Tooth decay might compel you to lose a valuable tooth. But you should no longer worry because dental restoration is here for your rescue. Dental restorations, as the name itself suggests, restore the morphology as well as function of a missing tooth. Dental restoration is also used to replace a tooth supported by implants. Dental restorations can be further classified into direct and indirect dental restorations. Size and location of these restorations determine their names.
How Dental Restorations Help
Dental restorations alleviate problems caused by tooth decay and prevent it from spreading to other parts. They give support to the remaining tooth structures and prevent obstructions in normal chewing in biting because of the missing teeth. Most importantly, dental restorations restore normal dental functions.
Types of Dental Restorations
These are white filling materials that flow smoothly. These are used to fill those channels in back teeth that are more prone to decay. It is basically a preventive method meant for children in the age group of 6 to 18 years.
These are thin porcelain facings used to cover only the front portion of teeth. These are used cosmetically to alter the shape, color and length of teeth.
Dental fillings are the most common of all dental restoration types. Caries and gaps in tooth can be filled by metals such as gold and silver. Amalgam and plastic or glass materials can also be used as dental fillings. Such materials are called composite resin fillings. It should be noted that fillings are to be used only when the area of decay is not too big so that the rest of the tooth structure weakens.
Crowns are caps in the shape of natural teeth that are placed over teeth.
Crowns are used for restoring the size and shape of the teeth. They also give strength to the teeth and improve overall appearance. These crowns cover dental implants and hold dental bridges firmly.
These are false teeth that replace missing tooth or teeth. Bridges are anchored to dental crowns on either side. Dental bridges are cemented so that they do not get misplaced.
These are used to replace tooth roots. Dental implants are post-shaped metal structure that is fitted into the bone socket with missing tooth. Dental crowns are used to cover up dental implants.
These structures replace missing teeth as well as the surrounding tissues. Dentures are generally composed of acrylic resin. Sometimes metal components are attached to the dentures. There are two types of dentures – complete dentures that are used in case all the teeth are gone and partial dentures are used when there are still some teeth remaining. For partial dentures, the patient needs to have some natural teeth remaining on which the metal clasps would be attached.
These dental restorations are used in lieu of fillings especially when pre-made ceramic material is bonded to decayed tooth. Inlays enhance physical properties of the teeth and increase their lifespan by at least thrice the normal. Inlays are more efficient than composite fillings. Conventionally, gold alloy was used for making inlays. But now ceramics have replaced gold alloy.
These are used in case a tooth is fractured or weakened. The only difference between an inlay and onlay is that the latter covers the entire biting surface. However, it does not cover most of visible tooth unlike dental crowns.