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Dental Restorations

A dental restoration is a procedure that uses dental restorative material to restore the function and integrity of a missing tooth. The structural loss typically results from caries (cavities) or external trauma. Dental restoration also refers to the replacement of missing tooth structure that is supported by dental implants.

Tooth structure can be missing due to decay, deterioration of a previously placed restoration, or fracture of a tooth. Examples of restorations include the following:

  • Dental Fillings are the most common type of dental restoration. Teeth cavities can be filled with gold, silver amalgam, or tooth-colored plastic and glass materials called composite resin fillings. Meadows Family Dentistry is an amalgam free office.
  • Dental Crowns are a tooth-shaped crown is placed over a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength and appearance.
  • Bridges are false teeth much like dentures that are designed to "bridge" the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Bridges must be anchored on either side by crowns and are cemented permanently into place.
  • Dental Implants are replacement teeth with an implanted root or screw. Implants are actually a small post made of titanium metal that are placed into the bone where teeth are missing. The implant is covered with a replacement tooth called a crown.
  • Dentures are a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They are made of acrylic resin sometimes combined with metal attachments. Complete dentures replace all the teeth; partial dentures are considered when some natural teeth remain and are retained by metal clasps attached to the natural teeth.

Restoring a tooth to good form and function requires two steps: preparing the tooth for placement of restorative material(s), and the placement of restorative material(s).

The process of preparation usually involves the removal of any dental decay or portions of the tooth that are structurally damaged. If a permanent restoration can not be carried out immediately after tooth preparation, temporary restorations may be provided as a transition until the permanent restoration can be placed.