Operative dentistry refers to what are commonly called “fillings.” When a “cavity” is discovered, the dentist removes the “decay” and “fills” the tooth. This gets more complicated when the tooth is heavily broken down. Using the “white” composite “filling” material to restore a large defect can become such a complex undertaking that most dentists resort to a “cap” (crown). With that decision, even more of the tooth has to be removed in order to fit the crown which makes for a very aggressive procedure.
I prefer, whenever possible, to take the time to use the composite material to restore the damage thus avoiding the increased cost of the crown and unnecessary loss of healthy tooth structure. I do a lot of complex operative dentistry . It is a creative endeavor to rebuild a tooth, in place, with a malleable restorative material.