Restorative dentistry consists of a series of interventions for damaged teeth, meant to repair both tooth appearance and function, but of the many types of dental treatment available to patients today, it also includes many of the most invasive interventions. How, then, can dentists identify the best candidates for restorative dentistry? While existing tooth damage is obviously at the top of the list of concerns, there are a number of other factors dentists need to consider before beginning the process.
Commitment To Time And Cost
While some types of restorative dentistry, such as colored tooth fillings, are fairly easy and affordable to complete, overall, restorative dentistry procedures can be quite costly and time consuming. That’s for the good of the patient, since these are repairs that are meant to last, but it also means that dentists often choose restoration materials like zirconia, surgical steel, and bioceramics. These materials are continually being improved upon, however, and that can make them expensive.
Another major factor to consider when identifying candidates for restorative dentistry is a patient’s ability to receive consistent care. While it is difficult to predict long-term behavior, patients may need to commit to as much as a year of ongoing treatment, particularly if a combination of extractions and implants are needed.
Extent Of Damage
Obviously only those individuals with some degree of tooth damage require restorative dentistry, but the extent of that damage will determine whether a patient qualifies for treatment and what kind. Depending on the practice, restorative dentistry offerings include treatments
ranging from implanted crown and dentures to bridges and colored fillings. Colored fillings might be used for something as simple as a cavity, a form of damage that doesn’t necessarily require restorative intervention, while patients with many cracked, infected, or missing teeth might need extensive restorative work just to maintain normal function.
While some dentists consider dentures to be a form of restorative dentistry, many others have recommended that, when possible, dentists move away from such half measures and embrace full-arch implant restorations. Why choose a more expensive and invasive treatment over a long-time solution, though? The simple answer is that ultimately most patients have problems with their dentures. Non-implanted dentures tend to shift around, causing gum irritation, making it difficult to eat, and leaving wearers feeling self-conscious. Choosing implants can resolve all of these problems.
Length Of Use
It’s one thing to fit an older adult for conventional dentures or other temporary measures because they don’t want to take on invasive treatments, and it this may be the best, most medically sound option for such patients. Younger patients, however, make especially good candidates for even highly-invasive restorative dentistry like implants because they need lasting solutions to prevent structural issues like tooth shifting
and bite collapse. Though age is hardly the most important factor, given that most restorative dentistry patients are older, it is a consideration.
Restorative dentistry is the cutting edge of current care and a critical form of intervention for those with serious tooth damage. By thoroughly addressing cracks, missing teeth, and other oral health problems, patients can avoid more complex and lasting problems like nutritional deficiencies and speech problems. Poor oral health has widespread implications, and patients need solutions to support their complete health needs.