Our Top 5 Restorative Dentistry Services at a Glance
Reclaiming and Protecting Your Oral Health
For the most part, maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile is simple. All you need to do is stick to a regular at-home oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist for a checkup every six months. Occasionally, though, everyone struggles with an oral health issue, whether it’s in the form of decay or a dental injury.
Your teeth can’t heal on their own, so they need a little help from your dentist. This is where restorative dentistry comes in! It helps you to reclaim your oral health and better protect it for the future. But what exactly is restorative dentistry, and what procedures does it include? If you’re not sure, don’t worry—you’re not the only one!
What is restorative dentistry?
Restorative dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on restoring your oral health and the function of your teeth. It’s used to restore and protect teeth that have suffered decay or injuries, such as chips, cracks, or breaks, as well as to replace missing teeth. In the process, many restorative dentistry techniques also restore or improve the appearance of your smile, but this isn’t the main goal—just an incredible additional benefit!
Restorative dentistry treatments can vary from a simple procedure that only takes a single, short appointment to much more extensive treatments, which may take several weeks or months to complete. While many people get a single treatment to address a small problem, it’s not unusual to combine treatments.
To help you learn about restorative dentistry and which procedures might help you, we’ve created a guide to our top 5 restorative dentistry services.
1. Dental Fillings
When you get a cavity that doesn’t reach past the layer of enamel protecting your tooth, Dr. Garcia will likely repair it using a dental filling. Cavities need to be removed to stop the spread of decay, so fillings are used to restore the function of your tooth while protecting the damaged part by sealing it off from bacteria.
Fillings can be made of amalgam metal, but the most popular materials are composite fillings. Composite fillings don’t last quite as long as amalgam fillings do, averaging a lifespan of five to seven years, though they’ll likely last longer if you practice great oral hygiene. Despite this, they’re still incredibly popular because they can be tinted and buffed to match the shade and gloss of your natural tooth. This allows them to blend in perfectly, helping maintain your naturally beautiful smile—all while making it healthier!
2. Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are another common and amazing restorative dentistry treatment. These tooth-shaped dental restorations fit over your natural tooth to restore its health, function, and appearance all at once. Dental crowns can save and restore teeth that have suffered extensive damage from decay, major wearing over time, or injuries like severe cracks or breaks. Crowns even protect your future oral health by shielding your damaged tooth from future injuries and creating a seal over it to protect it from bacteria.
Dental crowns can be made from many different materials, but porcelain and zirconia crowns are the most popular because they’re able to match the appearance of natural teeth while remaining durable enough to last 15 years or more with great care. These crowns are custom-made for you using cutting-edge equipment and techniques, ensuring a comfortable fit. Just like other restorative dentistry techniques, your crown is also designed to match the shape, shade, and gloss of your natural teeth so that it looks as natural as it feels. No one will even realize you have a crown!
3. Bridge or Single Implant
Modern dentistry has many treatments designed to save even severely damaged teeth, but teeth can’t always be saved. Losing a tooth isn’t the end of your treatment options, though! Bridges and single implants are both used to replace a missing tooth, restoring its function and appearance as well as protecting the health of your remaining teeth.
A fixed bridge consists of two dental crowns that support a false tooth, called a pontic, between them. These crowns are placed over the healthy teeth at either end of the gap in your smile to hold your new tooth in place.
In contrast, a single dental implant consists of a titanium metal rod that is embedded directly into your jawbone to anchor it in place and function as a new tooth root. This rod is then fitted with a dental crown to restore your missing tooth. Both fixed bridges and dental implants are designed and made just for you so that they fit comfortably and blend naturally into your smile.
4. Dentures and Whole Arch Implants
If you’ve lost all or most of the teeth on one or both of your dental arches, dentures and implants are great options to restore the function and appearance of your teeth. Dentures consist of false teeth set in an acrylic base designed to look like your gums. Modern dentures are expertly crafted to look completely natural and are carefully fitted to your mouth to ensure that they’ll stay in place—without the use of denture glue—as you eat, speak, and laugh.
Whole arch implants are multiple dental implants that are embedded directly into your jawbone and fitted with dentures. This gives these implant-supported dentures added stability and security while helping to keep your jaw healthy by preventing bone loss. Just like traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures are carefully designed just for you so that they look as natural as they feel.
5. Periodontal Therapy
Although your teeth are a major part of your oral health, they’re not the only part—your gum health is just as important! You can’t have healthy teeth without healthy gums, and periodontal disease is surprisingly common. In fact, 47.2% of adults 30 years old and over have some form of gum disease. While minor gum disease, called gingivitis, can often be treated at home through a great oral hygiene routine, later stages of gum disease need to be treated by a dentist.
Periodontal therapy includes several different treatments, including nonsurgical and surgical options. Which treatment method you receive will depend upon the severity of your gum disease. A common nonsurgical treatment you might undergo for mild to moderate periodontitis is scaling and root planing, which smooths out the surface of your tooth roots to make it harder for bacteria to grow on them in the future.
Now is the time to embrace the health of your whole smile.
Restorative dentistry ensures that a beautiful, healthy, and functional smile isn’t out of reach for anyone. With the right treatments and dedication to a great at-home oral hygiene routine, you can fully reclaim your smile and rediscover your love for sharing it with others. If you’d like to learn more about restorative dentistry and which procedures might help you, feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Garcia at our dental clinic in Austin, TX, at any time.