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Conservative dentistry: direct and indirect restorations

conservative dentistry

Conservative dentistry is a branch of dentistry that allows you to restore the masticatory function and aesthetics of a tooth severely damaged due to a trauma or following a deep caries.

Caries is one of the main causes of deterioration of the teeth. Erosion, caused by cariogenic bacteria, starts from the enamel and reaches deep.

When the infection reaches the pulp, the tooth could become irretrievable; conservative dentistry is part of this situation and serves to save the tooth from falling or extraction.

caries conservative dentistryObjectives of a conservative dentistry intervention

The dentist intervenes on a damaged tooth to:

  • eliminate the infection;
  • restore the shape of the tooth while respecting the dental occlusion methods;
  • restore masticatory function.

Particularly in the posterior teeth, which are more difficult to reach during home cleaning, greater attention is paid to marginal seals to avoid that with the wear and tear of time interstices can be created in which bacteria or food residues can nest.

In the front teeth, however, particular attention is paid to aesthetics.

Conservative dentistry techniques may include direct or indirect restorations.

conservative dentistry sanident milan

Direct restorations

We talk about direct restorations when the tooth is restored in one session. Usually the technique of direct dental restoration is applied when the damaged area is not very extensive. To reconstruct the tooth through a direct restoration it is usually used the composite, a moldable resin that is fixed through a light-curing lamp.


Indirect restorations

Instead, the name of indirect restoration is that of conservative dentistry in which a further processing step is envisaged before the restoration of the tooth. The damaged part is in fact recreated in a dental laboratory and only in a second phase it is cemented al dente by the dentist.

Usually indirect restorations, with the insertion of dental inlays, are used when the area of the damaged tooth is very large.

In economic terms the direct restoration could be cheaper, because it is a short treatment and the composite material is used.

On the other hand, it is possible to find a higher price for indirect dental restoration, because more sessions are needed and the material used for dental inlays is more often than not ceramic.

Conservative dentistry: durability

In terms of resistance over time, a recent analysis of the scientific literature has not found important evidence on the difference, in terms of maintenance over time, between direct and indirect restorations.

In fact, both techniques have proven to be highly reliable and there are no scientific studies able to direct their choice with respect to one or another conservative dentistry technique.

The dentist will therefore evaluate at the moment and based on the specific clinical case of the patient which treatment to carry out, there is in fact no better solution than another, but the most effective solution for a specific patient.

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