A dental restoration or filling is a restorative procedure used to restore the function, appearance, and integrity of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from decay or fracture. It can also be lost during tooth preparation to remove decay or add bulk and strength to the chosen restorative material. Dental restoration can also refer to the reconstruction of teeth using crowns or their replacemant with implants.
Dental restorations can be divided into two broad types: direct restorations and indirect restorations. Direct restorations are created in the mouth by a dentist. The most common materials for this use are bonded composite resin and silver amalgam. Indirect restorations are restorations fabricated outside the mouth and then cemented or bonded into place. These can be made of gold, gold veneered with tooth colored porcelain or all ceramic, using no metal all.