Restorative dental treatments are a group of procedures that repair and enhance dentition to get patients back to exceptional oral health. From repairing cavities with simple fillings to replacing teeth with dental bridges or dentures, restorative treatment can help your smile become healthy once again.
The longer you leave a dental issue untreated, the more severe and more costly it becomes.
To begin, your dentist will examine your teeth and assess the extent of your dental issue. X-rays may need to be taken at this time to ensure proper diagnosis.
Once your issue has been diagnosed, your dentist will provide you with a recommended treatment plan for your approval.
Many dental issues have multiple treatment options. Missing teeth, for example, can be treated with dentures, dental bridges, or dental implants. Your dentist can discuss all options with you and help you choose what’s best for your lifestyle, budget and needs.
In some cases, like emergencies, you’ll need to receive care right away, likely the same day. But if your issue is not urgent, your follow-up appointments will be after your initial visit. Before you leave, we’ll schedule your treatment for a day and time that works for you.
Dental fillings are the best way to treat and fill cavities in decayed teeth. Your dentist will use a drill to remove damage and decay in the enamel of your tooth. Then, they will use a material such as a tooth-colored dental resin or metal amalgam to restore the shape and structure of your tooth. Timely intervention with a filling is essential if you have a cavity. If left untreated for too long, your tooth could decay further and potentially require a dental crown and/or root canal therapy.
Lab-made crowns are made with the help of a dental technician at an outside dental lab. Dental crowns restore damaged teeth by covering the entire tooth down to the gumline. Your dentist will trim your tooth to remove damaged material, then shape it into a strong, sturdy platform to which the crown will eventually be attached.
Impressions are taken of the tooth using dental trays and putty or a digital intraoral scanner. These impressions are then sent to the dental lab where your crown will be made out of a high-quality material, such as ceramic or porcelain.
You will receive a temporary crown during your first appointment, after your tooth has been prepared and impressions have been taken. At your second appointment, after your dental crown is complete, your dentist will permanently attach your new crown to your tooth.
Same-day crowns use CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design/Manufacturing) technology and a specialized milling machine to carve out a dental crown within minutes at your dentist’s office.
Similarly to lab-made dental crowns, same-day crowns will restore damaged teeth by covering the entire tooth down to the gumline. Your dentist will trim your tooth to remove damaged material, then shape it into a strong, sturdy platform to which the crown will eventually be attached.
Your dentist will take a 3D scan of your teeth and upload the images to a computer. Those images are then sent to the milling machine, which immediately begins to craft your crown. Your crown will be complete in just a few minutes, and then your doctor will attach it permanently. This process allows you to get immediate same-day care and a crown in a single appointment.
A dental bridge uses two dental crowns to suspend a pontic, or false tooth, in the gap where a natural tooth has been lost. The crowns are attached to healthy abutment teeth — the teeth adjacent to your missing tooth. A metal framework is often used to attach the false tooth to the crowns. A dental bridge can last for years and prevent your other teeth from shifting over time.
Root canal therapy is the best way to treat an infected tooth. Teeth become infected when the vulnerable pulp inside the tooth and root canals is exposed to oral bacteria. This can happen if you crack your tooth during an accident or injury, or if you experience severe tooth decay.
Your dentist will start the procedure by cleaning your teeth and numbing your mouth. They will then drill a hole in the enamel in order to access and remove any decayed material from the interior of your tooth all the way down to the roots. Your roots will be thoroughly cleaned and then filled with an inert material to maintain the structure and integrity of the tooth. To complete the procedure, you’ll be given either a dental filling or dental crown that will protect and restore your tooth.
Partial dentures use false teeth and a metal and plastic framework to replace one or multiple missing teeth. They clip directly onto your remaining healthy teeth, restoring your smile, your bite, and your self-confidence. They are a convenient and affordable way to get your smile back, and typically don’t take too long to create.
Full dentures are used to replace the upper arch, lower arch, or both arches of your teeth. They are only used if you have more serious dental health issues or have lost most or all of your natural teeth. This is because you must have all remaining teeth extracted in order to have a full set of dentures fitted.
Extractions are typically used for teeth that have been damaged by oral injuries, gum disease, or tooth decay. We will always try to save your tooth first, but sometimes extraction may be necessary. For example, if a tooth is severely infected, it may not be possible to save it with a root canal. Instead, your dentist may recommend an extraction. Restorative treatment, like a dental implant, a dental bridge, or a partial denture, can be used to replace your missing tooth.
Another reason you may need teeth extracted is because of problematic wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, and are a natural part of our mouths. However, they grow in much later than the rest of our teeth, usually between the ages of 17-25. Because of this, many people do not have enough space in their mouths for wisdom teeth, particularly if they have had orthodontic work. They may cause your other teeth to shift and become misaligned, or they may become impacted and get infected. Wisdom teeth tend to cause discomfort, which is why most people choose to have them extracted when they begin to emerge.
Tooth enamel is the hardest structure in the human body; even harder than the femur bone!
Restorative dentistry is used to restore damaged and missing teeth. Tooth damage or loss often occurs due to issues like untreated cavities, severe decay, and gum disease. But issues can also happen due to oral trauma or injury, like a slip and fall or an accident.
Restorative dental treatment helps you avoid future complications and more costly treatment options. Leaving a damaged or missing tooth untreated will often result in more serious dental issues in the future. You can save time and money by getting care right away.
You’ll also get relief from pain and discomfort, and regain your natural functionality. Imagine being able to enjoy your favorite foods once again because you’re able to bite and chew normally.
Finally, restorative dental treatment also restores your appearance. Missing or damaged teeth can look unnatural and unsightly. Restorative care allows you to regain your smile and your confidence.
Any dental health issue that is causing serious pain, oral discomfort, or bleeding is an emergency and likely requires emergency restorative treatment. This includes things like damaged or broken teeth, severe and prolonged toothaches, and pulled-out or lost dental work. When in doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so contact your dentist to get emergency treatment right away.
It often is, but the extent of your coverage will vary depending on your insurer. For example, your dental insurance plan may cover dental crowns and bridges, but may not offer coverage for dental implants. We recommend contacting your insurance provider to get a thorough understanding of your coverage and any limitations.
It is never advisable to delay restorative treatment for a cavity, infection, dental trauma, or tooth loss. These issues will only worsen with time and can cause a whole host of adverse complications and health problems.
Once bacteria enter your tooth, forming a cavity, this cavity will only grow larger. As it gets larger, it progresses into the deeper layers of the tooth, such as the pulp. When bacteria enter the tooth’s pulp, it can cause an infection.
Tooth infections can be very painful due to inflammation and they require root canal treatment to prevent the spread of the infection to the other teeth or worse, spreading through the bloodstream which can be fatal in serious cases.
A damaged or broken tooth can also lead to infection if bacteria enter through a chip or an exposed root or from inflammation caused by dental trauma. The tooth is also at risk for continual breakage from chewing forces if you don’t protect it with a dental crown.
This risks losing the tooth. When you don’t treat tooth decay and gum disease, you’re at risk of losing a tooth. Once that happens, you will also suffer from irreversible bone loss that reduces the support to muscles around your mouth and surrounding teeth will begin to shift. This is why replacing missing teeth should be done right away.
No, restorative dental treatments are minimally invasive and always done under local anesthesia. Only after your mouth is completely numbed will we begin to use dental drills or any other surgical tools.
We also offer dental sedation to patients dealing with dental anxiety or who have special needs. This relaxes you, prevents pain sensations, and melts away negative emotions. After receiving a restorative treatment, you may feel some lingering tenderness, sensitivity, or mild pain once the anesthetic wears off.
If your tooth was drilled on or you received oral surgery, this is completely normal and is a result of the residual swelling and inflammation. This will subside within a few days but you can take anti-inflammatory pain medication in the meantime and rinse your mouth with a saltwater rinse. Cold compresses will reduce swelling and you may want to avoid hot and cold foods and drinks.
When you have extensive damage and decay, you may need a few restorative treatments or you may need to replace your teeth altogether. At Woburn Dental Associates, we’re here to develop a custom treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs.
Chipped teeth can be prepared with dental bonding or veneers when they’re minor. However, if you have severe fractures or broken teeth, dental crowns will be needed to hold them together. If your teeth are severely decayed, you may need dental fillings, root canal therapy, or extractions.When most of your teeth are in bad condition or you are missing most of your teeth, we will recommend that you look into replacing them with dentures, dental bridges, or dental implants so you can regain tooth functionality. Contact us at Woburn Dental Associates today to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists.
About 25% of American adults have no teeth. Restorative care prevents this tooth loss.