Up until very recently, the only type of fillings were direct fillings. These involved creating the filling right in the tooth. The material would be placed directly in the empty space created by a cavity or root canal treatment. While this method is still sometimes used today, indirect fillings are now much more popular.
Indirect fillings are created outside of the tooth, and then placed, instead of both at once. This requires two appointments. At your first appointment, our OC dentist will take impressions of your teeth. These will be sent to a lab where your filling will be created. Once completed and sent back, you can return to have them placed. This process may also be possible in just one appointment with CAD/CAM technology.
There are two types of indirect fillings – inlays and onlays. Inlays are the fillings that enter into the tooth, where onlays are for damage that only affects the cusps, or the surface. Dentists and patients alike prefer fillings in most situations, as they do not require as much loss of healthy tooth structure as dental crowns. They do, however, still require consistent care and regular check-ups from our dentist. We can answer any questions you may have on the topic in our office.