Restorative Dentistry: Restoring Function and Aesthetics

Man smiling after dental restoration

Losing a tooth impacts your appearance, but more importantly, it can lead to additional tooth and bone loss. It may also make it difficult to speak or chew food properly. Restorative dentistry can correct these problems by repairing or replacing missing teeth.

Today, there are many options available for people who have lost a tooth or teeth. In this article, we will go over a few of the available options what they are, when a dentist might recommend them, and why they are necessary.

For customized solutions, the dentists at Rinaldi Dental Arts near Washington, D.C., can help you make an informed decision on which procedure is best to replace missing teeth.

Restorative Procedures

Dental Fillings

different dental filling materialsConsuming starch and sugar can damage your tooth. Bacteria will start to burrow into your tooth’s enamel and create a cavity. When left untreated, it can lead to further tooth damage or complete tooth loss. It’s important to protect the soft pulp inside your teeth with dental fillings. This procedure is one of the most common dental restorations today because it is usually within the first intervention of tooth decay.

With dental fillings, the dentists at Rinaldi Dental Arts remove the damaged areas of the tooth and fill them with composite material. This material is the same color as your tooth, although there are cheaper options like metal fillings. Metal fillings are safe, but they don’t blend in and look as nice. Composite fillings blend in and look more natural. Dental fillings can prevent bacteria from causing further damage.

Dental Crowns

dental crown 3d illustration

The second most common restorative dentistry procedure is receiving a dental crown. Over time, a tooth can become damaged due to overuse, trauma, or decay. In some cases, your tooth may also lose its size and shape. A dentist can help you restore that tooth through dental crowns or caps that fit over a damaged tooth. The crown is cemented onto your tooth and helps restore its appearance and function.

You may need a dental crown to protect a weak tooth, restore a chipped or broken tooth, hold a dental bridge in place, or after a root canal. Patients can choose from metal, porcelain, all resin, or all-ceramic dental crowns. Depending on maintenance, your dental crowns can last between 5 – 15 years. You must take care of them and visit the dentist regularly, as it can help extend the lifespan of your dental crowns.

Root Canals

root canal 3d illustrationA dental filling for cavities can restore a tooth if the decay is more surface level. A root canal is an effective restorative dentistry procedure for when the decay reaches the soft pulp inside the tooth. In this procedure, the dentist cleans out the infection and removes the pulp all the way into the root inside the tooth. The dentist then replaces the hallowed tooth with a composite filling. Root canals sound painful, but the area is numbed so you don’t feel pain.

Dental Bridges

3D illustration of a dental bridgeWhen a tooth is missing, a common restorative dental procedure is to get a dental bridge. This procedure fills the gap with one or more false teeth to restore function and improve appearance. Dental bridges are made of crowns connected on either side of the missing teeth to support the false teeth.

Not everyone qualifies to have this dental procedure. To get dental bridges, you need healthy teeth on either side of the missing teeth. You may consider dental bridges when you have problems with your bite or chewing, pain from your jaw or teeth, or when you’re simply self-conscious about your appearance. Dental bridges can last between 5- 7 years, depending on whether you practice good oral hygiene. It’s also essential that you regularly visit your dentist for maintenance.

Dental Implants

Dental implant 3D renderingDental implants are the most functional, natural-looking, and bone preserving restorative dentistry option for missing teeth. They function exactly like real teeth, and no one would even know that you had this procedure. Truly, it can restore your oral health and improve self-confidence.

In this procedure, the dentist at Rinaldi Dental Arts implants a titanium metal screw into your jaw. The screw acts as a root of a tooth. An abutment secures the dental crown to the implant screw. A dental implant can also act as an anchor for dental bridges and dentures. Patients with one or more missing teeth are candidates for dental implants. However, there must be enough bone mass and health gums to place the implant. Visit with a dentist at Rinaldi Dental Arts in Chevy Chase, MD, to know what your options are.

The entire process may take several months due to healing times between stages of the procedure. Dental implants are perfectly safe and extremely durable. Dental implants are the only restorative dentistry procedure that can last a lifetime.

Benefits of Restorative Dentistry

When you have damaged teeth, it’s important to see a dentist so they can restore them back to health. If you lose a tooth it’s equally important to have them replaced. Below are the benefits of restoring damaged or missing teeth through restorative dentistry.

Pain Reduction or Elimination

One of the biggest benefits of restorative dentistry that has not reached the stage of tooth loss is to eliminate pain. Pain is very debilitating and makes it difficult to eat, speak, and even sleep. Pain from cavities or other dental problems can prevent you from living a normal life.

Jaw Function

In conjunction with tooth pain, jaw function is interrupted when there is pain or a tooth or teeth are missing. Misalignment of the jaw can make everyday jaw activity more difficult.

Retaining Jaw Bone Density

One of the most important reasons to visit a dentist for restorative dentistry when missing a tooth is to prevent bone loss. Keep in mind that when a tooth is missing, the jaw bone area where the tooth was extracted will start to weaken and reabsorb. Dental implants can preserve your jaw’s bone density, shape, and healthy.

Aesthetics

Restorative dentistry will restore or enhance the appearance of your smile. With a fully restored tooth, you do not need to feel self-conscious about your smile. Restorative procedures can hide the imperfections and make your teeth look natural.

Contact Rinaldi Dental Arts Today

If you want to restore damaged or missing teeth, get in touch with our dental office near Washington, DC. Our compassionate and experienced doctors will help you restore your appearance and improve oral health through restorative dentistry. Call us today or visit us soon to talk about your many options for restoring your smile. Schedule an appointment today!