Restorative procedures are the ways we replace or restore missing teeth, or missing parts of teeth.
Tooth structure can be missing due to decay, deterioration of a previously placed restoration, or fracture of a tooth. Examples of restorative procedures include the following:
- Fillings: These are the most common types of dental restorations we place. They can be gold, amalgam, or (as done most commonly) – tooth coloured plastic and glass material, called composite resin. We typically place these under local anaesthetic and the tooth is first cleaned of tooth decay, before we restore it with a resin material. It’s important for us to keep the tooth dry throughout the procedure so that the tooth coloured plastic filling sticks. An alternative to the tooth coloured plastic filling are ceramic fillings. Although more expensive, these are a longer lasting permanent alternative. Commonly placed over 2 appointments they, together with gold fillings, are the gold standard restorative material. Ceramic fillings are also called inlays and or onlays. For more information on the pros and cons of resin vs ceramic read our blog article here.
- Crowns: are tooth-shaped caps that we place over a tooth, to restore its shape, size, strength, appearance and to hold a bridge in place or to cover a dental implant. We also commonly place crowns over teeth that have been root canaled or heavily filled.
- Bridges: are false teeth that are designed to bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Basically we use them as an alternative to an implant. We anchor them on either side with crowns and then cement them permanently into place.
- Implants: are replacement tooth roots with crowns placed over them. Implants are actually small posts made of metal, that are screwed into the jaw bone where teeth are missing. We then cover the implant with a replacement tooth called a implant crown.
- Dentures: are a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They are made of acrylic resin sometimes combined with metal attachments. We make complete dentures to replace all the teeth and partial dentures when some natural teeth remain. Partial dentures are retained by metal clasps attached to the natural teeth. Many different materials and denture types exist. For more details on denture types click here.