What exactly is restorative dental care and why is it so important to my oral health? Here, our Camrose dentists explain the different types of restorative dental services and how they help restore your smile.
What is restorative dental care?
Simply speaking, restorative dental care refers to treatments that restore the structure, integrity and function of a damaged tooth or teeth. This damage may range from decay to injuries (such as chipping or external trauma). The goal of restorative dental treatments is the bring the tooth or teeth back to their normal level of function.
The timeline for restorative dental treatment is usually hard to guess. This is because many factors play a role in how a procedure will play out, such as the extent of damage to the tooth, how difficult the procedure will be, and how comfortable the patient feels during the process.
Why is restorative dental care important?
To put it simply, badly decaying teeth can adversely affect your appearance, self-esteem, and even your overall health (not just your oral health). Replacing and/or fixing decaying teeth can help maintain good oral health by preventing plaque build-up. Further, filling open or damaged spots in vacant areas of the mouth is important for keeping teeth well-aligned. And, believe it or not, replacing missing teeth can put far less pressure on remaining teeth when eating. The more teeth there are, the easier it will be to chew and the less plaque build-up there will be on the natural teeth.
What happens during treatment?
Before treatment even begins, it's likely your dentist will diagnose your condition using a variety of means, including x-rays and a thorough examination of your mouth.
However, treatment will carry between individuals. Sometimes the treatment will only require a single appointment if the health issue is minor and the procedure isn't overly invasive/ Other times, when the damage to a tooth is much more extensive and will require a more complex procedure, treatment may require multiple visits.
Depending on the patient, specialists, such as a prosthodontist, endodontist or maxillofacial surgeon, might need to be called in.
During the procedure, your dentist might use different types of anesthesia so that you don't feel any pain. They might also use anesthesia to calm your anxiety or fears.
Most dental restoration procedures are classified as either direct or indirect. Direct procedures usually involve repairs done inside the mouth. Indirect procedures are done outside the mouth and then attached to the tooth or the tooth structure. Your dentist will determine what procedure is best for you.
Another word for this common oral health procedure is fillings. Direct restorations usually involve the placement of a moldable substance inside of a cleaned tooth cavity. This material will harden and restore the natural surface and structure of a tooth. Some common materials used for fillings can include silver amalgam, composite resin and glass ionomer fillings.
With indirect restorations, construction happens outside the mouth. There is usually much more work involved with indirect restorations, but the results are usually more stable and long-lasting. It can also restore the overall look of your teeth. Some common examples of indirect restorations include veneers, crowns & bridges, implants, and inlays & onlays.