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What’s in Your Mouth? – A Quick Look at Restorations

Close up view on senior dentures

Dental caries or trauma can result in structural lost. When this happens, patients have the option to have their missing tooth structure replaced through dental restoration.

Different dental restorations are made to perform specific jobs, too. Usually, the type of restoration that is recommended by the dentist heavily depends on how much healthy tooth structure is left to work with.

If you have reason to believe that you are going to need a dental restoration soon, then it will do you good to continue reading and know the basics of the most common types of restorations.


Sealants are filling materials that are in a “flowing” form. They are often white so they blend quite well with natural teeth. They are used to fill grooves of the back teeth that are susceptible to decay. Sealants are usually used in children between the ages of six and 18 as a preventative measure.


Composite or white fillings are directly applied to the prepared tooth. Fillings are used when the areas of decay are small enough that the tooth structure is not compromised too much.

Porcelain On-lays

These are used when the tooth is fractured or decayed severely. The ceramic is used to cover the entire or just most of the biting surface. Preparation-wise, an on-lay is more conservative than a crown as it does not cover the entire tooth structure that is visible, so the tooth needs no grinding on all sides.

Porcelain In-lays

This is used in a way similar to fillings, except a pre-made ceramic piece is bonded to the tooth. This lasts about two to three times longer than composite fillings.

Crowns or Caps

A crown or a cap is the largest single tooth restoration. Having one is sometimes unavoidable – it is used when there is very limited tooth structure left, or when an existing crown needs to be replaced, or even when the tooth serves as an anchor for a fixed bridge. It covers the sides, as well as the end of the tooth.


Veneers are thin porcelain facings that are used to cover the front side of the teeth. Often cosmetically used, they change the colour, shape, and length of teeth. They can be pre-formed with minimal preparation and are an excellent option for those wanting a cosmetic make-over.


When there are sufficient anchor teeth available on either side of the gap, bridges are a great option for replacing missing teeth. There are a variety of systems available for bridges, including porcelain fused to metal, fiber-reinforced ceramics, and Zirconium-based ceramics.

Removable Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are used as a replacement for missing teeth when there are no available teeth that can provide support for fixed bridge and if the patient is not a candidate for implants. Partial dentures can either be metal or acrylic-based.

Removable Complete Dentures

By today’s standards, removable complete dentures are considered a last resort for when there are no teeth remaining and implants are not an option for the patient.

Dental Implants

Implants are used to support dental prosthesis that can range from single crowns to full dentures. Implants are considered the superior choice compared to bridges because it doesn’t require for the adjacent teeth to be prepared.

So, which of these restorations do you have right now? Which one do you think you’ll have soon? Dental Laboratory Associates make these restorations for our expert partner dentists and their patients. If you need one, you can contact us and we can refer you to one of the best dentists we work with in your area!

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