Dental problems can destroy more than your smile.
Your health, your self-esteem, your job prospects, even your happiness can all be casualties of poor oral health.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Did you know that much of what your dentist does is considered “restorative dentistry?”
It’s an interesting phrase because restorative dentistry can restore so much more than just your oral health.
“I had a patient walk in recently and she had her hand over her mouth. She was so embarrassed that a front tooth had broken in half that she always covered her mouth,” says Austin Restorative Dentist Samantha Hollinger, DMD. “With a couple of root canals, we were able to get the broken tooth and another that was dying back to looking beautiful and being fully functional, and strong enough to anchor a partial to replace other missing teeth. She can smile again. Restorative dentistry can make such a big impact.”
Let’s back up a bit. Restorative dentistry can be much simpler than root canals. Removing a cavity and putting in a filling is a form of restorative dentistry, for example.
“What is a cavity? It’s an overgrowth of bacteria that’s burning a hole in your tooth, and that one infection reduces the Ph of your whole mouth, making other teeth more susceptible to cavities,” explains Dr. Hollinger. “Your whole mouth is a connected environment, so fixing one tooth protects everything else. It’s an amazing ecosystem.”
Restorative dentistry can also include other work like crowns and dentures—anything that keeps your mouth healthy and returns it to full function.
Depending on the size of cavities, they are addressed with fillings, an inlay, or an overlay to prevent further decay. Missing teeth are replaced with implants, bridges, or dentures; broken teeth are strengthened and protected with crowns or caps; and veneers are used to restore the shape and length.
“I had another patient whose dentist in another state had used clear aligners like Invisalign but possibly hadn’t been very well trained in how to use them,” says Dr. Hollinger. “The result was that she had one tooth that was much shorter than the others. I used a little bonding to even out her bite and it was gorgeous.”
Even though restorative dentistry can cross over into applications that are also used in cosmetic dentistry, the primary goals are to alleviate pain, address infection or other conditions, and maintain optimum health.
The key is to address issues earlier rather than later. The smaller the cavity, for example, the smaller the filling and the longer it will last.
“Your mouth is one of the only parts of your body where we can get you back to normal function in just a matter of minutes,” says Dr. Hollinger. “If you have an infection in another part of your body, antibiotics can take days to begin taking effect, but we can remove a tooth infection—a cavity—and fill it quickly. Even better, dentistry lasts a really long time.”
Contact TRU Dentistry Austin today to schedule a consultation with a dentist near you. Your dental health starts here.