Restorative Dentistry 101
You may have heard of dental crowns, dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants.
But do you know what they are for? If not, today’s blog is about restorative dentistry. We will explain what each of those things is and how our dentists use them to help patients in St. John and Valparaiso, IN, and anywhere in between.
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to offer restorative dentistry at either Creating Smiles location. In the real world, it’s a service we are glad to offer because we know that life doesn’t always go the way we would like.
Tools Of The Trade
Restorative dentistry is intended to restore the function of teeth that are damaged or missing. With modern materials, we can do more than that. We can restore the appearance of your smile as well.
Here are some of the common treatments we use:
• Dental fillings — More than 90 percent of Americans will have at least one cavity during their lives. For many of them, this can be fixed with dental fillings. We offer both amalgam (metal) and white (tooth-colored) fillings at our office.
• Dental crowns — A dental crown is a replacement for the crown of an individual tooth. When ceramic crowns are placed in your mouth, they blend in smoothly with the rest of your teeth.
• Dental bridges — This are made by fusing multiple dental crowns together. This is an excellent option for replacing multiple missing teeth.
• Dentures — More than likely, you have known at least one person with dentures. Dentures are used to replace an entire row of missing teeth.
• Dental implants — Implants are considered prosthetic roots. These can be embedded in your jaw to replace the roots of lost and extracted teeth.
Now, you have an idea what we use to restore teeth to their original condition (or better). Let’s look at the ways that we use them.
➤ Repairing decayed teeth
As we mentioned above, tooth decay is a far too common problem in the United States. Fortunately, it can be treated easily if you visit the dentist early.
Dental fillings are used to fix small cavities. After removing the decay, we can fill in the opening with either a tooth-colored or an amalgam filling. The decision will depend on your preference and the location of the cavity.
Large cavities will require a dental crown instead. If a filling won’t do the job effectively, we will remove the decayed parts of the teeth and reshape the healthy parts into an abutment. When your dental crown is ready, we will bond it to your tooth so you can use it to eat once again.
If you allow the decay to eat too deep into your tooth before you seek treatment, you may need a root canal treatment instead. With this treatment, we create an open to remove the infected parts from inside your tooth. After filling it with a material that reduces the risk of another infection, we often seal the tooth with a dental crown.
➤ Rebuilding damaged teeth
Dental crowns also are a good way to rebuild teeth that are chipped, broken, or worn down. The process is similar to what we described above. The tooth is reshaped to create and abutment to support the crown.
➤ Replacing missing teeth
This is where things can get a little complicated. A single missing tooth can be replaced with a dental bridge. This involves two teeth (one on each side of the gap in your smile) to support a dental crown. These will serve as the anchors that hold the dental bridge in place.
Another alternative is to place a dental implant in your jaw and to attach a dental crown. This is a complete tooth replacement.
If you are missing several teeth, you can replace them with a traditional dental crown or with an implant-supported bridge. The size of the bridge will determine how many implants are needed.
Last, but not least, we can replace every tooth in your mouth. Traditional dentures can restore your smile, but only a small fraction of your ability to bite and chew.
Implant-supported dentures, on the other hand, can make your smile look great and allow you to order whatever you want when you go out to eat with your family and friends.
Here When You Need Help
It would be wonderful if no one ever needed the restorative dentistry that we provide at Creating Smiles. Nevertheless, our dentists are ready and able to assist any patient in, near, or between St. John and Valparaiso, IN.
You can call our offices at 219-322-9920 (St. John) and 219-462-1970 (Valparaiso) or contact us online if you are interested in any of our restorative care.
Creating Smiles, PC, located in St. John and Valparaiso, Indiana, offers everything you need for a healthy smile and a healthier life. Dr. Kapers and his team can take the anxiety and uncertainty out of dental visits with sedation dentistry, and we're the premier provider of dental implants in the region.