Restorative Dentistry includes dentures, bridges, implants, fillings and root canal therapy. Each of these restorative services helps restore a lost or damaged tooth due to dental disease or injury. Restoring the function of the teeth allows speech, swallowing and chewing to be restored.
Dentures — Full or partial dentures give people who have lost all or some of their teeth the ability to eat, speak and smile. The full denture replaces all of the patient’s natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips. Without the support of teeth, facial muscles may begin to sag. The partial denture simply replaces missing teeth so the remaining teeth do not move or become crooked. Crooked teeth are difficult to clean which results in decay and other dental problems.
Bridges — A bridge, also called a fixed partial denture, is a restoration that replaces or closes the space where one or more teeth have been removed or are missing. A bridge helps maintain the shape of your face, as well as alleviate the stress in your bite by replacing the missing teeth.
Dental implants — An alternative to a partial denture or bridge is a dental implant. A dental implant is either used to replace a single tooth or restore an entire smile and provide a more permanent solution. Dental implants are a good alternative for people who have generally good oral health and have lost their teeth due to an accident or have lost a tooth due to periodontal disease.
Fillings — Composite fillings are white fillings designed to match the color of your teeth. Composites may be used to repair a defect or restore a decayed tooth. Often used on front teeth, they may also be used in back, if the restoration is minor. While the composite filling is more natural looking, silver (amalgam) fillings are generally stronger and less costly. These new materials have not eliminated the usefulness of more traditional dental materials, such as gold. This is because the strength and durability of traditional dental materials continue to make them useful for situations such as fillings in the back teeth where chewing forces are greatest.
Root Canal — Root canal therapy helps save teeth by removing diseased or dead nerves inside the tooth. Typically, a root canal is a simple procedure with little or no discomfort.
Inside each tooth is a nerve, also called the pulp, which provides nutrients and feeling to the tooth. When the nerve is diseased or injured, the tissue around the nerve dies. If the dead tissue is not removed, the tooth will get infected and need to be pulled. It is always important to preserve tooth function and a root canal can remove the damaged nerve. Once the dentist or endodontist has cleaned out the tooth, he or she will put a crown over the tooth to make it stronger.