As the name suggests, restorative dentistry includes any dental procedure that restores the esthetic appearance and functionality of your teeth. Your teeth are subjected to constant wear and tear, apart from being at risk of damage through decay or injuries. Almost every individual will require some form of restorative dental procedure at some point in their life. This branch of dentistry deals with restoring, repairing, or replacing missing or damaged teeth, which helps you retain your smile and confidence.
Types of Restorative Dental Procedures
The primary focus of every dentist is to preserve your natural teeth with the help of restorative procedures. It is only in extreme circumstances that they may have to resort to tooth extraction. Depending on your dental needs, your dentist may recommend one or more of the following procedures –
Dental Fillings – Dental fillings are the most commonly performed restorative procedure in the dental office and are usually done in a single visit. Dental fillings are most commonly made of amalgam (silver and mercury allow) or dental composite (tooth-colored filling material). These are used to fill the tooth cavities after they have been cleaned and shaped.
Root Canal Treatments – Teeth with extensive decay or damage are usually treated with root canal treatments. A root canal treatment involves the removal of the tooth’s nerve and blood supply, which renders it sterile. This protects the tooth and the surrounding tissues from any further damage caused by the spread of infection. While the procedure does not affect the tooth’s functionality in any way, you may need to get a dental crown to reinforce the tooth’s structural integrity once the root canal is complete.
Dental Bridges and Dentures – Replacement of missing teeth is usually done in two ways. You could either opt for a denture, which is usually removable, or a dental bridge, which remains fixed in the mouth. Complete dentures are commonly given in elderly patients who need replacement of all their missing teeth, while partial dentures may be used to replace a few missing teeth. Removable dentures need to be removed and kept soaked in water while sleeping or when not in use.
Dental bridges can be used to replace one or more missing teeth, but they need support from healthy, natural teeth on adjacent sides of the missing teeth. Since they remain fixed in the mouth, they don’t need to be removed and can be cleaned just like your natural teeth.
Dental Implants – Dental implants are now one of the most commonly performed procedures for missing tooth replacement. They have numerous advantages over both dentures and dental bridges. Dental implants consist of a biocompatible screw placed into the jawbone that takes the place of the missing tooth root. The implant screw is topped with a dental crown, which replaced the missing tooth in the mouth. They are a fixed type of tooth replacement option and if maintained properly, can last almost a lifetime. While dental implants are usually preferred by younger patients, they can be given in older patients as well, as long they are in good overall health.
Cosmetic Dentistry – Cosmetic dentistry includes a variety of dental procedures that is mainly focused on improving the esthetics of your teeth and smile. However, some of these procedures help improve the functionality of your teeth as well. These include dental veneers, dental crowns, braces, etc.
Dental veneers are thin shells of tooth-colored material that can be cemented onto the front teeth to completely transform and improve the appearance of your teeth, and in turn, your smile. While veneers cover only the front surface of the tooth, dental crowns cover the entire tooth and are usually given for your back teeth.
Braces are usually given to straighten crooked teeth and fix bite problems. While most people get braces to improve the appearance of their smile, they can also help reduce jaw discomfort and enhance biting and chewing functions.
Benefits of Restorative Dentistry
Restores the use of decayed or damaged teeth – The functionality of teeth can often be affected if they are damaged by injury or decay. Restorative procedures like dental fillings, root canal treatments, dental crowns, and bridges are aimed at restoring the structure of the tooth, which allows a person to use their teeth for its intended purpose.
Improved chewing and speaking – The act of eating and talking requires a perfect balance between your teeth, tongue, and jaw. Some restorative procedures like braces don’t just help restore the use of your teeth, but also improve your ability to talk and chew your food.
Improved appearance – Healthy teeth are directly correlated to a healthier and younger appearance. Having good teeth doesn’t just help you look good, but also enhances your self-confidence. This, in turn, can massively improve your personal and professional life.
Prevent drifting of teeth – Teeth adjacent to the missing tooth tend to drift into the space left behind by the missing tooth, which may disrupt your bite and cause chewing problems. Restoring and replacing missing teeth helps in maintaining the equilibrium of your bite.
Long-term cost saving – Addressing dental problems immediately and preserving your natural teeth prevents you from incurring additional costs in the future. These costs are most commonly spent on replacing teeth that were lost due to negligence and failure to administer adequate dental care at an appropriate time.
Cost of Restorative Dentistry
Dental procedures can be a costly affair for most people. However, restorative treatments like dental fillings, root canals, etc. are essential procedures that are covered by most dental insurance plans. On the other hand, dental implants and cosmetic dentistry procedures are usually not covered by dental insurance and you may have to look at alternate payment plans for the same.
Many dentists also offer different types of payment options in their dental office, which can reduce the burden on your pocket. You may also be given the option to complete your payment in multiple installments instead of a one-time hefty fee.
For more information about restorative dentistry and the different types of dental procedures we offer, visit Brooklyn Blvd Dental today.