Many patients need help understanding dental restoration procedures because they are so broad and often used in both restorative and prosthodontic dentistry. Also, because the terms are often used interchangeably, patients may have many questions about them.
Restorative dentistry is a broad term for any dental procedure meant to improve the overall oral health of a patient. This can refer to a wide variety of dental operations, so it’s simple to understand why some people would need clarification on restorative dentistry.
Why fix a tooth that is broken or missing?
Dental repair is a significant preventative measure for dentists committed to oral health. Acting swiftly can stop the deterioration of your teeth, whether it be due to a cracked or damaged tooth, tooth rot, or even a missing tooth.
Immediate assistance, in particular, enables
- Prevent the emergence of oral issues.
- Fill the empty gap to stop the adjoining teeth from shifting.
- Keep a clean mouth. This reduces plaque formation and the associated risk of infection.
- Make your smile better to positively affect your mood, confidence, and self-esteem.
- If you are in pain or unsure, you should call your dentist immediately. This will keep you from needing emergency dental care, which is usually more important.
The four distinct dental repair techniques
There are four main restoration techniques available in dentistry. All of these procedures are meant to fix a broken or decaying tooth so that it can be used for chewing and also looks good.
Dental fillings are a group of procedures your dentist uses to treat lesions brought on by dental caries.
The dentist will remove the rotten portion, clean it, and finally replace it with a filling substance to treat tooth decay. This substance fills the empty area, restoring the damaged tooth to full function.
To fill a tooth, various materials can be employed.
Amalgam is the most often used substance. A common mistake is to call amalgam a “filling,” even though it doesn’t contain any lead at all. Amalgam has been used in dentistry for more than 150 years. It is affordable and has good resistance to wear. It has a silvery tinge and is made of an alloy of roughly 50% silver, 50% copper, and 50% tin, to which mercury has been added.
White filling, which is another name for dental composite resin, is also incredibly resilient. The ability of this material to match tooth color is another benefit. So, its application enables very delicate restorations that are nearly undetectable to the eye.
2. Dental inlays
Dental inlays are used on back molars and front premolars. They are especially helpful when a tooth has a large filling, has been damaged by decay, or is being fixed.
To carry out this dental restoration, the dentist first takes an impression of the cavity to be filled, then inserts the dental inlay, which is made to measure from a cut ceramic block.
This procedure is preferred over fillings when the remaining walls of the tooth are too thin, or the tooth’s structural integrity is compromised. An inlay restoration can keep you from needing a bigger procedure, like a root canal or a crown.
The advantages of a dental inlay are numerous, among which:
- Superior durability and strength to fillings;
- A beautiful aesthetic appearance, making the inlay almost invisible;
- Increased resistance to fracture and wear.
What about gold inlays?
Gold inlays are usually made in a laboratory. They can be used to replace composite or amalgam fillings.
Gold inlays enjoy exceptional durability. Indeed, it does not oxidize over time and can last more than 20 years without degrading. Gold is a valuable but expensive metal that keeps the whole tooth structure from breaking. Thus, it allows you to chew all foods without restriction.
Made of porcelain or composite resin, veneers are small, very thin shells that the dentist attaches to the front part of the teeth. The placement of dental veneers is a very aesthetic restoration. This procedure requires at least two visits to your dentist for porcelain veneers, while one is usually enough for those made of composite resin.
To apply porcelain veneers, the dentist first places temporary veneers. At the same time, he makes impressions for your final veneers. Only during the second visit will the dentist remove the temporary veneers.
Then, he uses a mild chemical solution to roughen the enamel on your teeth so that the composite resin cement can be used to put on the porcelain veneers easily.
Etching dental restoration is a non-invasive cosmetic dentistry treatment. This type of restoration is mainly used to improve the appearance of worn or broken teeth, to fill certain spaces between the teeth, or even to modify their shape, for example, to make them appear longer. However, it cannot be used to replace a missing tooth.
To protect the dentition, which is unaffected by the intervention, the dentist first places a thin film between the tooth that needs treatment and the nearby tooth. Once this is done, the dentist applies several composite resin layers, solidifying using a curing light. Once the last layer of resin has hardened, your dentist can then shape and polish it to restore the tooth’s softness and natural appearance to your smile.
What precautions should be taken during a dental restoration?
Depending on the type of procedure, your dentist may recommend that you take precautions before, during and after dental restoration. These precautions are intended to facilitate healing and contribute to the durability of dental restorations.
Here are some precautions to be aware of:
Precautions on the day of surgery
Immediately after the procedure, it is important to keep in mind the following three points:
- Avoid eating on the side of the dental practice for 24 hours after the procedure;
- Avoid during the same period to consume hard foods;
- Finally, wait for the effects of the anesthesia to wear off before eating or drinking at the risk of biting and burning yourself.
Instructions for the day after the intervention
You may notice an increased sensitivity to cold and heat the day after the operation. These symptoms are common in 50% of patients and usually resolve within two weeks. If necessary, it is advisable to take an anti-inflammatory to reduce the feeling of discomfort. If symptoms persist, contact your dentist.
Also, note that there are only contraindications to brushing your teeth or using dental floss if your dentist has told you so.
Why Restorative Dentistry Procedures are Important?
- Filling spaces between teeth can aid in maintaining dental alignment.
- When teeth are lost, it might be difficult to practice excellent oral hygiene, but dental implants make it much simpler.
- A person’s self-esteem and social life can suffer when they lose teeth. However, restorative dentistry can enhance their confidence.
Caring for your Restorative Dentistry Procedures
- Use an electric toothbrush to remove plaque more effectively, and brush your teeth twice a day.
- Flossing your teeth once a day is essential for a clean and healthy mouth and gums.
- Avoid eating anything sticky or too hard since this may damage your repairs.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash instead to reduce your risk of plaque-causing microorganisms.
- Investing in restorative dental care procedures can save money in the long run. Although there may be an upfront cost, it can help prevent the need for more extensive and expensive procedures in the future. For instance, a simple filling can prevent the need for a costly root canal procedure.
It is vital to undergo restorative dental care procedures to ensure good oral health and address issues such as damaged or missing teeth. These procedures restore functionality, prevent further damage, improve appearance, enhance oral health, and can save you money in the long run. If you’re facing any dental issues, schedule an appointment with our dental professionals at Virginia Dental Care to explore your options for restorative care.