One of the highest priorities in dentistry is to save natural teeth as much as possible. Extraction and tooth replacement is always a last resort because natural teeth are still preferable to prosthetics when it comes to function and health.
At Copperfield Smiles, Dr. Anthony A. Lee and his team hold this priority in the highest regard when using every tool and treatment at their disposal to preserve your natural smile.
Whether worn down by tooth decay or damaged by cracks, chips, or an unexpected trauma, our talented dental team works with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your unique situation while saving your smile as much as possible.
Contact us today for your restorative dentistry consultation!
What Does Restorative Dentistry Involve?
Even though a strong and diligent oral hygiene practiced at home, in-between dental visits are always encouraged, teeth and gums are still vulnerable to cavities, decay, injury, infection, and disease.
Restorative dentistry is a branch of dentistry focused on helping maintain your oral and overall well-being when the health and integrity of teeth, gums, or other surrounding structures are compromised.
Restorative procedures help protect oral health as well as overall health while improving your smile’s appearance. The right restorative solution can also significantly reduce the need for additional dental work in the future.
Restorative dental care typically involves the following:
- Repairing dental damage and decay
- Reestablish proper chewing, speaking, and comfort
- Replacing missing teeth from root to crown
- Correcting bite or space issues
- Restore dental appearance
It is important to seek proper diagnosis and analysis of your oral and overall health to determine the best restorative treatment for your smile. Our team will discuss the options available and help you choose the solution that best fit your individual needs and goals.
To find out which treatments will best rejuvenate your smile, contact Dr. Lee and his dedicated team today!
Isn’t Restorative Dentistry the Same as Cosmetic Dentistry?
Not quite. Although cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry do overlap each other, as both do use a lot of the same treatments, such as dental implants and crowns, the primary difference the two is their focus.
The primary goal of restorative dentistry is to keep your mouth functioning as best it can and to improve the overall look of your smile in the process. This separates restorative dentistry from cosmetic dentistry, as cosmetic dentistry is more concerned with the overall aesthetics and appeal of your smile.
What are My Restoration Options for Replacing Missing Teeth?
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may already be all too familiar with the adverse health, functional, and aesthetic effects tooth loss have on your smile. Your teeth are designed to work in unison to help you chew, speak, and smile properly. When teeth are missing, it is exceedingly difficult to do these things regularly. Fortunately, missing teeth can be replaced and replaced with such precision that you’ll have a full, healthy, and functioning smile in no time.
The following are four of the leading implant-supported restorative options we may suggest for replacing missing teeth, which will depend on your specific needs:
- Dentures & Partials
- Fixed Bridges
- Dental Implants
Of these options, dental implants are among the most popular and favorable. Contact Dr. Lee today to schedule your appointment to discover if you’re an ideal candidate for dental implants!
Why Choose Dental Implants?
Many choose dental implants because of their unique ability to replace a single tooth, several teeth, multiple teeth to a full arch, and their missing roots. Part of why dental implants are so successful is due to the fact they are made up of a type of titanium that is accepted by the body. Because of this, the implant posts fuse with living bone and tissue in a process called osseointegration.
Not only does this process help create a secure foundation for your implant-supported restoration, but dental implants significantly help with the adverse effects associated with tooth loss.
How Can Dental Implants Restore My Smile?
When teeth are missing from the smile, there is no healthy tooth root to provide essential stimulation to the jawbone. This creates an almost domino effect of negative repercussions, from improper chewing leading to digestive complications, neighboring teeth shifting towards the site of the missing tooth, causing dental misalignment, to gum tissue recession and jawbone weakening leading to facial features sagging, thus contributing to a prematurely-aged appearance.
Because dental implants serve as artificial tooth roots, essential stimulation is restored once more. When your crown, bridge, denture, or partial is affixed to dental implants, oral, dental, and overall health is restored as well.
Have More Questions About How We Restore Dental Implants? Ask Us!
When visiting Copperfield Smiles for restorative care with dental implants, consider these important questions to ask Dr. Lee:
- Will insurance cover dental implants?
- Are there alternatives to restoring my smile without dental implants?
- Is it better to get implants if I have dentures?
- Can you get a temporary tooth while waiting for an implant?
- How long do I have to wait to get my restoration placed after implant placement?
- How much does a dental implant cost for one tooth?
Dr. Lee and his team will be happy to address any concerns and answer any questions you may have about our restoration options.
Using the Versatility of Crowns to Your Benefit
Dental crowns are prosthetic restorations that can either encompass the structure of an existing tooth that has been affected by damage or injury, or they can be fixed to a dental implant post for a permanent and single-tooth replacement.
In addition to looking, feeling, and functioning as a natural tooth, crowns can address a wide variety of dental health issues. It is this versatility that helps make these restorations a highly favored treatment among dental care professionals and patients alike.
Dental crowns are commonly used for the following:
- Revamp weak or worn enamel
- Replace a single missing tooth after implant placement
- Protect a treated tooth from re-infection after root canal therapy
- Repair dental chips, cracks, and other damage
- Restore tooth’s appearance
Dental crowns are a vital treatment process in restorative dentistry. When a tooth is severely damaged or has decayed, it could leave a gap within the smile. This gap can create additional problems if it interferes with your bite or if other teeth shift towards it.
By filling the gap, crowns restore the proper structure of your mouth. Finally, as they are mostly indistinguishable from natural teeth, crowns also restore the natural appearance of your smile.
How Can Crowns Restore My Smile?
First, your dentist takes an impression of your smile to acquire a precise blueprint of the tooth that needs the crown. To ensure your crown is fabricated to mimic your existing, surrounding teeth, the impression is sent to a trusted lab. During this time, your dentist will provide you with a temporary crown to protect the affected tooth.
When your permanent crown is ready, your dental team invites you back to affix your restoration. A special cement is used to attach the crown to your treated tooth. Once the adhesive cures, your crown is firmly affixed over your affected tooth.
Crowns are designed to fit perfectly to teeth much the same way a cap fits over a water bottle- they fit over the top of your tooth and protect what’s underneath- your tooth!
Dentures & Partials
Dentures are prosthetic appliances designed to replace up to an entire arch of missing teeth in the lower jaw, upper jaw, or both. While dentures take some to get used to and will never feel entirely the same as natural teeth, dentures are more natural and comfortable than ever with today's restorations.
A partial denture is a removable, yet natural-looking dental appliance that helps replace one or more missing teeth to restore the shape and function of your jaw. Partial dentures are made from a combination of metal and acrylic–which gives them the strength to cope with your chewing and speaking needs while looking natural as well.
When Would I Need a Full Denture?
When little to no teeth remain in your smile traditional, full, and implant-supported dentures can replace the entire upper or lower dentition of teeth.
Also removable, full dentures help restore dental function and renew a natural looking smile. A dental adhesive is used to secure dentures to the gums, so they stay in place throughout the day.
When Would I Need a Partial Denture?
When you are missing one or more teeth, it can lead to an improper bite. Neighboring teeth may shift to compensate for the “gap” in your smile, and you may experience shrinking of both the soft tissues and the supporting jawbone near your missing teeth. This can alter your facial features and can lead to problems with your other teeth.
A partial denture keeps your gums, jawbone, and facial muscles dense and stimulated. Partials help prevent further shifting of the other teeth in your mouth while giving you the confidence of having a beautiful, complete smile.
Aren’t Fixed Bridges the Same as a Partial Denture?
They are not. While a removable bridge (partial denture), is designed to attach to neighboring teeth for support and can be taken out for cleaning, fixed bridges are affixed to dental implants for a worry-free, permanent solution to replacing multiple missing teeth that looks and acts like your natural teeth.
Fixed Implant Bridges utilize dental implants surgically placed in the jawbone and porcelain, natural-looking restorations to replace missing teeth.
In addition to preserving the jawbone and surrounding teeth, bridges can help maintain the shape of your smile while helping prevent future dental complications.
Notable Benefits of fixed bridges
- A long-lasting solution that maintains the structure of surrounding teeth
- Look, feel and function like healthy, natural teeth
- A strong structure that can withstand normal biting and chewing
- Normal eating, talking and smiling without bridge becoming loose or falling out
- Encourages bone preservation
What Are My Options for Restoring Damaged Teeth?
When teeth experience chips, cracks, fractures, or other damage due to an accident, trauma, or decay, it can hinder your smile’s appeal, health, and function. Filling in cavities, sealing off dental spaces, and repairing enamel in the mouth can help prevent against further damage or decay in teeth because odd-shaped gaps are vulnerable spots for plaque-causing bacteria to build up.
The following three restorations are often recommended by dental care professionals for addressing damage within your smile:
- Composite Fillings
- Inlay Restorations
- Onlay Restorations
As their name suggests, fillings are a type of restoration that is used to “fill” the area on the tooth where the decay was removed beforehand. Fillings are also used to repair cracked, chipped, broken, and teeth that have been worn down from clenching or grinding.
Of the most popular types of fillings is composite fillings. Composite, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and fracture resistance in small to medium-sized fillings which can withstand moderate pressure from constant chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth.
For those who prefer their fillings to look more natural, they are a good choice.
Inlays and Onlays
In restorative dentistry, inlays and onlays are a form of indirect restoration. This means they are made outside of the mouth as a single, solid piece, that fits the specific size and shape of the cavity. The restoration is then cemented in place in the mouth
Dental inlays of typically used instead of filling to replace a small amount of the tooth’s structure that is lost from decay. The inlays of today are often made of tooth-colored materials such as porcelain, ceramic, or special composite.
Dental onlays also fit inside the tooth, but instead, they extend onto the chewing surface of a back tooth to replace one or more cusps. Making the onlays out of ceramic or porcelain allows the restoration to be affixed properly to the tooth. This process will improve the strength of the tooth and help seal the onlay to the tooth.
Take the First Step Toward Restoring Your Smile Today! Contact Us!
Dr. Anthony A. Lee and the team at Copperfield Smiles can help you achieve the beautiful, full-functioning smile you deserve with our top-quality restorations. Contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation.