' What Is Restorative Dentistry?

What Is Restorative Dentistry?

What Is Restorative Dentistry?

Restorative dentistry refers to ‘integrated management of oral health problems.’ In layman’s term, it is the process of replacing a missing tooth or fixing a broken tooth by a professional. It refers to dental procedures that restore the aesthetic and functional state of the mouth.

The Benefits of Restorative Dentistry

As the name imposes, restorative dentistry is about restoring oral health. Here are the reasons why restorative dentistry is important.

To reduce and eliminate dental discomfort

Having a cracked or chipped tooth makes someone uneasy. It can be painful too. Eating with a chipped tooth can be discomforting. Dental restoration can eliminate pain. It also prevents further damage to your tooth.

To prevent plague build up

Plaque build-up is faster if you have a chipped tooth. Accumulated food debris can turn into plaque and causes tooth decay. Different restorative dentistry procedures such as bonding can prevent tooth decay from happening.

To improve self-esteem

Dental restoration can improve your teeth appearance and your overall look. With a more beautiful smile and teeth to show, you can have better self-esteem. A frontal dental implant for one enhances an overall smile.

It offers lasting solution

Dental restoration procedures provide a long-lasting solution to different oral problems. A dental implant is a procedure that can fix missing teeth problem. Dental implants last a lifetime.

You can’t tell the difference with dental restoration procedures

The goal of restorative dentistry is to restore your teeth’s function and oral health without looking unnatural. With restorative dentistry, you will get customized dental crowns or dental bridges that blend with your natural teeth.

The Different Restorative Dentistry Procedures

Restorative dentistry involves different procedures and treatments. Here are the common ways of restoring a tooth.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are one of the many ways to replace a missing tooth. Your dentist will use pontics (false teeth) to replace a missing tooth. Here are the different types of dental bridges that you can have.

Traditional dental bridges

Traditional bridges consist of pontics (fake tooth) and abutments (crowns). It is cemented to the adjacent teeth to fill the gap. To cement the abutments, your dentist will have to reduce the enamel of adjacent teeth where it will be attached.

For traditional dental bridges, the abutments need to be attached on both sides. It means needing two natural teeth on both sides of the missing tooth.

Cantilever bridges

Cantilever bridges can be done even with a single natural tooth next to the missing tooth. Since the abutment is cemented to a single tooth, that natural tooth also becomes a lever. The downside of this procedure is that it can weaken the natural tooth and it might lead to having a fractured tooth.

Implant-supported bridges

If you have two or more missing teeth, implant-supported bridges are the best option for you. Instead of using crowns, the bridges will be supported by a dental implant. The bridges will consist of implants and pontics, with the implants supporting the entire bridges.

With the implants supporting the bridges, it will feel more natural and long-lasting.

Maryland bridges

Maryland bridges are a conservative take to having dental bridges. Instead of using abutments, your dentist will use a metal framework to keep the bridges in place. The framework is bonded onto the back of your natural teeth that adjacent to the gaps.

Maryland bridges are easier to do; however, the strength of the bridge is limited and is prone to chipping when used for biting hard foods.

Dental crowns

A dental crown is used to restore a tooth’s shape and strength. It is like a ‘cap’ placed on top of a damaged tooth. A dental crown is recommended for the following reasons:

  • To protect a weak tooth
  • To prevent further decay due to cavities and plaque
  • To restore a broken tooth
  • To cover a tooth with a large filling
  • To support a dental bridge
  • To cover a discolored tooth
  • To save a damaged dental implant

There are different types of dental crowns to choose from. Here are the different types:

Stainless steel crown

A stainless steel crown is often used in restoring children’s teeth. Stainless steel crowns come out naturally when a permanent tooth starts to come out. This means unnecessary visits to the dentist. This is also referred to as the fabricated crown.

Metal crown

If your damaged tooth is a molar or the one you used for eating, then you need a metal crown to restore it. Metal crowns are made of cobalt-chromium or nickel-chromium alloys. These metal-based alloys are very strong and can withstand constant chewing forces. Because of its metallic color and is made of gold, a metal crown is more expensive than other types of dental crowns.

Porcelain and metal crown

If you are restoring a highly visible tooth, you might want a natural-looking crown to restore it. this is what a porcelain and metal crown are for. The drawback is the weak porcelain material that is prone to chipping and breaking off when used for constant biting.

All-resin crown

The cheapest crown material on the market is the all-resin dental crown. This type of crown is very prone to breaking and fractures though as compared to crowns made of porcelain and metal.


Dentures are fake teeth that can be removed from your mouth as needed. It is a replacement for missing teeth. Dentures can be made of plastic or porcelain. Wearing dentures at first can be uncomfortable. Developments in dentistry have made dentures more comfortable to wear and more natural-looking.

There are two different types of dentures.

Full denture

Full denture means that all of your teeth have been removed and you have a full set of artificial teeth, attached to a metal framework. The denture is made from the full impression of your mouth.

partial denture

Partial denture means you are replacing a few teeth. The artificial teeth are attached to a metal framework that is then attached to your natural teeth. Even partial dentures are removable.

The advantage of dentures is that it is easy to clean. As it is removable, you can also remove it at night if you want to let your gums rest from time to time. The downside is having to replace it every five or ten years.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are one of the most popular ways to replace a missing tooth or teeth. It uses metal frames positioned into the jawbone. Replacement teeth are mounted in these frames that are placed beneath the gums. There are two types of dental implants.

Endosteal implants

Endosteal implants mean that the frames are implanted directly into the jawbone. The next surgery is attaching posts to the implant, below the gums. Once healed, the artificial tooth is attached to the post.

Subperiosteal implants

Subperiosteal implants mean that the frames are implanted directly into the jawbone as well. The difference is that the post is protruding through the gums. The artificial tooth is then mounted to the post.


When a part of your tooth is damaged by a cavity, your dentist can fix it by doing a dental filling. It is done by removing the decayed portion of the tooth then restoring it with a filling. There are different types of filling that a dentist can use.

Gold fillings

Having a gold filling requires multiple visits to the dentist and requires a budget. This is the most expensive type of filling. The advantage of a gold filling is that it can last for two decades. These gold inlays are gum friendly. Gold fillings are made to order and then cemented in its place.

Porcelain fillings

To keep the natural look of your teeth, your dentist can use porcelain filling. Porcelain fillings are custom-made and are made to cover most of the teeth.
It is bonded to the tooth being restored.

Plastic resins fillings

For a very natural-looking filling, plastic resin or composite filling is used. The filling is placed directly to where the cavity is, where it hardens.

Amalgam (silver) fillings

The first fillings used to be silver. It is the cheapest material for filling. However, its color makes it very noticeable hence it cannot be used in visible areas like for front teeth restoration.

Restorative Dentistry Care and Maintenance

The service life of a restored tooth depends on the materials used and the way you care for it after the procedure. When choosing a material or type of restorative dentistry procedure, choose the one that offers a long-lasting effect. Expect the procedure to be more costly. However, the long-term effect will always outweigh its price.

To properly care for your restored tooth and to lengthen its service life, you can do the following tips:

  • Regular brushing which can be 2 to 3 times a day
  • Using an electric brush to remove plaque from your restored teeth
  • If you had dental implants or crowns, use floss regularly
  • Control your chew or bite when using restored tooth
  • Always use an antibacterial mouthwash to fight bacteria

Restorative Dentistry Cost

The cost of restorative dentistry depends on the procedure to be done. Before seating in your dentist’s chair, discuss with your dentist first if the procedure will be covered by your insurance or not. If not, ask if they have plans or packages that you can take advantage of.

Here is an estimated cost of each restorative dentistry procedure that you can avail today:

Dental Bridges

The cost of having dental bridges depends on the type of bridges you will select and the number of teeth missing. This doesn’t include other expenses such as tooth x-ray (as needed) and extraction of damaged teeth (as needed).

  • Traditional dental bridges – the price for traditional dental bridges starts at $2000 (single pontic) up to $5000
  • Cantilever bridges – for a Cantilever bridge, the price starts at $2000
  • Implant-supported bridges – for implant-supported bridges, the price starts at $5000
  • Maryland bridges – for a single pontic with framework, a Maryland bridge costs around $1500

Dental crowns

The cost of having dental crowns depends on the type of crowns you will select and the number of teeth to be restored.

  • Stainless steel crown – this type of crown costs $600 to $2500 per tooth
  • Metal crown – this type of crown costs $800 to $3000 per tooth
  • Porcelain and metal crown – this type of crown costs $500 to $1500 per tooth
  • All-resin crown – this type of crown costs $300 to $1000 per tooth


The cost of having dentures depends on the type of dentures you will select and the number of teeth to have. This doesn’t include the price for extraction and x-ray as needed.

  • Full denture – a full or complete conventional denture (costs $1275 – $2750
  • Partial denture – a partial denture starts at $650 per tooth

[learn more about cost of dentures]

Dental Implants

The cost of having dental implants depends on the number of teeth to have. This doesn’t include the price for extraction and x-ray as needed.

The price for endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants is almost the same. The price starts at $11000 (with two dental implants) and can go up to $17,250 with four dental implants. This is one of the most expensive restorative procedures because of its long shelf life.

[learn more about Cost of Full Mouth Dental Implants]


The cost of having dental fillings depends on the size of the damaged to be filled and the number of teeth to be filled.

  • Gold fillings – regardless if it is inlays or onlays, the price for gold fillings start at $250 – $4500 per tooth
  • Porcelain fillings – the average cost for porcelain fillings start at $250 – $4500 per tooth
  • Plastic resins fillings – for plastic resins fillings, the price starts at $135 – $240 per tooth
  • Amalgam (silver) fillings – the average cost for amalgam filling is $110 – $200 per tooth

How to Save on Restorative Dentistry?

The price for any restorative dentistry procedure is almost the same across all dental clinics. You can save by doing a few things though. First, check if your insurance covers the procedure that you need. Two, check if your insurance has a tie-up with any dental clinic or dental networks. Lastly, ask your dentist if they offer packages or promotions that you can take advantage with.

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