Restorative Dentistry in Frederick, Maryland
Frederick Dentist Serving Buckeystown, Braddock Heights, Adamstown, Jefferson, Point Of Rocks, Tuscarora, Middletown, Ijamsville, Brunswick, Burkittsville, New Market, and Barnesville.
What is Restorative Dentistry?
Dental procedures that focus on the repair or replacement of teeth fall under the category of Restorative Dentistry. This includes:
- Cavity Fillings
- Root Canals
- Dental Implants
Essentially, there are two primary goals when it comes to restorative dentistry. The first goal is to restore function to the teeth while the second goal is to restore appearance. In some instances, the focus is just one or the other, while in other cases it’s both of these.
If you or your dentist notice that your teeth are crooked, worn, damaged, discolored, or even just generally unhealthy, then you may want to consider several types of tooth restoration available to you.
Tooth restoration procedures restore both the natural function of your tooth as well as prevent additional decay. They also help restore the appearance of your teeth for cosmetic purposes. Usually, procedures take both factors into account to ensure that not only do your teeth function properly, but they also look great.
When to Talk with a Restorative Dental Professional
Seeing your dentist at least twice a year for your regular checkups will help stay ahead of any major problems caused by dental decay. If you do have concerns, then bring them up with your dentist at your next visit. However, there are a few scenarios that warrant a call to the dentist to be seen more quickly.
If your teeth hurt or are bleeding, then it’s best to have a dentist assess your situation sooner than later. This is especially true if you’re showing signs of infection such as swelling or oozing.
If your teeth have been previously cracked, chipped, lost, or even if they’re just discolored, you can speak with your dentist about what restoration procedures will help restore the function and appearance of your teeth while preventing additional damage.
Depending on your needs, the dentists at Lee Family Dentistry including Dr. Lee and Dr. Ronald Levine can help you choose the best course of dental treatment or dental restoration that’s best for your situation.
Tooth restorations make your smile more uniform and aesthetically pleasing while also restoring natural function making it easier to eat and talk. Dental insurance often covers the cost of most dentistry restorative services.
Benefits of Restorative Dentistry
Dental restorations have multiple benefits, which is why restorative dentists are so sought after. Here are some of the benefits you can expect when working with a restorative dentist.
- Function Restoration – Perhaps the biggest benefit of restorative dental medicine is the restoration of tooth functionality. Properly functioning teeth allow you to eat and speak properly. When possible, your dentist will attempt to restore function to natural teeth. However, when this is not possible, they may opt for a functional tooth replacement instead.
- Eliminate Pain – Tooth pain can be debilitating. Not only does it hurt but it is distracting and takes away from your ability to work, sleep, and perform everyday tasks. Often this level of pain is caused by an infection or a deep cavity. Restorative care can eliminate that pain by fixing the problem at the source or removing the infection altogether and providing a replacement.
- Improve Appearance – Restoration is a great way to improve appearance when it comes to your smile. For many, this boosts confidence and makes patients more comfortable with the way they look and the way their smile looks.
- Prevent Further Dental Damage – Correcting a dental problem earlier than later prevents it from developing into a bigger problem that can also affect other teeth. For example, taking care of a cavity early on saves you from that cavity growing into a problem that would require a root canal or extraction.
- Preserve Jawbone Density – When a tooth has to be extracted, the jawbone loses stimulation from the root of the tooth. Without that stimulation, the jaw will begin to weaken and dissolve. Using a dental implant as an artificial tooth allows jawbone stimulation to continue. The implant is placed in the jawbone and a dental crown is attached to the top above the gum line. This allows dental implants to function as natural teeth and provide continued stimulation to preserve your jawbone density.
Risks & Complications of Dental Restorations
Most dental treatments have little to no risk outside of sensitivity or slight discomfort after procedures. It’s rare for a patient to experience infections or allergic reactions unless they don’t follow the dentist’s care instructions.
While dental restorations do have few risks, it is possible that dental crowns, veneers, or other restorations can become chipped or loosen. If you have a problem with your restoration, it’s important to contact your dentist right away.
Types of Restorative Dentistry and When You Need Them
Your dentist will recommend which restoration method is best for your unique situation. However, here are some of the more common dental work procedures used in restorative dentistry.
Dental fillings are among the most common dental services. Fillings replace portions of your natural teeth that have been lost due to cavities and decay. With a variety of materials to choose from, Lee Family Dentistry will ensure your filling is made to last.
What to Expect When Getting a Dental Filling
At Lee Family Dentistry, we use a local anesthetic to numb the area of your mouth where our dentist will be working. Once you’re nice and numb, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth, ensuring they leave no decay behind. The tooth is then cleaned and prepped for the filling.
Fillings are made from different materials. Most people prefer tooth colored fillings that don’t stand out against their natural teeth. To accomplish this, the dentist uses a composite resin filling which is layered in place, shaped, and trimmed to create a finished product similar to your tooth’s original structure.
Types of Dental Fillings
There are different types of dental filling options based upon the location of the cavity, the size of the cavity, and what your insurance covers. They include:
These are made from silver as well as other metals. They are the strongest, most reliable, and least expensive type of filling available. The biggest downside of an amalgam filling is the appearance. They do have a metallic sheen and stand out against your other teeth. They tend to be more commonly used on molars in the back of the mouth or for cavities in baby teeth.
Composite Resin Fillings
Most people prefer to use a tooth colored dental composite material to fill cavities. Unfortunately, this type of filling doesn’t tend to last as long as an amalgam filling would. It’s also much more expensive. However, they tend to blend in with your teeth much better due to their tooth-colored nature.
Ceramic fillings generally last longer than composite fillings. They also stand up better against staining and scratching. Unfortunately, ceramics are brittle. This can be mitigated somewhat by shaving away some of the tooth’s healthy material to allow for a larger, stronger ceramic filling. This type of filling is also much more expensive.
Caring for Dental Fillings
Caring for your dental fillings is the same as caring for your natural teeth.
- Brush at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once daily.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash at least once daily.
- Visit your dentist every six months.
Any extreme sensitivity, cracks, or a sharp edge warrant a call to your dentist to address the problem.
Crowns are essentially caps that are placed over teeth that have been significantly damaged due to decay, chipping, or cracks. The crown restores the size, shape, and strength of the tooth. These, too, come in a variety of materials and colors to try to create a natural appearance.
Porcelain, a type of ceramic, is a strong, beautiful option for a crown. It’s a great option for patients who have sensitivities to metal and can be color matched to the surrounding teeth.
Porcelain Fused Metal Crowns
This type of crown is porcelain fused to a metal cap. These are stronger than other options and can still be color matched to your natural teeth to blend in. Over time, as your gumline recedes, you may see a thin line of the metal at your gumline.
Bridges are an option for people missing one or more teeth. A false tooth or teeth would fill the gap of the missing tooth or teeth. Crowns are then placed over healthy teeth on either side of the gap to hold the false tooth in place. Bridges help eliminate gaps in your smile while restoring your bite and preventing your other teeth from shifting into the gap. Types of fixed or permanent bridges include:
- Conventional Bridge
- Cantilever Bridge
- Resin-Bonded Bridge
This type of bridge is used when you only have healthy teeth on one side of the gap.
These types of bridges are mostly used for your front teeth. It’s the least expensive option and is best used when adjacent teeth are nice and healthy without large fillings. The replacement tooth is fused to metal bands which are also bonded to the adjacent teeth.
Implants are another way to replace a missing tooth. A metal screw acts as a prosthetic root and anchors the implant in place. This type of implant does not require alterations to neighboring teeth. The crown used on dental implants can be matched to your other teeth to provide a natural look.
How Dental Implants Work
A dental implant is a tiny, durable screw that is anchored into the jawbone itself. It can be placed in either the upper or lower jaw. The surrounding bone then fuses with the screw to hold the implant in place. Implant dentistry is commonly used to correct tooth loss due to problems such as:
- Tooth decay
- Root canal failure
- Gum disease
- Mouth trauma
- Excessive wear and tear
- Congenital defects
Implants are used for replacing a single tooth as well as anchoring bridges, dentures, and partial dentures.
Benefits of Implant Dentistry
Dental implants are durable. They’re actually quite a bit more durable than dentures alone. Using this form of dental technology to hold dentures in place can mean avoiding common denture slips while eating or speaking due to increased stability. Dental implants also help reduce jawbone erosion and gum tissue irritation.
As dental care evolves, so does technology. Advances in implant technology now allow for smaller implants that allow more people to benefit from dental implants. If properly maintained, implants can last for a lifetime. To care for your implants, you simply follow the same steps that you use to care for your natural teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits.
Am I a Dental Implant Candidate?
You may be an excellent candidate for dental implants if you:
- You have enough jawbone to support an implant. In some cases, you may be eligible for a bone graft to add dimension to your jawbone.
- Your jawbone is dense enough to support the implant
- You have healthy gums to protect your jawbone and the surrounding teeth. Gums must also heal properly around the implant to help secure it and prevent infection.
Veneers are very thin shells that bond to the surface of your teeth to improve their appearance. These are typically used to restore the shape, size, or color of your teeth.
Porcelain Inlays and Onlays
Porcelain Inlays and Onlays are treatments used to restore teeth with mild to moderate decay, cracks, or other damage that isn’t quite severe enough to warrant a crown. These are matched to the color of the surrounding teeth and are a common replacement for metal fillings.
An inlay is restorative care for decay or damage on your tooth’s chewing surface. They are commonly used to replace silver fillings.
An onlay requires a more extensive procedure and is typically used for decay or damage on the cusp of your tooth. These are used more commonly when significant reconstruction is required. They protect more of your tooth than other options and help avoid extensive treatment required of crowns, bridges, and implants.
Inlay and Onlay Benefits
Inlays and onlays are a great option to stop tooth loss, prevent further loss, and eliminate tooth sensitivity. They have added benefits of:
- Virtually invisible
- Resistant to temperature changes
- Preserving natural tooth structure
- Strengthen teeth by bonding to the surface
- Better aesthetically than other options
- Prevent cavity-causing bacteria
Dental bonding is another restoration option that may help you. This involves chemically bonding composite material to the surface of existing teeth without having to remove a portion of the original tooth.
Dentures are an effective option for smile restoration. They also allow your mouth to function as it should when it comes to eating and speaking. Lee Family Dentistry in Frederick, MD can create natural-looking partial dentures, full dentures, or even implant-secured dentures depending on your needs. We’ll assess:
- The number of teeth needing replacement
- Location of the missing teeth
- Your price range
Our goal is to help you keep as many of your natural teeth as possible while also offering you an option to restore functionality and appearance for a healthy mouth.
Partial dentures are a great option if you’re missing several teeth at different locations in your mouth, or if you have voids across both sides of your arch. A removable partial denture is usually one of two types:
- Flippers – made from an acrylic tooth connected to an acrylic plate, this option uses metal clips to hold it into place.
- Cast metal – made from a cast metal framework, these are cast specifically to fit your teeth. Incredibly stable, your remaining teeth may need to be altered slightly to allow for a proper fit.
Complete or full dentures are used when no natural teeth remain. These are custom fit to your mouth and come in one of the following styles:
- Standard – for patients missing all of their teeth
- Cu-Sil – for patients with some teeth
- Overdentures – inserted over the remains of your natural teeth
- Implant-retained – permanent dentures that fasten to dental implants
When a tooth filling isn’t enough, you may need a root canal. Root canals clean out decay from the root canal of the affected tooth to eliminate your toothache and restore oral health. Once complete, the canal is filled with gutta-percha and topped with an onlay or inlay as well as a dental crown to restore strength and appearance.
At Lee Family Dentistry, extractions are a last resort. We do our best to save at least a portion of your damaged tooth using other dental treatment options. However, if the tooth is unsavable then an extraction may be required. If that’s the case then other options including implants, bridges, or dentures can be used to restore your smile.
What are Dental Sealants?
Sealants are a way to protect the depressions, indentations, and groves of your natural teeth from hard-to-reach food particles. These are a common procedure in pediatric dentistry. A tooth-colored coating is painted onto the tooth’s surface and then cured to create a barrier to protect enamel from plaque and cavities. It only takes a few minutes to seal each tooth and the sealants can last several years.
Periodontal dentistry refers to the tissue around the teeth. Periodontists specialize in treating gum disease ranging from mild gingivitis to the most severe cases of periodontitis. Common problems associated with untreated gum disease include:
- Receding gum lines that expose tooth roots
- Discoloration or deterioration
- Gum depressions
- Tooth loss
While gum disease can be very damaging to your mouth, with proper oral care and oral hygiene you can avoid gum disease.
If you’re in need of either restorative dental care or cosmetic dentistry, visit the family dentists at Lee Family Dentistry of Frederick. Schedule a visit online or call us at (301) 662-0300 to schedule an appointment. We serve patients from Frederick, Buckeystown, Braddock Heights, Adamstown, Jefferson, Point of Rocks, Tuscarora, Middletown, Ijamsville, Brunswick, Burkittsville, New Market, Barnesville, and surrounding areas in Maryland.
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When something goes wrong with our teeth it impacts our lives significantly. Talking and eating can become more difficult, which may influence our daily routine. When dental problems go untreated you put yourself at risk of further damage to the surrounding teeth, infection, tooth loss, heart problems, sepsis, and more. Thankfully, with great dental health and regular visits to your dentist, these problems can be avoided.
General dentistry focuses on cleaning, maintenance, and preventative care. Comparatively, cosmetic dentistry improves the look of your existing dental features through teeth whitening and other cosmetic procedures, while restorative dentistry repairs teeth and creates a healthy framework for any future dental procedures.
Restorative dental treatment is any service that is intended to relieve pain while restoring oral function. This includes fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges, dentures, and dental implants.