Restorative Dentistry

 

Restoring a tooth damaged by decay or injury or replacing a missing tooth can have a tremendous impact on your smile’s appearance and function. With modern materials used in restorations and prosthetics, we can achieve a natural aesthetic while preserving or replacing the tooth’s structure. Additionally, with proper maintenance, these restorations can last for years, protecting your investment and your oral health.

 

Restorative Dental Treatments

 

Restorative dental treatments may include dental crowns, root canals or dental bridges, among other interventions. These treatments are used in different scenarios. 

 

  • Dental crowns: These tooth-shaped caps are bonded on top of teeth that have been affected by extensive decay, resulting in cavities that are too large to address with fillings or other more conservative restorations. Dental crowns are also placed on teeth that have been treated with root canal therapy to strengthen them. Before placing the crown, the dentist must prep the tooth by removing a thin layer of enamel to make room for the restoration.
    Dental crowns may be made of a variety of materials, including composite resins, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal or metal alone. Different materials may be appropriate in different circumstances, and with porcelain and composites, the shade of the crown can be matched to the patient’s natural shade.  

 

  • Root canal therapy: Root canals are used to save a tooth when its innermost pulp is exposed to oral bacteria, raising the possibility of infection in that tissue that could ultimately destroy the tooth. In this procedure, the dentist removes infected material from the pulp chamber and then cleans out and seals the empty chamber with a rubber-like substance to prevent the bacteria from infiltrating the space again. The root canal process does make the tooth more susceptible to breakage, so it is usually fitted with a dental crown afterward for additional protection. 

 

  • Dental bridges: If a tooth has been lost, a fixed dental bridge can fill in the empty space. A dental bridge places a pontic (prosthetic crown) at the site of the missing tooth, holding it in place with crowns that are placed on the adjoining teeth. Like dental crowns, dental bridges can be tailored to blend in with the patient’s natural smile. 

Benefits Of Restorative Dental Treatment

 

When a tooth is damaged, the ideal solution is to preserve the biological tooth. Even when compared to advanced tooth replacements, a biological tooth is preferable. Some restorative treatments, such as dental crowns and root canals, can help to achieve this goal. Teeth that can’t be salvaged should still be replaced with a prosthetic because if space is left empty, the other teeth will shift to fill in that gap, and that process could subject them to new forces that could damage them.

Common Restorative Dentistry Questions

What is restorative dentistry?

Restorative dentistry is the dental specialty that focuses on repairing damaged teeth or replacing missing ones to give a patient a complete smile. Restorative dentistry interventions, such as dental crowns or root canal treatment, benefit both the smile’s appearance and its function in areas such as speech and eating, and in some cases can help to save a tooth from being extracted. 

What materials are used for restorations?

Dental restorations can be made from different materials. For example, crowns may be made of porcelain, either alone or fused with metal, composites or metal alone. Each restoration is made to the patient’s unique specifications, and some of those materials can be customized to blend in with the patient’s smile. Your dentist can make recommendations on the restoration materials that will be most beneficial and appropriate in your case.  

What is the cost of restorative dental treatment?

The cost of restorative dental treatment will vary from patient to patient, depending on the complexity of the case and including associated costs, such as for imaging or dental impressions. Insurance may cover a portion of the cost of restorative treatment. At your initial consultation, the staff at our office will be able to give you more specifics about the anticipated costs.

What are my tooth restoration options?

If enough of your biological tooth material can be preserved, it may be possible to restore the tooth with a dental crown, which is placed on top of a biological tooth. If the innermost core of the tooth is infected or exposed to oral bacteria, it may be necessary for the dentist to perform a root canal before placing the crown on the patient’s tooth. If the tooth has been lost or must be extracted, patients can choose fixed dental bridges to replace the missing tooth and hold its place in the smile.