Simply put, a dental restoration is any artificial substance that is used in repairing worn decayed, damaged, or missing teeth. The goal is to restore the shape of the tooth and protect the tooth from further damage and restore the individuals ability to speak and chew. The results often improve the shape of the the mouth.
Two Types of Dental Restoration
DIRECT RESTORATIONS are done by inserting filling material directly into the tooth
Fillings are the most common restoration. Composite resin or dental amalgam (silver fillings) are used to stop decay and restore the shape of the tooth. Fillings are usually done in one dental visit.
Composite Resin Fillings – These tooth colored or “white fillings” are made from an acrylic resin reinforced with glass.
Dental Amalgam – Commonly called “silver fillings,” dental amalgam has been used for over 150 years. Although we do not use dental amalgam as often as we do composite resin fillings, we do offer them because they are strong and last a very long time.
INDIRECT RESTORATIONS are fabricated out side of the mouth by a lab.
Crowns, Bridges and Veneers are all indirect restorations. The tooth is prepared and impressions are sent to the lab. After fabrication new restoration is fitted to the tooth and cemented into place.
Composite resin fillings are the most common alternative to dental amalgam. They are sometimes called “tooth-colored” or “white” fillings because of their color.
Resin fillings are made of a type of plastic (an acrylic resin) reinforced with powdered glass. The color (shade) of composite resins can be customized to closely match surrounding teeth.
Advantages of composite resin fillings include:
- Blend in with surrounding teeth
- Require minimal removal of healthy tooth structure for placement
Disadvantages of composite resin fillings include:
- May be less durable than dental amalgam and may need to be replaced more frequently
- Cost more than some other types of dental filling materials
Dental amalgam is a dental filling material used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. It has been used for more than 150 years in hundreds of millions of patients.
Dental amalgam fillings are also known as “silver fillings” because of their silver-like appearance.
Dental amalgam fillings are strong and long-lasting, so they are less likely to break than some other types of fillings.
Dental amalgam is the least expensive type of filling material.