Reconstructive dentistry is the technical term for any restorative dental treatment to repair teeth cavities, cracked or broken teeth and to replace missing teeth. Reconstructive dentistry techniques are used to fix teeth affected by tooth decay. If left untreated dental problems can worsen and more advanced dental work will be necessary. Dentists advise patients to visit a dental clinic immediately when symptoms appear.
Reasons for reconstructive dentistry procedures
A tooth cavity is a small hole in the tooth caused by dental decay rotting away the tooth enamel and pulp inside the tooth. Minor tooth cavities may require a simple composite dental filing, however extensive decay can affect the nerves and pulp chambers of teeth requiring advanced dental work to seal the cavity.
People loose teeth for many reasons. Injury and ill health can cause teeth to fall out suddenly, while dental problems such as untreated tooth decay, TMJ disorders, gum disease and misaligned teeth can require tooth extraction. Replacing missing teeth is an art form and dentists have a range of treatments from dentures to dental implants to provide replacement teeth that offer the functionality and appearance of a natural tooth.
Fractured teeth not seen by a dentist and left unsealed are easy targets for tooth decay as bacteria and plaque settle in the cracks and cannot be removed with regular tooth-brushing at home. Cracks in teeth may be repaired with tooth bonding or a dental filling. If it not possible to repair the tooth, dentists will remove the tooth and replace it using a dental crown, dental implants or a dental bridge
Reconstructive dentistry procedures
Holes in teeth caused by decay are sealed using composite dental fillings. The dentist will clean the tooth cavity to remove any decay before packing the hole with a tooth coloured resin-material.
If a dental cavity has spread to the pulp chambers of the tooth and is affecting the nerve and root, dentists will use root canal treatment to stop any further tooth damage and prevent tooth extraction being necessary. Root canal treatment is an extensive dental filing that involves cleaning out infected nerve tissue, removing the root of the tooth and sealing the dental filing with a crown to protect the tooth.
Dental crowns, often known as a 'cap' are placed on the outer surface of tooth enamel to protect, strengthen and seal damaged teeth. Tooth crowns do not replace dental filings as crowns provide an additional layer to the outer surface of teeth and do not fill and repair cavities. Dental crowns are used with dental implants to act as a replica tooth.
Patients who are missing teeth or need a tooth extraction due to dental decay often rely upon dental implants to provide a functional, natural looking replica tooth. Dental implants are placed into the gums and function as a natural tooth root. Dental implants are commonly capped with a dental crown to provide a false tooth that looks as real as natural teeth.
A dental 'bridge' connects crowns on adjacent teeth to a false tooth to hold the replica in place. Dental bridges are a permanent replacement for missing teeth and an alternative to removable dentures.
Dentures, commonly known as false teeth, are removable prosthetics to replace missing teeth. Dentures are often used if patients do not want dental surgery to attach implants or a dental bridge.
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