What Is A Direct Dental Restoration And How Can One Fix Your Broken Tooth?
Direct dental restorations refer to the tools your dentist can immediately apply to fix a deep crack due to trauma or a cavity. Fillings are the most common type of direct restoration. The fillings come in a variety of different materials that each have pros and cons – as does using a direct rather than indirect restoration.
What are some pros and cons of direct restorations and what types of fillings might best correct your dental problem? Here are some factors to keep in mind when visiting your general or family dentist office.
Direct Restoration Pros and Cons
Direct restorations can happen quickly in one office visit. If you have little time or dentist anxiety, the ability to get the treatment out of the way quickly will seem appealing. Fillings are also perfectly fine treatments for many types of cavities and internal tooth cracks.
On the downside, direct fillings have less precision than the lab-crafted indirect restorations like inlays, onlays, or dental crowns. The lack of precision and the malleability of the filling material make it harder for the dentist to treat complex problems or problems that stretch across several areas of the tooth.
Durable Fillings: Metal Amalgam
Metal amalgam fillings offer a high level of durability that works well in larger cavities or those within a tooth that performs a lot of forceful grinding like the rear molars. The metal amalgam should withstand normal chewing with no issues for years to come. But the metal in no way, shape, or form looks like a natural tooth.
The lack of natural appearance might not really matter if the filled tooth is towards the rear of the mouth but even larger fillings there might be noticeable when you open your mouth wide. You might not want the look of metal towards the front of your mouth, but those teeth also take on less bite force so could safely use a more natural-looking direct restoration material.
Natural-Looking Fillings: Composite Resin
Composite resin offers the opposing pros and cons to metal amalgam: natural looking but not particularly durable. The resin works well in smaller fillings regardless of the tooth location and function. Resin can also work well on any size filling towards the front of the mouth.
You don't want to use composite resin in the rear of your mouth as a large molar filling because the grinding can break or crack the resin and you will need to replace the piece with a metal amalgam filling anyway. You should also know that resin isn't stain-resistant, which means that your filling can end up staining with your natural teeth but won't bleach out with the standard teeth whitening that works on real teeth.
For more information, contact a business such as Treasured Smiles Dentistry.