If you are hiding at parties, ducking out of photo ops, and struggling to smile in conversations for fear of showing your teeth, it can be fixed. Restorative dentistry is a branch of dentistry that specializes in restoring the function and esthetic state of a mouth. It does not require any extra certification on the doctor’s part, but certain dentists choose to specialize in it because of how it makes the patient feel.
There are many ways to fix broken, unattractive, or missing teeth. Some of the most common procedures are:
Implants- fake tooth that attaches to a titanium screw in the gums and jaw bone
Crowns- a tooth shaped cap that goes on top of a weak tooth
Bridges- a row of false teeth that attach to two other teeth to replace a single or small row of missing teeth
Dentures- partial or full arch of teeth that are missing or pulled from poor structural health. These can be placed like implants or as a well-fitted, removable insert
Extractions- the procedure of pulling a tooth because it cannot be saved. It is fixed with one of the other options listed here.
Fillings- Material used to fill cavities or missing chunks of a tooth. Different colors are available, so no one has to know that they are there if the spot is visibile.
Inlays, Onlays, and Veneers- restorations made outside the mouth then placed on top of a tooth. It gives the tooth a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Each one is used differently to help fix and depends on the health of the patient. No mouth is limited to just one procedure, and neither is one tooth. Too much dental work on one tooth is never desirable though, so dentists will take that into account before recommending work. Work like fillings does not require a full health history, but others like implants do.
Not everyone is able to handle the strain that can physically result from dental procedures. Some of this work, like an implant, requires months to fully complete. The titanium screw is placed in one visit, then the patient must let it heal for a few months before it is ready to hold the fake tooth. This requires a lot of time. There are other things that can exclude certain dental procedures like a compromised immune system, poor health history, and bone loss in the jaw.