This case of two direct composite inlays shows how much we as dentists can differ in our views from our patients. By calling the work I did here direct composite inlays I am differentiating them from “simple white fillings” that they are often thought of by our patients. This distinction may seem petty and pedantic but actually I think it is an important one. When some asks me can I do a “simple filling” I think they are aligning their thoughts with very quick amalgam fillings that may have been plugged into the tooth under less than ideal conditions in a very quick appointment; the only perceived difference is that this one will be white as opposed to metal. In reality a direct composite restoration bears very little in common with the amalgam filling that it is seen to replace: it has totally different handling properties, requires completely different conditions, needs a sequenced series of steps to bond it in place and needs polishing stages to complete the task. The process is much more akin to the one used to bond modern laboratory made cast restorations which is why I prefer to call them direct inlays as opposed to indirect inlays, which would be made in the laboratory and cemented in place at a subsequent visit.
Some of my colleagues argue that it is not worth going to the level of finish and detail shown in these restorations because it takes longer and the teeth are not on show. I believe that every stage in the process is an essential one and a high level of attention is needed through out. It would seem a shame to put all the effort in to the all the stages except the final one, which is the one that makes them look nice!
I acknowledge that taking this much time and attention to direct restorations comes at a price for the final product but when ever I see a poorly placed and finished restoration in a patients mouth I always think that cost is a much higher one.
If you would like to know more about how we can help you fix your teeth please do not hesitate to call the surgery on 01580 752202 and we will be happy to help.