Traditional dental restoratives, or fillings, may include gold, porcelain, and composite. The strength and durability of traditional dental materials continue to make them useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, such as in the back of the mouth.
Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on the front teeth, where a natural appearance is important, and on the back teeth depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay.\
Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity, and expense of dental restorations, including:
Before your child’s treatment begins, your doctor will discuss all options and help you choose the best filling for your child’s particular case. Understanding the two basic types of dental fillings may be helpful: direct and indirect.
The dentist prepares the tooth, places the filling, and adjusts it in just one appointment. Direct fillings are placed immediately into a prepared cavity in a single visit. They include glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings.
Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits. They include onlays, inlays, veneers, crowns, and bridges fabricated with gold, base metal alloys, ceramics, or composites. During the first visit, the dentist prepares the tooth and makes an impression of the area to be restored. The dentist then places a temporary covering over the prepared tooth. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory that creates the dental restoration. The dentist cements the restoration at the next appointment into the prepared cavity and adjusts it as needed.