What is tooth restoration? How is it different from a filling?

Restorative dental treatments can fix the look and function of your teeth, making your mouth healthier and your smile sweeter. It’s common to go to the dentist to simply receive a tooth filling. However, we at Fox Point Dental believe that it’s so much more than that. Here, we explain the difference between a tooth restoration and a filling, and why we believe restoring your tooth to its natural state as much as possible is important. 

What is tooth restoration?

Tooth restoration is a treatment to fix a cavity in your tooth. The cavity leaves behind a hole, and a restoration doesn’t just fill that hole, but recreates the original tooth as much as possible. This includes the color, function, and shape of the tooth. A tooth restoration should provide a long-term, affordable solution to cavity holes. Generally, this is achieved through using a high-quality filling material that is biocompatible and the same color as your teeth.

For example, we at Fox Point Dental are a mercury-free dental practice in Lakewood, CO. We do not use the silver amalgam material that could expose our patients to mercury. There are many safe alternatives that we choose from, including composite resin, glass ionomer, gold, zirconia, and porcelain.

What are the different types of tooth restoration?

There are two main kinds of tooth restoration:

  • Direct tooth restoration: This is where we fill your tooth with either composite resin or glass ionomer cement. Both materials look just like your tooth. We typically are able to fill your cavities with these materials in a single visit. Because these materials tend to shrink over time, we usually recommend them for smaller cavities rather than larger cavities.
  • Indirect tooth restoration: This is where we will coat the tooth with ceramic or porcelain. These materials will not shrink over time and are strong enough to fill large cavities. They last longer and put less stress on the original tooth, making them a more cost-effective option in the long run.

 If you’re looking for Lakewood dental restoration, you’ll be pleased to know that we offer both kinds of tooth restoration so that you can get the solution that best works for you.  

When do you need one?

You need a tooth restoration whenever you have a cavity. During your visit, if we find a cavity, we will let you know and talk through our recommended treatment plan with you. 

What is a filling?

A filling is another name commonly used for a specific type of tooth restoration in Lakewood, CO that is affordable and natural-looking. When we refer to a filling, we usually think of it as a way to cover your cavity. We prefer the term restoration because that is what we are doing, restoring your tooth to its previous state!

What is the difference between a tooth restoration and a filling?

When dentists refer to filling a cavity, they typically see it as a quick fix or a way to plug a cavity hole. However, at Fox Point Dental, don’t just fill cavities. We restore teeth. We truly care about the longevity of your teeth, and we want to do everything we possibly can to restore your teeth to their natural state. That’s why we see every cavity filling as an opportunity to return your affected tooth to its original condition as much as possible for as long as possible.

 If you need a cavity filling or tooth restoration in Lakewood, CO, schedule your next appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Turner and she’ll get to know you and evaluate your unique needs.

To learn more about our general dentistry services in Lakewood, CO, visit this page here.

Want to learn more about dental fillings in Lakewood, CO? Check out this page here.

About the Author

Dr. Elizabeth Turner is a whole-health, family dentist in Lakewood, CO who provides general, restorative, and cosmetic dental care. She focuses on the mouth-body connection and helps her patients smile confidently, breathe clearer, and live healthier lives. 

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