What are the top restorative dentistry procedures? Whether you have missing teeth, cracks, chips, or another similar issue, dental implants and other restorative options can help. If you're not sure whether or not you need dental implants or which option is the best choice for your dental needs, take a look at the top questions about restorative dental providers and how they can help to change your smile.
Are Restorative and General Dentistry the Same?
The answer to this question is yes—and sometimes no. Some restorative dentists have specialty or additional training in endodontics or cosmetic practice. But this doesn't mean every restoration requires a specialist. Cavity fillings, crowns, bridges, and implants are common restorations that many general practice or family dentists offer.
Even though a general dentist can fill your teeth or place a crown, some procedures are more complex and require the knowledge and experience of a specialist. Implant dentistry is one example. While some general practitioners will offer this service, a specialized professional is often needed to handle challenging cases that involve jaw bone grafting.
Which Procedures Are the Most Popular?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors. These include the age of the patient, the problem/complaint, the diagnosis, and recommendations from dental professionals. Overall, the number of restorative dental procedures in the U.S. is trending downwards. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) Health Policy Institute (HPI) the number of restorative services dropped from 21.6 percent in 2001 down to 11.9 percent in 2018.
Even though this data shows a decrease in the total number of procedures performed, plenty of patients still choose or need restorative treatments. Again, these types of treatments include the fillings and crowns that most general practice dentists offer. They also include bridges, bonding, implants, dentures, and veneers.
Which Materials Are the Most Common Restoration Options?
Along with the procedures, the restoration materials vary. The most common types of materials used for restorative dental services include amalgam (a mixture of metals that includes mercury, silver, tin, and copper), gold, resin composites (tooth-colored material), and ceramics (also tooth-colored).
Is Restorative Dentistry An Adults-Only Option?
No, restorative treatments are not limited to procedures for adults. According to the ADA HPI, data shows that restorative care begins as early as two years of age in the U.S. The HPI's statistics show that the number of treatments per age group increases as children reach early adolescence. While there is a peak at age 11 to 12, restorative care dips until young adulthood. The number of treatments gradually increases through early adulthood and reaches another peak by middle adulthood (50s and early 60s).
Where Can You Find A Restorative Dentistry Professional?
It's possible the same dentist you've visited for years offers restorative services. But if they don't (or they don't offer the treatment you need right now), your family or general practice dentist can refer you to a specialist. These specialists may also include cosmetic dental practitioners and surgeons.