While our teeth are designed to last for a lifetime (or at least into our senior years), we can lose them prematurely. Several factors like decay and infection can damage our teeth and either cause us to lose a part of the teeth or have them removed completely. It is important to visit an emergency dentist near you for treatment when you notice tiny holes in your teeth or have a gum infection. If decay and gum infection is left unattended for long, they can lead to loss of teeth.
Having missing teeth is a dental challenge because not only do they affect your appearance, but also your structure. These gaps cause the surrounding teeth to shift to the available space, which weakens the teeth. Furthermore, having missing teeth for long can cause the body to reabsorb the alveolar bone. That’s why you need to have these teeth replaced on time to prevent further damage to your teeth and dental structure. Fortunately, we have several restorative dental procedures that can correct the problem.
Restorative dentistry involves treatments and procedures that replace your missing teeth or parts of your teeth that are damaged. This branch of dentistry also includes other treatments from other specialties like endodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics. This is because most patients require multifaceted care, meaning they may require more than one procedure to correct the teeth damage.
Restorative dentistry procedures include several treatments that include:
When you have mild dental decay that only affects the surface of the teeth, the dentist can use fillings to correct the problem. Dental fillings are restorations used to replace the damaged parts of the teeth. The dentist will remove the decayed and damaged part and replace it with the fillings.
Dental fillings come in different materials like amalgam, gold, silver, porcelain, and ceramic. The dentist will first examine your teeth to determine the extent of decay and choose the suitable fillings.
Dental crowns are caps that encase the entire tooth to help change the size, color, shape, and appearance of the teeth. The dentist can use a crown to protect weak and damaged teeth and cover the ones with bridges or implants.
These caps need at least two dental visits to be fixed. The dentist will first reshape the teeth and then take your dental impression of your teeth to the lab to make the crowns.
On the second visit, the temporary crowns are replaced with permanent ones. These crowns are cemented in place and they can last for about ten years.
Dentures are ideal if you have multiple teeth missing. The dentist can use either partial or complete dentures to replace your teeth depending on the number of teeth missing.
Dentures are durable, but you will need to have them readjusted after a couple of years because the jaw shrinks with time.
Bridges are the commonly used procedure to correct and replace missing teeth. These bridges come in different types, and the dentist will choose a suitable one based on them the number and the location of the missing teeth.
Dental bridges also need two dental visits to be fixed; the first one for preparation and the second visit for fixing the permanent bridges.
The process of fixing the bridges begins with reshaping or trimming the teeth to make room for the bridges. This is an irreversible process, and it is important to speak to the dentist before you settle for bridges.
These dental restorations last for 10 to 15 years with proper care, before being replaced.
Implants are an alternative to dentures and bridges. These metal posts are recommended if you have healthy teeth and enough bone support. It is a surgical procedure that requires fixing the crowns on the jaw bone. Implants help to prevent bone loss because they fuse with the bone.
Visit Neeshat S. Khan, DDS for an assessment and more information on dental restorative procedures.