filling or Restoration

If your teeth are missing, decayed, weakened or fractured, you might need a dental restoration. Examples of dental restorations include fillings, crowns, implants, bridges and dentures. See your dentist if you’re having any problems with your teeth.

What are dental restorations?

Restorations are the various ways your dentist can replace or restore your missing teeth or missing parts of your tooth structure, or structures that need to be removed to prevent decay that may cause you pain in the future.

What kinds of problems are treated with dental restorations?

The tooth structures can be missing due to decay, deterioration (weakening) of a previously placed restoration, or fracture of your tooth. Dental restorations can fix those problems.

What happens before a dental restoration?

The procedures preceding a dental restoration depend on what type of restoration you’re having. Before any procedure, be sure to keep your teeth as clean as possible by brushing and flowing. Your dentist will discover cavities during a routine cleaning and schedule an appointment to apply fillings. For dentures, during a preliminary visit, they’ll measure your mouth and make models of your jaw.

What are the types of dental restorations?


are the most common type of dental restoration. They fill a cavity in your teeth with gold, silver amalgam, or tooth-colored plastic and glass materials called composite resin fillings.


are a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, appearance, to hold a “bridge” (fixed partial denture) in place, or to cover a dental implant. Teeth frequently need to be reduced evenly around the tooth so that the crown will perfectly restore the size and shape of the tooth. This is a long process and may involve an impression that is sent to the lab, with a temporary filling/crown in the meantime. Some offices have technology in which a digital impression is sent to a milling machine that will fabricate a crown in the office, sometimes in one visit.


are small, anchoring posts made of metal (usually of titanium or a titanium mixture) that are placed into the bone socket where teeth are missing. The implant may need an attachment called an abutment that will act like a crown preparation. It is then covered with a crown.


(fixed partial denture) are false teeth that are designed to "bridge" the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Bridges can be anchored on either side by crowns and cemented permanently into place. Bridges are made from porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination. Fixed bridges are inserted and removed by a dentist.


are a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Your teeth might be gone because of gum disease, tooth decay, or an injury. 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. There are three types of dentures: conventional, immediate and overdenture. A conventional denture is removable. It is inserted after several months once the remaining teeth are removed and the surrounding tissues have healed. An immediate denture is also removable. It is inserted the same day that the last of your teeth are removed. An overdenture is used when there are still some teeth remaining. This type of denture fits over the teeth, the remaining portions of teeth, or implants.

When should I contact my dentist?

If there is a problem with your dental restoration – such as a crack in your filling or dentures that don’t fit properly, see your dentist right away. Also see your dentist for routine cleanings.