A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative material used to restore the function, integrity, and morphology of missing tooth structure. The tooth loss typically results from caries or external trauma or erosive changes. Part of tooth is also removed intentionally during tooth preparation to improve the aesthetics or the physical integrity of the intended restorative material. Dental restorations can be divided into two broad types: Direct Restorations and Indirect Restorations. All dental restorations can be further classified by their location and size.
B. Direct Restorations
This technique involves placing a filling into the prepared tooth and building up the tooth before the material sets hard. Before you have a filling, your dentist will remove the decayed and weakened parts of your tooth using a small drill, and clean the cavity. The advantage of direct restorations is that they usually set quickly and can be placed in a single procedure.
Since the material is required to set while in contact with the tooth, limited energy can be passed to the tooth from the setting process without damaging it. Where strength is required, especially as the fillings become larger, indirect restorations may be the best choice.
C. Indirect Restorations
This technique of fabricating the restoration outside the mouth using the impressions of the prepared tooth. Common indirect restorations include inlays and onlays, crowns, bridges, and veneers. Usually, a dental technician fabricates the indirect restoration from impressions the dentist has provided of the prepared tooth. The finished restoration is usually bonded permanently with dental cement. It is often done in two separate visits to the dentist. Common indirect restorations are done using nickel chrome or ceramics.