What is Restorative Dentistry?
Restorative dentistry is the replacement of damaged or missing tooth structure with a specialised material. There are several materials used in dentistry, with your dentist making a decision on what is most appropriate for each situation. When a tooth is broken down, we do our very best to restore it to function in your mouth. We also do our best to make a broken tooth look great at the same time.
Teeth need restorations for a variety of reasons:
- tooth decay, which is the process by which bacteria in the mouth produce acids and break down tooth structure.
- replacement of an existing restoration. All restorations deteriorate over time, and may require replacement due to recurrent decay, discolouration, failure at the margins of the teeth, or fracture of the tooth around them.
- cracked tooth syndrome – teeth develop cracks over time. This can be in teeth which have been restored previously, or sometimes unrestored teeth. Depending on where the cracks are, the teeth can be very sensitive to temperature or pressure. Occasionally these teeth need root canal treatment if symptoms don’t resolve. On rare occasions we can’t restore cracked teeth, and they need to be extracted.
- excessive wear due to grinding – some people have a grinding habit – see Bruxism
- dental erosion – the loss of hard tooth structure from exposure to strong acids. The most common causes are acidic foods and drinks, some medicines, or stomach acid regurgitation/reflux
- toothbrush abrasion – aggressive tooth brushing technique can cut grooves into the necks of teeth, causing sensitivity and weakening the tooth.
- trauma – can cause fracture of teeth