Silver amalgam restorations are metallic fillings placed in a tooth that has suffered internal damage from dental caries (a cavity). First, all of the damaged tooth structure is removed. Then silver filling material is condensed into the prepared site and carved to fit your bite. You then have a sound tooth that is free from disease!
Composite resin restorations perform the same function as silver amalgam fillings, however they are shaded to match the color of the tooth. They are always used to restore teeth with high visibility (in the front of the mouth), and have grown in popularity for filling back teeth.
Crowns are utilized when damage to the structure of the tooth is excessive and a simple filling would not be strong enough. A crown or cap restores your tooth to its normal size and shape, and enables it to function properly in your mouth. Crowns are also useful to restore a fractured tooth, protect a weak tooth from fracture, or to cover a dental implant. Crowns are made from several different materials. Metal crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal, and ceramic crowns are all available to restore not only function, but beauty as well.
Crowns require two appointments. At the first appointment, the tooth is prepared for a permanent crown and a temporary crown is placed. The second appointment involves placing, adjusting, and cementing the permanent crown, with your approval.
A bridge, or fixed partial denture (FPD), replaces one or more missing teeth. It can be anchored by crowns on two or more healthy teeth or implants. A fixed bridge is permanently cemented and helps support your lips and cheeks to maintain the proper shape of your face. Advantages include that they look, feel, and function like your teeth and they are not removable.