Restorative dentistry, not to be confused with cosmetic dentistry, seeks to restore the health and function of your teeth and mouth. Whether it’s due to tooth decay or an injury, your dentist will try to save your existing teeth or replace them with teeth that look and function just like your original teeth. Depending on what’s wrong with your oral health, your dentist will use one of several common procedures.
Probably the most common and least invasive restorative procedure is filling a cavity. This involves removing any decayed material and replacing it with a tooth-colored filling. You’re able to keep your original tooth without worrying about the decay spreading to other teeth. This works best with smaller cavities.
For larger cavities that aren’t as easy to patch or if you have other damage to a tooth, like a crack, your dentist may restore the tooth with a crown. Crowns are hollow shells that keep the same shape and durability as your original tooth. They cement in place and function just like a normal tooth. Before the tooth is crowned, your dentist will remove any decay or damage.
Restorative Dentistry for Missing Teeth
When you can’t keep your teeth or have missing teeth, there are still options to keep your mouth healthy and your smile looking great. Dental bridges, implants, or dentures are great options for tooth replacement. Your dentist will help you make the right choice for your specific situation.
Bridges replace a missing tooth with a prosthetic one. They hold in place by using crowns on either side of the missing area to create bases for the bridge, which is the new tooth. Once in place, it’ll look like your original teeth.
Restorative dentistry often uses implants to replace missing teeth. Titanium cylinders that bond with the gums are implanted in the mouth. These serve as the roots of the replacement tooth. Your dentist then adds a crown, bridge, or denture on top of the actual tooth.
If you’re missing multiple teeth, a partial or full denture might be necessary. They’re custom fit to feel comfortable and look like your natural teeth. Plus, you can remove them to make it easier to keep them clean. Your dental professional might recommend dentures when you don’t have any surrounding teeth to create a bridge. Implants can also support dentures to help them stay in place better.
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