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Oral Health Topics

Materials for Direct Restorations

Key Points: 

  • Direct dental restorative materials can be placed directly into a tooth cavity within one office visit.
  • Amalgam remains the gold standard for durable restorations, although resin composites have shown reasonably long survival rates.
  • Many direct restorative materials are also used as cavity liners and bases, and as pit-and-fissure preventive sealants.
  • Introduction
  • Direct Restorative Materials: Amalgam
  • Direct Restorative Materials: Resin Composites
  • Direct Restorative Materials: Glass Ionomers
  • Survivability and Longevity of Direct Restoration Materials
  • Biocompatibility and Exposure Concerns
  • ADA Policies Related to Dental Materials
  • References
  • ADA Resources
Last Updated: March 9, 2021

Prepared by:

Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC.


Content on the Oral Health Topics section of is for informational purposes only.  Content is neither intended to nor does it establish a standard of care or the official policy or position of the ADA; and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  ADA is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.