Everyone knows what it means to restore something. It means you’re bringing it back to its original or normal condition. Restorative dentistry is just a little bit different, however. It not only means to work to restore function to teeth and tooth structures. It also means to prevent the diseases that can negatively affect teeth. The exact definition you’ll find in the dictionary for ‘restorative dentistry’ is, ‘the study, diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases of the teeth and their supporting structures, as well as the rehabilitation of the dentition to functional and aesthetic requirements of the individual.’ But does this really explain how restorative dentistry can help you, as a patient? To better explain, as well as to better understand, what restorative dentistry is, it’s necessary to explain what it does. There are many dental procedures that will help to restore a patient’s teeth to their original performance and appearance. Following are some of the most popular restorative dental procedures used today in Summit and throughout the country.
The field of restorative dentistry includes a number of specialties. These are periodontics, endodontics, and prosthodontics. Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and diseases of the gums and other supporting structures of the teeth. Endodontics deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the dental pulp. Prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the replacement of missing teeth and related jaw or mouth structures by using dentures, dental implants, bridges, and other artificial means. Some of today’s most commonly used restorative dental procedures are braces, dentures, crowns, veneers, and implants.
For decades, braces have been the most utilized and effective means of straightening teeth, especially in the teen years. But braces are also used for adults these days, especially since today’s braces come not only in the conventional metal, but also in clear, making them less visible. Some of the new braces can also be removed by patients or worn only at night. Braces are still the most effective method of straightening teeth that don’t fit properly in the jaw, haven’t been growing in straight, for bites that don’t align properly, or when teeth have spaces in between them that may cause misalignment. Braces are also used for patients who have been diagnosed with joint disorders of the jaw.
Dentures have been an effective way to restore the ability to chew properly as well as speak normally for more than two hundred years. If you’re considering dentures to regain some normalcy in your eating and speaking processes, your restorative dentist will make an impression of your mouth to construct dentures that will conform to the specific shape of your mouth as comfortably as possible. Dentures can be full or partial, depending on how many teeth need to be replaced as well as location of missing teeth. If you need all (or nearly all) of your teeth to be replaced in either your lower or upper arch, you’ll need full dentures. If you need just a few teeth in either arch to be replaced, you’ll need partial dentures.
Crowns and veneers
Crowns, or caps, typically are constructed of resin, porcelain, ceramic, metal, or a combination of any of these. Crowns are an attractive and effective method of replacing teeth that are discolored, chipped, broken, or misshapen. Crowns can also be used to cover teeth that have had root canals. Veneers are similar to crowns. They typically are constructed of plastic or porcelain. Veneers cover the front sides of a tooth and are used for many of the same purposes as crowns. They do tend to be less expensive than crowns, which makes them a very popular alternative to crowns.
Dental implants are artificial teeth that offer a more permanent solution to missing teeth than dentures. The procedure for placing dental implants involves one or more surgical procedures, and some implants use titanium screws or metal cylinders to hold them properly in place. Implants are anchored into place and eventually the bone and metal fuse together, making them an integral part of a patient’s mouth. Dental implants are designed to be more stable and durable than dentures, which makes implants one of today’s most favored options in restorative dentistry.
Restorative dentistry has been an integral part of the field of dentistry for hundreds of years. In fact, restoring dental function and attractiveness has been around since ancient times, back when people used everything from twigs and sticks to human urine to regain their beautiful smiles. The good news, of course, is that we no longer have to use sticks, urine, or any other of these ancient methods to restore the optimal function and appearance of our teeth. Today, all we have to do is to visit a cosmetic dentist who is skilled and knowledgeable at performing any number of the procedures available today in restorative dentistry. If you’re considering a restorative dental procedure, contact a top dentist in Summit who can answer all your questions about the options available to you.