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Different Types of Tooth Restoration

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The teeth are indicated for restoration if they are decayed, worn out, discolored, damaged, or unhealthy. Read this article to learn about restoration types.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Infanteena Marily F.

Published At December 13, 2021
Reviewed AtAugust 31, 2023

What Is a Tooth Restoration?

Tooth restoration is a dental procedure in which missing parts of teeth are replaced or restored. There are different restorations, and the suitable type depends on the case. The dentist may help to select which one is suitable for the teeth. The leading cause for developing restorative dentistry is to enhance overall oral health and chewing function.

What Are the Functions of a Restoration?

  • Restores the damaged tooth structure.

  • Prevents further decay of tooth or teeth.

  • Restores hampered function of a tooth of teeth.

  • Helps to restore the look of a tooth and improves the esthetics of the tooth.

What Are the Types of Restoration?

Depending on the damage of the tooth, different types of restorations can be planned for an individual. Commonly used dental restorations procedures are:

Dental fillings:

Dental fillings are the most commonly used restoration procedure for decay or caries. Fillings can be done by a general dental practitioner and do not require any specialist. Fillings are used to fill the cavity caused by dental caries and are the most common type of tooth restoration. It involves excavating caries or decay from the tooth and filling the structure with a restorative material.

Restorative materials used include:

  1. Silver Amalgam: Silver amalgam is used as a restorative material which is a mixture of metal, liquid mercury, and powdered alloy of silver, tin, and copper.

  2. Composite Restoration: These are tooth-colored filling materials made of solid plastic and glass materials.

  3. Glass Ionomer Cement (GIC): It is a self-adhesive restorative dental material with a wide range of uses in restorative and pediatric dentistry.

  4. Resin-modified Glass Ionomer Cement: It is a hybrid material made of GIC and a small amount of light-curing resin.

When the affected tooth is anterior or visible when a person smiles or talk, filling indicated in that case will have a cosmetic value such as composite restoration or glass ionomer cement. These restorations are of the same color as the teeth and are less noticeable.

The various types of restorations are mentioned below:

1. Composite Resin Restorations- Composite resins are newer materials used for dental filling or restoration and are tooth-colored, so less noticeable. They do not change shape due to expansion or contraction when placed in a prepared cavity; therefore, unlike metal restorations, there are very minimal chances of getting secondary caries at restoration and tooth margin. When talking about strength and durability, composite restoration has comparatively equal strength and durability to metal restorations.

2. Glass Ionomer Cement- This is also a tooth-colored and radio-opaque restoration. It acts more like a sealant when compared to composite restoration.

3. Resin-Modified Glass Ionomer- This is a conventional glass ionomer cement with resin reinforcement. It has more longevity and strength when compared to traditional glass ionomer cement. The color of resin-modified GIC perfectly matches that of enamel and dentine color.

What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are caps placed on the tooth, which cover the entire tooth surface and protect teeth or, in other words, give strength to the tooth structure. In layman terms, it is called a cap. It provides strength to teeth having large cavities, weak teeth, fractured teeth, crooked teeth, or worn-out teeth. Crowns are given to teeth after root canal treatment to increase the strength of the tooth, as the tooth will be more vulnerable to fracture after root canal treatment.

Crown is given on the tooth as an anchor for a bridge, replacing missing teeth. General dental practitioners prepare crowns, but specialists, called Prosthodontists, also do crown preparations.

Process of Making Crown- Tooth preparation is done initially. After that, the impression of the intended tooth will be taken, and the cast will be poured. Then, the cast will be sent to the laboratory, and the crown will be made there. Till the fabrication of a permanent crown or till the patient gets a permanent prosthesis, a temporary crown is cemented onto the tooth surface.

What Are Dental Implants?

Implants are called screws in general terms. Implants are artificial roots that act as supporting systems to hold crowns or bridges in place and are also used to replace missing teeth. In terms of look and functions like chewing and phonetics, they resemble natural teeth.

There are two types of implants:

  • Endosteal Implants: In these implants, the roots are made of screws, cylinders, or blades which are composed of titanium and ceramic material.

  • Sub Periosteal Implants: In these implants a metal implant framework is placed directly over the bone.

What Are Bridges (Fixed Partial Denture)?

Bridges are used for replacing missing teeth to restore both look and function. They are attached by crowns and are made up of porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. A dentist has to cover healthy teeth for support on either side of the missing tooth or teeth to fabricate a bridge. In some instances, implants can also be used as a support under the new tooth.

Different types of Bridges are:

  • Traditional Bridges: This is a common bridge used to replace the missing tooth, where a natural tooth surrounds the missing tooth.

  • Maryland Bridges: This bridge replaces the missing anterior tooth, where wings are bonded to the natural tooth on each side.

  • Cantilever Bridges: In this type, the bridge is attached to only one natural tooth.

  • Implant-supported Bridges: It is similar to traditional bridges, but instead of cementing on the natural tooth, implants hold it in position.

What Are Removable Dentures?

Removable dentures replace the missing teeth and surrounding gum structures. The dentures may be complete dentures or partial dentures. If all teeth are missing, then a complete denture is indicated. If few natural teeth with good dental health and surrounding structure are there in the oral cavity, then a partial denture can be prepared, taking support from natural teeth to replace the missing teeth.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are tooth-colored. It is a cosmetic procedure to improve the look of a damaged tooth or a small or sharp tooth to give it a more even appearance. They are also used for discolored teeth, cracked teeth, or chipped-off teeth. They are natural-looking shells covering the damaged front of a tooth or teeth. Veneers are made up of either porcelain or composite resin.

What Is Tooth Bonding?

Tooth bonding is used more for esthetic purposes. Most commonly, it is used to improve the appearance of a discolored tooth and build up the cracked or chipped tooth.

Bonding is the procedure in which composite resin is applied to the tooth, molded in the desired shape, and then hardened or made set with the help of ultraviolet light. Bonding does not have enough strength compared to veneer, so it may easily chip off.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealant is a thin plastic coating applied on the deep pits and fissures on the tooth surface. They are indicated in children’s having deep pits and fissures on tooth surfaces (premolars and molars), be it deciduous tooth or permanent tooth, to prevent it from caries. Application of sealant is a painless procedure and is not a lengthy procedure.

Tooth or teeth indicated for sealant procedure are first cleaned and dried, then kept clean and free from saliva contamination during the entire procedure. The marked surface is treated with some acidic substance to make it rough, and then it is washed and dried. The sealant is then applied and cured with ultraviolet light.

What Are Inlays and Onlay?

Sometimes, the tooth cavity will be huge for restoration and too small for replacing the crown; in such cases, the dentist recommends inlay or onlay. Inlay or onlay are customized restorations that fit into the tooth structure. These are bonded permanently to the natural tooth like a puzzle piece. Inlays cover up the cusps of the teeth, and on-lay covers at least one cusp.

What Is the Risk Associated With Dental Restoration?

There are significantly fewer risks associated with dental restorations; some common risk factors are sensitivity and discomfort post-restoration. Infection or allergic reaction to the material used can be seen in rare situations.


In conclusion, there are many choices available in the field of tooth restoration to address different dental issues and reestablish ideal oral health. Dental fillings, crowns, veneers, implants, dentures, or any other form of tooth repair has a specific function and audience in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Lifespan of a Tooth Restoration?

The lifespan of a tooth restoration depends on a wide range of parameters. Each restoration is different. If properly restored, endodontically treated teeth can survive for 97 percent of the next five to eight years. It is challenging to compare success rates because the durability of restorations depends on a wide range of parameters.


What Dental Cosmetic Procedure Is Ideal?

The most common dental cosmetic procedures are:
- Bleaching the Teeth: One of the most common choices for those looking for a relatively quick and easy approach to alter their smile is this. It is excellent for those who do not  require much improvement beyond a little brightening or for those who do not want to devote heavily. It is also one of the less expensive choices.
- Bonding of Enamel: People with severely discolored or cracked teeth should consider dental bonding as an excellent option. The composite bonding substance used for white dental fillings is often the same. Since this substance is moldable, the dentist may give it the precise, attractive shape chosen.
- Dental Veneers: For many years, dental veneers have been the gold standard for cosmetic dental work. Veneers are incredibly thin porcelain shells that cover the front of the teeth. After carefully filing down the tooth's enamel, an impression is taken. For custom veneers, the imprint is submitted to a dental lab.


How Much Will It Cost to Have the Teeth Restored?

The price for dental restoration varies for different countries. India has cheaper dental restoration costs than Western nations. It also varies from clinic to clinic depending on the location and city.


How Can One Fix Their Teeth?

The most common procedures done to fix the teeth are:
- Braces.
- Dental veneers.
- Dental crowns.
- Dental bonding.
- Root canal procedures.


What Dental Procedure Is the Simplest?

Dental bonding is regarded as the simplest and least costly aesthetic treatment. Bonding is a flexible procedure that may be used to treat a variety of issues, including dental decay, gaps between teeth, bite alignment, poor breath, and discolored, chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth. It can also be used as an alternative to silver or amalgam fillings.


Do the Fillings Last Forever?

A decayed region is treated with a filling. It prevents it from spreading and strengthens the tooth. A filling will not endure forever, despite the fact that it will last for many years. Generally, a filling typically lasts seven to 20 years, although this is dependent on the filling's location, size, and dental cleanliness. Fillings endure a lot of strain; the filling is affected each time when individuals chew.


How Long Does It Take To Do a Permanent Filling?

Fillings are among the most often carried out restorative procedures; thus, they may be finished quickly and efficiently. A dental filling typically takes between 20 minutes and an hour to complete. Placing a dental filling is often a straightforward and painless process.


What Can Happen in Deep Cavity?

If cavities are not treated, they get larger and harm the teeth's deeper layers. A person with a deep cavity could have discomfort or toothache when eating, drinking, or biting down, intense sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods or beverages, unpleasant taste or foul breath, or they might even be able to feel a hole or crack in the tooth using their tongue. They may result in tooth loss, an infection, and excruciating dental pain. The best defense against cavities and tooth decay is regular dental appointments and proper brushing and flossing practices.


What Is the Least Expensive Way to Restore New Teeth?

- Dental Bridge: An extremely common non-surgical surgery is a dental bridge. Using a bridge, One can replace one or more teeth. The treatment uses the older teeth as anchors to hold the new teeth in place. The supporting teeth are enclosed by dental crowns, to which a bridge is affixed.
- Dentures: Dentures are the tooth replacement option that costs the least. This is so because they are the easiest to produce. There is no need for surgery or dental crown placement. In its place, measurements of the mouth are obtained.
- Dentures Supported by Implants: Consider implant-supported dentures if one is interested in dentures but wants extra support. This process involves creating a pair of dentures that are secured in place by carefully placed dental implants.


Can One Have Every Tooth Redone?

Yes, if one wants to, they may replace each individual tooth in their mouth with a single dental implant replacement. Such a treatment, meanwhile, would be excessively costly and take a very long period.


How to Recover One’s Teeth Completely?

Maintain proper dental hygiene. Even if one does not see enamel degradation, it is always important to maintain proper dental hygiene. 
- Utilize fluorine therapy. 
- Drink fruit juices in moderation.
- Decrease the intake of sugar.
- Avoid unhealthy meals. 
- Include nutrient and calcium-rich diets.
- Regularly see the dentist.


How Many Times Can Teeth Grow Back?

A human only receives two sets of teeth during their lifetime: 
- Thirty-two secondary (permanent) teeth. 
- 20 primary (baby) teeth. 
The teeth will not regrow a third time if they lose any of their secondary teeth.


What Are the Signs That a Tooth Cannot Be Saved?

Here are some details about the tooth's past that might serve as red flags that the tooth might not be saveable: 
- Shaky tooth. 
- Below the gum line, the tooth has totally broken off. 
- A dental abscess is present there.
- Vertical fracture of the tooth up to the root.


When May a Cavity No Longer Be Filled?

After the dentist has cleared the cavity of germs and illness that reached the dentin, the primary component of the tooth, a filling can be done to replace the missing tooth structure. However, a filling may no longer be adequate to treat it if it extends to the pulp chamber, which is located in the core of the tooth.


Are Root Canals Required for All Deep Cavities?

A deep cavity, a broken tooth caused by trauma or heredity, or problems from an old filling all call for root canal therapy. When patients realize their teeth are sensitive, especially to heat and cold foods, they typically require a root canal.
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Dr. Kandi Disha Yermal
Dr. Kandi Disha Yermal



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