Tooth restoration is a process of repairing or replacing teeth which have been damaged or lost. You have several options for your tooth restoration, though your dentist will likely find that one option is ideal for your situation. Learn more about tooth restoration and how it helps you by reading below!
How Tooth Restorations Help
The obvious benefits to tooth restoration are how it brings your beautiful smile back after damage from gum disease, tooth decay or injury. But restorations are more than just for aesthetics.
Healthy teeth are critical for a healthy body. Tooth restoration stops damage from long-term decay or gum disease and improves the health of your mouth. Without proper tooth restoration, you’ll experience increases in pain and even possible tooth loss. Due to the importance of maintaining a full set of teeth, this can have dramatic impacts on your life without intervention.
Most Common Types of Tooth Restoration
As the most common solution for minor decay that has caused cavities, thousands of patients every year get one or more fillings. If your dentist has ever found cavities in your teeth, you’ve likely had a filling or two yourself!
Fillings involve two major steps. The first is to remove the existing decay and clean the area. After the decayed area has been removed and cleaned, they will then fill the emptied cavity with amalgam or composite fillings.
The entire fillings process is done in one visit, and can help with a variety of issues. By removing the decay and filling the cavity, your tooth is protected from advancing decay – unless you allow bacteria to build up again. Fillings can also help treat tooth pains from chewing or from certain issues with sensitivity.
In some cases, a filling isn’t a suitable solution for your cavity or other tooth damage. In that instance, a dental crown is often the recommended course of action. A crown acts as a cap for your existing tooth, to both strengthen it and restore its original size and function.
There are many cases in which a crown will be necessary or recommended, such as:
- Cavities too large for fillings
- Weakened teeth at risk of fracturing
- Covering an implant
- Cosmetic improvement for a discolored or misshapen tooth
- To protect a tooth following a root canal
Like fillings, crowns help prevent additional decay by removing existing decay and protecting places which bacteria may otherwise hide. Not only do they improve your oral health, but they also have an added effect of looking great to help restore your smile as well!
If you have a minor chip or fracture, your dentist may recommend tooth bonding to restore it. This quick and easy procedure can be done in one visit! It’s a relatively inexpensive procedure that is done by using a composite resin, chosen to closely match the color of your teeth. This resin is molded onto the affected location of your tooth and hardened.
Dentists use a mixture of conditioning liquid and pre-procedure etching to help ensure the bonding adheres correctly. Once placed, they’ll polish it to help the bonded area look natural among your teeth.
The resin used for dental bonding is easy to apply, but it does come with some important caveats! It’s not as strong as your natural teeth, which means chewing on hard objects, like nail biting, can easily crack and damage it. Secondly, the resin is susceptible to stains – you’re recommended to avoid dark substances like tea or coffee for a few days after the procedure.
Another option to restore your teeth are veneers. These thin laminates are bonded directly to your teeth, creating a perfectly matching new tooth to create a newer, brighter smile. Veneers can correct several issues, including:
- Cracked teeth
- Correcting gaps between teeth
- Discoloration or stains
When properly cared for, veneers can last for years. While you have veneers, they protect the surface of your teeth, offer a perfect shape and size, and can be replaces when needed. They’re a great solution for both cosmetic and structural issues, making them a popular option.
If you’re missing a complete tooth, dental implants are one of the best options to restore your full smile! Modern dental implants look and feel just like natural teeth. However, they’re made of durable materials that allow them to last a lifetime with proper care!
Unlike dentures or bridges, implants are a complete tooth replacement solution that integrate with your jaw – the implant is actually attached to your bone. Because of this, they’re not available for everyone. You need to have healthy gum and bone to ensure that the procedure holds.
The biggest benefit of dental implants is that you’ll feel like you don’t even have them! Due to how implants are placed, you’ll quickly adapt to them and they’ll be just like your natural teeth again.
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