Restorative Dentistry: What It Is, Types & Procedures

What Is Restorative Dental Care?

Dental services are divided into different groups. One of the most important is restorative dental care. This dental service is recommended when the tooth is so damaged that it affects oral health or chewing function. In such cases, if the patient doesn’t repair the damaged tooth, it will lead to more decay or damage, so you may have to undergo more complex dental procedures, such as tooth extraction.

Difference Between Dental Restoratives and Cosmetic Dentistry

Most dental restorative procedures are the same as cosmetic dentistry treatment, which might make you think they are covered by dental insurance. But they are not considered the same. There is slightly a difference between dental restoratives and cosmetic dentistry.

Sometimes damage to your teeth only impacts your smile. But some impairments affect the functionality of your tooth. In this case, the procedure will be considered restorative dental care. 

Although restorative procedures also improve the appearance of the teeth, their primary goal is to prevent further damage to the teeth and improve the way you eat or bite.

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Common Restorative Dental Care Services 

Restorative dental care includes many procedures recommended to save and restore a tooth and its natural look or shape. Here is the list of common dental restorative services:

1. Dental Fillings

Over time, not following preventive dental care can cause tooth decay, which leads to cavities or abscesses. Generally, a dental filling is repairing damaged teeth, which is done by drilling inside the teeth to remove the decay and infection and then filling it with composite or amalgam. A dental filling is a basic restorative dental care usually performed in one session unless it requires a dental crown for more support. 

2. Crowns

When the tooth damage is so severe that do not contain any cap, a dental crown is recommended as a protective cover. The dentist creates a tooth mould and sends it to the lab to make a crown that matches the shape of the teeth. Once the crown is ready, it is placed over the damaged teeth.

When dental crowns cover cracked or damaged teeth and enhance their functionality, it is considered a restorative procedure. It is used to cover a discoloured tooth to improve its beauty; it is regarded as a cosmetic dental procedure, which will not be covered by most dental insurance.

Why would a dentist recommend a crown?

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3. Inlays and onlays

Sometimes only a tiny portion of a tooth is damaged or decayed, so a dental filling may not be the best treatment. In this case, inlays and onlays are offered, which are similar to dental fillings but fill only a tiny part of the tooth.

An inlay fills superficial cracks or cavities by fitting into the grooves, while onlays cover the tooth’s surface to give it a smooth and healthy appearance. Porcelain, ceramic, and composite resin materials ensure that the damaged tooth looks natural and durable without being noticeable.

4. Dental Bridges

Losing a tooth can negatively impact your biting or chewing. A dental bridge is a common restorative procedure in this case, which involves filling the gap caused by missing teeth with an artificial tooth.

However, since the teeth around the hole will be used to support the new tooth, they should be in good health. Otherwise, a dental bridge cannot be performed, and dental implants may be recommended.

5. Implants

As mentioned earlier, the dental implant is the method by which an artificial tooth replaces a missing tooth. This procedure is considered a major restorative dental care because it has some challenges.  In the first step, the dentist drills into the jawbone and inserts a screw-shaped anchor made of titanium to support artificial teeth, like a bridge or crown.

Completion of this procedure requires multiple sessions, spanning from six months to complete the entire process. But the result will last for several years.

dental implant is the method by which an artificial tooth replaces a missing tooth

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6. Dental Bonding

A tooth-coloured composite is used over the teeth during the dental bonding procedure to protect them or enhance their beauty. That’s why dental bonding is both a restorative and cosmetic procedure. The dentist applies the cosmetic resin over the tooth and uses a blue light to cure it and make it stick to the teeth.

If this procedure covers a discolouration over the teeth, it is considered cosmetic, and if used to restore a chipped tooth, it is considered therapeutic. It may be covered by restorative care dental insurance.

You should also note that dental bonding is a simple procedure, and the process will not have severe pain.

7. Dentures

When more than two or three teeth are lost, the dentist recommends dentures to cover the missing teeth. Dentures are available in two main categories: full dentures, which replace an entire set of teeth, and partial dentures, which replace one or several missing teeth.

The former covers the entire arch of missing teeth; the latter is recommended when only a part of the teeth are missed. You may have more than one partial denture in different areas.

8. Root Canal Therapy

When a tooth’s cavity or crack extends to its pulp, it can lead to a painful infection caused by bacteria. In such cases, root canal therapy becomes necessary. The process entails extracting the contaminated pulp, encompassing the nerves and vascular system within the tooth.

The dentist then cleans and disinfects the inside surfaces of the tooth before filling the canals. After cleaning the decayed area, a filling is carefully placed to secure the tooth and block any potential bacterial invasion. Usually, a crown is also required to provide additional strength and support to the treated tooth.

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Bottom Line & FAQs

In conclusion, restorative dental care is essential for maintaining good oral health. Restorative dental care offers a range of procedures to save damaged or infected teeth, including simple fillings and more complex root canal therapy.

These procedures can prevent further damage and restore the function and appearance of your smile. Thanks to the latest techniques in cosmetic dentistry, which have made restorative care more comfortable, efficient, and effective than ever before.

So, if you’re experiencing tooth pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to visit your dentist and explore your dental restorative care. Your smile deserves the best care possible!

What are examples of restorative dental treatment?

Generally, restorative dentistry procedures are recommended when the damage to the teeth impacts the oral health and functionality of the other teeth. For example, if tooth decay has caused cavities, a dental filling is recommended. In case of further damages, such as dental chips or cracks, something is required to cover or support the tooth. Therefore, a dental crown or dental bridge might be offered.

What are the 5 purposes of restorative dentistry?

As the name explains, restorative dental care is repairing, restoring, and maintaining damaged teeth. The procedures under this group are suggested when the tooth damage is severe and may worsen if not treated. Therefore, the dentist might need to replace the missing teeth, fix the chipped or broken teeth, prevent further damage or decay, and reshape the tooth to return its functionality.

What is major restorative dental work?

Major restorative dental work refers to more extensive treatments for severely damaged or missing teeth. These procedures may include dental implants, bridges, dentures, and full mouth reconstruction.

Is root canal restorative dental care?

A root canal is considered a form of restorative dental care because it can save a damaged or infected tooth from extraction. It can help preserve the patient’s natural teeth and maintain oral health.

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