A dental filling is a restorative dental procedure used to restore the function, integrity, and morphology of missing tooth structure. Structural loss can be caused by several factors:
- External trauma
- Tooth preparation for aesthetic dentistry
- Replacement of missing structure supported by dental implants
The tooth is first prepared for the filling. Tooth structure is removed to make space for the filling, to remove dental decay or structurally unsound portions of the tooth.
Direct restorations involve placing a malleable filling into the prepared tooth and building up the tooth before the material sets hard. Direct restorations can be done quickly.
Indirect restorations are made outisde of the mouth, using a dental impressions of the prepared tooth. Indirect restorations includes crowns, bridges, veneers, and inlays and onlays. Finished restorations are usually bonded with dental cement.
- Precious metallic alloys (gold, silver)
- Base metallic alloys
- Dental composites
- Glass ionomer cement