Restorations are materials used to restore health and function to a diseased or fractured tooth. Alternatively, restorations are also referred to the method of repairing a diseased or fractured tooth. There are several type of restorations used in restorative dentistry as listed below.
1. Composite restorations are white or tooth coloured fillings placed inside the tooth after decay has been removed from the cavity. They are also used to repair anterior teeth as in composite veneers. Composite restorations can be placed in one appointment as they are considered as direct restorations.
2. Silver amalgam restorations are the more traditional types of fillings used to repair damaged or decayed areas. They are eased in cases where more strength is required or when the fractured area is sub gingival (below the gum line) or close to the gingiva. Research has shown that on average silver amalgam restorations have a longer life span and create less sensitivity than white restorations. Amalgam restorations are also considered as direct restorations as they can be placed in one appointment.
3. Crowns are other forms of restorations and can be made from porcelain, Zirconia, Emax and other materials. In some cases gold alloys can also be used to create crowns. Crowns are considered as indirect fillings as they need to be fabricated by in laboratory and cemented or bonded to the tooth. The appointment for crowns usually takes 2 appointments.
4. When the roots of teeth are infected, they can be cleaned and filled with Gutta Percha which is a type of restoration used inside the roots of teeth.
You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.
When you go for a dental exam, your dentist checks your fillings and may suggest that you replace any loose or broken ones. Your dentist also looks for signs of decay, such as brown or black spots and may want to use X-rays to take a closer look at problem spots.
If you have a cavity, your dentist may keep an eye on it (if it’s small) or fill it right away. If a large cavity is not filled, it can get bigger and cause pain. The tooth may even have to be removed and replaced with a false (or artificial) tooth.
At Memorial Avenue Dentistry, we offer standard silver amalgam fillings as well as premium tooth-coloured composite or “white fillings,” which many people prefer for their more natural look.
To restore a cavity, your dentist may first give you “freezing” (or local anesthetic), so you do not feel any pain. Your dentist then removes all decay from the tooth, shapes the remaining tooth structure and places the appropriate restoration to return the tooth to its healthy state.
Most restorations are done in two ways:
- Direct restorations – These fillings go right into the cavity, after your dentist has cleaned out the decay. Amalgam (or silver) fillings and plastic (or white) fillings are examples of direct fillings. They harden quickly. Most of the time, you will be able to have a direct filling put in place in one appointment.
- Indirect Restorations – Examples of this type of filling are crowns (or caps) and inlays. They are custom made in a lab to fit your tooth. Your dentist cements the filling in place. Most indirect fillings take two or more appointments to complete.