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Restorative dentistry (Operative Dentistry)

Operative Dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on replacing damaged or missing teeth.

Specifically, these dentists primarily remove and restore decayed teeth and treat other oral conditions. They also specialize in treating patients who require dental restorations due to trauma or injuries.

This branch of dentistry includes treatments from other dental fields such as endodontics, dental prostheses, and periodontics; because many patients need multifaceted care; That is, they may need the treatment of more than one specialist.

Restorative dentists treat all patients, including children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. In most cases, adults and the elderly seek restorative treatment.

The goal of restorative dentistry is to save teeth and restore their natural appearance and shape; to give the patient the feeling of natural teeth.

  • Restoration of damaged teeth with a tooth filling or bonding treatment.
  • Simple or complex restoration of the missing parts of the tooth structure; Such as inlay, onlay, coating, or filling.
  • Complete replacement of missing teeth with artificial restorations such as implants, bridges, or dentures

Types of dental restorative materials

Raw materials are the basis of the restoration of the tooth structure. Dental cavity fillers, veneers, implants, artificial teeth, and other restorations are made from these materials:

  • Metals
  • Amalgam alloys
  • Polymers
  • ceramic
  • Composites
  • Glass ionomers
  • Denture base resins
  • Noble and base metals

Restorative dentistry compared to cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry use similar materials and procedures. If a person needs treatment due to an illness, his treatment is considered restorative, even if the final result is to improve the person’s beauty, it is still considered a restorative method.

In addition, dental procedures improve the patient’s beauty, smile, and self-image.

Examples of cosmetic treatments include veneers and teeth whitening. These treatments are considered cosmetic because they are elective and not medically necessary. These operations are performed to improve the appearance and beauty of the person.

Types of restorative dentistry methods and treatments

Restorative solutions include bridges, dentures, fillings, veneers, inlays, onlays, implants, and bonding:

Dental crowns

Dental veneers are tooth-colored or metal restorations. They replace a significant portion of lost tooth structure caused by root canals, tooth decay, or fractures. Veneers also act as full-coverage “caps” that restore the tooth’s natural size, shape, and function.

For the doctor to decide whether a person needs veneer repair or not, he examines several factors; these factors include the function and location of the tooth, the position of the gum tissue, and the color of the surrounding teeth. Of course, it is not limited to these factors.


Dentures are removable (removable) or fixed artificial teeth that replace multiple missing teeth.

When a person loses all their teeth due to advanced tooth decay or gum disease, in restorative dentistry, prostheses are a suitable solution.

Depending on the type of patient, there are five different types of prostheses to choose from. Common types of dentures include full dentures, fixed partial dentures, removable partial dentures, implant-retained dentures, and immediate dentures.

Dental implants

After tooth extraction or loss, a dental implant is usually used to replace a permanent tooth.

In this method, a dental specialist surgically places an implant (artificial tooth root) in the patient’s jawbone. The implant is in the shape of a screw and is connected to the natural bone. Oral surgeons and periodontists perform implant procedures.

Dental bridges

Dental bridges are full-coverage restorations that cover three or more teeth. Bridges only replace one or more teeth, however, two real teeth fill the “gap” on either side of the missing tooth. Bridges are the result of severe tooth decay, tooth loss, or tooth extraction.

Dental bridges are more affordable than implants. In this method, recovery time is faster; but the bridges don’t look natural. Also, they are more prone to breakage and decay than implants.

Dental bonding

Dental bonding methods include composite resins (tooth-colored glass and plastic fillers). Dental bands can fill cavities, repair cracked or broken teeth, and cover discolored tooth surfaces. They also fill small gaps between the teeth, which can be beneficial for people with diastemas.

Depending on the need, there are three different methods of dental bonding, including complex dental bonding, composite veneer bonding, and composite bonding.

Inlays and Onlays

In restorative dentistry, inlays and onlays are partial, tooth-colored, or gold restorations that restore smaller areas of missing or damaged tooth structure.

They are a less invasive procedure than veneers and are composed of complex restorative materials. In other words, dental laboratory technicians make these restorations outside the mouth.

Laser tooth restoration

Dental restoration with laser is a method without a drill, pain, or anesthesia in the treatment of dental diseases. In this method, the dentist can identify tooth decay and treat it using the focused rays of mild laser light. Laser therapy is safe, reliable, and one of the biggest advances in dentistry.

What are the benefits of restorative dentistry?

Restorative dentistry offers a wide range of benefits for people of all ages. For example, it can:

  • Restoring oral health.
  • Improve chewing performance
  • Relieve toothache.
  • Reduce the risk of future dental problems.
  • Improve the appearance of the smile.

What are the risks of restorative dentistry?

The most common risk is sensitivity or general discomfort after a restorative dental procedure. Rarely, you may develop an infection or allergic reaction to the metals used.

Dental restoration has very few risks. But crowns, for example, may be cut or loosened. If you have deep cavities or delay filling the cavities, it can lead to root canal treatment or tooth extraction. If there is a problem with your teeth, contact your dentist immediately

What is the recovery time after a restorative dental procedure?

This depends on several factors, including the type of procedure and the number of teeth that need treatment. For example, a person who has a cavity filled can immediately resume normal activities. However, someone who has had four dental implants may need a few days off to heal. Your dentist can give you good advice in this field.

When should I visit my dentist?

If you have decayed, damaged, or missing teeth, consult a dentist in Canada. They can help restore the health, function, and appearance of your smile.

You should also visit your dentist regularly for dental check-ups. In addition, be sure to maintain oral and dental hygiene at home in-between visits.

If you have a dental restoration that feels uncomfortable in your mouth or causes a bad taste, contact your dentist immediately for further guidance.


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