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What is Restorative Dentistry?

Restorative dentistry includes many reliable and advanced methods to repair teeth and renew function to your bite without compromising the beauty of your smile. At Susan Thomas, DDS, we provide advanced technology for comprehensive treatments to rejuvenate your oral health completely.

Dental restorations can reestablish function and beauty to your smile and correct:

  • Damaged and decayed teeth
  • Failed restorations
  • Missing teeth
  • Misalignment

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What are the Signs that I Need Restorative Dentistry?

We can detect changes in your enamel or existing restorations during your bi-yearly exam. This preventive appointment is a great way to catch problems at their earliest stage requiring less complicated treatment. We encourage you to keep up with your six-month exams to minimize your need for additional treatment and save you time and money.

Restorative services include long-lasting solutions designed to treat many oral health problems; the most common include:

  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Lost or failed restoration
  • Tooth abscess
  • Crooked teeth
  • Stained teeth

Dr. Thomas will treat your dental problem and retain as much of the healthy tooth structure as possible. Our goal is to use the least invasive procedures that encourage long-lasting results.

Can I Avoid Restorations?

If you maintain a healthy environment for your teeth and gums, you may be able to avoid restorative procedures. Most people will need at least one cavity filled in their lifetime.

7 Tips to Help You Avoid Dental Problems

  1. Use toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride at least twice a day
  2. Use dental floss at least once per day, preferably at night
  3. Use a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush
  4. Brush teeth and gums for at least two minutes each time
  5. Never skip brushing your teeth before bed
  6. Drink or rinse your mouth with water after eating
  7. Schedule dental exams twice a year

Are Restorations Affordable?

Our staff understands your need to budget for dental costs. We will help you explore your insurance benefits to find out if a portion or all of your expenses will be covered, and then file your claim on your behalf. You will receive estimates for any out-of-pocket expenses so that you can plan for your upcoming treatment.

Preventive care is the most affordable dental treatment because it includes fewer complex procedures. Simple options like sealants can protect your molars against decay. Routine exams, which are included in most dental insurance plans, are very beneficial to your health and your budget.

As a family dental practice, we accommodate our treatment plans to meet the needs and comfort levels of every age.

How is Restorative Dentistry Conservative?

When there is damage or disease to your teeth and gums, any treatment used to rejuvenate a healthy foundation is considered restorative. We use the least invasive solutions available to repair the damaged portion and save as much natural tooth as possible for promoting ideal results.

When Do I Need A Crown?

Crowns are used to restore a tooth that has suffered from extensive decay, cracks, chips, and infection. They are also used to repair a tooth that was previously restored by a filling, inlay, or onlay.

A crown is also used to return function to a tooth treated with root canal therapy. Once the pulp and roots of the tooth are free of bacteria and infection, we ‘cap’ the tooth with a crown to return chewing ability and aesthetics.

When is Extraction Used?

When a tooth cannot be saved, we will safely remove it. Doing so will protect neighboring teeth, gums and overall health. We only suggest extraction when:

  • Teeth have extensive damage
  • It is required for orthodontic treatment
  • It is necessary to prepare for dentures or implants
  • Wisdom teeth are impacted or jeopardizing your bite

Depending on how many teeth are left after extraction, we may suggest different replacement options such as traditional and implant-supported options. 

When are Fixed Bridges Used?

We suggest a fixed porcelain bridge to replace one to four missing or extracted teeth. It is a tried-and-true solution to restore your bite. A traditional bridge will crown two neighboring teeth to stabilize the porcelain replacements. If there are signs of gum disease, we will need to treat the area before we secure your final bridge. Doing so will promote the longevity of your bridge.

If you are looking for a more permanent option or do not have healthy teeth to support the crowns, we can examine your gum tissue and bone to qualify you for an implant-supported bridge.

Are Dentures Right for Me?

Dentures are dependable restoration options for missing teeth. If you have budget concerns about implant-supported dentures or have extensive damage from gum disease, dentures are a great option for you.

After a full examination, we will determine your need for further treatment. If you have gum disease, we will perform the treatment to remove disease and bacteria before you receive your final denture. Extraction may be required to remove unhealthy teeth or to prepare for a full denture.

What Do I Need to Know about Dentures?

Once you receive your final dentures, we will discuss with you in detail how to care for them.

How Long Before My Dentures Feel normal?

You will experience an adjustment period as you learn to chew, speak, and wear your dentures comfortably. Your gums will eventually adapt to wearing them throughout the day. We will schedule a follow-up visit for any fit-adjustments.

If you experience sore gums during the first month, we recommend that you rinse with warm salt water to reduce inflammation.

Practice chewing and speaking every day, your tongue will need to adjust to its new job of helping keep your denture in place, especially when eating and speaking. Remember to remove your dentures at night to give your mouth time to rest.

How Do You Clean Dentures?

We recommend using a gentle cleaning solution to soak your dentures overnight. It’s also important to keep your dentures clean throughout the day. Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste after you eat.

Don’t ever use hot, boiling water or bleaching agents on your dentures and be careful not to drop them. Doing any of these can damage your restoration.

We encourage you to schedule an appointment if you are having trouble with your dentures in between routine visits.

Are Dental Implants Worth the Money?

Are you thinking about having implants support your tooth replacements? We will examine your mouth to see if you qualify for them and discuss what the treatment involves as well as the benefits of having implant-supported restorations.

5 Benefits of Dental Implants

  1. Protects the health of neighboring teeth
  2. Stops other teeth from shifting into gaps
  3. Prevents the ‘sunken-in’ look of facial features
  4. Supports ‘natural’ chewing force to keep jaw bone healthy
  5. Returns chewing ability without diet limitations

It is essential to have a healthy dental foundation to achieve all the benefits of implants. With a 95-98% success rate, we want your implant investment to last a lifetime.

How Long Does It Take to Get Dental Implants?

Treatment time varies depending on your oral health and how long your gums take to heal. Gum disease treatment and bone graft procedures can potentially add months to your time-frame.

What Restorations do Implants Support?

Implant-supported crown - A stand-alone artificial tooth that will blend in seamlessly with your smile.

Implant-supported bridge or partial denture - They replace a row of teeth without compromising neighboring teeth, creating a uniform bite. Two implants are used to anchor the restoration in place.

Implant-supported denture - It will replace the upper, lower, or both arches to give you a stable smile of artificial teeth. The dentures will not move or limit your diet choices. Depending on your bone quality and gum health, we can attach the denture to four-six implant posts. We encourage patients receiving lower dentures to consider implant-supported dentures as it can be more difficult to keep lower dentures in place.

Restore Function and Beauty to Your Smile!

We offer quality restorations to patients of all ages at our family dental practice. 

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