At Healthy Smiles we understand the importance of achieving just that, a healthy smile. This is why we are also proud to perform procedures that will ensure our patients sterling oral health.
The purpose of dental restorations is to return the lost shape and function to the damaged tooth by using specific techniques and materials, such as fillings and dental crowns.
Restorations must also be conservative, to preserve dental structure as much as possible.
The greater the availability of alternatives, the more important it is to know the characteristics of each material, its use and its advantages and limitations. In addition to the technique and the restorative material that your dentist will recommend, he will also tell you what kind of dental restoration you need: a direct restoration or an indirect one.
Direct and Indirect Restorations
You might be wondering which one is better. Of course! This is the question patients ask more frequently. The answer will rely on some factors, such as:
- Cavities, fractures or existing restoration that needs to be replaced.
- Arch location and the tooth can be accessed.
- Specific dental features of each patient and their periodontal health.
- Patient’s financial situation
- Risks and benefits of each kind of procedure for the patient.
- Patient’s acceptance towards the recommended treatment.
The main difference between direct and indirect restorations is related to the need to perform a more aggressive tooth preparation. The basic conditions for the preparation of an indirect restoration lies in the divergence of the walls, which determine the quality that the restoration provides the tooth. Direct restorations allow a more conservative plan because of the possibility of filling cavities with irregular and retentive aspects in an appropriate way.
Types of Restorations
Restorations are divided into:
- Fillings: These are made with different materials and procedures. The materials are placed on the tooth in a soft state and harden to conform to the mouth. They can be made of amalgam (metallic) of composite resin or of some type of cement (mainly, glass ionomer).
- Gold restorations: These are not commonly used anymore. They are reconstructions based on cohesive gold that is pressed into the tooth's own cavity.
- Incrustations: Consisting of small rigid pieces (metallic, porcelain or composite resin) that substitute the lost parts. They are prefabricated to size and adhered to the remaining dental tissues. They are classified into inlays, onlays and overlays, according to their situation and extension.
- Veneers: They are very thin porcelain or resin sheets, either prefabricated or custom-made, which adhere to the labial or anterior surface of the teeth, restoring their shape or correcting aesthetic flaws.
- Crowns: They can indicate a complete or partial coverage of the surface of the teeth. Made to measure. They can be made of metal, porcelain, metal-porcelain, resin or metal-resin.
- Composites: They are able to restore the natural appearance of the tooth. They must be adhered to the tooth so they require a refined clinical technique. They also usually require more time for placement and termination, so in general, they are more expensive. The duration of this material may be less than the amalgam.
No matter the kind of restoration you would like to have, keep in mind that your dentist will be the one determining the type of dental restoration that will be better for you and your overall health. For more information about restorations, please contact our dental office in Santa Clarita by calling (661) 210-4280.