Although restorative dentistry can help you reclaim your smile, it is not quite the same as cosmetic dentistry. Restorative procedures are designed to restore the smile. As the name implies, it is about rectifying certain issues or using existing dental structure rather than changing your smile. There are a number of procedures done that can ensure healthier, stronger teeth that don’t only look good but also avoid complications such as breakage and gum disease.
In this guide, we take a closer look at restorative dentistry to understand how it works and share some of the most common restorative procedures.
What is Restorative Dentistry?
What is restorative dentistry, exactly, and how does it differ from regular dentistry? As we briefly mentioned above, restorative procedures are designed to restore the teeth. Although the resulting changes can be cosmetic to some extent, they are usually also functional. When teeth are broken, damaged, out of alignment or there are any other issues at play that affect your ability to talk, chew or function, you will likely need help correcting the issue. This type of dentistry includes a few treatment options that are designed to help correct an overbite, for example, or fix a broken tooth that has been causing you plenty of pain over the years.
Rather than being focused purely on aesthetics, as cosmetic procedures are, restorative procedures are therefore more about functionality.
How Does Restorative Dentistry Work?
There are a few restorative dentistry procedures that are done at a practice such as Gateway Dental by highly skilled dentists in Durban. Here are some of the most common procedures that you may consider to restore your smile:
- Fillings. Although these can also be cosmetic, fillings are often restorative with an added benefit of helping your affected tooth blend in to rest of your teeth. There are many different filling options, including gold, silver amalgam and composite resin in tooth-coloured materials that blend into surrounding teeth.
- Crowns. These tooth-shaped tooth-coloured caps are made to fit over a reduced tooth. The result is a restored shape and size, with better strength and a more streamlined appearance. Crowns can also be used to hold bridges in place or even cover a dental implant.
- Bridges. As the name implies, bridges help to bridge the gap between missing teeth. If you have had any tooth removed, this is the best way to fill the gap. Bridges are carefully fitted and then anchored onto each side by crowns, and then cemented into place.
- Implants. These are also used on both restorative and cosmetic cases. Implants are typically replacement teeth that are implanted deep into the jaw through a small metal post. These are used to fill any gaps in the teeth. The implant is often covered with a crown in the same colour as your remaining teeth.
- Dentures. This procedure offers a removable tooth replacement. If you have lost a tooth, dentures can be used to fill the gap. Most are comprised of acrylic resin – some with metal attachments. Partial dentures are used when there are some natural teeth remaining while complete dentures are used when there are no longer any teeth in the mouth.
Here at Gateway Dental, we offer a number of restorative procedures. Contact us today to learn more about restorative dentistry in Durban and surrounds.