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Patient getting dental exam at restorative dentist in Tampa, FL

Ultimate Guide to Restorative Dentistry

November 28, 2022
Posted By: North Tampa Dentistry
Patient in treatment chair at dentist in Tampa, FL

Restorative dentistry is tooth maintenance or treatment that allows you to keep your tooth instead of losing it to fractures or extraction. Restorative dentistry is crucial to your long-term oral health because it means keeping a damaged tooth and reinstating its stability.

At North Tampa Dentistry, Dr. Roberto Bellegarrigue relies on quality materials and the latest techniques to fabricate restorations that complement your smile, blend in with unrestored teeth, and function as intended.   

What Is Restorative Dentistry?

Restorative dentistry is tooth repair, treatments and protocols that keep teeth viable. Let’s explore a few examples of restorative dentistry.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown covers your tooth to the gumline and is custom fabricated to blend seamlessly with your smile. Dentists use crowns in Tampa, FL, for various reasons, including restorative dentistry.

When using a crown to restore a damaged tooth, your dentist first prepares the tooth for crowning. This entails removing old filling material and shaping the tooth for its crowning or capping.

Your dentist then cements the crown over the prepared tooth and makes final adjustments to fit, function, and shading.

Reasons you might need a dental crown to restore your tooth include:

  • A tooth weakened after a root canal infection
  • A tooth vulnerable due to deep decay or trauma

Dental crowns also work outside tooth maintenance, playing roles in dental implant technology, bridgework, and cosmetic dentistry. They can be made from various materials, including zirconia, porcelain, and porcelain fused to metal.

Our Tampa, FL dentist office uses digital scanners to record the correct dimensions for your crown. For you, that means no gooey impression materials.

Woman smiling at Lake Magdalene in North Tampa, FLTooth-Colored Fillings

We use tooth-colored fillings to seal a treated tooth after cavity treatment.

Tooth-colored fillings are made of composite resin, a malleable material set with a special light. Your dentist in Tampa can work efficiently with composite and choose a shade that blends in with your tooth.

We use tooth-colored fillings because we remove less healthy tooth structure when applying the resin than older silver fillings. Additionally, tooth-colored fillings are more practical because they do not react to hot or cold foods and drinks like silver fillings, which can contract away from your dental enamel when exposed to unfavorable elements.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are the middle ground between a dental filling and a dental crown. In this case, your tooth is too damaged for a dental filling, but the issues are not severe enough for a dental crown.

Inlays are single pieces of restorative material fitted between the cusps of teeth. However, onlays fit over the cusps. Like crowns and dental fillings, inlays and onlays are colored to match your teeth.

Dental Veneers

When you think of dental veneers, you probably imagine cosmetic dentistry. However, dental veneers can also be restorative, concealing cracks and chips to protect your tooth from further damage.

So dental veneers are both cosmetic and restorative.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is another treatment that can be restorative and cosmetic. Dental bonding is made from the same composite resin you find in tooth-colored fillings. Your dentist applies it to chips and cracks, filling them and restoring your tooth.

Tooth bonding is inexpensive and a quick way to upgrade your smile’s appearance while filling chips or cracks that can lead to further fractures or cavities.

Restorative vs. Cosmetic Dentistry

Restorative dental services in Tampa, FL, are necessary to save or protect a tooth from further damage. Cosmetic dentistry is an option you choose to enhance your smile aesthetics. However, cosmetic dentistry can also be restorative and vise-versa.

Examples of cosmetic dentistry that are not restorative include professional teeth whitening.

Examples of cosmetic dentistry that can also be restorative include:

  • Dental veneers
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental bonding

We also offer full mouth reconstruction in Tampa, FL. In this case, we are concerned with function, aesthetics, and restoration.

Restorative Dentistry vs. Missing Tooth Replacement

  • Restorative dentistry repairs an existing tooth that you plan to keep.
  • Tooth replacement replaces a tooth that is missing.

Missing tooth replacement in Tampa, FL, includes:

  • Dental bridges—Restoring teeth anchored to healthy teeth with dental crowns
  • Dental implants—Replacement tooth roots capped with crowns or prosthetics (implant bridges or implant dentures)
  • Complete dentures—An entire arch of restoring teeth on a gum-colored plate.
  • Partial dentures—A partial or sporadic arch of restoring teeth secured with clips

Toothbrush and tooth paste at dentist in North Tampa, FLHow to Maintain Your Restored Smile

Most modern restoration options do not require a lot of maintenance and upkeep. However, it’s crucial to brush and floss your teeth twice daily at the minimum. You should also continue seeing your dentist every six months, even if you have full-mouth prosthetics.

Specific prosthetics require extra care, like dentures should be soaked in a denture bath overnight, and you should always clean beneath your bridge to prevent gum disease, infections, and bad breath.

Remember, gum health is crucial to the longevity of your prosthetics, natural teeth, and restorations. If you develop gum disease, you risk further tooth loss, dental implant failure, and other potential complications.

Studies link gum disease to many health complications, including heart and lung issues, certain types of dementia, low birth weight, and premature labor.

Financing Restorative Dentistry

You can finance restorative dentistry in a few ways, and restorations are a covered dental benefit in some cases. Additionally, we accept a variety of insurance plans, including Medicare Advantage.

If you don’t have dental insurance, we are happy to work with CareCredit financing. This medical and dental credit card offers various financing programs, including interest-free options. You can apply online and learn whether you’re approved in a few minutes.

We also offer our own Special Discount Dental Plan to help patients get the dental treatments they need and deserve. Talk to us about limits and exclusions.

Contact Us for Restorative Dentistry in Tampa, FL

Restoring your smile improves oral health, dietary choices, and confidence. So give North Tampa Dentistry a call today at (813) 968-5368 to learn more about our options or to arrange a consultation with your dentist.

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