Aside from routine cleanings, restorative dentistry is probably the dental specialty that most patients will experience as they age or as a result of tooth damage from a variety of causes.
Restorative dentistry is a rather large umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of dental procedures, including dental fillings, dental crowns, bridges, and dental implants. Because dental restorations become increasingly more important to us as we age, Fox Lake, IL dentist Dr. Thomas Prendergast would like to discuss some common types of restorations and how they benefit your long term dental health.
The many advances made in materials, technology and technique enable dentists to help patients maintain their natural teeth for as long as possible- or replace lost teeth with more life like options that allow for a high quality of life. Because dental restorations become increasingly more important to us as we age, Drs. Prendergast and Dr. Shepherd would like to discuss some common types of restorations and their functions.
The most ubiquitous type of restoration and one that most patients receive at some point in their life is a dental filling. This particular type of restoration is used on teeth with minor tooth decay and involves removing the decayed tooth structure and replacing it with either a metal amalgam or composite resin material that can be matched to the color of your tooth.
Another common type of restoration is the dental crown, which is used on teeth with moderate to severe decay in which the majority of the tooth structure is compromised. In this procedure, your decayed tooth is shaved down, and a porcelain “cap” is created to fit perfectly over the tooth and restore strength to prevent future damage and decay.
For patients missing multiple teeth in a row, dental crowns may be used to support a dental bridge. Dental implants are used as an alternative to bridges for the replacement of missing teeth and have become the gold standard for the most natural and lasting tooth replacement.
The need for dental restorations, as well as how long pre-existing restorations last, is determined by a number of factors. These include your overall health, your oral hygiene, your age, and any lifestyle habits such as tooth grinding or heavy chewing that may affect the integrity of your teeth.
Modern restorative materials are designed to be durable and long-lasting, though each have their own unique set of benefits. If you would like to know more about restorative dentistry or if you think you may be in need of a restoration, don’t hesitate to contact Drs. Prendergast and Shepherd in our Fox Lake, IL dentist office!