Nine in 10 people have a cavity. Unfortunately, cavities are just the beginning. An estimated 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. And roughly 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth!
Whether it’s a cavity or missing teeth, dental problems can severely hurt your health and cause problems in your everyday life. Thankfully, there’s a way to fix these dental issues and get your life back on track: restorative dentistry.
What is restorative dentistry?
Restorative dentistry is all the dental care you receive beyond simple cleanings or preventive treatments. This type of care focuses on correcting damaged teeth — whether it’s a small cavity or several missing teeth.
The goal with restorative dentistry is to bring back your natural, beautiful smile and protect your health.
Restorative vs. cosmetic dentistry
We’ve talked to many patients who are confused about the difference between restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. They’re quite similar in many ways, with several overlapping procedures, so it’s easy to understand the confusion.
The biggest difference lies in the reason for treatment. While cosmetic dentistry is motivated by aesthetic enhancement, restorative dentistry is focused on repair.
Think of it this way — restorative dentistry fixes underlying dental concerns while cosmetic dentistry enhances the appearance of your teeth after those problems have been fixed.
Here at our office, we offer both restorative and cosmetic dentistry. This is important because we can not only help repair damaged teeth, we can also provide high-quality cosmetic results.
Common restorative dental procedures
Since the goal of a restorative treatment is to fix a dental problem, you can imagine the range of procedures that fall under this category of dentistry.
The most common restorative dental treatments include:
- Fillings — Repairs a small section of a tooth suffering from decay
- Crowns — A cap that covers the entire visible portion of a tooth
- Bridges — Uses teeth on either side of a gap in your mouth to hold a restoration in place
- Implants — Artificial tooth roots
- Full and partial dentures — A removable or permanent set of false teeth
- Root canals — Elimination of your tooth roots to stop infection
When do I need a restorative dental treatment?
We’ve talked about how a restorative dental treatment is needed when you’re facing a dental problem. So what constitutes a problem, exactly?
Anytime you’re experiencing pain or sensitivity in your mouth, it’s important to contact a restorative dentist and get things checked out. Even minor discomfort can be a sign of a developing issue.
Keep in mind that dental issues don’t always present symptoms — at least not right away. For example, if you skip your routine cleanings and exams, a cavity can go unnoticed for years! In this case, what you don’t know can hurt you. Left untreated, a cavity can develop into a large problem that requires a more advanced restorative procedure (rather than a simple dental filling).
Take a look at some other reasons to consult a restorative dentist:
- Cavities and plaque — We’ve already discussed cavities (decay), but watch out for signs of built up plaque along your gums and teeth as well. This may be masking (and contributing to) big problems.
- Chipped or broken teeth — A chipped, cracked, or broken tooth may seem like a strictly cosmetic concern, but they also have negative effects on your health. Chips and breaks invite bacteria to infect deep parts of your teeth or sneak into your bloodstream.
- Missing teeth — Missing teeth should never go unresolved. They affect your speaking and chewing abilities and can also cause problems for your jawbone and neighboring teeth.
- Gum disease — Gum disease can affect more than just your dental health — it’s proven to have a negative impact on your overall health as well.
The life-changing benefits of restorative dental care
Yes, we all know the importance of taking care of your health — but that’s not the only reason to invest in a restorative procedure, when necessary. Restorative dental treatments bring with them a host of lifestyle benefits as well.
- Make it easier to chew and eat the foods you love — Restorative treatments strengthen your existing teeth, restoring your ability to eat the foods you love. And if you’ve been dealing with missing teeth up until now, you won’t believe how wonderful it feels to chew more naturally
- Speak more naturally — missing or broken teeth, or dental problems that cause you pain, will often change the way you sound when you talk. You can restore your ability to speak easily
- Keep your teeth in place — Restorative treatments can not only replace teeth, they can also help you keep your existing teeth in place. By fixing one problem, you’ll avoid the common chain reaction of weakening and damaging your other teeth.
- Preserve your jawbone — Missing teeth and gum infections can cause your jawbone to dissolve, a process known as resorption. By fixing your teeth, you’ll avoid this unpleasant issue.
- Protect your whole body health — Restoring your dental health is good for your health and can even help you avoid things like heart disease, heart attack, and stroke — common problems associated with certain dental issues, like gum disease.
- Reduce pain — You should never have to live in pain. Unfortunately, pain and discomfort is a common side effect of dental problems.
- Boost confidence and mood — A full and healthy smile will not only help you look younger, it will make you feel good about yourself. You won’t feel awkward or embarrassed about damaged teeth. Many of our patients report feeling much more confident and happier after restoring their smile!
We’ve helped hundreds of patients restore the look and function of their smiles
You should never have to live with a smile that’s causing you pain or embarrassment. Our team is dedicated to helping our patients take control of their dental health and achieve the smiles they’ve always wanted.
We offer a comprehensive set of restorative dental treatments. In fact, Dr. Catt is certified by the American Society of Implant & Reconstructive Dentistry. With a special eye for aesthetics, we not only help fix tooth damage, but will restore your smile with amazing cosmetic results.
Let us know how we can help — we’re here for you.