Teeth that are damaged or lost due to decay or injury can lead to other types of oral health issues, which can hinder even routine activities of the individual like eating, talking or even smiling. Moreover, missing teeth can cause drifting of the remaining natural teeth, which can lead to problems with the person’s bite. Dental problems have the potential to not just affect an individual’s health, but also their appearance and in turn, their self-esteem.
Restorative dentistry is aimed at the management of a variety of oral health problems, thereby restoring the functions and esthetic value of dental tissues. A wide majority of dental procedures like root canal treatments, tooth fillings, bridges, dentures etc. are all part of restorative dentistry.
Types of Dental Restoration
Dental fillings are given in teeth that have been damaged by decay. The decayed part is removed and a cavity is prepared in the tooth where the filling will be placed. Dental fillings can be made from a number of materials. Traditionally, gold and amalgam has been one of the most commonly used materials, until the mercury component of the amalgam alloy was deemed too harmful for use in dentistry. While some dentists still prefer amalgam filling over others, the tooth-colored filling material known as dental composite is now the most popular type of restoration used for cavities in dentistry today.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap placed on decayed, damaged or cracked teeth to restore their structure, strength, function and appearance. Like dental fillings, dental crowns are also made up of different materials, such as gold, stainless steel or ceramics like porcelain. Stainless steel crowns are preferably given on teeth at the back of the mouth because of their sturdier structure, since these teeth have to tolerate stronger biting forces.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) dental crowns have a metal framework with a layer of porcelain on it. These type of dental crowns have the structural strength of metal and better appearance due to the porcelain layer. Dental crowns made from only porcelain have lesser strength but greater esthetic value. These type of dental crowns are usually preferred for the front teeth.
Root Canal Treatment:
Teeth that cannot be restored with simple tooth fillings may need root canal treatments to retain the longevity and functionality of the tooth in the mouth. A root canal treatment is done to completely sterilize the tooth’s internal chamber and rid it of any bacteria and infection. The tooth is then filled with an inert filling material like gutta-percha and sealed permanently to prevent any further chances of infection. A tooth that has been treated with a root canal is usually capped with a dental crown as well.
People with one or more missing teeth can restore the appearance and function of their natural teeth with dental bridges. A dental bridge replaces the missing tooth with an artificial tooth, which is known as a pontic. The pontic is attached to dental crowns on each side; these dental crowns are placed on the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth, which lends support to the pontic and are known as abutments. The dental bridge is a form of fixed artificial tooth replacement and allows patients to regain their chewing and talking capabilities, while taking care of their esthetic concerns as well.
Dental implants are also a form of fixed and permanent artificial tooth replacement, but one that conserves the structure of the adjacent natural teeth. A dental implant procedure consists of a metal or ceramic screw surgically placed in the jawbone in the region of the missing tooth/teeth. The implant is then capped with a dental crown that matches the shape and shade of the remaining natural teeth. Dental implants may be used as a replacement for one or few missing teeth, as well as to support a complete denture in patients with no teeth.
Dentures are a form of removable tooth replacement option for people with missing teeth. Dentures are of two main kinds – partial dentures for those with one or more missing teeth and complete dentures for those who have all their teeth missing. Dentures are usually given in patients who are not well-suited to receive fixed restorations like dental bridges or dental implants.
While cosmetic dentistry procedures are usually associated with just improvement in the appearance of your teeth and smile, a lot of these treatments serve restorative purposes as well. Dental veneers, which are thin shell-like covers placed on the front surfaces of the front teeth, serve to completely transform the appearance of the teeth. In addition to that, they also restore the structure and function of the tooth that may have been damaged. Dental crowns and dental implants are often categorized as restorative as well as cosmetic procedures as they serve both purposes.
What to Expect in a Restorative Dentistry Procedure?
Every restorative dentistry procedure first requires a comprehensive oral examination by the dentist. You may also be advised to get some diagnostic procedures done like dental X-rays, or even CT scans in the case of an extensive dental implant procedure. The initial consultation is aimed at providing the dentist with detailed information about your oral and dental health status. This allows your dentist to formulate a customized dental restoration plan for you, which would include discussing the cost of your entire treatment and the number of visits required.
Some of the most commonly performed dental procedures like tooth extraction, dental cleaning, gum disease treatment etc. are often left out of the category of restorative dentistry. However, all of these procedures play an integral part of the dental treatments you receive and cannot be separated from restorative dentistry procedures.
Cost of Restorative Dentistry
The costs of different procedures in restorative dentistry can vary based on the type of procedure. Simple procedures like dental fillings cost much less than extensive treatments like dental bridges or dental implants. A lot of restorative dentistry procedures are covered by dental insurance plans, so it would be a good idea to discuss options with your insurance coverage provider before going ahead with any treatment.
To know more about the right choice of restorative dentistry procedure for you, get in touch with us at Brooklyn Blvd Dental.