How do we fix broken teeth? Decayed teeth? Missing teeth? Ugly Teeth?
This is the territory of restorative dental work, the process of using new and improved materials and methods to solve the above problems.
Restorative Dental Procedures
- Root Canal
For smaller restorative dental problems such as cavities we have several types of filling material. The standby which is silver filling material called amalgam, and the tooth colored materials called composites. The size and placement of the cavity will determine which type of material is recommended. Each has its good qualities and weaknesses for restorative dental.
If the cavity is bigger, or a corner of the tooth has fractured it may need a more in depth restorative dental procedure. (You knew that ice chewing habit wasn’t good for you now didn’t you?) It will probably need a larger filling and then a cover over the top of the tooth to help protect it. In restorative dental, this is called a cap or crown. It looks kind of like a thimble and helps spread the stress of chewing out more evenly on the top of the tooth. These come in silver, gold, or tooth colored, and are made of several materials, usually a combination or metal and porcelain, or just porcelain.
Sometimes the cavity or break is so big that it gets into the live part of your tooth. Kind of like the center of a tootsie pop sucker. When it gets into this area your tooth gets infected and it starts to hurt! This usually means those dreaded words or restorative dental; root canal. Alright now take three deep breaths and stop hyperventilating. Root canals are not nearly as horrible as everyone makes them out to be. Eight out of ten have no discomfort at all. That means that these people lied to you when they told you about their root canal. Why? They just wanted some sympathy. All a root canal is, is where the dead or dying infected part of the tooth is cleaned out, and a sealing agent put in. We then repair the cavity or broken area and put a crown on top. This whole restorative dental procedure is actually cheaper than pulling the tooth and having to replace it.
Sometimes we do lose some teeth. There are several restorative dental procedures to use to go about replacing them.
We can do a bridge. This is the process of making a replacement for the missing teeth and gluing it to the teeth beside the space where the missing teeth used to be. These are usually glued in place and are then treated as your natural teeth are.
We can do a removable appliance called a partial. This is usually a metal frame which clips to some of the teeth still left and has plastic teeth to replace the ones you have lost. Not as nice as the bridge, but you can chew with it.
We can also do an implant. This is an artificial tooth, made of titanium usually, that is placed into the spot where your tooth used to be. The bone grows around it and holds it in. The big advantage of this item is that it doesn’t involve the teeth next to the missing tooth, which doesn’t add extra stress to them as they try and do the work of several teeth instead of just themselves. You can also floss around them normally.
This is a brief overview how we can use restorative dental procedures to help improve your teeth. Please contact us to schedule a visit. We would love to meet you and discuss restorative dental options to help improve your smile and the functionality of your teeth.
Remember to give your teeth the attention they need today!