Teeth often break down, get damaged or show signs of wear due to age, a sports injury or car accident. Cracks and chips, a missing tooth or visible decay may result. Restorative dentistry targets these issues to improve the mouth’s appearance, functionality and health.
Restorative dentistry covers a wide range of procedures to address the different types of damage that could occur. From fillings and crowns to dental implants, all procedures help:
- Fill spaces or gaps in the mouth, so all teeth stay properly aligned
- Prevent plaque buildup and subsequent dental hygiene issues
- Keep teeth healthy for longer, especially with age
Smile Dental Center takes a personalized approach with all patients, factoring in any health issues and previous restorative procedures.
The Biomimetic Method
Biomimetic dentistry addresses fractured, decaying or weak teeth, seeking to restore and improve natural structure. Procedures involve removing decayed tissue and strengthening the exterior. For teeth with low-level damage, treatments encompass the following:
- Inlays or onlays
Inlays and Onlays
If decay causes relatively minor structural issues, inlays and onlays fit over and improve the strength of damaged areas. Made with porcelain, ceramic or composite, inlays and onlays are securely attached to the tooth’s surface. While inlays assist with smaller, more superficial issues, onlays can be bonded internally and cover a larger area, which is ideal if more than one cusp needs to be repaired.
A crown covers a tooth’s full exterior and is ideal for repairing a cracked or broken tooth. Caps are made with porcelain, have a metal frame and fit down to the gum line. Long term, they help strengthen and protect your tooth against further damage.
There are two options: Traditional crowns and same-day procedures. A traditional crown can take anywhere from two to four weeks to be manufactured and fitted. A same-day crown is created as you wait and attached within one visit. While same-day crowns drastically reduce the time you must wear a temporary crown, it’s not an ideal solution for every dental issue. Learn more about same-day crowns and if it’s the right procedure for you.
Crowns are ideal for broken tooth repair and cavities. For both procedures, a dentist takes an impression of your teeth and uses this model to make a crown that’s shaped and textured like your own. After the crown is complete, the dentist cements and cures it onto the existing tooth.
Replacing Missing Teeth
If one of your teeth has fallen out or extensive damage makes extraction your only option, prosthodontic dentistry fills in the area with an implant or bridge to:
- Improve dental health
- Prevent cavities from forming on adjacent teeth
- Reduce stress on your existing teeth
- Combat bacteria and plaque formation
- Prevent existing teeth from shifting around
- Restore your dental bite as completely as possible
Depending on the degree of damage, your prosthodontic options include the following.
Dental implants are a two-step solution. An implant resembling a metal screw or anchor is inserted into the empty area, where it bonds with the existing bone. Once this connection is secure, a false tooth made to look like your natural tooth is attached.
While implants address individual teeth, a bridge fills in a partial row of missing teeth. In this case, implants are added to both ends of the gap or adjacent teeth support crowns. From here, a set of false teeth is added in between.
While older dentures could be slipped in and out, modern solutions have tremendously improved bite strength. These complete or partial replacement solutions are not dependent on existing teeth and deliver a secure, more reliable fit. Your options include:
- Traditional Dentures: This solution sits on top of your gums and typically features a set of artificial teeth secured to an acrylic foundation.
- Implant-Supported Dentures: Like a set of implants, this option involves securely attaching a row of teeth and can be permanent or removable. In both cases, the dentures offer a secure fit and the implant helps stimulate the jawbone.
Having issues or pain related to a restorative procedure? Don’t wait. We see emergencies same day!