Tooth restoration is accomplished with filling or crowns depending on the need of the tooth. The two types of fillings are composite fillings which are white or amalgam fillings which are silver.
Composite filling are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored filling that is chemically bonded to the tooth. They are durable, resistant to fracture, and allow for less tooth structure removal when the tooth is prepared. Excellent aesthetic results are achieved with composite fillings, which often are invisible. Composite fillings are used to fill cavities, replace old fillings, restore broken cusps of teeth, and to replace worn enamel. Amalgam fillings are not generally used but can be requested by the patient.
A crown is a dental restoration that covers or “caps” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape, size and function. Its purpose is to strengthen or improve the appearance of a tooth. Crowns can be made of all porcelain, porcelain fused to metal or full cast metal alloy. Crowns are used for the following reasons:
- restore a tooth when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to provide support for a large filing
- attach a bridge to replace missing teeth
- protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- restore a fractured tooth
- cover a badly shaped or discolored tooth
- cover a dental implant