If you have ever felt self-conscious about your teeth, you owe it to yourself to schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist. A Grand Rapids cosmetic dentist will be able to offer a full range of services to help you restore the appearance and function of your smile.
In this blog post, we will explain how different types of dental restorations work so you can make an informed decision for your smile.
What are dental restorations?
Like the name suggests, dental restorations are designed to restore your teeth to their original strength and appearance before tooth decay or dental injury happened. Dental restorations can be classified as either “direct” or “indirect”.
Direct dental restorations are applied directly to fill an existing tooth. For example, fillings are used to fill teeth after cavities are removed. Indirect restorations are made in a lab before being applied to your teeth and are usually reserved for teeth with significant damage from decay or injury. For example, dental crowns are made in a lab based on your dental impressions.
What are the different types of dental restorations?
Besides improving self-esteem, dental restorations can also make it easier for you to eat and speak. Dental restorations can also prevent further damage to your smile. For example, a dental implant fills in the gap caused by a missing tooth, which prevents further tooth loss. Below, we describe the different types of dental restorations in more detail.
- Fillings If your dentist finds tooth decay during your next dental checkup, you’ll need a filling to save the tooth. Fillings come in a variety of materials, which include silver amalgam fillings and composite resin fillings. We recommend composite resin fillings for teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. However, they can also be used for molars (back teeth). Teeth with large cavities may also need a dental crown overtop the filling to keep the tooth structurally sound.
- Dentures If you are missing multiple teeth from your smile, you may want to consider wearing complete or partial dentures. Dentures are essentially removable false teeth. While living with dentures takes some getting used to, many of our patients appreciate being able to speak and eat better than they did with missing teeth.
- Crowns Dental crowns (also called “tooth caps” by some of our patients) are used to restore teeth with significant tooth decay or dental injury. Your dentist may also recommend a porcelain crown to strengthen a tooth that has been weakened by root canal therapy or multiple dental restorations. Dental crowns cover the entire visible portion of your tooth above the gum line to give you the appearance and function of natural tooth enamel.
- Bridges Dental bridges are used to bridge the gap in your smile after losing a tooth. A dental bridge comprises a false tooth secured in place by crowns on either side. In order to be a candidate for dental bridges, the gap in your smile must be surrounded by healthy natural teeth or dental implants. A dental bridge will be able to restore your smile so it looks beautiful and natural.
- Implants Dental implant surgery involves a dentist inserting a titanium rod into your jawbone to act as an artificial tooth root. You will then have to wait several months for the implant to fuse to your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Once your jawbone has healed, your Grand Rapids dentist will place an abutment and porcelain crown over the implant to give you the look and function of a natural tooth. While the dental implant procedure takes several months, many of our patients feel as though it is worth having a smile that feels natural.
Dr. Ritzema DDS at Complete Health Dentistry is dedicated to helping patients achieve their best smile and good oral health. If you are interested in restoring your smile through dental implants, bridges, dental crowns, or other dental restorations, be sure to give our dentist in Grand Rapids a call at (616) 458-7267.