General Dentistry: How to Improve Tooth Function

General Dentistry: How to Improve Tooth Function from Santa Monica LiveWell Dentistry in Santa Monica, CAIf you have cracked, chipped, worn, or otherwise damaged teeth, chances are they are not beyond hope. Several general dentistry procedures exist to improve the appearance of your smile and strengthen your teeth and improve their function. Your dentist can explore all the options available to you and how each can benefit your smile.

General dentistry procedures to improve tooth function

In the field of general dentistry, procedures that enhance the function and restore the health of teeth are called restorative procedures. There are several different types of tooth restoration treatments that dentists often have the skills and experience to perform. Below is an overview of the most common of those procedures.

Dental fillings

When it comes to dental procedures that exist to improve the overall function of a tooth, simple fillings cannot be overlooked. Dental fillings are one of the most commonly performed procedures in all of dentistry, as they can be completed in a single visit. They also significantly boost the health and function of teeth as they replace the decayed portion of a tooth. Fillings have come a long way since amalgam's days and are now made of more natural-looking, more tooth-friendly materials. These include composite resin, resin-modified glass ionomer, and glass ionomer.

Dental crowns

Dental crowns are another type of restoration that general dentists commonly perform. Dental crowns are like a cap that dentists place over severely decayed or damaged teeth. They help protect teeth that are severely worn, have cavities too large for fillings to cover, are chipped or cracked, or are otherwise weak. Crowns can significantly improve the integrity and function of a vulnerable tooth and, with the proper care, last anywhere from five to 15 years.


Fairly new in the field of general dentistry, veneers are essentially shells that cover the front of the tooth. Though many people choose veneers for cosmetic reasons, these shells also serve practical purposes. For instance, they help hide and seal cracks, cover and strengthen chips, and protect teeth with worn enamel. In addition, with proper care, veneers can last for up to 15 years.


Dental bridges help to improve the function of a smile that contains gaps due to missing teeth. A bridge is a prosthetic that "bridges the gap" between two healthy teeth, two implants, or an implant and a healthy tooth. It consists of crowns, or abutments, that attach to the healthy teeth or implants and a bridge of faux teeth. Bridges can improve your bite, help stave off further tooth loss, and improve the appearance of your smile. Depending on the type of bridge you choose, it may take one or several appointments before the full process is complete.

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Tooth restoration is a major part of general dentistry, as restorative processes can help improve the appearance of one's smile and its function. Many restorative procedures are simple to complete and can be done in one visit. Yet, they often last for years, if not decades. If you are interested in a dental restoration, discuss your options with a local dentist.

Request an appointment or call Santa Monica LiveWell Dentistry at 310-828-2440 for an appointment in our Santa Monica office.

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