Dentist in Orange and Beaumont Texas

Dental Restoration

Ideally, all dental care would be preventative dental care which is designed to help protect an individual’s oral health. Unfortunately, however, even individuals who work hard to protect their oral health can still occasionally experience worn, decayed, damaged or missing teeth that affect the overall structure, function and comfort of their mouth. Dental restoration helps to resolve these issues so that the individual can once again experience optimal oral health and a comfortable, beautiful smile.

The Types of Dental Restoration

There are many different types of dental restoration procedures, but they all fall into two main categories: direct restorations and indirect restorations. Direct restorations are usually performed in a single office visit, and are so named because the restorative material is placed directly into or onto the tooth. Indirect restorations are usually performed over two office visits that are several weeks apart, and are so named because a dental laboratory must make the restoration based on impressions your dentist takes, and then your dentist will install and adjust them. Following are the most common dental restoration procedures:

  • Dental bonding. This direct restoration is one of the most widely used dental procedures. Dental composites are normally tooth-colored so as to blend in with the natural color of the patient’s healthy teeth, and can be used to take care of chips, gaps between teeth, staining, crookedness or even misshapen teeth.
  • Dental bridges. This indirect restoration is used to replace missing teeth not only for structure, function and comfort reasons but also to prevent remaining teeth from shifting to fill the gap. This can prevent against problems with eating and speaking, and also help to reduce the risk of periodontal disease and tooth decay.
  • Dental crowns. This indirect restoration can be used for a variety of reasons, including protecting teeth that have been damaged by cracks, decay, grinding or even normal wear and tear. They can also be placed over healthy teeth to help support a dental bridge.
  • Dental fillings. This direct restoration is often used where tooth fractures, tooth decay and other tooth damage issues are minor but do affect structure, function and comfort. Depending on the location and extent of the problem, a variety of materials including composite, porcelain or silver amalgam can be used for dental fillings.
  • Dental implants. This indirect restoration is often used to replace missing teeth that have either been accidentally lost or purposefully extracted. They are often considered more sturdy, durable and comfortable than bridges, especially since they are permanent.
    Partial or complete dentures. This indirect restoration serves to replace anywhere from several to all of a patient’s teeth. This restoration is very important as it prevents the face from sagging unnaturally and allows the individual to bite and chew properly. Dentures are made to fit comfortably over the gums during use, and are removed for cleaning each night.
  • Dental inlays and onlays. These indirect restorations are essentially the next two dental restoration steps above dental fillings, where tooth damage or decay is more extensive. Inlays are normally appropriate when there is some damage to one or a couple of the more prominent parts of the tooth, and onlays are normally appropriate when there is damage to the entire biting surface of the tooth. Both options are more conservative and less expensive than dental crowns.
  • Dental temporaries. This direct restoration is used as a way to protect a tooth that has been prepared for a crown, inlay or onlay and it allows for normal structure, function and comfort while waiting for the permanent restoration to be fabricated and installed.

The overall goal of any dental restoration is to restore an individual’s mouth to optimal structure, function, comfort and health. The specific type of dental restoration that is best for you is of course the one that will best suit your individual needs without being excessive. In other words, while minor tooth decay could be more than adequately resolved through the use of a dental crown, this is unnecessary if a dental filling would also adequately restore tooth structure, function, comfort and health. Your dentist will be able to assess the condition of your teeth and provide a thorough explanation of why a specific type of dental restoration is best suited to your needs.


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