Restorative dentistry is one of the major fields of dentistry. To offer holistic care to the patients, it often combines other branches of dentistry. Here are a few frequently asked questions (FAQs) about it.
What is Restorative Dentistry?
Over time, the wear and tear to the teeth can result in damage. On the other hand, decay, injury, and natural aging also lead to teeth becoming weaker, which can affect both the oral and overall health of a person. Restorative dentistry offers treatments that can repair this kind of damage. Treatments include, but are not limited to, fillings, implants, crowns, inlays, onlays, and bonding. Dentists can also manage multiple restorative needs of patients by developing a comprehensive treatment plan.
What Treatments does Restorative Dentistry Offer?
It combines several branches of the profession. These include endodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics. It allows dentists to study, diagnose, and treat various problems of the teeth. The particular area of expertise focuses on treatments that can help restore the appearance of teeth. Dentists use dental restoration procedures and tools like cavity fillings, installation of bridges or implants, root canal, teeth whitening, tooth extraction, etc. to resolve the oral health issues of their patients.
What are the benefits of restorative dentistry?
The benefits of restorative dentistry extend beyond routine cleaning of teeth and maintaining oral health. As it replaces or repairs missing teeth, it restores the mouth’s function by providing the patient with a full set of teeth. It improves chewing, which results in food getting crushed and, in turn, digested properly.
Furthermore, it can eliminate tooth pain caused by dental conditions, such as decay and infections. The dentistry can also help to prevent the onset of further oral health issues, which are commonly associated with a missing or broken tooth. Lastly, it can enhance your smile and overall appearance.
What is the Difference Between Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry?
As established earlier, restorative dentistry deals with repairing and replacing damaged and missing teeth, respectively. Its primary purpose is to improve the mouth’s functionality and help the patient have a full set of healthy teeth. On the other hand, cosmetic dentistry is all about the appearance of teeth. The procedures included in cosmetic dentistry are mainly geared to improve the aesthetics of teeth. However, while doing so, they also enhance mouth functions and improve oral health.
Is tooth restoration painful?
This majorly depends on the treatment you’re getting. However, dentists now use anesthesia or numbing agents before starting most restorative dental treatments. So, it’s highly unlikely you will experience unbearable pain during the treatment. Having said that, a slight discomfort can be expected. And it may last for some time after the effects of the anesthesia have worn off. But, if the pain or discomfort becomes unbearable or last too long, do not hesitate in contacting your dentist.
Should I opt for teeth extraction instead of saving them?
Since many people are wary of dental treatments, particularly the extensive ones, they deem dental extraction as an easy and pain-free option. This, however, may not be a sound decision. No matter how advanced the field of dentistry gets, you will always be better off with your natural teeth. While artificial teeth, such as implants, offer great support, they come with certain issues. Therefore, the best priority should be to save natural teeth. But, in some cases, tooth extraction is the viable option.
What to do about a Cavity?
A cavity can go undetected because it does not cause pain in the beginning. Regular visits to the dentist can identify these promptly. However, if you experience toothache or sensitivity, get your teeth checked out. A cavity is a dangerous infection, which can lead to more complicated and painful oral issues if left untreated. A dentist will figure out at what stage is the cavity. If the decay has already begun, then the dentist will use the option of cleaning and filling it. In severe cases, the patient will need a root canal treatment to control the damage.
How to Manage a Missing Tooth?
A missing tooth can be the result of tooth extraction or injury. While the appearance of the teeth and smile due to the empty space is one thing, patients can suffer from jawbone deterioration (alveolar atrophy).
The surrounding teeth can drift out of place. This happens because the jaw is lacking the chewing stimulation it received from the now-missing tooth. Dentists recommend implants or bridges to prevent the shrinking of the jawbone. The implant or bridge will also keep the surrounding teeth from drifting to accommodate the space left behind.
Is a Broken Tooth Repairable?
Restorative dentistry procedures have become advanced enough that broken teeth can be fixed. A broken tooth can be the result of decay, disease, injury, or other factors. It can affect the appearance of a person’s smile as well as create issues with talking and chewing. Depending on the severity of the breakage, your dentist will recommend the treatment.
In most cases, a dental crown can cover the exposed portion of the toot. Dentists use porcelain matching your natural teeth color for this treatment.
Is Tooth Extraction Necessary?
Tooth extraction is not recommended if there is treatment possible for tooth restoration. However, if the damage is irreversible or there is an increased risk of the damage leading to other complicated oral health issues, then the dentist will recommend the extraction. Of course, an extraction means a missing tooth, which can have its resultant problems if not managed.
The dentist will guide you on options to avail for replacing the extracted tooth.
What about more than one damaged or missing tooth?
If you have more than one damaged, decayed, injured, or missing tooth, your dentist will collaborate with you to create a comprehensive dental restoration plan. Such rehabilitation of oral health can take time, and you will undergo treatment in phases.
Your dentist will use diagnostic tools, materials, and treatments to identify and resolve all existing issues. You will be made aware of all options so you do not have to pay for anything unwanted.
Contact us at Sue Vetter’s dental office in Seattle to get more information on restorative dentistry.