Restorative dentistry refers to a collection of dental procedures that are used to repair or replace damaged teeth. Most people will require some kind of restorative dental procedure in their lifetime, whether in the form of a cavity filling, crown, dental implant, or other.
Restorative Dental Procedures
The following are the most common restorative procedures that dentists perform to correct problems with teeth or to replace missing or damaged teeth.
- Cavity Filling. If you develop a cavity, which is a hole in your tooth enamel due to decay, it can be filled with a composite material to prevent further decay or tooth infection. Cavities are the most common type of restorative procedure performed by dentists. Most people will have a cavity filled at some point in their lifetime.
- Root Canal. If a cavity is deep enough that it reaches the soft pulp of the inner tooth, it can cause an infection that extends into the root of the tooth. During a root canal procedure the pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth and the canal is filled with composite material like what is used to fill a cavity. This removes any existing infection and prevents further infection of the inner tooth pulp.
- Crown. When a tooth is severely decayed or cracked and cannot be repaired using composite material, a crown may be placed over it. During a crown procedure, the outer tooth material is shaved down until a smaller portion remains. The artificial crown is cemented over the top, preserving the tooth root and functioning just like a natural tooth.
- Bridge. If a tooth is missing or needs to be extracted, a bridge is one option to replace it. A bridge consists of two crowns with an artificial tooth suspended between them. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth will be shaved down so that the crowns can be placed over them. These crowns over the existing teeth serve as anchors to hold the bridge in place.
- Dental Implant. A dental implant is a complete tooth and root replacement system. A titanium root is surgically implanted in the jaw bone with a crown attached to the top. The artificial root bonds with the jaw bone to form a solid hold. A dental implant looks and functions as closely as possible to a natural tooth.
- Dentures. When you have many missing teeth or teeth that cannot be saved, dentures are an option to replace a complete or partial arch of teeth. Dentures can adhere to the gums via suction and adhesives, a few healthy teeth left in the mouth, or a few dental implants.
Restorative Dentistry Benefits
There are many benefits to restorative dentistry. Some patients simply choose to have a tooth pulled if it is causing problems and may not consider replacing it. But there are many reasons why it is worth the time and cost to have teeth restored.
- Functional Teeth. Your teeth are there to help you chew food and speak properly. By having minor restorative procedures done when you need them, you prevent the problem from worsening until a more complex procedure is required or until the tooth can no longer be repaired. Restorative dentistry can help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.
- Avoid Pain. Cavities and severely decayed teeth can be very painful when not treated. But in most cases, if you are visiting the dentist regularly, cavities can be discovered and filled before they cause you pain. Tooth pain is extremely uncomfortable, and by the time you feel severe pain, it may be too late to save the tooth.
- Preserve Bone Strength. If you have a tooth that is severely decayed and needs to be extracted, replacing it with a dental implant can prevent bone loss in your jaw. If you have a tooth pulled or if you lose a tooth and don’t replace it, the jaw bone that held the tooth in place will start to weaken and eventually dissolve. Restorative procedures can save the tooth or replace it if it is beyond saving.
- Improved Appearance. Restorative procedures that preserve or replace your teeth will keep your smile looking natural and give you confidence.
Emerson Dental Specializes in Restorative Dentistry
Restorative dentistry is a normal part of dental care. By visiting your dentist regularly and taking care of your teeth, you will most likely avoid dental problems and keep your teeth for your lifetime. But in the event that you do experience a dental issue, you need a dentist who can perform any procedure necessary to restore your dental health. Emerson Dental provides a complete range of dental services from preventive to restorative dentistry.
Call 978-399-0017 to schedule a consultation at our Westford Office or 781-394-9213 for our Bedford Office. You can also request an appointment. We look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy for a lifetime.