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Restorative Dentistry: Types of Dental Restoration

A woman with a beautify restored smile.

Restorative dentistry focuses on treatments and procedures that fix or replace teeth. When people talk about restorative dentistry what exactly do they mean? Is it a different type of dentistry? No, it simply means that the dentist uses procedures to restore your teeth and gums to look nice. There are different reasons why these procedures may be needed.

When Is Restorative Dentistry Used?

Dental procedures to restore teeth may be needed in one of these scenarios:

  • A tooth or teeth have been damaged from injury
  • One or more teeth are damaged by decay due to poor dental hygiene
  • A tooth or teeth are missing due to injury, decay, or health reasons

Teeth can become damaged due to many factors. Statistically speaking, a high number of patients receive restorative dentistry to fix issues with decay. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92% of adults aged 20 to 64 have had dental caries at some point. This is where bacteria solidifies into calculus and decay the teeth. In essence, parts of the teeth erode away, leaving holes that need to be filled. Trauma to a tooth can also require dental care. For example, hitting your tooth against a solid object can cause it to chip or break.

Missing teeth can come from a combination of factors. Poor oral health may lead to gum disease, causing teeth to fall out. Serious tooth decay often results in extractions of the teeth. Similarly, physical trauma may also lead to missing teeth.

What Types of Dental Restoration Are Available?

Dr. Rinaldi has a talent for restoring your smile to the way it was or better. Some of the procedure he may use include:

Each of these options serves a purpose and works well in different scenarios. Ultimately, it depends on the condition and health of the teeth and what the patient wants and needs.

Dental Fillings

Fillings are the simplest form of restorative dentistry. They typically treat minor cavities and tooth decay. A resin material fills in the missing areas of the tooth, restoring it to its natural shape. The dentist shapes the filling to match your tooth, making it look as real as possible.

When used to treat tooth decay, your dentist will first remove any decay from the tooth and then fill it in. Fillings also treat minor chips or cracks due to excessive grinding or physical trauma. In scenarios like this, the dentist carefully assesses the tooth for other injuries, cleans it, and preps it. The filling restores the tooth to look as good as new. The filling will strengthen the tool against further damage.

Dental Crowns

Crowns are a more complex restorative dentistry procedure. They treat damaged teeth but in more severe circumstances. Crowns are used when too much of the tooth is missing or damaged, rendering a filling useless.

The procedure begins by preparing the damaged tooth. The dentist removes any decay and shapes the tooth into a small stub. From there, the dentist makes an impression of the tooth and surrounding teeth to create a crown. Dr. Rinaldi offers technology in-house that allows for same-day crowns. A specialist makes the crown from the impression, ensuring it fits over your tooth. It is then secured and cured over the damaged tooth.

In the end, the tooth and functionality are restored, it looks natural, and most crowns will last for years with the correct care. The underlying benefit of a crown is that it prevents the need for an extraction. Dentists want to keep your teeth in your mouth for as long as possible. A missing tooth presents a risk for the other teeth in the area. By using a crown to restore the tooth, the tooth remains in place, preventing things like bone resorption.

Dental Bridges

If you have a missing tooth or teeth you may need a replacement solution. Leaving gaps in your mouth can cause many issues including shifting teeth and less self-confidence.

A bridge is a restorative dentistry solution that replaces missing teeth. As the name suggests, the focus is on bridging the gap between two teeth. Dentists can use different types of bridges depending on the patient and their need. Nevertheless, they all follow a similar concept. Dental crowns are essentially anchors with a false tooth fused between them. The crowns go over the adjacent teeth, with the fake tooth filling the gap in the middle.

The result is a full functional set of teeth and a boost in your confidence. Dental bridges will also stop surrounding teeth from moving out of place and causing further complications.

Dental Implants

Implants are the most advanced restorative dentistry procedure to date. Again, they work to restore missing teeth. The procedure is rather complex, including some invasive dental surgery. As with bridges, different types of dental implants exist.

A typical dental implant procedure will consist of two main parts:

  • The initial surgery – this is where the dentist or periodontist inserts the implant into your gums. It is a metal screw that goes below your gum and fuses to the jawbone. In doing this, you create a ‘fake’, but strong tooth root.
  • Placement of a crown – following a period of recovery, the dentist will match the crown to the other teeth and insert it onto the implant. It permanently secures into place in your mouth.

Dental implants offer the most natural restorative dentistry solution for missing teeth. They are a permanent solution, requiring very little additional care. A critical benefit of implants is that they protect the surrounding teeth. As briefly mentioned, bone resorption happens when teeth are missing. This means the jaw bone basically diminishes back from the gum line. Thus, nearby teeth start losing support, making them more likely to fall out. Dental implants help to prevent this!

Contact Us for Restorative Dentistry

Dental restorations are highly important for treating existing issues and prevent future ones. If you have damaged or missing teeth, contact Dr. Rinaldi today. He provides all of these restorative treatments, ensuring you find a procedure that suits your needs and goals.

A woman with a beautify restored smile.