Restoration refers to the reproduction of a tooth through the use of metal and/or tooth-colored materials for teeth that have been damaged. There are a number of benefits for tooth restoration which include health advantages (the strengthening of affected teeth to prevent further tooth erosion the replacement of damaged and/or missing teeth to prevent the evolution of crooked teeth) and esthetic advantages (replacement of a damaged tooth with a more natural healthier looking tooth.)
There are two different types of dental restoration: direct restorations and indirect restorations. Direct restorations refer to fillings that are placed immediately into a prepared cavity. This procedure takes place over the course of a single visit and includes dental amalgam (silver fillings) glass ionomers and resin ionomers (white fillings). Indirect restorations refer to custom made fillings that are created in a dental laboratory according to a doctor's prescription. These include inlays (fillings that fit into the space remaining after decay of an old filling or cavity have been removed) onlays (partial crowns that sit on the tooth) veneers (material bonded directly to a tooth to improve its appearance) dental crowns and bridges (stationary dental appliance that is cemented or bonded to surrounding teeth to replace a missing tooth or teeth). Indirect restorations generally take two visits to be completed and are usually stronger than direct restorations. However they are also more expensive.
The type of dental restoration one requires would be determined by one's dentist. However dental restorations have such a wide range that health financial and esthetic factors can be weighed with a viable solution offered to one's unique circumstance.