How is an indirect filling different from a regular filling? The answer could make a big difference in your next restorative dental treatment.
A “direct” dental filling is a traditional filling material that’s molded and set to your tooth. The material is placed in a semi-liquid state and then hardens to match the shape of the hole drilled in your tooth.
An indirect filling is one that’s made outside of your mouth and is later cemented into place. Your dentist will reshape the damaged part of your tooth and then take a scan or mold of the area. Using this mold, the filling is crafted in a lab or in the office.
Indirect fillings are also known as inlays or onlays. This is because they are crafted to “lay” over a tooth, either within all the pointed cusps (inlay) or encompassing at least one of the cusps (onlay.) This way, indirect fillings can provide greater structural support than regular fillings do.
An indirect filling is a good option when your tooth is decayed, but there isn’t enough damage to justify a full crown.
The Benefits of Indirect Fillings
Think you might have a cavity right now? Don’t wait too long to get it examined.
The next time your dentist let’s you know that you definitely have a cavity, ask how large it is. Then ask if an indirect filling is a possibility for restoring your tooth. Call your dentist for more information.
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