What does restorative dentistry mean?

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General Dental Care
BBiomed (Melb), DDS (Melb)

Restorative dentistry involves the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of common oral diseases such as decayed, chipped, cracked, discoloured teeth or even missing teeth. As the name “restorative dentistry” suggests, the aim is to restore the normal function and appearance of your teeth and prevent future oral health issues.

There are a few different types of tooth restoration that your restorative dentist may suggest. These include fillings, veneers, crowns, bridgesimplants and dentures

Fillings

Amalgam as a restorative material has been largely replaced with composites, a very hard resin that micromechanically bonds to a tooth to hold the tooth together. The use of composites allows tooth restorations that are as close as possible to the original strength and appearance in the most conservative manner.

Veneers

Veneers are a layer of material (porcelain or composite) that is tooth-coloured, similar to composite fillings. They are cemented or bonded to the facial surface of one or more front teeth to help improve the appearance of chipped, crooked or heavily discoloured teeth.

Crownsdental-crowns

A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth that was previously chipped, cracked or subject to extensive restoration threatening the rest of the tooth. It can be fabricated from high-quality materials such as gold, zirconia or porcelain. Crowns help restore a tooth to its original shape, size, strength and appearance.

Bridges

A dental bridge covers, or “bridges”, the gap between teeth. A missing tooth is replaced by a natural-looking prosthetic (pontic) that is held together by crowns on either side of the missing one.

Implants

A tooth replacement whereby a titanium screw is placed in the jaw bone and a crown is connected to the implant screw. Compared with bridges, implant is a more conservative option to replace a missing tooth or teeth, as it doesn’t require any preparation of adjacent teeth.

Dentures

Dentures are a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They are made of acrylic resin sometimes combined with metal attachments and framework. A complete denture replaces all the teeth, while a partial denture is considered when some natural teeth remain. Partial dentures are attached to natural teeth via metal clasps. Because it is not cemented into the mouth, a denture can be inserted into and taken out of the mouth as required. It is not recommended to be worn during sleep.

Your restorative dentist will advise you as to which option is most suitable for your circumstances.

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