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Direct vs. Indirect Fillings: What is the Difference?

Direct vs. Indirect Fillings

When it comes to dental fillings, there are two main types: direct and indirect. Direct fillings are placed in the mouth without the use of a temporary restoration. Indirect fillings, on the other hand, require a temporary restoration to be placed in the mouth first. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between these two types of fillings and help you decide which one is right for you!

Direct Fillings

As mentioned above, direct fillings are fabricated directly in the mouth. Direct fillings are made of materials such as amalgam (silver) or composite resin (tooth-colored), since both of these materials can easily be hardened in place. They are placed directly into the cavity in your tooth and can be done in one visit to the dentist.

Although amalgam fillings were popular in the past, composite fillings are now more commonly used. Composite fillings are placed in the same way as amalgam fillings. The dentist will first remove any decay from your tooth and then clean and roughen the surface. Next, a bonding agent is applied to the tooth and the composite resin is placed in the cavity. The resin is then molded and polished to match the surrounding tooth structure.

One advantage of direct fillings is that they are less expensive than indirect fillings and can be placed during a single appointment. However, direct fillings are not as strong as indirect fillings and may not last as long.

Indirect Fillings

Indirect fillings are made of materials such as porcelain or gold. There are two different types of indirect fillings: inlays and onlays. Inlays are used to fill cavities that are small and confined to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. Onlays, on the other hand, are used to fill larger cavities or those that involve one or more of the tooth’s cusps. In some cases, inlays and onlays can even be used in lieu of placing a dental crown.

Both inlays and onlays are fabricated outside of the mouth and require two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, your dentist will clean out the cavity in your tooth and take a dental impression to send to the dental lab. While the lab fabricates your restoration, your dentist will place a temporary filling. Then, you will come back for a second visit to have the permanent filling cemented in place.

Indirect fillings are more expensive than direct fillings, but they are also stronger and can last longer. However, they are generally used for larger cavities and require more enamel modification than direct fillings.

In Conclusion

In this blog, we have discussed the differences between direct and indirect fillings. As you can see, each type of filling has its own advantages and disadvantages. The right type of filling for you will depend on several factors, including the size and location of the cavity, your budget, and your preferences. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your dentist! They will be able to help you make the best decision for your smile.


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