Restoring the function and appearance of your smile with Restorative Dentistry
Running the gambit from fillings to implants, most of our regularly performed procedures are restorative. That’s because remedial work is a cornerstone of maintaining a healthy mouth alongside regular cleanings and exams! Getting that filling done can prevent a root canal. Getting a root canal can prevent the loss of a tooth. Replacing a lost tooth can prevent bone loss and shifting teeth. The team at Simply Smiles in Sarasota, Florida, can assist you in improving your smile with a wide range of therapeutic procedures.
Common restorative procedures
Dental fillings: Cavities, or dental caries (Latin for rottenness), are caused by acid from bacteria dissolving the hard tissues of your teeth. Enamel is the hardest substance in your body, so the acids that break it down are serious business! Once the hard tissues have broken down, the bacteria can reach further into the tooth and ultimately lead to an infection. Nobody wants to have a root canal, and getting your cavities filled as soon as they’re diagnosed significantly reduces your risk of needing one.
Here at Simply Smiles, our standard of care includes always filling teeth with tooth-colored composite, never amalgam (silver fillings). Not only do they look much better, but they’re also less susceptible to the recurrent decay that often pops up underneath silver fillings.
Crowns: When a tooth is too decayed to be restored with a filling, is deeply chipped or cracked, or has had a root canal, we turn to crowns (also known as caps). Although crowns can be made from semi-precious metals, we prefer to use porcelain/ceramic crowns at Simply Smiles. These crowns can be shade-matched to your natural teeth, so they’ll blend right in!
Unlike getting fillings, getting a crown is a multi-visit procedure. On your first visit, we trim down the tooth, take impressions to send to the lab, and place a temporary crown on your tooth. The temporary crown lets you eat and carry on almost just like the permanent one will, except it’s made of acrylic. That means nothing too hard, nothing chewy, and absolutely no gum! Doctor’s orders!
After the lab gets your permanent crown back to us, you come in for your second visit. We take off the temporary and cement in your permanent crown. Once you’re happy with your bite and how it feels, you’ll be on your way!
The multi-visit procedure might sound a little intimidating, but you’ll probably spend less than two hours total with us. Not so bad, after all.
Root canal treatment: Got a dull ache in one of your teeth? Noticed that it’s so uncomfortable to chew on one side that you only chew on the other? It’s possible one of your teeth is infected. That is when bacteria from your mouth enters a tooth and reaches the pulp at the heart of the tooth. That’s right, where all the nerves are! Those nerves extend right down into the root canals in the roots of your tooth. See where this is going?
Often, a tooth is at risk of getting infected if you have untreated decay or a crumbling filling. Trauma that chips or cracks a tooth can also give infection-causing bacteria easy access to a tooth’s pulp. In the early stages of infection, you might not have any noticeable symptoms. It might be that one of your teeth looks a little darker than it did before.
Even without symptoms, you can’t leave that infection untreated. If you do, it’ll spread out through the tooth roots, and by the time the infection has spread that far, there’s no chance you won’t know that something is seriously wrong. When infection meets a nerve, you get nothing but bad news.
Luckily, with quick treatment, we can usually save an infected tooth with a root canal (also called endodontics). If your infection is more complex, or if the infection occurs in a tooth that has already had a root canal, we may refer you to a specialist that we know and trust.
During a root canal, the pulp and nerve of the tooth are removed and replaced with a composite material similar to what fillings are made from. The infection is removed along with the living core of your tooth. It’s a serious procedure, but one that’ll save your tooth!
If you put off getting a root canal, you’re putting yourself at serious risk of losing your tooth. At Simply Smiles, we only remove natural teeth as a last resort. That’s why if you need a root canal, you should take responsibility, get it done as soon as you can, and save that tooth!
Tooth extractions and bone grafts: Here at Simply Smiles, extractions are a last resort. We’d much rather restore your natural teeth than have you go through the long process of getting an implant or bridge.
However, there are times when a tooth is in such bad shape that there’s no hope of restoring it. It has to be removed.
If you have a tooth removed, we usually have a bone graft placed at the same time. You see after a tooth is removed, you lose bone in that area rather quickly. That turns into a big problem if you’re planning on replacing that tooth with an implant. Implants need several millimeters of robust and healthy bone for support. Besides, the bone graft must be left to heal and integrate, a process that can take months. Getting an implant is already a time-consuming process, so why make it any longer by waiting to have a bone graft?
Dental emergencies: Dental pain is miserable. That’s why we make every effort to see patients in pain on the same day they reach out to us. If you have any dental emergency, please call us at (941) 921-4654.
Dental emergencies have a habit of flaring up at the worst possible times. They also don’t seem to care about office hours either. If you’re a patient of record and you have a true dental emergency, call (941) 921-4654. At the end of the voicemail, there are instructions on reaching the dentist outside of office hours. We care about you and will do our best to take care of true dental emergencies whenever they happen!
Restorative Dentistry FAQs
Restorative dentistry focuses on restoring your teeth’ function, health, and appearance. Restorative dental treatments include fillings, bridges, dental crowns, and more. Restorative dentistry can combine and utilize various branches of dentistry, such as periodontics, prosthodontics, and endodontics, to diagnose and treat your teeth and gums.
Cavities are a major inconvenience as they can lead to toothaches and sensitivity. When left untreated, it eventually leads to infection and severe oral complications. Finding a dentist offering restorative dental services should be your first step, as they can remove any decay and fill the cavity with a filling to ensure no further problems arise.
This depends on the cause and extent of the break. If a tooth is breaking due to decay, this likely means the decay is fairly extensive and has gone untreated. A root canal could be required to save the tooth. If your tooth is broken due to some physical trauma or other accident, your dentist will likely be able to save and repair your tooth as long as there is enough tooth left to do so.
The goal of any dentist should be to save your teeth whenever possible. You are always better off with your natural teeth than artificial ones. When you have a tooth extracted, it can lead to further dental health issues if not replaced. This includes loss of jawbone density, shifting teeth, and more. Extraction should always be the last resort.