What Is the Difference Between Dental Restoration and Filling?

What Is the Difference Between Dental Restoration and Filling?

What Is the Difference Between Dental Restoration and Filling?

Tooth decay and dental trauma are unfortunate parts of life and can happen to anyone. Although, by practising good oral hygiene, you can lower the risk of developing any dental issues, you may still require some dental restoration or fillings at some point. But what are they and what’s the difference? Let’s look in more detail.

What Is Dental Restoration for?

What Is Dental Restoration for?

Dental restoration refers to the process of repairing or replacing damaged or missing teeth structures to restore their function, integrity, and aesthetics. This field of dentistry encompasses various techniques and materials aimed at repairing teeth affected by decay, trauma, wear, or other factors.

Plenty of issues can call for dental restoration, from genetics causing thin enamel and poor diet causing tooth decay to dental trauma or grinding of teeth. The important thing is getting your teeth seen to by a dentist and having them restored before the issues become worse and cause further complications.

Dental restoration aims to:

  • Restore the functionality of teeth (chewing, speaking, biting)
  • Preserving the natural tooth structure to prevent further deterioration
  • Improve the aesthetics of the teeth and overall smiles
  • Prevent further damage via dental prosthetics like fillings, crowns, implants and dentures
  • Improve oral health by fixing dental issues that may cause more serious illness

Some form of tooth deterioration is normal as you age, but you can prevent the need for most dental restoration work by practising good oral hygiene. Maintaining good oral hygiene is also crucial once any dental restoration work has been done to maintain the work of the dentist and save your other teeth.

Why Good Oral Hygiene is Important

Maintaining good oral hygiene throughout your life is crucial for the health of your teeth, gums and tongue. While dentistry has come along leaps and bounds in terms of what it can do for restoring, repairing and replacing teeth, no solution is permanent so keeping your natural teeth is best. Plus, even with new teeth like veneers and dentures, you still need to maintain them to keep them looking white and fresh as well as in good condition.

Good oral hygiene involves:

  • Brushing your teeth, tongues and gums twice a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Rinsing with mouthwash or a saltwater rinse once a day
  • Having a healthy diet with limited sugary foods and drinks
  • Having regular appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist

By maintaining good dental hygiene you can prevent dental issues which can be painful, lead to further complications with your dental and overall physical health, prevent invasive procedures like tooth extractions and root canals, and keep your straight sparkly smile for longer.

Bacteria live in our mouths naturally due to the moist, warm conditions that allow it to thrive as well as the regular intake of food, and not all of this bacteria is harmful. However, we need to regularly remove the bacteria from our mouths to prevent the buildup of plaque, a sticky substance that attaches to our teeth, eating away at the enamel causing tooth decay and cavities to form.

Severe tooth decay can not only lead to tooth infections (dental abscesses), gum disease and tooth loss, but can even lead to more serious physical health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and gastrointestinal conditions like IBD and IBS. By looking after your teeth and gums, you can prevent the need for invasive dental procedures and health problems as well as maintain your beautiful smile.

Seeing a Dental Hygienist

Seeing a Dental Hygienist

Seeing a dental hygienist is an important part of maintaining good oral health. You should typically visit every six months for a cleaning and check-up, though frequency may vary based on individual needs and your hygienist will make recommendations according to your tooth and gum health.

Most hygiene appointments last 30 minutes, although in private dental practices you can have 45 to 60 minute appointments for more thorough cleaning and education on oral hygiene. The dental hygienist will look at your medical history and any past x-rays before examining your mouth and cleaning as necessary.

The most common process is a scale and polish which involves scraping the plaque from your teeth and polishing the surface of your enamel to make it smoother. This helps prevent tooth decay by removing the bacteria and providing a smoother surface so it’s harder for bacteria to stick to your teeth. Dental hygienists can also perform root planing, which smooths over the roots of your teeth, further helping prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay.

Regular visits to the dental hygienist help prevent dental problems and ensure a healthy smile, so if you haven’t had an appointment lately or believe you may have plaque buildup or gum disease, it’s time to make an appointment.

The Difference Between Dental Restoration and Fillings

The Difference Between Dental Restoration and Fillings

Dental restoration is a term used for the repairing or replacing of teeth that have been broken or chipped or have deteriorated. This can involve many different processes and materials for the repair, including:

  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Dentures

Which kind of repair or replacement you need will be assessed and discussed by your dentist so you can have the most appropriate treatment to improve your oral health and return your confidence through your healthy and complete smile. Let’s look at each component of dental restoration in a little more detail.

Fillings

Dental fillings are restorative materials used to repair teeth damaged by decay or cavities. They come in various types including amalgam, composite resin, gold, and porcelain. The procedure involves numbing the area, removing the decayed portion, and filling the cavity with the chosen material.

With proper care and maintenance, fillings can last for many years, but maintaining good oral hygiene, avoiding hard objects, and attending regular dental check-ups are essential for their longevity.

Crowns, Bridges and Dentures

Dental crowns, bridges, and dentures are restorative treatments used to replace missing teeth or restore damaged teeth. Crowns are a kind of cap that is placed over a damaged tooth to fix the appearance and restore the function of the tooth. They’re usually made with porcelain to last a long time and have a beautiful white finish.

Bridges replace missing teeth by anchoring artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth or implants. They require two healthy teeth either side of the gap created by the missing teeth in order to hold in place, but can sometimes be attached to dental implants.

Dentures are a removable prosthetic device to replace several missing teeth made from acrylic resin. They need to be fitted properly for comfortable wear as well as have regular cleaning and maintenance for longer use.

Periodontics

Periodontics is a specialised field of dentistry dedicated to safeguarding the structures supporting teeth, including gums, ligaments, and bone. Its core aim is to preserve these tissues, ensuring tooth retention and overall oral health. The stronger the tissue surrounding your teeth, the stronger your teeth will be, so maintaining good oral hygiene and having periodontal treatment is a great way to maintain healthy teeth.

Periodontal diseases such as gum disease stem primarily from bacterial plaque accumulation on teeth and gums, leading to inflammation and infections if left untreated. Treatment options vary according to disease severity and can be performed by a dentist or dental hygienist.

Some periodontal treatments include:

  • Scaling and polishing
  • Root planing
  • Pocket reduction surgery (pockets of infected tissue can form in the gums)
  • Gum grafting to cover exposed roots from receding gums
  • Bone grafting to repair bone loss and promote tissue regeneration
  • Dental implant placement

Overall, periodontics plays a critical role in preventing and treating gum diseases, maintaining tooth-supporting structures, and ensuring long-term oral health. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential for early detection and management of periodontal issues.

Need to See a Dentist? Contact Didsbury Dental Practice

If you need a routine dental appointment, emergency dental appointment or a dental hygiene appointment, Didsbury Dental Practice is here to help! Open from 9 am to midnight every day of the year, we have appointment times to suit everyone and expert dentists ready to take care of essential dental work and cosmetic dentistry so you can get your smile back. Contact us today for more information.

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