Dr. Jerry Farrell on Restorative Dentistry
I think that restorative dentistry, in the simplest sense, is restoring the normal form and function to a tooth and putting it back into the shape that we all learned about in school. What happens when the tooth’s not in the right spot and you’ve got to work with something that’s either missing or in trouble down below? Those are another level of restorative dentistry. How do we restore something when the teeth on either side are messed up, those little kinds of things? But the higher level of restorative dentistry would be akin to a woodworker who makes cabinets that he’s kind of working with wood like a framer, carpenter is, but a cabinet maker’s going to be a little bit more reverent about the art part of it—in the details of it.
That language in dentistry, for me, is restoring body integrity and the proper form and function, but how it fits into the whole smile and how it fits into their budget, how it fits into what their fears and concerns are. So it’s another opportunity to take care of people while it looks like we’re taking care of their tooth. I’m kind of wanting to bang around on the solution like a cabinet maker or a fine woodworker is trying to do. It’s another opportunity to work on it like you’re working on a guitar, piece of wood, or a violin. That opportunity’s there in restorative dentistry, if you can get there with a person.