Section I. INTRODUCTION
The Restorative Section is the element of a dental service in which decayed or
fractured teeth are rebuilt or repaired by artificial materials in the form of amalgam
restorations, composite resins, or crowns. In some clinics, the Restorative Section is
divided into two services: operative, where restorations are placed, and fixed, where
crowns and fixed partial dentures are fabricated, fitted, and cemented into place.
Endodontic treatment, the treatment of dental pulps and the filling of root canals, is
sometimes performed in the Restorative Section. See Lesson 4 for discussion of the
dental specialist in endodontics.
a. Restorations. Restorations are artificial replacements for missing portions of
teeth. They are retained in place within the confines of tooth structures prepared to
receive them. The ideal restoration is one which restores the function and normal
contours of the tooth; restores normal contact with adjacent teeth; protects the pulp,
remaining tooth structure, and any adjacent periodontal tissues; withstands forces tending
to fracture, wear, erode, or dislodge it; and presents an esthetic appearance.
b. Permanent Restoration. A permanent restoration is one that is intended to
last for a prolonged period. It is made of a type of restorative material having properties
that make it relatively durable and resistant to mechanical forces and chemical activity
found in the mouth. Commonly used permanent restorative materials are silver amalgam,
gold alloys (for inlays and crowns), and composite resin.
c. Interim (Temporary) Restoration. An interim, or temporary, restoration is one
which is intended to protect a tooth between dental appointments or until more definitive
and lasting treatment can be performed. Materials that may be used for interim
restorations include various dental cements and soft metallic or celluloid preformed
crowns temporarily cemented into place. Common interim restorative materials are zinc
oxide and eugenol, also intermediate restorative material (IRM).
d. Inlay. An inlay is a restoration, usually made of gold alloy, which is cemented
into place in a prepared area in a tooth. Steps in the fabrication of an inlay begin with the
making of a wax pattern of the prepared area. The wax pattern is used to form a mold
into which melted gold alloy is cast. The wax pattern is thus duplicated in gold to fit the