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A Guide to the Major Types of Dental Restorations

So, it’s time for another trip to the dentist and they’ve told you that you need a “restoration” to fix a tooth. What exactly does that mean? There are several types of dental restorations, from basic fillings to more complex procedures like crowns or bridges. The dentist will determine the best option based on how much of the tooth remains and your personal needs. Before you go under the drill, it’s good to understand the major types of restorations available so you know what to expect. This guide will walk you through the common restorations step-by-step so you can go into your procedure with confidence and a smile. While no one looks forward to a dental visit, modern techniques, and materials have made restorations quicker, more comfortable, and longer lasting than ever before. With the right restoration, your tooth will be back to full function in no time.

Dental Restorations 101: What Are They and Why Are They Used?

Dental restorations are treatments used to repair damage or defects in your teeth. The most common types are fillings, crowns, bridges, and implants.

Fillings are used to fill in minor to moderate cavities and cracks in your teeth. They come in tooth-colored composite resins that match your natural tooth shade. Crowns, also known as caps, are placed over the entire tooth to restore its shape and size, provide strength, and improve its appearance. Bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. They are made up of crowns that are cemented to surrounding teeth.

Dental implants are the most natural-looking option to replace missing teeth. An implant post is surgically placed in your jawbone, then topped with an abutment and crown. Implants provide the most lifelike and durable results, allowing you to eat whatever you want without issues.

The type of restoration used depends on the level of damage to your teeth and your personal needs or desires. Your dentist will evaluate your teeth and gums to determine which option is most suitable and realistic based on your oral and financial health. The ultimate goal of any restoration is to preserve or improve your ability to chew, speak clearly, and smile with confidence. Now you can walk into your next dental appointment with a better understanding of what’s in store for your pearly whites!

The Main Types of Dental Restorations Explained: Crowns, Bridges, Veneers, and Fillings

When it comes to fixing damaged or missing teeth, you’ve got options. The major types of dental restorations include:


Crowns are custom tooth-shaped caps that cover your entire tooth. Made of ceramic, porcelain, or gold, crowns protect weak teeth or improve the appearance of misshapen or discolored teeth.

  • Ceramic or porcelain crowns resemble natural teeth in appearance while gold crowns last longer but are more noticeable.
  • Crowns require removing most of the remaining tooth and cementing the crown in place. They typically last 15-30 years with good care.


Bridges fill in gaps left by missing teeth using crowns on your natural teeth on either side of the gap to support false teeth in between. Bridges prevent teeth on either side of the gap from shifting and improve your smile and chewing ability.

  • Like crowns, bridges are made of gold, porcelain, or ceramic and typically last 15-30 years.
  • Placing a bridge usually requires preparing the adjacent teeth to support the false teeth.


Veneers are custom-made shells of tooth-colored material that cover the front surface of teeth. Made of porcelain or composite resin, veneers improve the appearance of stained, chipped, or misshapen front teeth without removing much natural tooth structure.

  • Veneers typically last 10-15 years and require minimal tooth preparation compared to crowns.


Fillings, typically made of composite resin, glass ionomer, or amalgam, fill in holes in teeth caused by decay or injury. While not as durable as crowns, fillings are more affordable and tooth-preserving. With good oral care, fillings can last many years.

Choosing the Right Restoration: Factors Like Cost, Durability, and Esthetics

When choosing a dental restoration, several factors should guide your decision. Cost and insurance coverage are important to consider, as some options are quite pricey. You’ll also want to think about how long the restoration is meant to last and whether appearance is a concern.


The cost of restoration can range from $500 to $1,500 or more per tooth. Dental insurance may cover 50-80% of basic procedures like fillings, but only 50% of major work like crowns or bridges. If cost is a concern, a filling or inlay may be good options to consider before a full crown.


How long do you need the restoration to last? Fillings typically last 5-10 years, while crowns can last a lifetime with good care. If you want a long-term solution, an onlay, inlay or crown is your best bet. They provide durable coverage for cracks, breaks, decay, and cosmetic flaws.


If the tooth is visible when you smile, you’ll want a restoration that closely matches your natural tooth color and shape. Ceramic or porcelain crowns and veneers provide the most natural results. Gold or amalgam restorations are more noticeable and may not be ideal for visible teeth.

Discussing your needs, priorities, and budget with your dentist is the best way to determine which type of restoration is right for you. There are many factors in play, but with the variety of options available today, you can find an affordable, durable solution that also looks completely natural. The most important thing is to choose a restoration that will allow you to smile brightly for years to come!


So there you have it – an overview of the major types of dental restorations available nowadays to fix your teeth and get your smile back. Now that you understand the options, you can have an informed discussion with your dentist to determine the best treatment plan based on your specific situation. The good news is dentistry has advanced rapidly, and procedures that used to require months of treatment can now often be completed in just a couple of visits. While any dental work is an investment, your oral health and confidence in your smile are well worth it. So don’t delay – call your dentist at Village of Dentistry today to schedule an evaluation and get started on your journey toward a healthy, bright smile for life. The time is now!

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