Restorative dentistry is the term for any dental procedure used to replace missing teeth or repair a damaged tooth structure. It can make a huge difference in a patients’ life by improving the appearance and function of his or her teeth. Restorative dentistry includes the use of fillings, crowns, bridges, implants, and dentures. Curious about the difference between these options, and which might be right for you? Read on to learn more, then consult with your dentist.
Fillings, or dental restorations, are used to restore the integrity of the tooth structure. This treatment is typically used to replace part of the tooth that has decayed (due to a cavity) or been damaged from trauma. Fillings can also be performed after root canals. They can be made of many different materials; the most common ones are gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, and composite resin.
Crowns are placed on the top of the teeth, acting as a “cap” to cover the tooth and restore its size, shape, and strength. They can be used in conjunction with bridges and implants. Crowns can also be used when a tooth’s ongoing health is affected by a large cavity. Restorative materials such as metal, porcelain or gold are used to form the crown.
Bridges are prosthetic teeth. They’re referred to in this way because they “bridge” the gap between between your healthy, intact teeth. The false teeth can be made of gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of materials, and they’re held in place on either side with crowns.
Implants are used to replace the root of the tooth. These help anchor a permanent or removable false tooth to the gums, providing a strong foundation and improving comfort, appearance and function. They’re made of metal and inserted into the bone socket.
Dentures are sets of false teeth. Two types of dentures are available: complete dentures replace the full set of teeth, while partial dentures fill in the gaps between remaining natural teeth. Dentures are custom designed to mimic the appearance of the original teeth, and when appropriate, adhesives can be used to improve their stability.
If you have missing or damaged teeth, restorative dentistry can work wonders for you. There is no need to suffer with discomfort or a smile that doesn’t make you feel confident. Whether the problem is part of a tooth, a whole tooth, or multiple teeth, your dentist can recommend the best option for correcting your smile and restoring function.