Restorative dentistry is used to maintain oral health and function. It is not necessarily cosmetically focused, but it can also play a cosmetic role as well. Restorative dentistry is used for a variety of conditions which have resulted in the damage or loss of one’s teeth. In children, this is most commonly a chipped tooth or a cavity due to a lot of sugar consumption. Sierra Kids Dentistry is able to restore your teeth no matter what the situation is.
The Importance of Restorative Dentistry
Restorative dentistry serves several different purposes including cosmetic, health maintenance, and function. When you lose a tooth or have any sort of oral damage, the overall look and function of the mouth can change drastically. Restorative dentistry assists by giving the teeth a more normal look and allowing for ease in eating, speaking, and other activities. Restorative dentistry can also help to maintain good dental health and prevent further damage in the future.
Types of Restorative Dentistry Procedures
There are many different types of restorative dentistry procedures. Restorative dentistry refers to any procedure that helps keep your mouth healthy and functional. Some of the most common restorative dentistry procedures include fillings, implants, bridges, dentures, crowns, extractions, space maintainers, and pulpotomies or nerve treatments.
Fillings are used in the case of cavities, after the cavity has been thoroughly cleaned. Implants are artificial tooth roots used when you have lost a tooth. Dentures serve the same purpose, though they are typically able to be taken out. Dental bridges fill in gaps where a tooth is missing. Crowns replace the top of a tooth that has been damaged or extracted. Space maintainers are used when a space for the permanent tooth needs to be held. Pulpotomies and nerve treatments can be used for several reasons, though the most common is infection or disease.
Every procedure is different and, depending on the specific procedure, your child may require anesthesia or certain types of after-care. A numbing gel and anesthesia will be used for more invasive procedures. Our dentist will give you specific after-care instructions, which may include cold compresses, pain medication, and antibiotics.
While we will always try to preserve teeth, there are certain occasions where extraction is necessary. We may recommend an extraction to remove a problematic tooth that would otherwise create worse complications for your child’s oral health. The most common reasons for extraction include:
Saving a primary tooth can be just as important as protecting a permanent one. Premature tooth loss can cause the remaining teeth to shit out of alignment, which interferes with speech, chewing, and the eruption of permanent teeth. If your child has deep tooth decay that affects the interior pulp, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth.
The pulp consists of the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues responsible for the life of the tooth. Infection in the pulp can jeopardize the tooth and result in significant pain. During a root canal, we remove the affected pulp to stop the spread of infection and save the tooth.
The posterior teeth, mainly the molars and premolars, have deep grooves and fissures in the occlusal (bite) surface. These areas can trap bacteria, which ultimately results in tooth decay. A dental sealant is a plastic coating placed on the occlusal surface to protect the tooth from this harmful bacteria.
Space maintainers are oral appliances used for children whose baby teeth have come out too early. This includes losing them naturally or as a result of injury or severe decay. Space maintainers ensure that there is enough space for the permanent tooth to come in. This helps with keeping the teeth aligned and ensuring proper development. Our dentists at Sierra Kids Dentistry can answer your questions about space maintainers and determine your child’s need for them.
We will always try to prevent dental problems before they occur. Unfortunately, many children need some form of restorative treatment due to tooth decay or gum disease. Significant damage or tooth decay may even require the placement of a dental crown.
In addition to the various types of procedures available, there are also many different materials our dentist can use to restore the teeth. The specific material used will depend on various characteristics such as cost, function of the tooth, and location of the tooth. The most common restorative dentistry materials are ceramic (porcelain), gold alloys, base metal alloys, amalgam, composite resin, glass ionomers, and resin ionomers. Our dentist may also use a combination of materials, such as porcelain fused to metal.
Porcelain, composite, glass, and resin materials are the best options for mimicking natural teeth, though some characteristics may be missing. For instance, while these match the color of natural teeth, they may not have the same translucency. Gold and other metal materials do not mimic the natural teeth, but they are much more durable than other materials. To get more information on restorative dentistry procedures or to schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist, contact Sierra Kids Dentistry at (775) 473-1247 today.