Most of the time, people go to the dentist for routine check-ups. They have X-rays and then their teeth and gums checked and cleaned. They do this twice a year while hopefully keeping up a healthy oral care routine.
Things happen, though. Accidents occur – whether from a wayward pitch that’s far from the strike zone or a tumble that results a person’s face meeting the ground – hard. One bite on a piece of food can result in searing pain from a fractured tooth. Tooth decay can lurk and cause trouble late in the night.
The problem may be relatively benign too – a discolored or chipped tooth. While some are willing to live with it, others may consider this an aesthetic emergency.
That’s where dental restoration comes in. The dentist will do whatever is needed – within a patient’s budget – to have them get a great-looking and functional smile.
When it comes to restoration, the main goal of dentists is to preserve natural teeth if possible. People only get two sets of teeth over the span of their lifetime. Sharks, who constantly get a new set every few weeks, would laugh at the disparity if they knew about it . So, the dentist will every effort to keep the original teeth of their patients.
Doing this will require a variety of methods, including covering the tooth, filling it, or possibly using other teeth to support them. If it’s not feasible, then they will use other methods, including dentures and dental implants. If the missing teeth are left unattended, then a variety of things can happen – the other teeth can get cavities and can get stressed due to pressure while chewing.
There are two types of dental restoration, though there are quite a few things for patients to choose from:
- Direct – This is when a dentist uses a filling to fix an issue with a cavity. There are many different types of materials used for the fillings – it’s all dependent on the location of the tooth that is being filled. If it’s in a spot where there’s heavy pressure when biting- like the back molars,a sturdy type like amalgam is made whereas closer to the front, it would be glass or resin.
Having a filling done is not a very time-consuming task. It takes about an hour. First, the patient will have the area thoroughly numbed and then the dentist will drill until any signs of decay are gone and fill the area.
- Indirect – Things like overlays, crowns or inlays are used here. A crowns like a protective cap that fits over a tooth. It can be aesthetic or it can preserve a cracked or damaged tooth. They also are used in root canal therapy and in dental implants. Inlays and onlays only cover certain areas of a tooth. All of these require multiple dental visits.
Besides these, veneers, dentures and dental implants can be considered as falling under this umbrella, since they do fulfill the purpose of restoring a patient’s smile to where it was before.
Sometimes someone may refer to “prosthodontics.” This is the same thing as replacement dentistry and can be used interchangeably. The American Dental Association doesn’t list it as a specialty, but general dentists don’t require any extra dental training to do most of these procedures – though it’s best to see a board-certified implantologist.
As far as dental insurance goes, one area they usually don’t cover is dental implants. People should look at their medical insurance, though, since some conditions that end requiring the implant(s) may be covered.
When it comes to restorative dentistry, if you live in the Palm Harbor area, come to VIP Dental Center. You will find that they do excellent work. The staff will be happy to discuss any and all options at your next appointment. Give them a call at (727) 787-2424.