What do we mean by that? Well, let's first look at what a cosmetic filling is. As stated, fillings are used by cosmetic dentists to repair or restore a tooth. There are many types of filling materials that are used, from gold, composite, amalgam or porcelain to name a few. When a cosmetic dentist looks to fill a tooth, a number of things are taken into consideration, most important- decay of the tooth. This affects the amount of preparation the dentist will need, and will help in determining the method of filling the tooth.
There are two kinds of methods to consider: Direct and Indirect.
- Direct: This method has the dentist apply a softer filling that hardens quickly with a special ultra-violet light. Unlike the indirect method, direct restorations are quick to set up and can be accomplished in one procedure.
- Indirect: Indirect methods are used with an impression of the tooth. Indirect methods are called inlays or onlays. Both are prepped the same way a direct filling is but with an indirect filling, a patient will have a temporary filling placed. The final restoration is then bonded to the tooth for longevity.
Talk to your dentist to find out which type of filling is a better choice for your situation. Learn what the pro's and con's are before your decision is made.