Restorative Dentistry

Although tooth enamel is the strongest material in the human body, it can still be damaged as a result of injury or oral diseases. When this happens, restorative dentistry treatments may be able to save your natural tooth.

A variety of restorations can be used to repair damage to a tooth, depending on the extent of that damage. Unfortunately, however, at times it may be impossible to save the tooth due to the specific circumstances. In these instances, we can still restore a complete and functional smile with prosthetics.

Patients who have suffered damage to a tooth should act quickly to get treatment to maximize their chances of saving the tooth. Don’t delay in calling our office to schedule your restorative dentistry consultation.

Purpose of Restorative Dentistry

When the enamel in a tooth is damaged, whether it is due to a cavity, facial trauma, or some other issue, it is essential to repair that damage to rebuild the tooth’s structural integrity and ensure that it can continue to perform its important functions in the smile.

Restorative dentistry helps us to achieve this goal. Damaged tooth material is removed and replaced with strong materials such as composites or ceramics that are durable when patients care for them properly.

Ideally, restorative dentistry will succeed in saving patients’ biological teeth, which is always the preferred outcome. However, when a tooth must be removed, this specialty can also give patients a new, complete smile through appliances such as fixed dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants.

Types of Restorations and When They Are Used

A dentist can use any number of restorations to repair damage to the teeth or replace missing teeth. We will assess your case to determine the degree of damage that must be addressed.

If we are replacing teeth following tooth loss, we will assess the site of the missing tooth or teeth to identify the treatment approach that best meets the patient’s needs.

Based on the information gathered in our assessment, we may recommend one of the following restorative dentistry interventions in your case.

Inlays and Onlays

These restorations are used when cavities on the biting surfaces of the teeth are too substantial to be fixed using a smaller composite filling. An inlay fits within the biting surface of the tooth, while an onlay extends on to the cusps of the affected tooth.

Dental Crowns

These tooth-shaped caps are used in cases of large cavities that affect a significant portion of the tooth’s structure. They may be made of porcelain alone or porcelain fused with metal for extra strength. Dental crowns also protect a tooth from breakage following root canal treatment.

Dental Bridges

An artificial tooth, called a pontic, is anchored in the space left behind by a missing tooth. The pontic is held in place by crowns placed on teeth adjacent to the gap.

Restorative Dentistry | Wexford Dental Arts | Wexford PA

These appliances replace a large number of missing teeth. A partial denture is used when part of the arch is missing, while a full denture restores an entire upper or lower arch.

Dental Implants

Small titanium posts are surgically inserted into a patient’s jaw and can be used to support a single crown, a dental bridge, or an entire denture.


An entire denture can be secured using just four dental implants for a streamlined treatment process.

Saving Your Natural Teeth Vs. Extracting and Replacing Them

Many considerations will influence the decision to save a tooth using restorative dentistry or to extract and replace it. Even the most advanced tooth replacements available cannot fully replicate a biological tooth, so we make every effort to save your teeth when possible.

However, if the damage is severe or if there are extenuating circumstances, such as compromised bone tissue in the vicinity of the tooth, it may be necessary to extract the tooth. In these cases, patients have a variety of options, from dental bridges to dental implants.

Patients who are facing a treatment decision to restore their smile following tooth loss should carefully consider all of the possible interventions to determine which one is the best fit for their particular needs. We are happy to provide any information that you may need to make your decision.

Common Restorative Dentistry Questions

What are restorative dental services?

Restorative dental services either repair damage caused by tooth decay or some sort of trauma to the tooth or restore smiles after tooth loss by replacing those missing teeth.

What are restorative dental procedures?

Restorative dental procedures include fillings, inlays/onlays, dental crowns, dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants. Be sure to explore all aspects of each treatment option when deciding on which one will best meet your needs.

What is considered minor restorative dental work?

Minor restorative dental work, such as fillings or inlays and onlays, address fairly small areas of damage to a tooth. These restorations are more conservative and usually have a shorter treatment timeline than more extensive treatments.

Does insurance cover restorative dentistry?

Insurance coverage differs from plan to plan, but some insurance benefits may cover a portion of the costs associated with restorative dentistry. Rest assured that our experienced billing staff will work diligently to maximize your insurance coverage so that you are responsible for minimal out-of-pocket expenses.