Restorative Dentistry is the art of replacing decayed teeth, missing tooth structure, or missing teeth.
If your teeth are not in the best health, restorative dentistry is a good option for returning those teeth to optimal health. While preventing issues like gum disease and tooth decay is always going to be better than trying to repair those issues once they have occurred, no matter how diligent you are about your oral hygiene, you might find yourself needing the help of a restorative dentist.
If this is the case, you have come to the right place! At our Southampton, PA office, Dr. Dancu provides a variety of restorative dentistry treatments designed to help your mouth be as healthy as it can possibly be.
We offer these treatments not just to adults, but to children and teens alike. Restorative dentistry can both prevent a disease from becoming more severe and can treat and eliminate a disease to make sure it does not have an opportunity to cause more serious problems in your mouth. Repairing teeth that are damaged or removing and replacement teeth that are defective or severely damaged are all part of restorative dentistry.
What happens during restorative dentistry?
The first step of any treatment is to take an x-ray of your teeth, to see what issues might be occurring. X-rays are a good way to identify not just cavities, but cracks, decay, and other common issues you might be experiencing with your teeth. Once the issue is identified, there are a wide range of restorative treatments we might employ in order to restore the teeth to their former glory.
These might include the following.
In the instance that there is a particular tooth that is causing a lot of problems, it might be time to remove that tooth and replace it with an implant. If the tooth is decaying and cannot be saved, taking it out and putting an implant in its place can keep your jaw healthy and help you maintain your oral hygiene.
Dr. Dancu can utilize the cutting edge technology of implants to replace your missing tooth, or multiple teeth so you can eat and smile as if they were never missing.
Implant dentistry has revolutionized our ability to replace missing teeth. From the replacement of one tooth, to the rehabilitation of an entire mouth, Dr.Dancu can utilize the cutting edge technology of implants for your specific need.
Implants are a titanium screw placed by a Periodontist or an Oral Surgeon. Once placed and allowed to heal, the jawbone fuses with the implant forming a solid anchor. The implant can now be used to support a crown (just like a tooth root) or as an anchor point for a full denture or modified bridge. The chewing efficiency of the mouth, which is diminished when a tooth is lost, is restored with the solid support provided with dental implants.
Learn more about Dental Implants here.
A deep cavity, especially one that has started to cause serious pain or tooth decay, might require a pulpotomy. The cavity is drilled out, along with the affected pulp. If necessary, the nerve will be neutralized, so that you will no longer feel pain in the area. A crown will then be placed over the tooth to keep it from having any further issues.
Tooth Colored Fillings
Drilling cavities to remove them and then filling the exposed area of the tooth is one of the most common and routine types of restorative dentistry. If left unchecked, a cavity can create very serious problems in the mouth and may eventually require a tooth to be completely removed from the mouth. Drilling and then filling a tooth is a very easy procedure that is now done painlessly and often in a very short appointment.
Tooth colored fillings are a great material to use instead of amalgam (silver fillings) when restoring decayed or missing tooth structure.
Composites (tooth colored fillings) are used to replace tooth structure lost to decay (cavities) or to cosmetically enhance your tooth (see the Cosmetic Dentistry section of our website). Composites are bonded to the tooth which allows for added retention and less drilling of the tooth. Once the composite is hardened using a high intensity light, the material is very stable and strong. The composite contains material which is very compatible with the tooth and non-harmful to your health.
Silver amalgams have none of these properties and many disadvantages. Amalgams are not able to be bonded to the tooth, are continually reacting causing expansion of the filling, expand and contract with temperature changes, and contain mercury. Mercury has been the center of a long running debate concerning health problems associated to its use in fillings.
For these reasons, Dr. Dancu primarily uses composites to restore teeth. In doing so, Dr. Dancu is able to provide fillings that are not only durable and healthier for your tooth, but also look great!
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are porcelain or gold restorations used when a regular filling is inadequate, but a crown is too aggressive in treating the tooth.
Many times when a tooth needs to be restored, a filling may not be the best long-term solution and a crown may require too much drilling of healthy tooth structure. For example, when the cavity between teeth is large, it is often difficult to place a filling that contacts the adjacent tooth tight enough to prevent food from collecting between the teeth. Or, a significant portion of the tooth may be fractured or lost to decay.
In either situation, an inlay/onlay may be a better restorative choice because they are made from porcelain or gold for strength, they are made at a dental lab so the contact between the teeth can be made as tight as needed, and they are bonded into place so the tooth is as strong as it was originally. Inlays/onlays require less drilling of the tooth when compared to a crown. If the remaining tooth structure is healthy and strong, the inlay/onlay will replace only that part of the tooth which is involved, thereby conserving the good parts of the tooth.
Dr. Dancu's conservative approach to dentistry includes inlays/onlays as a treatment choice to not only restore the tooth with a strong, long lasting restoration, but to also prevent unnecessary drilling of healthy tooth structure.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns, or caps, are used to restore teeth that are severely broken, contain large fillings, or are endodontically treated (root canal) teeth.
Crowns are used to restore teeth for many reasons. Teeth that have fractured, have large fillings, or had a root canal performed very often cannot nor should not be restored with a conventional filling. Crowns are used to either replace lost tooth structure of a broken tooth, or to provide protection from future breakage. Once the tooth is prepared and the crown made at a dental laboratory, it is cemented into place with a permanent cement providing a strong chewing surface. Crowns are made from various materials: all metal, porcelain fused to metal (used mainly on back teeth), and all porcelain (mainly used on front teeth). The material used is determined by the location and needs of the particular tooth, and through discussion between yourself and Dr. Dancu.
Bridges are a series of connected crowns used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. They are permanently cemented in and provide a strong chewing surface over a greater area.
If you are having issues with your teeth, do not be afraid to call our office and make an appointment. Even if you have an advanced issue, we have the skills and the experience to deal with it carefully and painlessly, so that you can stop worrying about it.
For more information or to schedule your appointment, give us call today!
Learn more about Dental Crowns and Bridges here.