What exactly is restorative dental care, and why is it important to my oral health? In this post, our Maple Ridge dentists explain the different types of restorative dental services and how they help restore your smile.
What is restorative dental care?
Put simply, restorative dental care refers to treatments that restore the structure, integrity, and/or function of a damaged tooth or teeth. This damage can range from decay to injury (chipping and other external trauma, for example). The goal of restorative dental treatment is to bring the tooth or teeth back to their normal function.
Predicting the timeline for restorative dental treatment can be challenging due to various factors. The extent of tooth damage, the complexity of the procedure, and the comfort level of the patient all influence how the treatment will progress.
Why is restorative dental care important?
In a nutshell, decaying teeth can have negative effects on your appearance, self-confidence, and overall health, not just oral health. Restoring or replacing decayed teeth is crucial for maintaining good oral health as it helps prevent plaque buildup. Additionally, filling empty spaces in the mouth is important for keeping teeth properly aligned.
Surprisingly, replacing missing teeth can reduce the strain on remaining teeth while eating, making chewing easier and reducing plaque buildup on natural teeth.
What happens during treatment?
Before treatment even begins, it's likely your dentist will diagnose your condition using a variety of means, including x-rays and a thorough examination of your mouth.
However, the treatment process can vary from person to person. In some cases, if the damage is minimal and the treatment is minimally invasive, it may only require a single dental appointment.
If the damage is extensive and a more complex procedure is needed, multiple visits may be necessary. Depending on the situation, specialized professionals like prosthodontists, endodontists, or maxillofacial surgeons may be involved.
To ensure your comfort, different types of anesthesia might be used during the procedure to eliminate any pain or to help alleviate anxiety or fear.
Dental restoration procedures are typically categorized as direct or indirect. Direct procedures involve repairs performed inside the mouth, while indirect procedures are completed outside the mouth and then attached to the tooth or tooth structure. Your dentist will determine the most suitable procedure for your specific needs.
Another word for this common procedure is 'fillings.' With direct restoration, your dentist usually places a mouldable substance inside of a cleaned tooth cavity. This material will harden and restore the tooth's structure. Common materials used for fillings include silver amalgam, composite fillings, and glass ionomer fillings.
With indirect restorations, construction happens outside the mouth. There is usually much more work involved with indirect restorations, but the results are usually more stable and long-lasting. It can also restore the overall look of your teeth. Some common examples of indirect restorations include veneers, crowns & bridges, implants, and inlays & onlays.