As stated by the British Society of Restorative Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry is a field that deals with comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis and therapeutic intervention for disorders affecting the oral cavity, teeth and their associated structures.
This speciality encompasses various dental specialties such as endodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics, which includes implantology. The primary basis of Restorative Dentistry lies in the integration of these disciplines to provide exhaustive care for patients with complicated conditions. (1)
Definition and Overview
The discipline of Restorative Dentistry aims to preserve and restore oral health through the diagnosis, examination, and management of dental diseases. The main focus of restorative dentistry is to offer specialized oral rehabilitation that restores both function and aesthetics to patients with congenital and acquired dento-facial defects.
Restorative dentistry also encompasses all the activities related with the subspecialties of Implantology (Dental implants), Endodontics (root fillings), Prosthodontics (crowns, dentures, bridges), and Periodontics (gum disease).
Along with the clinical care provided, a significant responsibility of the Consultant in Restorative Dentistry is to serve as an advisory resource for general dental practitioners and patients. (2)
Restorative dentistry covers a wide variety of procedures and treatments aimed at maintaining, restoring and improving dental health and function. Some of the most common restorative dentistry procedures and treatments include
- Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is a dental prosthesis made to replace one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges,also known as a fixed partial denture, span the gap where the teeth are located. They are generally made of a combination of some materials such as gold, alloys, and porcelain and are anchored to the adjacent natural teeth for support. (3)
In cases where there is not enough tooth structure to support the filling, crowns can serve to heal a tooth with a large filling. Crowns are also a method used to install bridges, protect a weakened tooth from fracture, or repair a broken tooth. Additionally, dental veneers can be used to mask discolored or misshapen teeth as well as to hide a dental implant. Dental crowns are generally made of materials such as ceramic, porcelain, or metal alloys. The choice of material depends on the location and function of the tooth being treated. (4)
Dentures are a removable dental prosthesis that can replace missing teeth, restore oral function, and improve the appearance of the smile. By replacing missing teeth, dentures can provide numerous benefits such as improved ability to eat and speak.
Dentures are made to fit the unique shape and structure of each patient's mouth. It can be produced from a variety of materials such as acrylic resin or porcelain, depending on patient’s needs and preferences. There are types of prostheses such as conventional, immediate, overdenture. (5)
- Dental fillings
Dental fillings are used to repair small cavities in teeth involving the removal of decayed tooth material by the dentist, followed by filling the resulting cavity with a tooth-colored composite material. During treatment, the carious area is removed and the cavity is filled with a durable material. With this treatment, the function and appearance of the tooth can be restored and the risk of further decay or damage reduced. Dental fillings are typically made from materials such as resin, porcelain, or amalgam, and the choice of material depends on the location and severity of the cavity being treated. (6)
Dental implants are designed to mimic the feel and look of natural teeth. It is a highly sought-after and effective treatment procedure for replacing missing teeth. Implants are generally made of biocompatible and titanium materials. These implants are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw. (7)
Candidates for restorative dentistry procedures must meet some criterias. Patients who
- are head and neck oncology patients with significantly altered anatomy,
- have high risk of osteoradionecrosis (ORN) and complex functional aesthetics requiring multidisciplinary care,
- Congenital and acquired defects that require specialist skills to restore aesthetics and function,
- have serious congenital abnormalities in the number, structure or shape of teeth (hypodontia, amelogenesis, cleft palate and dentinogenesis imperfecta) and treatment is outside the scope of primary dental services,
- have trauma resulting in significant acquired defects or requiring implant restoration and multidisciplinary secondary care
are accepted for restorative dentistry procedures. (8)
Risks and Side Effects
Restorative dentistry is a set of dental procedures used to repair or replace damaged or missing teeth. Although these procedures are generally safe and effective, there are some risks associated with them including
- Bridge failure.
- Pain or chewing problems.
- Tooth decay (9)
- Discomfort or sensitivity.
- Chipped, loose or falled crown. (10)
- Nerve damage
- Sinus damage
- Tooth sensitivity (11)
Patients should discuss potential risks and concerns with their dentist before undergoing any restorative dental procedure to find out if they are compatible.
Post-Procedure and Follow-up
Restorative dentistry procedures can vary depending on the type and extent of the procedure performed on the patient. However, eating softly, keeping the teeth clean, avoiding smoking are among the things that should be considered after the operation for restorative procedures. (12)
Changes in recovery times can be expected even in restorative dentistry procedures. A complete mouth reconstruction may require several dental surgeries spread over a period of time. In these cases, the recovery time is prolonged, it can take from several weeks to several months.
Dental restoration procedures can be done for health or cosmetic reasons. Treatments vary according to the patient's dental needs. Dental restoration procedures aim to restore the natural function of each tooth by making chewing and speaking easier.
Treatments improve the function of damaged or missing teeth, allowing individuals to eat and speak more comfortably and effectively.
At the same time, individuals can benefit from the benefits of their restorations for many years and see long-term results.
1- The British Society for Restorative Dentistry. What is Restorative Dentistry? (https://www.bsrd.org.uk/Index.aspx)
2,8- York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Restorative Dentistry. (https://www.yorkhospitals.nhs.uk/our-services/a-z-of-services/restorative-dentistry/)
5-MouthHealthy. Dentures.(https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dentures )
6-MouthHealthy. Fillings. (https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/fillings-tooth-colored )
9-Medical News Today. Dental bridge: Everything you need to know. (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327182#complications)
10-WebMed. Dental Crowns. (https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-crowns)
11-WebMed. What to Know About Dental Implant Complications and Risks. (https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/what-to-know-about-dental-implant-complications-risks)
12- Healthline. The 7 Different Types of Tooth Restoration. (https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/tooth-restoration#when-to-talk-with-a-pro)