What is Restorative Dentistry?
Restorative dentistry is an area of general dentistry that focuses on restoring the function of your teeth. When we “restore” your smile, we’ll repair and replace missing teeth. As always, the best option is the save your natural teeth by repairing them using crowns and fillings. However, sometimes teeth can’t be saved, and we’ll have to extract and replace them with options like dental implants, all-on-4 dental implants, bridges, or even dentures. Restorative dentistry at Luxe Smiles in Miami seeks to give each patient the best treatment for repairing and replacing teeth; that’s why we have many options—because each patient is different.
When we restore your teeth, we avoid future problems such as damage to adjacent teeth, bite issues, and bone loss. It may not seem like a big deal to have a tooth or two missing, but your teeth and mouth function best when they’re complete. When other teeth have to take on extra bite pressure, they are more prone to cracking, breaking, and becoming painful. Your teeth have another important function that often is overlooked: they stimulate your jawbone. Your jawbone is fluid as far as bones go, and when there is no tooth root to provide stimulation, your body stoping repairing and replacing jawbone cells at its normal rate. Eventually, you’ll notice that the lower third of your face (between your nose and chin) becomes smooshed. You’ll also get more wrinkles and other appearance concerns. Replacing your missing teeth as needed negates bone loss, so you don’t lose your facial structure.
In essence, Miami restorative dentistry is about restoring function. But teeth that function best are also considered beautiful and hold your face shape. When you restore your smile’s function, you look better too.
Situations Restorative Dentistry Can Improve
Think of any situation where you’d need to fix your teeth to improve function, and you have a situation for restorative dentistry.
- Missing teeth: Missing teeth are a common problem that restorative dentistry can fix. Nearly 120 million Americans are missing one tooth, and 36 million do not have any teeth. Replacing your missing teeth will restore the look of your smile and the function of your mouth. You’ll be able to eat healthier because you have teeth to chew your food, improved confidence, and are less likely to experience jawbone loss that changes the shape of your face.
- Damaged teeth: Damaged teeth are hard to live with! Often, they are very painful, and people come to their Miami dentist right away. Sometimes damaged teeth aren’t painful, but you should still get them replaced! Your teeth protect each other by being lined up straight and without chips. If there are chips, the adjacent teeth are more likely to chip too. Your teeth could be cracked, chipped, worn down, or have thin enamel. Usually, cracked and worn-down teeth with thin enamel are very painful, but chips aren’t always.
- Cavities and tooth decay: Tooth decay, such as cavities are larger amounts of decay, is another common problem restorative dentistry can fix. Tooth decay happens when bacteria infect your tooth and cause a hole leading to the inside, sensitive part of your tooth. If you have a cavity or a lot of tooth decay, you will likely feel it before you see it. Your tooth will have permanent damage that we can fix with restorative dentistry in Miami.
- Bite problems: One thing many people don’t think of when they have many missing teeth is the impact on their bite. Your jaw joint is dynamic. It can move up, down, and side to side. The only thing keeping your jaw joint in place is your teeth. When you are missing teeth, your joint can become lopsided and begin to hurt. We can restore your missing teeth, so you have a balanced and harmonious bite.
Restorative Dentist vs. General Dentist vs. Cosmetic Dentist
Are you beginning to wonder what the difference is between the types of dentists? We’ll tell you a little secret; all restorative and cosmetic dentists are general dentists. However, skilled restorative and cosmetic dentists have many hours of advanced training that makes them experienced enough to provide good restorative and cosmetic services. While all these dentists are actually general dentists, they have different focuses.
A general dentist focuses on the health of your mouth.
A cosmetic dentist focuses on the appearance of your smile.
A restorative dentist focuses on the function of your mouth.
At Luxe Smiles, our dentists are general dentists, cosmetic dentists, and restorative dentists. That means that Dr. Naranjo and Dr. Testar have taken advanced training that gives them the skill to focus on health, appearance, and function all at once. If you’re looking for dentists who offer the whole package, make an appointment with Dr. Naranjo or Dr. Testar. Call (305) 253-7670 or make an appointment online.
What Treatments are “Restorative?”
Restorative dentistry treatments repair the function of your teeth and mouth. Here are some services that fall under the category of “restorative dentistry.”
Dental implants are the best way to replace your missing teeth because they replace the entire tooth, including the tooth’s root. The tooth root is essential to your jaw because it provides stimulation. Your tooth root also allows your jaw to take most of the biting pressure instead of your gums. That’s why you don’t get sore gums when you eat.
Dental implants are titanium posts surgically placed in your jawbone. Your jawbone heals around the post, and then we’ll put a crown on top to replace the visible part of your tooth. Many people in Miami get dental implants right away when they lose a tooth, and others choose to replace lesser tooth replacements with dental implants because they look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. You can get one dental implant or many!
All-On-4 Dental Implants
All-on-4 dental implants are for those who need to replace an entire arch of teeth (all the teeth on the top or bottom) or a full mouth of teeth. They’re a set of natural-looking and natural-feeling teeth that are connected to your jawbone with only four dental implants. The dental implants are placed into the thickest part of your jawbone and provide enough stimulation to keep your boy’s cell repair and replacement process active. The four dental implant posts will also take all your bite force. They are permanently in your mouth and look, feel, and function just like natural teeth.
A dental bridge is for patients who have lost only a few teeth on either the top or the bottom. The dental bridge “bridges the gap” between missing teeth. It’s made of up to three pontics (replacement teeth) and one crown on either side. The crowns attach to healthy teeth or dental implants; the pontics sit over the spot where you are missing teeth.
Dental Crowns & Fillings
Dental crowns and fillings repair damaged teeth. Fillings are used to fill a cavity and decay holes, while dental crowns are a more extensive approach. They protect your natural tooth by encasing it under a new tooth. You’ll keep your natural tooth and root underneath, but you’ll see the crown. Dental crowns and fillings look and feel like your natural teeth.
Restorative Dentistry & Preventative Dentistry
At Luxe Smiles, preventative dentistry is important. We know that the best thing for you is to keep your natural teeth, so preventative dentistry can be part of our restorative process. If you have gum disease, we’ll treat it before doing any restorative dentistry. When your gums and healthy, your teeth are healthy. And beautiful!
Restorative Dentistry and Insurance
Most insurance covers part of restorative dentistry treatments because the health and function of your mouth and teeth are at stake. However, be sure to check with your insurance before treatment to make sure.
Restore Your Teeth in Miami
If you need restorative dentistry in Miami, call (305) 253-7670 or make an appointment online with Dr. Naranjo or Dr. Testar. Our dentist and the team at Luxe Smiles are here to help you live a happier, healthier life.