Dental restorations are used to replace missing teeth, repair part of the tooth structure, improve the appearance of your natural teeth and to help the teeth function normally. There are various kinds of dental restorations made up of different types of material.
Some indications for dental restorations include:
- Tooth structure has been lost due to decay or damage.
- A previously placed restoration has deteriorated or broken.
- Missing teeth can prevent you from chewing properly and cause the neighboring teeth to shift out of position, leading to chipped or worn-down teeth.
- Poorly-appearing teeth can alter your appearance and affect your confidence.
Tooth restorations are performed to replace missing teeth, support the existing tooth structure, prevent surrounding teeth from shifting position, minimize loss of the supporting bone and cover poorly-appearing teeth.
Types of Dental Restorations
Your dentist will perform a careful evaluation to determine the type of restoration to best meet your needs.
Different types of restorations include:
Fillings: Fillings are used to replace part of the tooth structure. They can be made of silver amalgam, gold and composites of plastic and glass that replicate the tooth color and appearance.
Crowns: Crowns are restorations that sit like a cap over a tooth. They may be placed to restore severely deteriorated or weak teeth. Crowns may be made of metal, a combination of metal and ceramic or purely ceramic. To receive a crown, the tooth surface is ground to reduce its dimensions. Cement is then used to fix the crown in place.
Bridge: A dental bridge is used to replace one or more adjacent missing teeth. It consists of a false tooth or teeth that are supported on either side by crowns sitting over the adjacent teeth.
Implants: Implants are restorations that are placed within the bone for support. They usually consist of a titanium metal post that is placed into the bone socket where a missing tooth root used to be. An abutment is fixed to the metal post and a crown is placed over it.
Dentures: These are removable appliances that are used to replace some or all of the missing teeth and part of the gums. They are composed of acrylic resin and are supported by the underlying bone, cheeks, lips and remaining teeth.
Veneers: These are thin shells of porcelain which cover the front surface of the teeth improving the appearance of stained, chipped or misshapen teeth and closing any gaps.