Dental health is exceptionally important and the quality of our smiles can have a huge impact on our self-esteem. If you have misaligned or missing teeth, not only can this make eating difficult, but you may feel self-conscious when speaking or smiling. This can cause you to purposefully remove yourself from many activities and opportunities, simply because you don’t want people to notice your mouth.
Thankfully, foundation restoration dentistry is an option that can help you take back control of your smile and restore your teeth to a state that you can feel good about. To help you understand more about restoration options that are available, here are some of the most common procedures and how exactly they work.
What is Foundation Restoration Dentistry?
Firstly, let’s take a look at what foundation restoration dentistry is. Technically speaking, this type of restorative dentistry focuses on any dental procedure that replaces or repairs a tooth to the point where it is functional and healthy. Essentially ‘restoring’ it to as close to its original state as possible. However, teeth that cannot be restored can also be replaced with implants, which restore functionality to the mouth without necessarily restoring the original tooth.
The two main goals of foundation restoration dentistry are function and appearance. With these procedures, a cosmetic dentist seeks to give you back full oral functionality while also restoring your smile. This can make eating and speaking easier, while also boosting your self-confidence, making you more likely to enjoy showing off your teeth in public.
Types of Foundation Restorative Dentistry
When it comes to the different types of procedures that comprise foundation restorative dentistry, there are many that you should know about. All of these procedures have been developed to help treat varying degrees of issues, and some will be better for certain patients rather than others. Your family dentist can help advise you or direct you to the best orthodontist that can perform the restoration procedure that you need.
Braces are some of the most well-known dental treatments and millions of Americans get braces every year. Although metal braces are most commonly associated with kids and teens, with the growing popularity of alternatives like Invisalign, more and more adults are opting to get their teeth straightened.
There are many different types of braces, and the most recognizable are those made from metal. While some people may shy away from metal braces, for severe misalignments they can be one of the best treatment methods. Similarly, ceramic braces are an alternative that can sometimes blend in with the natural color of your teeth better than their metal counterparts while still producing similar results. If your dentist has suggested braces to you in the past, it’s worth asking them about whether or not they would recommend metal or ceramic for your situation.
Likewise, many cases that aren’t too severe can be treated with aligners like Invisalign. Invisalign is an option that many teenagers and adults favor due to its nearly invisible appearance. Often, most people won’t even be able to tell that you’re wearing them. Although these aligners aren’t right for every case, it is worth talking to your dentist about them if you would like to correct your misaligned teeth.
Additionally, while many people think that misaligned teeth aren’t a huge problem, they can actually impact the overall health of your mouth. Crooked teeth can make it more difficult to brush effectively, leading to an increased risk of developing cavities. If the case is particularly severe, it can even lead to difficulties with eating or speaking.
If teeth straightening is something that your dentist has mentioned to you in the past, it may be worth speaking to them about it during your next visit to learn more about how this restorative treatment can benefit you.
Cosmetic veneers are semi-transparent shells that are created out of porcelain or composite resin and they can be bonded to your existing tooth in order to improve its appearance. Many people who undergo this type of foundation restoration dentistry treatment are currently struggling with chipped, broken, discolored, or misshapen teeth.
Veneers are long-lasting and don’t stain easily. They also have a natural appearance, so they won’t stand out from your natural teeth. Some dentists favor veneers because less tooth enamel needs to be removed than with crowns or caps.
When installing a veneer, a small amount of enamel is removed from the original tooth in order to achieve a more natural look once the veneer is in place. Once this is complete, a mold will be made and the veneer will be created to fit your tooth’s unique shape. It will also be designed to match the color of the surrounding teeth. While the veneer is being created, it’s possible that you will get a temporary one to wear until the finalized product is completed. Once the permanent veneer is created, the dentist will place it over the tooth and check to make sure that the fit is correct and that it is correctly bonded.
Keep in mind that in order for veneers to be an option, your gums and teeth must be healthy. This means that any gum disease or cavities will need to be addressed before applying the veneer. Similarly, if you are prone to teeth grinding or clenching, veneers may not be recommended by your dentist, or they might suggest that you wear a night guard while sleeping to prevent damage.
Furthermore, while they can last for a long time, it is possible for the veneers to loosen eventually. This will require a new veneer to be fitted over the tooth.
Dental implants are another of the most well-known types of foundation restoration dentistry and they have helped many people reclaim their smiles. Implants provide a permanent base for replacement teeth that make them as strong and as seamless as the originals. They are quickly becoming one of the most popular and standard treatments for the replacement of missing teeth.
Overall, dental implants consist of three parts:
- The Implant
- The Abutment
- The Crown
The implant itself is not the entire tooth, but rather a screw that is permanently implanted into your jaw bone that serves as the new root. The abutment is permanent — but removable by your dentist — and it serves as the connecter that holds the tooth in place. The crown is the part of the implant that you can see and it is usually made from porcelain or zirconium that can provide durability and a natural appearance.
It should be noted that while having a screw put into your jaw bone may sound scary, oral surgeons are thorough in their pain management. Overall, while there can be some initial discomfort, the procedure isn’t overly painful and ultimately the small amount of discomfort is worth the lasting results.
Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or they can be implanted as a full top or bottom set. If a full set is being implanted, four implants will be placed to serve as anchor teeth, while an arch of teeth is placed between them. This helps to keep the procedure relatively noninvasive and makes it quicker to complete while still giving you durability and a long-lasting smile.
However, as with veneers, you will need to have a healthy set of gums for this procedure to be available and it’s important that you work with your dentist to treat any issues so that you can get your restorative treatments sooner rather than later.
Dentures are another form of foundation restoration dentistry and they can be one that some people shy away from. While most people associate dentures with elderly people and images of teeth being cleaned in a glass overnight, this procedure has come a long way in recent decades.
Dentures are a set of teeth and artificial gums that can restore the appearance and function of your mouth. They can be used as a full set or they can be used to partially fill in for only some missing teeth. Regardless of whether you need a full or partial set, dentures will be custom-made for your mouth in order to give a seamless appearance.
In the past, most dentures were made out of porcelain or plastic. However, today, most are made out of a hard durable resin. Although they can be durable, they will still need to be replaced every five years or so, depending on their wear.
Dentures are held in place by suction or the help of an oral adhesive. This allows you to easily remove them when needed, but still be able to eat and smile with confidence. Although some people may not like the idea of taking their teeth out, it is something that you get used to surprisingly quickly.
Dentures can be a good middle ground if you’re not a good candidate for implants or you don’t want to commit to implants just yet. They can help preserve the appearance and function of your mouth, while also helping to support your lips and cheeks, which can sink in without proper structure. They can also help preserve speech and make speaking easier than it would be with your missing teeth.
Lastly, bridges are a form of foundation restoration dentistry that many people receive every year. They can be essential for stopping teeth from drifting if one is missing. A missing tooth allows for other teeth to move, which can cause additional tooth and gum problems. To prevent this, a bridge can be installed to help ensure that this drift doesn’t happen.
A fixed bridge uses an existing tooth to help hold the replacement in place. These are cemented in and can only be removed by a dentist. However, this gives them stability and durability so that you can eat and smile without the fear of it coming undone. When getting this type of bridge, your dentist will conduct dental exams to help them ready the surrounding teeth. An impression will be made so that the bridge can be customized to fit seamlessly over your teeth. In the meantime, you may be given a temporary bridge to wear while the permanent one is being created. Once finished, the dentist will fit the bridge and cement it in place.
Bridges can also be supported by implants, similar to what we mentioned above where the post is rooted into the jawbone. The benefit of this is that the bridge doesn’t need to rely on support from the surrounding teeth.
The materials used to create bridges can vary, and your dentist will talk to you about the different options and which would be best for you. Some are made from metal while others are created from ceramic or a combination of the two. Be sure to speak to your dentist and ask any questions that you may have before agreeing to the procedure so that you’ll understand everything beforehand, including how to care for your new bridge.
A Lasting Smile
Teeth play a huge role in our self-esteem and self-image. If you are struggling with misaligned or missing teeth, don’t put off going to the dentist until the problem gets even worse. Many problems can be quickly solved if they are caught early, and early treatment can also shorten the length of time that it takes to perfect your smile.
If you’d like to speak to someone for more details about these procedures, consider reaching out to HIPAA compliant telehealth platforms so that you can ask any questions that you have from the comfort of your home. This can also help give you an idea of what to ask about when you visit your dentist for your next check-up. Platforms like this have gained popularity in recent years, and they are a service to keep in mind when it comes to oral health.
With all of this in mind, you can start thinking about what foundation restoration dentistry procedures would be best for you so that you can reclaim your smile and invest in treatments that will last.