Commonly asked questions about Restorative Dentistry

Damaged, loose, cracked or missing teeth need to be repaired, restored or made to look more natural by means of restorative dentistry. Here are some expert tips on restorative and cosmetic dentistry by Dr. Corne Smith.

Q. What’s the difference between a cap and a crown? 

A. There is no difference. The dentist reduces the surface of the tooth, which is then replaced with e.g. porcelain or porcelain bonded to metal. 

Q. What can be done about a lost tooth?

ARestorative dentistry can solve the problem in a number of ways:

  • Teeth can be bonded back

  • A removable appliance can be fitted

  • A fixed bridge can hold the tooth in place

  • An implant can be done

  • A crown can be fitted 

Q. Shouldn’t I rather have the tooth pulled instead of getting expensive root canal treatment?

A. In the long run root canal treatment isn’t that expensive. If you can save the tooth, it means that all your teeth stay in place and there’s no risk of shifting, and you also don’t need to spend any money on bridges or implants.

Q. Can the space between my two front teeth be closed? 

A. This can be done in a number of ways:

  • The best choice is orthodontics (requires a number of visits)

  • Bonding (only one visit)

  • Porcelain laminate veneers (two visits)

  • Having crowns fitted (two visits)

Q. I think my teeth are too small. Is it possible to have them enlarged?

A. It is quite possible, using composite resin bonding, porcelain laminate veneers or full crowns, in the case of broken teeth. A diagnostic wax–up will allow you to see how you look with longer or wider teeth.

 Q. My pointed eye teeth make me look like a vampire. What can I do about it?

A. The best procedure would be cosmetic contouring or reshaping your natural teeth. This can be done in one appointment.

Q. Is there anything that can be done about my uneven teeth?

A. This can be fixed with cosmetic contouring, porcelain laminate veneers, orthodontics, bonding, or crowns. 

Q. My teeth were broken, chipped and cracked by a blow to the face. Is there anything I can do?

A. Translumination or an intraoral camera can be used to determine the damage. You have three choices to solve the problem:

  • Bonding

  • Porcelain laminate veneers

  • Porcelain crowns

Q. Can my big, dark silver fillings be made the same colour as the rest of my teeth? 

A. Yes. You can have them replaced with any of the following tooth-coloured options:

  • Composite (plastic) resin

  • Porcelain inlay/onlay

  • Porcelain crowns

  • Porcelain inlays

At Corne Smith Dentistry, Claremont Cape Town, we offer DSD, Digital Smile Design. The concept of the Digital Smile Design is based on analysing a patient’s facial and dental proportions using digital videos and high-quality photographs, in order to determine the relationship of the teeth, gums, smile, lips and facial features in motion and emotion. 

Get in touch with Dr. Corne Smith at the dental practice in Claremont to find out more on DSD.