Direct fillings are those placed immediately into the clean cavity preparation in one visit. The materials that we use for direct fillings are either composite (resin), glass ionomer, or amalgam. Most of the time we use composite fillings—”tooth-colored” fillings that are bonded directly to the tooth. Less frequently, we use glass-ionomer fillings, which are not as strong as composite and amalgam fillings. However, they are also tooth-colored and work very well for fillings close to the gum line. Finally, when a stronger material is needed and/or it is extremely difficult to keep the tooth dry, we use dental amalgam.