Preventive dentistry is designed to help keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. When your smile is damaged in any way, whether from lack of access to preventive care or due to some sort of trauma, restorative dentistry can provide you with a second chance at looking and feeling your best.
At the Washington, DC, dental practice of Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC, Dr. Culotta-Norton and Dr. Peter Grinc provide restorative dentistry options for you to give you back the smile you deserve. Ask us about the goals and benefits of restorative dentistry.
The goals of restorative dentistry
Restorative dentistry typically has two goals, which are independently important and work together to improve your quality of life.
The first goal is to ensure stable arches of teeth in the upper and lower jaw, as well as healthy gums and strong underlying bone support. Gapped teeth or damaged teeth can make it hard to speak or chew, while periodontitis (gum disease) or tooth extraction can cause underlying bone in the jaw to dissolve, leading to an ongoing cascade of tooth loss. Restorative dentistry addresses these issues to reduce your risk of tooth loss and make your smile strong.
The second goal is to give you a smile that boosts your self-esteem. Tooth loss or visible dental work can make you reluctant to smile. Since your smile is the first thing people often see, a damaged smile can cause problems in your work, school, or personal life. Restorative dentistry gives you a smile that is straight, white, and even, so you can feel good about yourself and project self-confidence.
The benefits of restorative dentistry
These restorative dentistry procedures can help preserve your teeth and jawbone, preventing additional damage to your smile. They can also improve your appearance by making your smile stronger, straighter, and brighter.
Each of these procedures has individual benefits. We choose the right ones to give you a fully functional and brilliant smile.
Dental bonding restores and strengthens chipped or cracked teeth. It can also be used to fill small gaps between teeth, improving your smile’s appearance, eliminating lisping or whistling when you speak, and reducing the chances that your teeth will shift into the gap.
Tooth-colored dental fillings benefit your smile by replacing tooth material lost to decay. This restores the strength and functionality of your tooth, and seals it against bacteria.
Root canals can prevent the need to extract an infected tooth. We create an opening at the surface of your tooth, scrape out the infected pulp inside, and replace it with a strong, sterile material before covering the surface with a custom restoration. This keeps the root of your original tooth physically in the bone of your jaw, reducing the risk of bone and tooth loss.
Customized dental crowns are one of the most common types of restorations. They can be used to cover the site of a root canal, restore a severely cracked or broken tooth, or complete a dental implant procedure. Crowns can restore your bite for a proper chewing surface and less strain on surrounding teeth.
When a tooth is missing, getting a replacement root into the jawbone as quickly as possible is the best way to prevent bone deterioration and additional tooth loss. Dental implants consist of a titanium post set into the bone of your jaw by an oral surgeon. The bone fuses around the post over a period of several months, stimulated by the post in the same way it was originally by your tooth root. An abutment tops the dental implant, and a few weeks later Dr. Culotta-Norton places the crown to complete the restoration.
If significant gum disease or bone loss makes you an unsuitable candidate for implants, a dental bridge can span the gap left by a missing tooth. It attaches to and supports the teeth on either side, preventing them from shifting and becoming loose. Each dental bridge can support one or more tooth restorations for an even, perfect looking smile, clearer speech, and an uninterrupted chewing surface.
Moving forward with restorative dentistry
Your first consultation will be a collaborative effort as we discuss your hopes for your smile and do a full exam to ascertain the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. We’ll work with you to select the right combination of restorative dental procedures for your individual case.
If you don’t really need a full smile makeover, we also offer additional cosmetic dentistry options including veneers, which can cover over the front faces of your teeth to hide imperfections, and teeth whitening, which can brighten your teeth and make your smile look more attractive.
Are you interested in restorative dentistry to regain confidence in your smile? Schedule an appointment by calling 202-833-1111 today.