While everyone should keep up to date with bi-annual checkups, some people may need additional treatment in the form of restorative dentistry, which involves the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of oral diseases. If you have chipped, decayed, cracked, discolored, or missing teeth, you may qualify for restorative care at Mid Wilshire Dentistry.
Any restorative dentistry procedure starts with your evaluation, where your oral health is diagnosed via visual, mechanical, and radiographic techniques to analyze the surfaces of your teeth. After evaluation, your dentist will recommend a course of action. Some restorative dentistry is minimally invasive and takes only a single appointment to complete. More thorough treatments can require multiple visits.
There are four primary types of dental materials used when restoring teeth: porcelain, dental amalgam, composite resin, and gold. Composite resin is made up of ceramic or plastic compounds that can be combined with other materials such as glass ionomers. Gold is one of various other precious and non-precious metals that can be used.
Fillings most commonly use amalgam, which is typically placed on the posterior of teeth in the back of the mouth to restore a tooth’s surface. As an alloy, amalgam fillings may contain mercury or a mercury substitute. While the mercury is harmless, many people prefer the use of composite fillings because they are made from resins used for tooth-colored restorations, and they are harder to notice when in the mouth.
Tooth-colored and similar to composite fillings, veneers are a layer of material — typically porcelain or composite — that is cemented or bonded to the surfaces of one or more teeth. Mainly used on the upper and lower front teeth (incisors), veneers help improve the appearance of chipped, cracked, or uneven teeth.
When a section of a tooth requires so much restoration that it threatens the rest of that tooth, crowns can be used to cover up the entire area. Crowns are made from gold, porcelain, or other ceramic material. A bridge is when multiple crowns are attached to each other to replace a section of adjacent teeth.