Do you have questions about an upcoming dental restoration in Puyallup, Washington? At Northwest Dental Medicine, our dental team aims to provide quality up-to-date information so you can go into your appointment feeling confident. If, after reading through our frequently asked questions, you would still like assistance, call (253) 845-9507 to speak with a member of our team. Dr. Rochelle Riley looks forward to caring for your smile.

What is restorative dentistry?

Restorative dentistry is a field of dental care focused on repairing and replacing damaged teeth and their supporting structures so that you can regain full oral function. Treatments may range from fillings, inlays and onlays to implants, crowns, bridges, dentures and root canal therapy.

I’ve lost a tooth. What are my options for replacing it?

There are several options available to replace your missing tooth. When you visit our office, our dentists will examine your mouth, discuss your oral health needs and smile goals with you, and review your treatment options. We will design a customized treatment plan to restore your tooth and your smile. Some of the tooth replacement options we may discuss include:

  • Dental implants
  • Dental bridges
  • Complete or partial dentures

Why should I have restorative work done instead of having the tooth pulled?

Retaining your original teeth is usually better for your long-term oral health and function, and our dentists will not recommend that you have a tooth extracted unless it is causing damage to your other teeth and oral health. By restoring the tooth, you can keep your natural tooth longer and continue to enjoy a beautiful smile without the need for more extensive and expensive treatments.

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown, or cap, is a type of restoration that covers the visible portions of your tooth. The main purpose of a crown is to keep the tooth in your mouth when it has been damaged beyond what a filling can repair. Crowns restore the shape, appearance and function of the tooth, and protect it from sustaining further damage. Crowns are typically recommended when a tooth is fractured or cracked, severely decayed, has a large dental filling, or has had a root canal treatment.

What is a dental bridge?

Dental bridges are a type of fixed (non-removable) restoration. They are most commonly used to replace one or two missing teeth, and are usually anchored to the teeth on either side of the gap with crowns. Bridges may also be anchored in place with an implant. Bridges work to restore your smile, bite and oral function.

What is a denture and how long will it last?

A denture is a type of dental prosthetic that replaces your missing teeth. It may be used to replace only a few teeth (partial denture) or to replace a full arch of teeth (complete denture). When properly cared for, a denture can last for over 10 years. You may need to have your dentures relined, rebased or repaired during that time in order to keep them fitting properly and in good condition.

What is a dental implant?

Dental implants are a type of restoration designed to replace both the root and the crown of your missing tooth. They consist of an implant post, typically made of titanium or another biocompatible material, and an implant restoration. The implant restoration is placed atop the post to finish restoring your smile and complete your treatment, and may consist of a crown, bridge or denture. Implants may be used to replace individual teeth, several teeth or a an entire arch of teeth.

How long will a dental implant last?

Dental implants are designed to last for a lifetime. You can keep your dental implant in good condition by practicing good oral hygiene at home and by visiting our office regularly for preventive care.

What is an implant-supported denture?

An implant-supported denture is a denture that is anchored in your mouth by implants. There are typically at least four implant posts placed to secure the denture, though you may receive as many as eight depending on your individual needs. Implant-supported dentures may “snap on” or be permanently fixed in your mouth.

Is restorative dentistry an option for children?

Yes. If your child’s teeth are damaged due to cavities, injury or other factors, our dentists will evaluate their mouth to determine if a restorative treatment is needed and which type of treatment will be best for your child.

What is my treatment cost, and will restorative care be covered by my insurance?

Your treatment cost will depend on the severity of the damage to your teeth and the type of treatment needed to fully restore them. Our office will provide you with an estimate of your cost prior to providing your treatment. Many dental insurance plans cover at least a portion of the cost, and we will work with you to maximize your insurance benefits.