Restorative (defined) - Deals with the restoration of diseased, injured, or abnormal teeth to normal function.
Amalgam vs Composite / Resin Filings – Dental amalgam is a stable alloy made by combining elemental mercury, silver, tin, copper, and possibly other metallic elements. Although dental amalgam continues to be a safe, commonly used restorative material, some concern has been raised because of its mercury content. “Our office will only use Composite or Resin Fillings.” (Dr. Bottoms)
Disadvantages of amalgam include possible short-term sensitivity to hot or cold after the filling is placed. The silver-colored filling is not as natural looking as one that is tooth-colored, especially when the restoration is near the front of the mouth, and shows when the patient laughs or speaks. And to prepare the tooth, the dentist may need to remove more tooth structure to accommodate an amalgam filling than for other types of fillings. (ADA2006 http://www.ada.org/public/topics/fillings.asp#composite)
Composite/ Resin fillings (tooth color) provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Less tooth structure is removed when the dentist prepares the tooth, and this may result in a smaller filling that that of an amalgam. Composites can also be “bonded” or adhesively held in a cavity, often allowing the dentist to make more conservative repair to the tooth. (ADA2006 http://www.ada.org/public/topics/fillings.asp#composite)
Core Build Up - Refers to building up of the tooth to provide support. A material is placed in the tooth preparation for a crown when there is insufficient tooth strength and retention for the crown procedure.
Crown / Cap - Restoration covering or replacing the major part of a tooth; Can be made of gold, porcelain or other metals. Used to protect, from further breakage, after a root canal or other occlusion reasons.
Bridge / Fixed Partial Denture - Restoration covering or replacing a bridge / fixed partial denture is a prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth cemented or attached to the abutment (fake) teeth or implant.