A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative material used artificially to restore the function, integrity and morphology of a missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma. Dental restorations may be fabricated out of a variety of materials including amalgam, glass inomer cement and composite resins.
One of the simplest ways to enhance one's smile is by utilizing a bonded tooth colored composite resin to esthetically repair a decayed tooth or to replace and old or worn silver-mercury (amalgam) filling. Amalgam restorations weaken teeth causing them to crack which eventually leads to fractures. Sometimes the fracture is bad enough that the tooth needs to be removed. One of the advantages of a bonded tooth colored composite filling is that it structurally reinforces the tooth. This type of material is indicated for teeth that do not require large restorations, are placed directly and require only one visit. If teeth require large restorations other options have to be considered such as ceramic/porcelain crowns.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth - covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength and/or to improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
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