Restorative dentistry includes all the techniques and treatments aimed at repairing damaged teeth or diseased soft tissues, including receding gums, helping patients enjoy better oral health. Restorative treatments can include gum grafts and other gum surgery, fillings, crowns, bridges, inlays and onlays, root canal therapy, and even dentures and dental implants.
Root canal therapy is a procedure designed to treat decay and damage in the central portion of the tooth or the pulp, which is contained in channels or canals extending from the center of the tooth to the tip of the root. The pulp contains the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues that support the health and integrity of the tooth. When the pulp becomes damaged, special techniques are used to remove the damaged portion, seal it and fill to prevent future damage. Following a root canal, the treated tooth will be covered with a cap to provide additional strength and protection.
Inlays and onlays are restorations used to treat decay or damaged areas that are too large to be restored with a regular filling. Inlays are used on the top portion of the tooth while onlays extend down the side of the tooth as well. Like a crown, inlays and onlays are custom-fit for each patient and tinted to match the surrounding tooth material.
Replacing missing teeth is a critical part of maintaining good oral health. Teeth are designed to “mesh” or meet in specific ways to maintain an optimal bite balance so uneven tooth wear and jaw strain are avoided. When a missing tooth is not replaced with a bridge, denture or implant, bite balance and mechanics can be affected and neighboring teeth can begin to lean in toward the gap left by the missing tooth, weakening those tooth roots and causing additional tooth loss over time. And of course, replacing a missing tooth is also important for self-esteem and self-confidence.
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