upper Dentures: Overdentures are placed on top of your gums and held secured by dental implants. Upper dentures are simply dentures used to replace the missing teeth of the upper jaw.

Dental insurance typically covers the entire or some of the cost of dentures. However, it’d be best to contact your insurance provider to determine what your policy covers.

5. Inlays And Onlays

Inlays and onlays are similar to dental fillings—they’re placed following damage, restoring a tooth’s appearance, function, and integrity. However, they’re created in the lab before they’re cemented permanently while fillings are applied directly onto the teeth and are set to harden inside the mouth. But what’s the difference between the two?

An inlay can fill a tooth’s hollow areas and cavities between the cusps—an elevated and pointed portion of a tooth responsible for the biting action. Keep in mind that inlays don’t affect the cusps of the damaged tooth.

An onlay can also fill the hollow areas and cavities of a tooth, but its coverage includes the cusps. This is why other people call it a ‘partial crown.’ In short, if the damage becomes severe, an onlay might be a better option than an inlay, especially when the damage goes beyond the cusps of your teeth.

6. Dental Implants

Dental implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth. During the procedure, the dental surgeon will place a titanium post into the socket of a missing tooth. You’ll need to wait several weeks for the jawbone to heal and grow around the root implant to keep it tight and anchored in the jaw.

Once your jawbone has fully healed, the dental surgeon will attach the abutment—a small connector post that’ll hold the new tooth in place. After that, the dental surgeon will create an artificial tooth, which will be based on your teeth’s impression and bite model. Once created, it’ll be connected to the abutment.

7. Dental Bonding

Also known as composite bonding, dental bonding is the process of applying tooth-colored composite resin to:

  • Cover cracks and chips of a tooth
  • Camouflage discoloration of a tooth
  • Reshape irregular teeth
  • Close spaces between teeth
  • Make teeth appear longer

The same resin is also used to:

  • Fill hollow areas and cavities
  • Replace worn and torn dental fillings
  • Protect tooth roots from gum recession

The cost of dental bonding may vary depending on the severity of your dental problems and how many teeth require treatment. The average cost of dental bonding without insurance is around USD$300 to USD$1,500 per tooth. Ask your insurance provider whether your policy covers dental bonding to save money.

Final Thoughts

Restorative dentistry focuses on improving overall oral health and chewing function while restoring the appearance of your smile. Treatment procedures include bridges, fillings, crowns, dentures, inlays, onlays, bonding, and implants.

Keep in mind that there are risks of complications involved in every procedure such as discomfort, possible bleeding, etc. Ask your family dentist or dental surgeon how to properly minimize or address these complications. Also, don’t forget to ask your insurance provider to save on these quite expensive treatment procedures.