What is restorative dentistry?
The field of restorative dentistry covers a wide range of dental services that are all aimed at helping patients restore their oral health and boost their confidence in their smiles. Restorative dental care can help patients who have experienced tooth decay, gum disease, or oral trauma. From simple procedures like dental fillings to more complex treatments like replacing missing teeth with dental prosthetics, restorative treatment can help get your smile back.
Did you know…
Dental issues can become more severe and costly the longer you wait to treat them.
What to expect at your initial restorative appointment
During your comprehensive oral health examination, also called a “full mouth exam,” your dentist will examine your teeth and gums, while screening you for oral cancer, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and anything else that can have an impact on your oral health.
Personal Treatment Plan
After your exam, you’ll discuss your oral health goals with your dentist, to develop a personalized treatment plan that is customized to fit your unique dental needs. Treatment plans are a detailed outline of recommended care, and typically include a timeline for each treatment, as well as information about any service you will receive.
Options and Alternatives
Everyone’s smile is as unique as they are, and as a result, no two treatment plans will be exactly the same. We’ll be with you every step of the way, making sure to educate you on all of your available treatment options, and answering any questions you may have, so you can choose the treatment that fits your needs, budget, and lifestyle.
In order to keep you feeling safe and comfortable, we’re proud to offer sedation options. Sedation is not only helpful for complex restorative cases, but also to ease dental anxiety and provide comfort to patients who have trouble sitting still. We’ll discuss whether or not you will need or want sedation while we create your treatment plan.
Appointments & Follow-Ups
If you’re visiting our office for a dental emergency, we’ll do everything we can to ensure you get the treatment you need as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of your emergency, and our availability, we may be able to offer same-day appointments. For non-emergencies, we’ll just schedule your next appointment after your cleaning and exam. We’ll work with you to make sure your next visit fits in with your schedule.
Restorative Treatment Options
One of the most common restorative dental procedures, dental fillings can repair decayed teeth that have been damaged by cavities or other oral health issues. Depending on the location and extent of the damage, and your overall oral health, different materials can be used to create fillings. These materials include composite resin, gold alloys, metal amalgam, porcelain, and glass ionomer cement. If you think that you may have a cavity, getting it checked out as soon as possible can help to prevent the decay from spreading. When left untreated, cavities can grow, and more invasive procedures like root canal therapy, or even extraction, may be required to restore your oral wellbeing.
Inlays and Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays can improve both the look and function of your smile. Dental inlays are used to restore part of a damaged tooth that is too large for a dental filling, but not large enough to require a crown. Dental onlays are similar, though they are used to restore the chewing surface of a tooth. They can be made from gold, porcelain, composite resin, or another tooth-colored material.
Dental crowns are “caps” that restore damaged teeth by covering them down to the gum line. Lab-made crowns use the highest-quality materials and are created by a dental technician at a state-of-the-art dental lab. To begin the dental crown process, your dentist will trim and shape your damaged tooth to make it an ideal base for attaching your new crown. Then, we’ll take impressions, using either putty or digital scans, of your bite before sending it to the lab where your restoration will be crafted to your unique specifications.
While you’re waiting for your permanent crown, which will take a few weeks, we’ll provide you with a temporary crown to wear in the meantime. Once it has been completed, the lab will send us your finished crown, and you’ll return to our office for the final placement. Before securing the crown, we’ll make sure it fits perfectly and make any necessary adjustments so your new smile looks great, feels comfortable, and functions seamlessly.
A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic that can be used to replace one or several missing teeth in a row. To place a dental bridge, crowns must be placed on the teeth surrounding the gap in your grin to support the bridge.
Dental bridges come with several advantages, like reduced sensitivity from exposed roots. Also, since they’re supported by your natural teeth, they can improve your ability to chew and speak comfortably.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy involves removing the pulp from the inside of an infected or damaged tooth. Although it is most common to receive a root canal on a molar or premolar, the procedure can be done on any of your teeth.
A successful root canal results in the removal of all traces of infection from the tooth, and filling the empty space, usually with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. This helps to stop the spread of infection, and can also help keep the tooth strong to prevent future problems. We’ll always try to save your natural teeth whenever possible, and a root canal may help you avoid more invasive procedures in the future.
To perform a root canal, your dentist will use specialized ultrasonic instruments or hand files to clean out all infected tissue within the tooth, then irrigating the canals with an antibacterial solution. Once the infection has been removed and the tooth has been filled, most patients can expect to receive a dental crown to protect the tooth.
Full & Partial Dentures
Dentures are removable dental appliances that are designed to replace missing teeth and gum tissue. Partial dentures can be a solution for patients that are missing one or a several of their natural teeth. Full dentures are used to replace a full arch of missing teeth. Dentures can be made from a variety acrylic and composite materials, and are held in place with suction, dental adhesive, or a metal framework that clips into your remaining healthy teeth. Dentures are a convenient, affordable way to restore your grin.
Oral surgery might be necessary for some patients in order to prepare for restorative treatments like dental implants, to remove impacted teeth, or to correct severe orthodontic issues.
Bone grafting is performed to replace lost jaw bone mass and promote bone regrowth, and is a fairly common oral surgery. Good candidates for bone grafts are patients experiencing weakened jawbones as a result of tooth loss, periodontal disease, or the natural aging process. Bone grafts are often necessary to ensure a patient’s jaw bone is strong enough to support the placement of a dental implant.
Patients receiving a full set of dentures or full-arch dental implants may require a tooth extraction, as a full-arch of prosthetics needs a completely empty arch to be placed. However, we’ll always try to save your natural teeth whenever possible, so we will only recommend extraction as an option if we can’t restore your smile using other, less-invasive measures.
Did you know…
Over 3 million Americans received dental implants to restore their smiles.
Have questions about restorative dentistry? Find answers here.
What issues can restorative dentistry solve?
As the name suggests, restorative dentistry aims to restore the form and function of infected, damaged, or missing teeth, while helping to prevent more damage later on. Restorative dentistry can also repair damage caused by any sort of dental trauma caused by an injury or accident.
What are the benefits of restorative dental procedures?
Restorative dental treatments like root canals, crowns, and implants have many benefits. Although these may seem intimidating to some, advancements in dental techniques and technology have made restorative dentistry more comfortable than ever. Don’t put off getting restorative dental treatment, as getting the care you need quickly can help you to avoid future oral health problems that come with dental pain and more invasive, costly procedures. Not only will you save yourself time and money, but you’ll also be able to smile with confidence, knowing that your bite is in good health.
What is considered a dental emergency?
Any instance of oral trauma, or an injury that requires immediate attention and can’t be treated at home, is a dental emergency. Dental emergencies include conditions like persistent toothaches or another type of continuous oral pain or discomfort, chipped or broken teeth, missing or lost dental work, and bleeding gums. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so even if you’re not certain that what you’re experiencing qualifies as a dental emergency, get in touch with us anyway to find out if you require emergency care.
Does my insurance cover restorative dentistry?
The extent of your coverage can vary depending on your particular policy, but many insurance plans do cover at least a portion of the cost of restorative procedures that are deemed necessary. For example, your insurance might cover the cost of a simple filling, or root canal therapy, but they may not provide the same coverage for dental implants. For a complete understanding of your own coverage, we recommend reaching out to your provider for details. Alternatively, our knowledgeable and friendly team is standing by to answer any questions you may have and find out how to maximize your benefits at our office.
Did you know…
Around 25% of American adults are missing all of their teeth. We can help you keep or replace yours.