Restorative dentistry encompasses dental procedures that aim to repair or replace teeth, including treatments such as cavity fillings, root canals, and dental implants. The primary objectives of restorative dentistry are twofold: to restore the proper function of the teeth and to improve their appearance. Depending on the individual case, the focus may be on one or both of these goals.
Restorative dentistry offers the optimal opportunity for achieving long-term oral health. By addressing issues such as damaged or decayed teeth, your dentist can effectively restore the functionality of your smile. This, in turn, enhances your ability to eat, speak, and chew comfortably.
Types of Restorative Dentistry
The most frequently performed restorative dental procedure is the cavity filling. When bacteria penetrate the hard outer layer (enamel) of a tooth, causing the formation of a hole, or cavity, it must be filled to safeguard the inner soft pulp. During a cavity filling procedure, the dentist extracts the damaged portion of the tooth and substitutes it with composite material that matches the color of your tooth. This filling successfully prevents further bacterial infection in the tooth.
A root canal procedure becomes necessary when a cavity extends deep into the tooth, exposing the soft pulp within. Occasionally, a root canal may also be required following a tooth injury. Typically, the need for a root canal arises due to an infection within the tooth’s interior. During the procedure, the dentist will thoroughly remove the infected pulp from both the tooth and the root canal, cleanse the area, and then fill the interior with a composite material similar to what is used in a cavity filling. By sealing the inside of the tooth, the risk of future infection is eliminated, ultimately saving the tooth.
When a tooth undergoes damage, such as extensive decay or a crack, it can be strengthened and protected with a dental crown, also referred to as a cap. During a crown placement procedure, the upper portion of the tooth is gently reshaped, creating space for the crown to be positioned. The crown, which closely resembles a natural tooth, is then securely affixed over the prepared tooth. Importantly, the root of the natural tooth remains intact, ensuring both the appearance and functionality of the tooth are preserved.
In case of a missing or severely damaged tooth due to decay, a dental implant can be used as a replacement. It is a comprehensive artificial tooth and root system that replicates the natural tooth. The titanium implant root, which is biocompatible, is surgically placed in the jaw bone, and it bonds with the bone to provide a firm anchorage. Once the root heals, a crown is attached to the top. The result is a complete tooth that closely resembles a natural tooth both in appearance and function, making it the top choice for tooth replacement. Moreover, dental implants can also serve as anchors for dentures and bridges.
Essentially, a dental bridge refers to an artificial tooth suspended between two crowns, though sometimes the bridge may consist of multiple teeth that form a row. The teeth on either side of the gap are prepared by affixing crowns, which support and stabilize the bridge in place. In some cases, dental implants may also be utilized in place of the natural teeth. It’s important to note that whilst a dental bridge is designed to sit on top of the gums, it doesn’t include a root.
In situations where there are an insufficient number of healthy teeth to maintain normal oral function, dentures serve as a suitable replacement option. Typically, dentures comprise a complete set of teeth for one arch (upper or lower). Removable dentures can be secured to the gums using suction or adhesives. Alternatively, implant-supported dentures also referred to as snap-on dentures, are stabilized by a few dental implants placed in the jawbone.
What are the benefits of Restorative dentistry?
Restorative dentistry provides numerous advantages for individuals across various age groups. It can:
- Enhance oral health.
- Optimize chewing functionality.
- Alleviate dental discomfort.
- Minimize the likelihood of future dental problems.
- Enhance the aesthetic appeal of your smile.
What’s the difference between cosmetic and restorative dentistry?
Restorative dentistry is dedicated to enhancing oral health and function, while cosmetic dentistry is primarily concerned with enhancing the visual appeal of your smile.
Certain dental procedures encompass both functional and cosmetic enhancements, known as aesthetic restorative dentistry. For instance, a dental crown not only restores chewing function but also contributes to a more uniform and aesthetically pleasing smile.
Restorative dentistry is a cornerstone in the field of oral health, offering a range of treatments to repair, replace, and enhance damaged or missing teeth. With continuous advancements in dental technology, patients now have access to innovative solutions that not only restore their smiles but also contribute to overall well-being. Regular dental check-ups and prompt intervention for dental issues at Aberdeen Dental Centre ensure that individuals can enjoy the benefits of restorative dentistry for a lifetime of healthy and vibrant smiles.