Restorative dentistry is the complex of study, diagnosis and managment of teeth and surrounding structures diseases. In the United States restorative dentistry is not recognized as a dental specialty, while in the UK is recognized as a specialty under EU directive and it is constantly developing and expanding.
Since awareness of patients grows and life expectancy gets longer, increasing emphasis is placed on oral and teeth diseases and on prevention. Especially in Europe, restorative dentistry is more and more becoming a specialty that put togheter different dental, medical and surgical specialists, as it also considers the rehabilitation of the teeth and the oral cavity to functional, psychological and aesthetic requirements of patients.
Restorative dentistry includes the different ways in which dentists can replace a missing tooth or can restore the missing part of a tooth; examples of restoration treatments include dental or esthetic fillings, crowns, bridges, dental implants, dentures, inlay, onlay, bonding, air abrasion and micro dentistry.
Tooth restoration. Others situations.
Others cases that may be treated with restorative dentistry are developmental disorders such as hypodontia, cleft lip and palate or aggressive periodontitis; radiotherapy and ablative surgery for the management of oral cancer; traumatic injuries to the face, mouth and teeth; damage caused by periodontal disease, tooth decay, tooth attrition and acid erosion; different severe medical and surgical problems.
Every one of this condition may require a multidisciplinary and integrated care, and so restoration treatments may be the result of the collaboration of different specialties as orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, paediatric dentistry and dental and maxillofacial radiology.
Materials usually used to restore teeth are porcelain, amalgam, composite resin and gold; composite resin include ceramic or plastic compounds that can be used with other materials like glass ionomers. Patients are recommended to talk with their dentist about the presence of mercury.
Dentists always suggest to pay attention to prevention and to oral daily care, since tooth decay or periodontal diseases are mostly caused by plaque; plaque can be remove with a proper hygiene, primarily with brushing and flossing and bacterial plaque can form around dental restorations and contribute to the recurrence or progression of a problem.