The dentists at Alabama Family Dentistry always work hard to give you your best smile. Sometimes this means repairing cavities, chips, cracks and missing teeth. The high quality of these restorations can make a huge difference in a person’s appearance and dental health. We evaluate each patient to determine the best method treatment, whether direct dental restoration or indirect dental restoration is needed.
The term direct dental restoration means placing a filling material into a tooth to repair it, such as repairing a cavity. These procedures usually need only one visit.
Restorations that can be seen are usually made of a material such as a resin that is indistinguishable from the color of the tooth. Those in the back of the mouth are subject to higher biting pressures and are usually formed around some type of metal, even it the outer layer is white. An example is porcelain fused to gold.
An indirect dental restoration is a one that is manufactured outside the mouth, and then permanently placed in a following visit. The category includes crowns and fixed bridges, although some also include removable appliances such as bridges and dentures. An indirect dental restoration is complicated and demanding, taking great skill and care to produce excellent long-lasting results.
The indirect restoration takes at least two office visits. In the first visit, the dentist takes an “impression,” a plaster model of the tooth or teeth to be restored. The dentist then sends the impression to a dental lab to have the restoration fabricated by a dental technician.
Materials used in indirect restorations include composites, all porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, gold alloys and base metal alloys. The material chosen depends on cost and where the restoration is needed.
While the restoration is being fabricated, a temporary cap or crown is placed in the mouth that will be used until the final restoration is ready. Once the fit and appearance are perfect, the dentist permanently cements the finished restoration in the mouth.