Using Restorative Dentistry to Improve Your Mouth
For many patients, dental work goes beyond the routine x-rays and cleanings that the average person receives. For those that are missing a tooth or several teeth, dental problems can range from minor discomfort and disfigurement to even malnutrition. When this becomes the case, finding a dentist that specializes in restorative dentistry is often a must.
In order to begin restorative dentistry, you will have to take a visit to your dentist. During this initial exam, the dentist will examine your overall oral health to decide exactly what needs to be done and which restorative dentistry procedures will be most effective for you. Depending on the current condition of your remaining teeth, not all restorative dentistry techniques may be possible.
Inlays and onlays
For some dental patients, a tooth may not be entirely missing, but only broken. In these cases, an ordinary filling may not be strong enough to repair the tooth, and thus, inlays and onlays are an alternative option. Inlays and onlays for restorative dentistry can be made from porcelain that is stained to match the color of the existing tooth, or they can also be composed from composites and polyglass materials.
Another restorative dentistry procedure is the use of porcelain crowns. These can be used to correct teeth that are defective due to injury or decay. In some cases, the damage to the tooth is so extensive that the tooth cannot be repaired using traditional methods. A porcelain crown is then placed as part of the restorative dentistry procedure. With a porcelain crown, the entire tooth is covered with a porcelain cap that then functions like the healthy tooth would have. The porcelain can be colored to match the existing tooth so that the repair is barely noticeable.
A third restorative dentistry procedure involves the use of dental implants. Dental implants are used when the patient is missing teeth. Left untreated, the gaps left behind from teeth that have fallen out or been removed can cause other teeth to shift, leading to malocclusions of the bite, discomfort, and difficulty eating.
In this restorative dentistry procedure, a titanium root is drilled into the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth. Dentist can then cap the root with prosthetic teeth or a crown. Unlike dentures, dental implants are permanent, often leading to more comfort and functionality after the restorative dentistry procedure.
This restorative dentistry procedure can take several months to complete, since the surgery site has to heal completely before the artificial teeth can be placed. Once completed, however, the patient's smile is often returned to a completely natural state and the work is often undetectable.
For most restorative dentistry procedures, good oral health is a must both before and after the procedure. Before a procedure can be done, your dentist must determine whether or not the remaining jaw and dental structures are strong enough for restorative dentistry. Afterwards, the patient must maintain good oral hygiene to prevent further dental health problems down the road, and regular exams are necessary to make sure that the restorative dentistry remains functional and properly placed.