Today, our Whitecourt dentists discuss the different kinds of restorative dental services that may be available, and how they could help restore your dental health.
Restorative Dental Care
In simpler terms, restorative dental care refers to treatments that help restore the function, integrity, or/and structure of a tooth or teeth that are damaged. This damage could include various conditions such as decay or injury (chipping, or other external trauma). The aim of restorative dental treatment is to restore the damaged tooth or teeth back to their usual function.
Generally, it's hard to guess the timeline of restorative dental treatments, as there are lots of factors contributing to how they result, like the complexity of the procedure, the severity of the tooth's damage, and how comfortable the patient is during the process of their treatment.
The Importance of Restorative Care
To put it simply, badly decaying teeth can adversely affect your appearance, self-esteem, and even your overall health (not just your oral health). Replacing and/or fixing decaying teeth can help maintain good oral health by preventing plaque build-up. Further, filling open or damaged spots in vacant areas of the mouth is important for keeping teeth well-aligned. And, believe it or not, replacing missing teeth can put far less pressure on remaining teeth when eating. The more teeth there are, the easier it will be to chew and the less plaque build-up there will be on the natural teeth.
The Dental Treatment Process
Prior to starting your treatment, your dentist will probably run diagnostic tests such as X-rays and an oral examination to diagnose your condition.
However, treatment differs for each person. Sometimes if the damage isn't too serious the treatment is minimally-invasive, only needing one dental visit. In other cases, when the damage is a lot more extensive, needing a more complex procedure, the treatment will probably require multiple appointments. Again, depending on the needs of the patient, your dentist may need to call in specialists, such as an endodontist, prosthodontist, or maxillofacial surgeon.
During the procedure, your dentist might use different types of anesthesia so that you don't feel any pain. They might also use anesthesia to calm your anxiety or fears.
Most dental restoration procedures are classified as either direct or indirect. Direct procedures usually involve repairs done inside the mouth. Indirect procedures are done outside the mouth and then attached to the tooth or the tooth structure. Your dentist will determine what procedure is best for you.
This common procedure can also be referred to as '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.