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A Filling
or a dental restoration is a restorative material used to restore the function and integrity of missing tooth structure.  The structural loss typically results from decay or external trauma. A diagnosis of fillings is determined by the loss of tooth structure visible on the radiographs.
Dental restorations can be divided into two broad types: direct restorations and indirect restorations. All dental restorations can be further classified by their location and size.
Direct restorations
This technique involves placing a soft or malleable resin filling into the prepared tooth and building up the tooth before the material sets hard. The advantage of direct restorations is that they usually set quickly and can be placed by one operator. Since the material is required to set while in contact with the tooth, limited energy can be passed to the tooth from the setting process without damaging it. Where strength is required, especially as the fillings become larger, indirect restorations may be the best choice. It can be done in one visit with a dentist.
Indirect restorations
This technique of fabricating the restoration outside of the mouth using the dental impressions of the prepared tooth.  Common indirect restorations include inlays and onlays, crowns, bridges, and veneers.  Usually a dental technician fabricates the indirect restoration from records the dentist has provided of the prepared tooth.  The finished restoration is usually bonded permanently with a dental cement. It is often done in two separate visits to dentist.
While the indirect restoration is being prepared, a provisory/temporary restoration is used to cover the prepared part of the tooth, which can help maintain the surrounding dental tissues and prevent harm to the tooth.

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