The Restoration of Decayed
and Broken Teeth
Our Associate Dentist, Dr. Luke Greenwood,
gives you a brief guide to restoring both the
function and aesthetics of teeth
• The following is a guide to show how we as Dentists restore
decayed and broken teeth. Our main aim in placing fillings is
to prevent/eliminate pain and restore the function of teeth.
However aesthetics are also very important to us and even
more important to you as patients.
• To fully restore a tooth we must consider both function and
aesthetics. We need to understand both the anatomy of the
natural teeth and the techniques used to place a restoration
that functions well and looks as though it belongs in your
(All drawings, carvings and restorations in this portfolio were carried out by Dr
Luke Greenwood. All clinical photographs were used at the express permission of
Wax carvings of the molar teeth. This technique
allows us to practice shaping restorations to mimic
LEFT: Plastic teeth are used to cut cavities to mirror
decay in natural teeth
RIGHT: The cavities are filled with composite (white
filling material). Matching colours is not important
at this stage- shape and form being key.
LEFT: Once the cavities are cut, a
metal band is placed around the
tooth, allowing us to recreate the
RIGHT: The cavity is restored with
composite filling material, trying to
recreate the naturally occurring fissures in
the teeth where possible
Anterior tooth wear
case: Severely worn
This more complex case aims to mimic the way teeth can
be worn down due to acid erosion or teeth grinding
With careful technique, an aesthetically pleasing
result is achievable
Clinical cases carried out on
patients just like you!
LEFT: This patient’s last molar has a stained
centre which is often an indication of
RIGHT: Removing the outer
layer of enamel reveals
decay underneath (note the
LEFT: Removal of the decay
leaves the healthy dentine in the
cavity. Note the cream/yellow
On the right is this finished restoration, once filled with composite (white filling). On
the left is the decayed cavity for comparison. As can be seen, the decay has been
removed and the filling looks like a natural tooth. Careful technique has resulted in
both a functional and aesthetically pleasing restoration.
This case shows a broken
premolar with a silver filling.
Above right shows that once
the existing filling is removed
and decay has been cleared,
form and function has been
restored. Right: shows the
tooth from a different angle.
A case showing decay in a premolar and a molar tooth
involving more than one surface. Below right are the
finished fillings once restored with composite
Another case involving a broken upper
premolar tooth where a silver filling had been
placed. This is a common occurrence and
often the whole tooth can be built up using
composite filling with a little skill and
• We hope this guide has given you an insight into and a better
understanding of how decayed teeth are restored.
• Advances in modern techniques and materials have allowed us to
achieve excellent results both functionally and aesthetically.
If you have any questions regarding the restoration of your teeth or
would like the appearance of your existing fillings changed please ask at
Please note however that each case is treated on an individual basis and what may be
suitable for one patient may not be suitable for another. All treatment options and any
advantages/disadvantages should be discussed with your dentist.