Restorative dentistry is a multifaceted branch of dental care that is aimed at improving the overall look and function of teeth. The goal is to strengthen, reconstruct or replace teeth that have been damaged due to trauma or decay. Dentists have obtained comprehensive training and accreditation in restorative dentistry techniques. They are skilled at diagnosing dental problems and determining the most effective course of action in treating them.
Restoration of a tooth usually requires the use of anesthetic to ensure proper treatment. It can be as simple as filling a cavity or performing a root canal to eradicate decay on the surface and inner tissues of the tooth. The restorative process may also be more in-depth, especially if the tooth has sustained extensive damage or is missing altogether. If the root is still intact, dental crowns can save a natural tooth's function by replacing the visible part of the tooth with a porcelain cover. If one or more teeth are missing, full and partial dentures and dental implants take the place of natural teeth, filling in gaps and allowing for normal chewing, speaking and smiling. Dental implants are particularly effective because their structure mimics that of a natural tooth. While dentures are removable for cleaning, dental implants are "fixed" restorations and can last a lifetime with proper care.
Although dental restorations do not decay, maintaining good dental hygiene with restorations is important to ensure that the gum tissue and surrounding natural teeth remain healthy.