The mouth is an essential part of everyday life that often goes overlooked until we have pain in our teeth. If you’re experiencing pain or are missing teeth, restorative dentistry at Sloan Creek Dental in Fairview may work for you. Here are 9 common types of restorative dentistry that may help restore your beautiful smile.
What is Restorative Dentistry?
Restorative dentistry is a broad term that can include any number of different dental procedures to restore the structure and functionality of your teeth. If you have tooth decay, deterioration of a previously placed restoration, lose a permanent tooth, or fracture of your tooth, your Fairview dentist can fix your dental concern with dental restorations.
Some simple restorative treatments involve filling cavities, treating gum disease or tooth decay. Other procedures may be more complex, such as root canal therapy for chronic infection in an individual tooth, or replacing missing teeth with dental implants. Restorative dentistry does not encompass cosmetic dental services such as veneers or whitening treatments though- they’re for making teeth look better!
Why restorative dentistry procedures are important
Restorative dentistry is a great way to keep your teeth healthy and happy. If you’re suffering from tooth decay, infection, trauma or misaligned/impacted teeth, it can affect the function of your teeth and overall quality of life.
The most common restorative procedure is filling cavities, which helps prevent more complicated issues down the road by keeping your tooth healthy. When an untreated cavity continues to cause damage to the tooth and surrounding teeth, it can be more complicated and expensive down the road. Some of the other benefits to dental restorations include:
- Fill in uneven spaces to keep teeth properly aligned
- Repair damaged and decayed teeth
- Improve your smile, health, appearance and self-esteem
- Replace missing teeth
- Reduce dental pain
9 Most Common Restorative Dentistry Practices
- Fillings – Fillings are your teeth’s best friend if you have any tooth decay, and is the most common restorative procedure most dentists see. At Sloan Creek Dental, we use a composite resin (white / tooth colored filling) dental filling material to fill the cavity. Fillings help stop decay from spreading any further into the tooth while also giving it structural support. If the decay isn’t treated, it can cause pain, infection, and in severe cases, tooth loss.
- Dental Crown – If a tooth is severely damaged and cannot be fixed by fillings alone, then it might be time to consider dental crowns. This restorative procedure involves the creation of a “cap”, that covers the whole tooth up to the gumline. The purpose of the crown is to protect the badly damaged tooth from further infection and structural breakdown.
- Dental Bridges – Bridges are similar to crowns where they are used to cover a certain area where a tooth was extracted. To create a bridge, it involves multiple crowns that are merged together, where it will then be bonded to the closest healthy tooth on either side to bridge the gap. Bridges are artificial teeth that are made of ceramic resin and are color matched to your existing teeth, so that they can blend in with your natural teeth.
- Dental Bonding – With discolored teeth, gaps between teeth, chipped or broken teeth, most dentists would recommend composite bonding for repairs. Bonding is a process where the dentist recreates the missing portion of the enamel by forming and applying composite material onto your remaining tooth.
- Dental Implant – Dental Implants are small metal posts that help to restore function and appearance where a tooth is missing or extracted. In order for implants to work optimally, they must be anchored into the bone like natural tooth roots. Once the implant is in place, an attachment called an abutment will be placed on top so that the crown can be attached. Dental Implants are important as they not only provide provide structural support but also preserve facial features by restoring jaw height and preventing jawbone loss.
- Dentures / Partial Dentures – Dentures is a removable prosthetic device (false teeth) designed to cover all or part of your upper or lower jaw. They’re made from acrylic resin, and fit snugly into your gums so they don’t move around when chewing food. If you’ve lost multiple teeth because of decay or injury, dentures can help give you back your ability to chew comfortably.
- Root Canal – A root canal treatment removes infected pulp from inside your tooth’s roots. It also cleans out debris left behind after decay has destroyed the surrounding enamel. Root canals help preserve your tooth structure so that future treatments will be less invasive.
- Extraction – Sometimes it’s necessary to remove a tooth because of infection, injury, disease, or other reasons. Your dentist will carefully examine your gums and surrounding tissues before deciding whether extraction is appropriate. At Sloan Creek Dental, we consider extractions an absolute last resort. If an extraction is needed, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth using local anesthesia, and extract the tooth. After an extraction, we recommend other restorative dentistry options such as bridges and implants, to fill the gap in your smile.
Restorative Dentistry FAQ
What happens before a dental restoration?
The procedures before a dental restoration vary depending on what you’re having done, and Dr. Feng will let you know if there are specific directions if there are any. If there are no specific directions, continue to practice proper dental hygiene, such as brushing and flossing daily.
What should I expect after my dental procedure?
Following a dental restoration, your dentist in Fairview might recommend that you change your eating and drinking habits for the next 24 hours, such as eating soft foods or avoid chewing on that side of the mouth. Dr. Feng will also provide you with post-op instructions, which will include specific recommendations on how soon you can start brushing and flossing in that area, along with directions on what medication you might need to take.
Will my Dental PPO Insurance Pay for Restorative Treatment?
Every dental insurance plan varies, so we’ll need to call your dental insurance carrier to verify what kind of dental coverage you may have. Most plans provide coverage based upon a 100-80-50-50 structure. In most cases, you can expect the following coverage for different dental treatment.
- Essential preventive care (which includes biannual checkups and cleanings) are covered at 100%.
- Simple restorative services (which include tooth-colored fillings and root canal therapy) are covered at around 70-80%.
- Major restorative services (which include dentures, crowns, and bridges) are covered at around 50-60%.
- Any treatment plan that is purely designed to improve a smile’s cosmetic appeal will most likely not receive any benefits.
What's the difference between Cosmetic Dentistry vs Restorative Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry have a lot in common but some key differences. What they have in common is they both use some of the same materials, and their procedures are coded to be similar by certain standards. However, there’s one key difference between them: if treatment is performed to improve a patient’s smile, and self-image, it is considered cosmetic. Veneers and teeth whitening, for example, are cosmetic procedures that are elective, and are not considered medically necessary. If a procedure is done to treat a cavity or a crown is needed, the dental treatment is then considered a restorative procedure.
What type of restorative dentistry is right for me?
In order to get the best dental care near Allen, Lucas, Fairview, or McKinney, Dr. Feng will perform a thorough exam of your teeth, and she may ask about your general health to determine what type of treatment you need, if any at all. If restorative dental work is needed, she’ll provide you with a personalized treatment plan to help you get the best dental care.
A smile is one of the most powerful things a person can have, but what happens if you’re missing teeth? Don’t be afraid to seek dental care that will keep your mouth healthy and functional. If you have any questions, want to learn more about how restorative dental care can help, or to schedule a dental appointment at our office, please contact our dental office at 972-468-1440, or leave us a message.