When restoring your teeth after they have decayed, cracked, or are chipped, one of the issues your dentist may take into consideration is whether they should use direct resin or whether they should perform an indirect restoration. A dentist will look at the tooth in question to determine which results are most likely to occur by choosing a specific approach. There are certain criteria they will look at.

How Direct Restoration Works

With direct resin, the material comes in direct contact with your tooth and is then hardened. These are often referred to as fillings. If your dentist believes that direct restoration is not the right option, they might instead choose an indirect method of restoration such as an inlay or onlay. An inlay or onlay is created outside of your mouth in a lab using a technician or a computer-controlled machine. 

One of the advantages of direct resin is that your dentist is able to create a filling that is white or tooth-colored. This allows for your filling to be less noticeable. They also form a more secure bond than more traditional fillings, which is why it is usually a preferable choice except under certain circumstances.

The Size of the Composite

The smaller the composite will be, the more of your tooth that will be left behind which will be able to resist external forces and flexure. When the composite becomes wider, this will lead to the cusps becoming weaker and will increase the risk that the bond will fail. This might also result in leakage.

You will want the occlusal contacts to be on the actual tooth structure. Then, there will be less of a risk that the composite will be overloaded and fracture.

Direct Resin Shrinkage

When the direct resin is applied and cured, there may be some shrinkage. This can lead to the issue of leakage. However, the more enamel that is left behind for the resin to bond to, the less likely it is that this will result.

Placement Visualization

The dentist will need to be able to visualize the placement to be able to create a predictable bond. If your dentist is struggling to visualize the placement, they may choose a more predictable and forgiving option, such as using an amalgam filling. Otherwise, you may be forced to return to your dentist to have more work done. However, regardless of which approach you and your dentist choose to take, there will likely be a method that can be used to restore your teeth.

For more information about which procedure is best for you, contact a local dentist in your area.