Dental Tips Blog


What’s Different About Indirect Fillings?

Posted in Fillings

When you get a cavity, it needs to be repaired before spreading deeper into the tooth. A filling is the most common way to restore lost tooth structure, protect a tooth against sensitivity, and prevent more damage.

There are two main kinds of fillings: direct and indirect. Do you know the difference?

Classic Direct Fillings

The traditional method involves cleaning out decay and removing any damaged parts of a tooth, then rebuilding it by molding a semi-liquid material into the tooth. The material is placed directly into the prepared surface, where it quickly hardens.

How Are Indirect Fillings Placed?

A tooth is prepared similar to when you get a regular filling, but then instead of putting the material right in, the dentist takes a mold of the tooth. A model goes off to a lab and the restoration is made there. Meanwhile, you get a temporary filling and go home. When you return at a later appointment, the dentist bonds the finished restoration in place.

Indirect fillings are also different in that they’re designed to cover a larger area of tooth structure. An inlay is an indirect filling that replaces tooth material between cusps while onlays are more extensive and replace some of the chewing edges of teeth. Onlays are also considered partial crowns.

Why Get an Indirect Filling?

If you try to put a lot of restorative material inside of a tooth, it will get weak. An indirect filling is structurally better for teeth with extensive damage. These restorations are the midway option when a filling is insufficient, but the tooth doesn’t quite need a crown.

To determine which kind of restoration is right for your tooth, contact a dentist in your area.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

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