Good oral health is crucial for a beautiful smile and overall well-being. Restorative dentistry can correct tooth decay, fractures, cracks, and tooth loss and improve your overall health as well. It also prevents further damage that can result in more extensive and costly procedures.
Types of Dental Restorations
Dental restorations come in various forms and correct different dental problems. Here are some of the most common dental restorations to help maintain your oral health and enhance the appearance of your smile.
Fillings: Fillings are the most popular restorations treatments for repairing cavities. Silver amalgam, gold, or composite resin are the materials used most often. While metal fillings may be durable, they affect the appeal of your smile. Composite resin, on the other hand, resembles your enamel and gives you natural-looking results. Composite can also be used to repair chips, cracks, and discoloration in dental bonding treatments.
Crowns: Dental crowns refer to caps that fit over your teeth to restore the shape, color, and size of your tooth. They repair broken or worn down teeth and prevent further damage. Crowns can also complete an implant, support dental bridges, and strengthen teeth with large fillings. Crown materials include metals like gold, porcelain, ceramic, and resin-based materials.
Bridges: Dental bridges are restorations that replace three to four missing teeth in a row. They consist of false teeth known as pontics that attach to the adjacent teeth for support to fill the gaps resulting from tooth loss. Dental bridges come in four types: traditional, cantilever, Maryland, and implant-supported bridges.
Traditional bridges use two crowns that attach to natural teeth on either side of the gap with the pontic suspended between them. Cantilever bridges are secured to abutment teeth on one side only. Maryland bridges are ideal for front teeth because porcelain bands fasten the pontics to the backs of adjacent teeth. Lastly, implant-supported bridges use titanium posts surgically placed into your jaw as anchors instead of healthy teeth.
Dentures: These are removable prosthetic restorations that replace the teeth and rest on the surrounding gum tissue. You can choose between partial dentures and complete or full dentures. Partial dentures replace a few missing teeth, and complete dentures can restore an entire upper or lower arch. Dentures are usually made of acrylic resins and custom porcelain or ceramic prosthetic teeth.
Dental Implants: Implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth. The implants usually consist of titanium posts surgically placed into the jawbone and pontics or false teeth connected to them. It is the only restorative treatment option that replaces both the crown and the root, and they function and feel just like your natural teeth.
Adequate jawbone density and good oral health are necessary to qualify for the procedure. Treatments such as a bone graft or sinus lift can build up the area and provide enough jawbone to support the implants. Dental implants can support a wide variety of restorations ranging from dental crowns and bridges to dentures.
While dental restorations come in a wide range of materials, porcelain, ceramic, and composite resin are the most popular as they are durable, safe, and aesthetically pleasing.
What Are the Benefits of Restorations?
Dental restorations improve dental function and allow you to chew and speak normally. Since most restorations match the color and shape of your enamel, they enhance your smile and give you natural-looking results. They also preserve and strengthen your remaining dental structure, reducing the need for extractions.
When you are missing teeth, restorations help promote your oral health by preventing bone loss and keeping teeth from shifting. Restorations play a significant role in maintaining your overall health. They help you adequately take care of your teeth by removing infections that may lead to systemic illnesses like cardiovascular disease.
How to Take Care of Your Dental Restorations
Besides brushing and flossing daily, you also need to make smart lifestyle and dietary choices to support your best oral health. Eat food rich in calcium, drink lots of water, and avoid sugary foods that encourage bacteria growth. Also, consider quitting harmful habits like smoking or chewing tobacco. Remember to go for your dental checkups at least twice a year to catch and treat problems early.
When to Contact Your Dental Professional
Whether you suffer from decay or missing teeth, dental restorations can help rebuild optimal oral health and function. Visit your dental professional for a comprehensive evaluation to find out if a dental restoration can help you!