Sometimes, poor oral health, genetics, diet, or injuries can require advanced dental techniques to replace or restore teeth. Dental restoration treatments are designed to improve the patient’s overall oral health and appearance. Learn more about the restoration options available at Steven C. Hewett, DDS in Champions Gate, FL.
What Are the Different Types of Dental Restoration?
Dental restoration can come in a few forms. Our area of expertise is restoration with dental implants, which can drastically improve the appearance of your smile and support a stronger jaw bone. The main types of restoration with dental implants include:
Single Tooth Replacement
Sometimes single tooth replacement is necessary if a tooth is knocked out or removed because of excessive damage. For example, those who have sports injuries may need to replace a single tooth with an implant. Most people will only need to replace a single tooth if surrounding teeth are healthy and the missing tooth is too damaged to be placed in the mouth.
Contrary to popular belief, emergency dentistry may be able to restore a tooth that has been knocked out. If patients are careful to preserve the tooth by not touching the root of the tooth and placing the tooth back into the mouth, either in the socket or between the cheeks and gum, the damaged tooth may be able to survive. If not, a single tooth replacement may be necessary.
Multiple Tooth Replacement
Sometimes, multiple teeth are too damaged or diseased to remain in the mouth. In this case, it may be necessary to have multiple tooth replacements. For example, if multiple teeth are knocked out in an accident or root canals fail, multiple tooth replacements with implants can be a practical solution.
Full Mouth Replacement With Denture Implants
In the case of patients who have significantly damaged teeth, it may be necessary to replace all teeth with denture implants. Full mouth replacement typically happens after several years of poor oral health and drastic tooth decay, which results in all remaining teeth needing to be pulled to avoid serious mouth infections.
In these cases, patients who are missing multiple teeth often fare better with full denture implants. For denture implants, this procedure works by using a four-on-four plan. The four-on-four plan is a technique that will use titanium screws to attach both upper and lower dentures into the mouth permanently. This can also be a good alternative for people who are uncomfortable with traditional dentures.
Other Common Restoration Techniques
Aside from dental implants, other common dental restoration techniques may be used to address more moderate dental needs. For example, restoration can be used for cavities or infected teeth. Some restoration techniques can help preserve the health of the tooth or even delay tooth damage so you don’t need to have implants in the future.
Inlay restorations are a type of customized filling that will typically be placed on the outer shell of the tooth. This can be a good option for teeth that are fractured, broken, or decayed. Inlay restorations are often made with composite material or tooth-colored porcelain. Tooth-colored porcelain is most often used on front teeth so that the restoration is seamless.
An onlay restoration is also known as a partial crown and can often be used to provide more structure and protection to a tooth. This form of restoration is ideal for teeth that have larger cavities. Sometimes, onlay restorations are placed over normal composite fillings, depending on the health of the tooth and the degree of the cavity. Onlay restorations may also be used after a root canal instead of a full crown.
Composite fillings are by far the most common type of restoration. Composite fillings are given to patients after cavities have been drilled out of the mouth. A filling will help the tooth maintain its structure, stop cavities from spreading, and can be an ideal option to prevent the progression of dental disease. Composite fillings are typically made with the same color as the teeth so they are less noticeable.
Dental crowns are caps that are placed over the entirety of a damaged tooth. Crowns are typically given to patients who have undergone a root canal, as a crown will help protect the stability of the remaining parts of the tooth. However, crowns are not always an option for patients who have a high gum line on teeth that have undergone a root canal.
Some patients may need partial dentures to temporarily replace missing teeth. Partial dentures will be customized to the patient’s precise needs. Just like regular dentures, partial dentures can be removed and replaced each day. Sometimes, patients use partial dentures while they are recovering from oral surgeries to prepare for dental implants.
Finally, a fixed bridge is a special type of crown that is placed over two or more teeth to close gaps and provide structural integrity for the rest of your mouth. Fixed bridges can be ideal for managing gum disease and may also be a more affordable way to replace some missing teeth since some people consider a fixed bridge a good alternative to single-tooth implants.
Which Dental Restoration Method Is Best for You?
Determining which dental restoration technique is best for you will depend on the state of your teeth and several other factors. Only a dentist who specializes in restorative dentistry and oral surgery will be able to assess the health of your teeth to identify which restoration is most appropriate for you.
Most of the time, dentists will choose a more conservative approach to preserve the health of the teeth, rather than recommending oral surgery to remove teeth and implants to replace teeth. Some of the factors that will be used to identify the restoration method that is best for you will include:
Jaw Bone Density
For restoration methods such as dental implants, you must have adequate jawbone density. This is because the titanium inserts for the implants must be able to grip onto your jawbone to provide stability for the implants. However, if you have low jaw bone density, you may have the option of a bone graft to prepare your jawbone for implants if that is your preferred method of restoration.
Gum health is also especially important when you’re talking about dental restoration. For example, dental implants can only be successful if the gum tissue is healthy. Unhealthy gum tissue can recede, which means it will not grip onto until implants correctly, and this will compromise the longevity of your results. Gum health may also affect restoration methods such as dentures or partial dentures, crowns, and more.
Surrounding Tooth Health
The health of your surrounding teeth may be a factor that your dentist considers when selecting a restoration method for you. For example, dental inlays may not always be recommended if the surrounding teeth are significantly decaying. Similarly, a fixed dental bridge may not be appropriate if the surrounding teeth are loose or at risk of falling out for any reason.
Your dentist will want to be sure that you have good oral health so that your restoration lasts for as long as possible. Even if you’re using dental implants, you must have ideal oral health so that your implants can be successful. While fillings and crowns can protect your teeth from the progression of further cavities, you will still need to pay attention to your oral health to prevent gum disease.
Ideally, good oral health includes brushing with a fluoride-based toothpaste at least twice a day, using mouthwash that protects your gum tissue, and flossing at least once a day.
Finally, your dentist may look at your unique risk factors to select the restoration technique that is most appropriate for your needs. For example, people who use chewing tobacco or other tobacco products are at higher risk of developing mouth cancer and gum disease. For this reason, your dentist may recommend that you discontinue the use of tobacco products before you have dental implants.
Attend a Consultation for Restoring Your Smile
If you’re interested in restoring your dental health with restoration dentistry, then you will need to attend a consultation. During your consultation, the health of your remaining teeth and gums will be assessed to identify which restoration technique is best for you. Get in touch with Steven C. Hewett, DDS in Champions Gate, FL, to schedule your consultation today.