After the decay is removed, the tooth is ready to receive either a direct restoration or an indirect restoration.
A direct restoration means that the tooth can likely be restored in one visit and that there is enough tooth structure for the filling to go inside of the tooth. Examples of direct restorations are amalgam, which is silver-colored; and composite; which is tooth coloured . Amalgams are not placed in our practice.
Composite resins are an approach to repairing broken teeth and cavities caused by tooth decay to look natural, match to the remaining teeth and restore health. Resin can be a good filling material when there is enough tooth structure to support it, but may wear out after about 5 to 7 years on a back tooth, and is technique sensitive. Our practice uses SonicFill 2 technology to restore the molar and premolar teeth.
An indirect filling means that the restoration is made outside of your mouth, either by a lab or by a milling machine. An indirect filling also needs to be cemented into place. Examples are crowns, inlays, and onlays. A crown covers the entire tooth, an inlay fits inside the tooth and can replace a wall of the tooth, and an onlay replaces at least one cusp of the tooth.
Most indirect restorations take two appointments to complete. Cast gold can be made and is the most durable indirect restoration material, however porcelain ceramics are primarily requested and recommended because of their excellent aesthetics and durability.
Porcelain is the most natural looking option to restore teeth, and is much stronger than composite resin fillings. It is the strongest way to repair a damaged tooth with high aesthetic demands, and has been used for many years in veneers, inlays, onlays, and crowns. Porcelain restorations require two visits,and once it is completed, it is usually undetectable.
- Matched to other teeth
- Resistant to surface wear
- Long lasting
- Holds up well against chewing forces
- Costly due to laboratory and material fees
- Brittle material may fracture with very heavy forces if not supported correctly
- Requires two appointments