Do you want to know the secret to dentistry? The reason why dentists have jobs and patients actually want to come into the office to see us? Are you ready for it? Here it goes…
You only get one set of permanent teeth.
We are not sharks who continually produce more and more teeth. We are humans, and we begin life with a set of 20 cute little baby teeth. Those all fall out, and we grow our full set of adult teeth. Then? That’s it. You take care of those teeth and live a long, healthy life, or you don’t take care of those teeth and end up needing to replace all of your teeth.
Now, when we say that you will take care of your teeth, we don’t necessarily mean only brushing and flossing. Those are important habits that you should maintain twice each day, but it’s not the only way to take care of your teeth. You also need to come in for routine appointments, and those appointments determine the long-term health of your smile!
The Important Role of Restorations
A restoration is anything we put in your mouth to restore the health and function of your tooth. The most commonly used restoration is a dental filling. We also use crowns, bridges, implants, and dentures! Each of these restoration options will stop the breaking down of a tooth and boost it back into health.
Let’s begin by looking at dental fillings. A filling is necessary when bacteria produce acid on the surface of your tooth. That acid eats through your tooth enamel to create a cavity. If we were to leave that cavity alone, it would continue to grow until it overtook the entire tooth. Eventually, the tooth root would be decayed, and the tooth would come out.
That’s the process without a restoration available. Thankfully, we have restorations, like fillings, that will stop the spread of decay and restore the health of your tooth. For cavities, we rely on composite filling material. This material matches the color and texture of your tooth perfectly! We layer the composite material into the cavity until there is no longer any sign of decay.
A filling is the simplest form of restoration we offer, and yet you can see the impact. That small filling will actually save that entire tooth! And if that patient is coming into the office for regular, six month appointments, the cavity probably wasn’t very big to begin with!
Sometimes, a filling is not enough. Maybe you haven’t been coming into the office regularly, or you have an old filling that just isn’t holding any longer. When that happens, you need a different kind of restoration. You need something that will encompass your entire tooth to protect it from harm and to give you back your ability to chew. You need a dental crown.
A dental crown is a porcelain cap that we place over the top of your tooth. Unlike a filling that just fits inside the tooth, the crown will actually cover the entire outer surface. This is great for teeth that are too far gone to hold any more fillings. Crowns are also great for teeth that are cracked or broken.
What if there is No Tooth?
Fillings and crowns are great for teeth that are still semi-healthy and present in your mouth. These teeth just need a little boost to stay functional. However, there are times when the tooth must be removed completely. In those cases, you need a full tooth restoration. You need a dental implant!
Dental implants work for one missing tooth, several missing teeth, or an entire mouth of missing teeth. We will just focus on the single missing tooth for today. A missing tooth needs to be replaced quickly because that gap in your smile will allow your other teeth to shift out of alignment causing serious problems for the rest of your oral health.
An implant is a permanent restoration that will replace your tooth from the tip of your tooth root to the top of your tooth’s crown! This means that the restoration will function just like a natural tooth! You’ll be able to forget that the implant is even there, which is the entire goal of a restoration.
Need a Restoration?
The best way to prevent restorations is to schedule your routine appointments. Come in and see us on a regular basis to give your teeth the cleaning and care they need! If we find a problem, we can restore your tooth quickly and efficiently.
Contact us today to set up your next appointment! We would love to see you soon and help you have the healthy smile of your dreams!