NuSmile Dental Center is a top-ranked restorative dentistry practice in Costa Mesa, CA, offering patient-centered, customized care for optimal outcomes in every patient. From fillings to dentures to implants and more, the team at NuSmile is skilled in the most advanced techniques for beautiful results greater patient satisfaction.
Restorative Dentistry Q & A
What is restorative dentistry?
Restorative dentistry is focused on restoring damaged teeth and gums or other issues affecting the structures of the mouth. Restorative treatments include fillings, root canal therapy, crowns, bridges, inlays and onlays, gum surgery and gum disease treatments, dentures, dental implants and any other procedure that seeks to restore optimal oral health. Like cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry treatments can be combined and customized based on each patient’s unique needs and goals.
Does a missing tooth always need to be replaced?
Yes. Not only can a missing tooth have a major effect on appearance and self-confidence, but it can also affect bite mechanics, causing uneven tooth wear that increases the risk of decay and also causing neighboring tooth roots to become loose, eventually leading to additional tooth loss. Plus, a missing tooth can disrupt the normal bite balance, resulting in strain on the jaw joints that can cause chronic jaw pain, headaches, and temporomandibular joint disorder. When multiple teeth are missing, nutrition and speech can also be affected.
What about cracks or chips that aren’t causing symptoms? Do they need to be repaired right away?
Yes. Even a small chip or crack exposes the deeper layers of the tooth to decay and it can increase the risk of more significant damage, including fractures.
What is a tooth-colored filling?
A tooth-colored filling (or white filling) is made of durable composite materials that can be tinted to match the surrounding tooth material so they blend in perfectly and are virtually invisible. Some studies indicate composite fillings bond more completely with the tooth material, making it more difficult for decay to form around the edges. Plus unlike metal fillings, composite fillings contain no mercury and they won’t darken over time.
What is an inlay or an onlay?
Inlays and onlays are used to restore teeth with a large amount of damage. Inlays are used to treat damage on the chewing surface of a tooth while an onlay extends down the side of the tooth. Like a crown or veneer, inlays and onlays are made in a dental lab to achieve a custom fit.