Dental Restorations: Understanding the Basics

Dental Restorations: Understanding the Basics

Jul 22, 2013

Dentists have seen a reduction in tooth decay as people have become educated about the importance of good dental health. However, teeth can still become damaged and decayed. There are many reasons why patients might investigate restorative dentistry including preventing tooth loss, repairing teeth and relieving discomfort. Sometimes restorative dentist is necessary to replace older dental treatments. For people who have lost teeth it can make it possible to eat and chew again without difficulty.

There have been huge advancements made in the field of restorative dentistry, especially in the past decade. The result has been a number of treatment options for patients. Here are a few of the restorative treatments available to dental patients:

Amalgam Fillings/Composite Fillings

Damaged teeth need to be repaired. Your dentist can use silver amalgam or tooth-colored composite fillings as part of the treatment. Many people prefer composite fillings, especially in the front teeth, because they blend in well. Either way the dentist must always remove the damaged part of your tooth first. Composite fillings work well to strengthen worn teeth, repair chipped teeth, and close gaps.


A crown (or caps) covers a tooth completely, protecting it and returning it to its original size and shape. Your dentist will often apply a crown when you have a very large cavity that cannot be filled. Crowns are also used after a root canal. The dentist sends a mold of your tooth to the lab along with the desired shade to blend well with your other teeth. Crowns can last a very long time with proper oral hygiene.


Crowns are also used in dental bridges which can replace missing teeth. The bridge is made of two crowns connected by a small piece of metal holding an artificial tooth in the middle. The crowns are placed on the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth to anchor the bridge.


Dentures are removable appliances designed to replace missing teeth. People who have lost all of their teeth are given complete dentures while people with only some missing teeth are given partial dentures. Partial dentures are used to keep other teeth from shifting. They are designed to match your remaining natural teeth. Dentures are affixed with a special adhesive.


Implants are a permanent alternative to removable dentures. They are artificial roots attached to the jawbone with teeth surgically attached that look very natural. Getting dental implants installed takes several months because your mouth must heal in between treatments. The post is usually attached to the implant when it is surgically placed into the bone. Then the patient is fitted for artificial teeth to be attached to the posts. Implants can replace missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth and also prevent teeth from shifting.

These are some of the restorative treatments available for people with damaged or missing teeth. Your dentist can help you decide the best treatment for your particular issue. The end goal is always the same- to restore your beautiful smile.

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