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The pros and cons of restoring your teeth

Your teeth may need to be repaired if …

  • The structure is damaged to a point where you can’t properly use your teeth for eating
  • The erosive tooth wear is causing your teeth to be ‘sensitive’ and painful
  • You don’t like the visual signs of erosion such as worn away front teeth

There are two main ways to restore damaged teeth


This is a tooth coloured plastic filling material that binds to your tooth. Your dentist will use it to build up your tooth. Once on, it hardens and can be shaped to fit in with the rest of your teeth.


  • Less expensive and generally quicker than crowns
  • Composite material is usually put directly onto the tooth and is formed to fit the surface so there may be no need for a whole mouth ‘impression’ to be made
  • Can be done in the dentist surgery in one session


  • May fracture or chip and may not last as long as a crown

Ceramic/metal/polymer-ceramic restorations

Known as ‘crowns’, these are crafted to fit to the tooth and your mouth


  • Long lasting
  • Stronger than composite restorations


  • Can be expensive, especially as erosive tooth wear usually affects a number of teeth
  • Time is needed for the crowns to be produced
  • Will need the tooth to be shaved down for a better fit so this means removal of the top layers of teeth and that you will always need to have a crown on that tooth.
  • The preparation is irreversible and depending on the level of tooth wear may harm the pulp or nerve in the tooth

Remember, tooth restoration will only repair what is damaged, talk to your dentist about how to prevent further erosive tooth wear

Loomans B, Opdam N, Attin T, Bartlett D et al. Severe tooth wear: European consensus statement on Management Guidelines. J Adhes Dent 2017;19:111–119