Americans lose an average of 12 teeth by age 50. From 65 onward, almost 26% lose all their teeth.
That’s a shocking statistic. With the loss of teeth comes other problems, such as an inability to bite and chew solid foods, jaw pain, and more.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, whether it’s from tooth decay, disease, or injury, you’re a candidate for restorative dentistry.
Ignoring the health of your mouth leads to other illnesses. By not getting restorative dentistry work, you welcome a variety of risks such as:
- 67% higher chance of heart disease.
- Osteoporosis is 50% more likely to develop.
- 29% suffer a higher risk of diabetes.
In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of restorative dentistry and help you to answer whether it’s the right treatment for you or not.
What is Restorative Dentistry?
Restorative dentistry is the practice of restoring a functional and esthetic state to the mouth. Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as prosthodontic dentistry.
The goal of restorative dentistry is to replace missing or damaged teeth so that you aren’t embarrassed to smile and the future of your oral health is assured.
The Difference Between Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry
Both restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry are similar and so are often confused with each other. There are a few key differences that separate the two though.
While restorative dentistry focuses on keeping your mouth healthy and functioning, cosmetic dentistry centers on improving the aesthetic look of your smile.
All dentists concern themselves with the health of your mouth. But cosmetic dentistry is not intended to have a primary function of fixing how your mouth works.
The most common cosmetic dentistry procedures are:
- Teeth whitening
Restorative Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry Together
It’s common for both restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedures to be done on a person. An example of this is fixing missing or broken teeth via restorative dentistry. Then reshaping or improving upon the smile through cosmetic means.
Causes for Getting Restorative Dentistry
The primary goal of restorative dentistry is to preserve the remaining teeth a person has.
If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, then restorative dentistry may be a great option for you. By filling in empty spaces with a dental implant, bridge, or dentures, you can reduce your chances of getting new cavities.
It’s common for cavities to build up in natural teeth next to a gap because plaque-causing bacteria targets vulnerable spaces like this.
Another issue that filling in missing gaps resolves is reducing stress on your natural teeth. With missing teeth, increased strain is placed upon the remaining teeth. Less surface area to chew with means more stress on the teeth present.
Filling in empty spaces also helps to keep all the natural teeth aligned. When a gap is left, teeth shift in the jaw over an extended period. This leads to crooked teeth and jaw pain.
Types of Restorative Dentistry
Thanks to advancements made in modern medicine and technology, there are a variety of options available to you for restorative dentistry.
These various options all fall under two primary categories:
A direct dental restoration means putting a filling into a cavity. This procedure is accomplished in a single visit.
There are multiple types of fillings that may be used. The type chosen depends on the placement of the tooth needing the filling.
To give an example, if the replacement is near the tooth root or is in an area that doesn’t experience pressure from chewing, a glass or resin ionomer may be chosen.
An indirect dental restoration means the replacement is customized and is a crown, onlay, or inlay.
A crown is meant to cover the entire surface of a tooth. Inlays are chosen to lie in the cusps of teeth. Lastly, an onlay covers one or more teeth cusps and also partial chewing surface.
Indirect tooth restoration takes multiple office visits because of the customization process. Inlays and onlays must be fitted to your mouth and created in a lab.
Different Fillings of Restorative Dentistry
For a cavity, the most common way to treat it is with a filling. These fillings are made of different materials. Some of the materials include gold, porcelain, composite resin, and more.
The types of fillings are:
A crown is what the name implies. It is a cap crowning the top of your tooth.
Crowns help strengthen and protect your weakened tooth. This type of filling also works best for repairing broken teeth.
Again, the name speaks for itself. This filling “bridges” the gap between missing teeth.
A dental bridge has a crown on each end that serves as an anchor point. To fill the empty spaces are artificial teeth attached to the bridge.
Bridges help prevent your teeth from shifting out of place.
This type of restorative dentistry replaces missing teeth. It consists of two parts, a metal anchor and a false tooth.
This requires a longer office visit, as the metal anchor must be drilled into the jawbone. After that, the false tooth is set over the anchor.
Is Restorative Dentistry for You?
No one should ignore the health of their mouth. By not treating issues with your teeth, other problems, illnesses, and diseases can and will compound. Some of these can even be life-threatening.
We hope this article helped clarify for you what restorative dentistry is and why it is paramount to your health to get it. Don’t let problems with your mouth go untreated and continue to worsen. Your overall health is a careful equilibrium of your entire body.
At Blue Wave Dentistry, we have doctors who know every patient is unique. You deserve to receive dental care reflective of your individual wants and needs. We are invested in helping improve your oral health.
If you have missing or damaged teeth, contact Blue Wave Dentistry today. We have a team of professionals who specialize in restorative dentistry and who will get you the smile of your dreams.