Restorative dentistry is a broad term for the practice of rehabilitating teeth and the mouth in general. This can be done for functional and/or cosmetic reasons. Treatments include but are not limited to:
- Porcelain crowns—A crown is a restoration that covers or “caps” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won’t solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn’t get worse. Crowns are also used to support a large filling when there isn’t enough of the tooth remaining, attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.
- Porcelain bridges—A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is usually fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. The two crowns that hold the pontic in place are attached to your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. Cosmetic dental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. Unlike removable partial dentures, fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth. Bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease, help correct some bite issues, and even improve your speech.
- Porcelain inlays and onlays are a great option for a restoration because they are strong and long-lasting. They are stronger than a composite restoration and more conservative of tooth structure than a porcelain crown. Dr. Rozema will let you know if this is the best option for you.
- Implants are designed to resemble missing teeth and are used to support restorations. They are usually made of titanium and placed within the jawbone. Dental implants fuse with the jawbone and are one of the most natural-looking and feeling options for the replacement of missing teeth.
- Porcelain Veneers are thin, sculpted pieces of tooth-shaped porcelain that fit over the front of the teeth and are the premier standard of care in cosmetic dentistry. Permanently bonded to the front surface of a tooth to restore or improve position, shape, and tooth color, they can make a dramatic, immediate difference to one’s smile and overall facial appearance. Veneers are wonderful for fixing common problems such as midline spaces (the gap-toothed look of the two front upper teeth) or chipped, crooked, missing, discolored, pitted, malformed, or improperly positioned teeth. Porcelain veneers are now a popular way for many people to obtain the smile of their dreams.
- Tooth-colored fillings are a great alternative to traditional filling materials and are made from composite resin. In the case that a patient has a cavity that must be filled, tooth-colored filling material masks the appearance of the cavity as well as the filling by blending in with the surface color of the tooth.
Restorative dentistry can be the key to improving a patient’s oral health, especially when the patient’s teeth have been lost or extensively damaged due to disease, trauma, or abnormal development. The goal of restorative dentistry is to restore a patient’s mouth to a functional and beautiful state.
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