Direct Restorative Materials
Direct Restorative Materials CATEGORY DESCRIPTION
Several direct restorative materials are used for reconstruction of the hard tissues of the teeth that have been lost through disease or trauma.
Amalgam is a metallic filling material containing mercury and other metals that is cost-effective and long-lasting. An economical material, dental amalgam is steadily being replaced by more cosmetically pleasing, tooth-colored materials.
Composite resin fillings are composed of powdered glass and plastic resin. Also called white fillings, they are typically used in highly visible areas in the mouth because of their natural appearance.
Glass ionomer cement fillings are a mixture of glass and organic acid, and vary in translucency. Glass ionomers can achieve an esthetic tooth-colored result but may not wear as well as composite resins. However, they have several advantages: Glass ionomers can be placed in cavities without any need for bonding agents; they are not prone to shrinkage and microleakage; and they contain and release fluoride, which helps to prevent caries. They are generally considered good materials for root caries and for sealants.
Resin-modified glass-ionomer cement (RMGIC) is a combination of glass-ionomer and composite resin; it is a mixture of glass, organic acid, and resin polymer, and hardens in seconds when light-cured. It is more durable than glass ionomer but is not recommended for biting surfaces. Its fast, easy handling makes it well suited for treating pediatric and geriatric patients.
Compomer refers to a combination of composite resin and glass ionomer technology. Although compomers have better mechanical and esthetic properties than RMGIC, they require bonding materials. Benefits include ease of handling and fluoride release.
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