Restorative dentistry is a form of dentistry that is used to manage oral health problems. Typically it is used when the mouth needs to be restored to a functional or aesthetic state. It is good to note that restorative dentistry is not a recognized dental specialty by the American Dental Association. Despite this, general dentists can perform many of these restorative dentistry procedures without any further education. Most restorative dentistry includes procedures such as fillings, veneers, crowns, bridges, implants, or full and partial dentures.

Tooth Replacement

Often included in restorative dentistry is tooth replacement. Typically though, the main goal is to keep as much of your natural teeth as much as possible. Replacing missing teeth can be done by a few methods:

  • Dental implant
  • Bridge
  • Full implant
  • Partial denture

When you fill in the empty spaces in your mouth, you can avoid cavities in your other teeth. This is because you are leaving fewer spaces for bacteria to build up. When you have missing teeth, it can also put stress on your other teeth because you will overuse them.

Health and Budget

Typically when you go the route of restorative dentistry, you need to consider how much you are willing to spend and how it is going to affect your health. Since restorative dentistry is done to better your health in some way, often you can check with your insurance to see if it is covered. Otherwise, most dentists offer the option to pay your bill off monthly and over time.

Types of Dental Restoration

There are many different types of dental restoration, whether you need your teeth repaired, they are worn, decayed, damaged or you have missing teeth. Sometimes full or partial dentures are a good option if you are missing a lot of teeth, while other times you may be a good candidate for dental implants.

Depending on your smile and needs, there are two forms of dental restoration to choose from:


Direct tooth restoration is when you place a filling into a man-made tooth cavity. This can often happen over a regular dental visit. There are a few different types of filling options that your dentist can choose from, based on the type and location of the filling. Your dentist may choose glass or resin ionomers if the filling is near the tooth root or other areas that take on a lot of pressure.


Indirect tooth restoration is when you replace your teeth by using crowns, onlays, or inlays. Crowns cover the whole surface of your tooth, while an inlay lies within the cusps of the tooth. An onlay covers a tip of the tooth and the chewing surface. Typically if you need indirect tooth restoration, then you will need to visit the dentist more than once because your inlay or onlay will need to be made in a lab.  Crowns, inlays, and onlays can be made from many different materials, with gold, porcelain, and tooth color resins being the most common.

Talk to your dentist to find out the best strategy for your oral health through restorative dentistry.