Restoration of a tooth includes two main steps:
- Tooth preparation
- Placement of restorative materials
The process of tooth preparation involves cutting the tooth with a dental bur to remove the decayed portions and make space for the restorative material to be placed.
Placement of restorative materials
- Silver amalgam restoration: Silver amalgam is a metal like filling material which is composed of a mixture of silver/tin/copper alloy and mercury.
- Glass ionomer cement restoration: Glass ionomer cement is a tooth-colored filling material which bonds chemically to tooth structure and releases fluoride.
- Composite resin restoration: Composite resin is a tooth colored cross-linked polymeric filling material. There are two types:
- Self-cured composites: available in a two-paste system.
- Light-cured composites: available in a single paste system. UV light or visible light is used to cure.
Shade selection is done at the start of the appointment. Natural light is used to select the shade.
Tooth preparation: The tooth preparation is determined by the size, shape and location of the defect. It should include all caries and faults in the tooth structure.
The discolored tooth structure is removed as required for esthetics.
Isolation of the operating site: It is important to keep the tooth area free of moisture, therefore a rubber dam or cotton roll isolation is done.
Acid etching: 37% phosphoric acid is applied for 15 seconds with a micro brush. It is washed off with water and dried if the cavity is on enamel only.
Placement of primer and adhesive: On the etched surface, the bonding agent is rubbed with an applicator tip. The resin is cured for 10-20 seconds.
Insertion of composite resin: Incremental placement is done using hand instrument and each increment is light-cured.
Finishing and polishing: Carbide finishing bur and fine grit diamond finishing burs are used to contour the restoration.