What are dental restorations? Your dentist can do much more than clean your teeth. Regular dental check-ups may reveal issues such as cavities and cracks. As the name implies, a restoration can restore (or repair) dental damage. If you want to know more about the most common dental restorations, such as fillings, implants, dental crowns, and more, take a look at the top questions patients have answered.
Are Fillings Restorations?
Yes, dental fillings are restorations. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 90 percent of adults ages 20 and over have had at least one cavity in their lifetime. Fillings can repair damage caused by dental decay (also known as dental caries or cavities).
After the dentist drills and removes the decayed area, they will need to replace the missing part of the tooth with a hard substance. Known commonly as a filling, this type of restoration is made from tooth-colored plastic and glass (resin), tooth-colored porcelain ceramic material, silver amalgam, or gold. The dentist may also use filling material to restore a crack, damage from grinding, some types of enamel erosion, or other minor damage.
Do you have a missing tooth? If you aren't ready for a partial or full set of dentures, an implant may solve your dental dilemma. This permanent, artificial restoration acts like your natural tooth. Instead of a root, an implant has a screw-like body that anchors the top (crown) into the jaw. This creates a sturdy structure that allows the patient to eat and speak comfortably.
You don't need a full implant to choose crowning dental work. A porcelain or resin crown is a tooth-colored, tooth-shaped cap. This covers the tooth completely and can restore areas of extreme decay or damage. Before the dentist places the crown, they will need to remove decay/damage and reshape the remaining part of the tooth. The dentist will then cement the crown to the tooth, creating a natural look and feel.
Even though porcelain and resin crowns have a tooth-like color, some patients may choose another material. Metal (gold, palladium, nickel, or chromium) crowns won't recreate the pearly white aesthetic. This makes metal a popular choice for molars or areas that won't show when the patient smiles.
If a crown isn't enough to save your smile, you may need a dental bridge. This type of restoration is necessary to correct gaps from missing teeth. Patients who don't want implants or partial sets of dentures may prefer a bridge. The restoration starts with two crowns—with one on either side of the gap. These anchor an artificial tooth and can create a continuous or complete look.
I grew up in a home with parents who did not insist on good dental hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know better, some damage had already been done. I had many cavities, crooked teeth, and some discoloration on my teeth. I knew it would not be easy to take my smile from where it was to where it is today, but I was determined to finally have nice teeth. I visited a dentist who was very nice and never judged me. We made a dental plan together. Spreading the procedures out over time made it much easier to afford them. I now have almost perfect teeth after all that hard work! I created this blog to help others who have dental problems that stem from bad childhood habits know there is hope! It is never too late to start seeing the dentist!