The original Porcelain and Plastic restorations are not longer used anymore and the dental world talks about ‘Ceramics’ and resin based ‘Composites’ instead.
Composites (usually directly placed tooth colour matched fillings) have the advantage of their friendly wear characteristics with natural tooth enamel and the ease of repair if they break. This will tend to occur more often than the stronger ceramics. At CDC we particularly like the lab made ‘indirect’ composites for larger cavities where increased strength is attainable over the direct materials but retaining tooth structure using the optimum tooth wear properties.
‘Ceramics’ are now extremely strong and the latest ‘Lava’ ziconia oxide cores for example are rapidly replacing the traditional metal under porcelain restorations even for bridges. Ceramics may be more abrasive than composites but the long term colour stability and superb aesthetics with lack of wear are big + points.
To sum up small cavities are usually filled with ‘direct’ placed one visit composites. Medium to large cavities where possible are now restored with lab ceramic made two visit ‘indirect’ composites and larger than this with veneers, crowns and bridges etc.