When you need a restorative dental procedure to reclaim your smile’s health and beauty, proactively seeking answers to your questions is one of the best ways you can ensure you get the results you’re seeking.

Here are 8 of the most common questions about restorative dentistry and answers to inform and empower your decision-making. 

8 Frequently Asked Questions About Restorative Dentistry 

1. What is restorative dentistry?

Restorative dentistry includes any dental procedure that restores teeth that are damaged, missing, weak, or compromised due to injury, decay, wear and tear, or bite irregularities (malocclusion). With highly personalized treatments and care, restorative dentistry aims to simultaneously rejuvenate your smile’s health, function, and appearance.  

2. What’s the difference between gold and porcelain crowns?

While all dental crowns are used to protect a tooth that is cracked, damaged, or decayed, the type of crown used largely depends on the tooth’s location and the patient’s preference.

As they are made of durable metal alloys, gold crowns are often used for back teeth (molars), where the forces of chewing are greatest. Gold crowns are essentially indestructible and reliably long-lasting. For front teeth or aesthetic concerns, porcelain crowns offer the most lifelike restoration. Full porcelain crowns are also metal-free, which make them an ideal choice for patients with metal allergies.

3. How long do CEREC crowns last?

Made of durable porcelain, CEREC crowns offer patients a natural-looking restoration in a single visit. Like all dental restorations, the lifespan of a CEREC crown largely depends on your oral health habits, such as twice annual dental visits, daily brushing and flossing, and wearing a night guard for bruxism (grinding and clenching of the teeth). With proper preventative care and maintenance, your CEREC crown can last from 10 to 30 years.

4. What are inlays and onlays?

Dental inlays and onlays are both used to repair teeth with mild to moderate cracks, fractures, and decay that are too damaged for a filling yet robust enough to avoid a crown. While an inlay fits inside the tooth (like a filling), an onlay fits inside the tooth and covers the chewing surface of a back tooth. Available in lifelike porcelain, dental inlays and onlays can replace failed or unsightly fillings while improving a tooth’s health and strength.      

5. What’s the difference between Six-Month Smiles and ClearCorrect?

Six-Month Smiles and ClearCorrect both allow you to discreetly straighten your teeth without obvious or uncomfortable metal wires and brackets.

Using clear braces, Six-Month Smiles focuses on straightening the teeth that show when you smile. Ideal for those with a healthy bite who want to improve the alignment of their front teeth, a Six-Month Smiles treatment is especially efficient and lives up to its namesake—most treatments take as little as six months to complete.

By using a series of removable clear aligners, ClearCorrect allows you to discreetly straighten your teeth and correct malocclusion by incrementally repositioning your teeth. As the aligners can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing, ClearCorrect allows you to maintain your daily activities and oral hygiene normally and comfortably.

6. What are dentures made of?

Dentures and partial dentures are removable prosthetic teeth that allow you to reclaim lost oral health and function due to missing teeth. While a full conventional or immediate denture is used to replace a full arch of missing teeth, a partial denture can correct a gap in your smile that is too wide for a dental bridge.

Both dentures and partial dentures consist of two primary components: prosthetic teeth and a full or partial plate. Prosthetic teeth, made from either porcelain or acrylic resin, are supported by the framework of a full or partial plate, which is often made of acrylic resin, nylon polymer, or chrome cobalt metal. Your dentist will help you determine which materials are the most suitable for your unique situation and needs.   

7. Are dental bridges removable?

While partial dentures are sometimes called a “removable bridge,” dental bridges most often refer to a fixed restoration. Used for replacing one or more adjacent teeth that are missing, a dental bridge is a prosthetic tooth (known as a pontic) that is suspended between two dental crowns. The dental crowns are securely bonded to the teeth or dental implants that neighbor the space left by the missing tooth, “bridging the gap” and restoring your smile’s fullness.    

8. How strong are dental implants compared to real teeth?

Anchored in bone and covered with enamel (the hardest substance in your body), the anatomy of a tooth is unlike any other part of your body. In fact, your teeth are harder than steel and can even withstand a compressive force of 30,000 pounds. (Please note: this does not mean you can chew on steel or start weightlifting with your teeth!)

While nothing can exactly replicate this fascinating part of your body, dental implants are the strongest option available for replacing missing teeth. As they fuse into the jawbone (a process called osseointegration), dental implants most closely mirror the function, structure, strength, and appearance of natural teeth.   

Do you still have questions about restorative dentistry? Dr. Farless and his team are happy to answer your questions. Contact the office for more information or to schedule a restorative dentistry consultation.  


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