Restorative Dentistry is also referred to as ‘prosthodontics’. A dental prosthesis is a restoration that replaces a missing tooth or covers up tooth defects. This can include crowns, veneers, or inlay restorations made in just one appointment by 3D CAD CAM system. These are permanent and are ‘cemented’ in place.
In case of missing teeth, you could also opt for dental implants or a removal denture to cover unsightly gaps.
The goals of digital restorative dentistry are to:
- Restore damaged, chipped, or worn teeth
- Restore and improve the occlusion (bite) and the relationship between the upper and lower jaw.
- Improve the aesthetics of the patient. For example, veneers and crowns are often used for ‘smile makeover’ treatments.
- Restorative dentistry is the solution for almost any dental problem.
Firstly, a CROWN is also known as a dental cap. These restorations completely encircle a tooth or dental implant, restoring the visible area of the tooth. This is 360 degrees restoration. In other words, an entire new tooth is placed on top of the existing natural dental structure, called the root and core.
Secondly, a DENTAL VENEER is a thin shell that is custom-made to fit on the front side of a tooth. Veneers can be used to improve contour and color of a patients smile. Another benefit of a veneer is the ability to restore only the front side of a tooth, therefore, saving a large portion of the natural tooth structure.
Next, an INLAY is a premade filling that is used to restore an extensively decayed or damaged tooth. They are also often used to replace old amalgam fillings. An inlay is made of ceramic/porcelain and adds strength to the remaining tooth structure, preventing further damage.
And finally, DENTAL BRIDGES are used to ‘bridge the gap’ of missing teeth, using the adjacent teeth to act as supports. This way, the space left by a missing tooth is closed while also avoiding surgery. The only drawback is the reduction of the natural enamel of the supporting teeth to be able to place the bridge.
For this reason, the placement of a dental implant is always the best option when we are trying to resolve issues with missing teeth, or teeth that need to be extracted. You can read more about dental implants, here.
Dr Gomez is our specialist in dental surgery and rehabilitation
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