The Procedures Covered by Restorative Dentistry
Restorative dentistry is a well-known division of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of problems with the teeth and gums as well as their appearance. The methods performed by restorative dentists are similar to those of cosmetic dentists. However, restorative dentists provide many other treatments compared to cosmetic dentists and specialize in the ones requiring surgery.
The different types of treatments provided by restorative dentists will depend on the severity of the issue affecting the patient and the location of the tooth that needs restoration. The three most popular therapeutic dentistry procedures people may need include the following:
Tooth fillings are required by at least 50% of the population of America. Tooth decay is a chronic problem among adults and children alike, and the only method to treat this issue is by filling the tooth with a range of materials including gold, silver amalgam, porcelain, and other materials. Tooth fillings are also helpful to repair broken or cracked teeth that have not developed large holes. Restorative dentists who believe that tooth is incapable of holding the filling often recommend a dental crown to protect the tooth.
After the dentist determines that the tooth needs a filling, he or she will drill the tooth to remove tooth decay accumulated in the cavity and is filled with the bacteria. After that tooth decay is removed, the remainder of the tooth is cleaned by the dentist to eliminate any debris and bacteria. The dental filling is applied to the affected area to seal the hole and restore the tooth.
Dental crowns are caps for the tooth that are damaged or infected. They encase the tooth to restore its size and shape while enhancing its appearance. Some situations exist when the dentist recommends using dental crowns instead of other options. Dental crowns can be used for the following reasons:
- Crowns can cover and support a weakened tooth.
- The cap is useful to protect a weak tooth from further decay.
- A crown can cover discolored teeth.
- Crowns are suitable as artificial teeth atop dental implants.
- Crowns can also hold a dental bridge in place.
Different types of materials are used to make crowns, including ceramics, metal, stainless steel, porcelain, and composite resin. The metals are used in the back of the mouth to make them less noticeable, particularly on molars. Ceramics and porcelain crowns are used on the visible teeth because they can be color-matched to the natural teeth of the patient. Stainless steel crowns are often used as temporary placements by dentists when the permanent crown is being fabricated in a dental laboratory.
The popularity of dental implants has gained significantly over the last two decades, especially for replacing missing teeth. The procedure involves fusing titanium posts to the jawbone and waiting until it has integrated with the bone. The process is lengthy but is one that allows patients to have natural looking and feeling artificial teeth in their mouth after losing their permanent teeth.
Patients opting for dental implants to replace missing teeth must be in good oral and physical health before they are considered as suitable candidates for the procedure. The patient must be willing to commit to the process wholeheartedly because multiple surgeries are needed before the artificial tooth is eventually fixed upon the implanted titanium post.
Dental implants can improve the appearance of the patient’s teeth while giving him or her full functionality to eat, speak, and smile without being worried about their artificial teeth falling out like dentures.
Cosmetic dentists may also offer the procedures mentioned in this discussion but, in many cases, will refer patients to restorative dentists who are the qualified professionals for performing these processes.
Restorative dentistry is a beneficial practice because it combines different dental procedures to improve the patient’s health and appearance of their teeth. People considering enhancing the appearance of their teeth should discuss the subject of following restorative dentistry treatments with their regular dentist who may refer them to a qualified individual for the treatments necessary. Generally, dentists are performing some procedures like dental fillings for cavities or cracked and broken teeth. Dentists have received the training to perform some types of procedures. Intensive processes such as placing dental implants or dental crowns are better handled by a restorative dentist who has qualified as an oral surgeon.