Dental procedures that repair or replace teeth fall under the umbrella term of restorative dentistry. The goal of restorative dentistry is to either restore the function of teeth, improve the appearance of teeth, or both. Read on to for what you need to know about 5 types of restorative dentistry procedures
5 Types of Restorative Dentistry Procedures
There are a variety of restorative dentistry procedures, ranging from incredibly common, such as fillings, to more complex, such as dental implants.
Composite fillings are used to fill in the holes in teeth created by cavities. Older patients may remember that fillings used to be gold or silver. Today, composite material is used to both match the color of the teeth, and to chemically bond to teeth. Fillings are a very simple restorative technique, completed within a single visit.
Crowns are used to reinforce damaged teeth that cannot be repaired with a filling. Like fillings, crowns do not require the extraction of your tooth. If you require a crown, your tooth will be shaved down, and a crown (sometimes called a cap) that looks and functions exactly like your original tooth will be placed over the shaved tooth.
As its name implies, a dental bridge is used to bridge gaps in your mouth caused by missing teeth. Dental bridges use artificial teeth to fill in gaps between teeth, crowns, or implants. The bridge must be bonded to the nearest healthy, secure teeth or to implants to anchor it in place.
Dental implants are a restorative dentistry procedure used to replace missing teeth. During the procedure, a small titanium screw will be placed into your jaw bone. It serves as a replacement for the tooth root, and bonds securely to your jaw bone. A crown is then attached to the top of the screw, mimicking the look and function of a normal tooth. Dental implants are often the best option to replace multiple missing teeth.
Dentures are artificial teeth, that may be necessary if you’re missing some or all of your teeth. Full or partial removable dentures adhere to your gums. Snap on dentures adhere to your mouth by attaching or snapping onto your implants.
Do I need restorative dentistry?
If you are missing multiple teeth, you are a candidate for restorative dentistry. Missing teeth pose risks to your overall health and wellbeing. This is because gum disease can serve as the gateway to a host of infections, diseases, and deterioration of your gum or jaw bone. In addition, missing teeth can lead to misalignment of your other teeth, difficulty eating, and even alterations in your speech. Unfortunately, when you are missing teeth, you may also experience facial skin sagging, making you appear older. Moreover, some studies suggest that missing teeth also contribute to lower self-esteem, and may contribute to depression and anxiety.
Your dentist will notify you during an exam if you require less invasive, and more common restorative procedures such as fillings or crowns. Many patients are unaware that they have cavities until they see a dentist. In some cases, fillings may be completed in a same-day appointment.