Tooth Coloured Fillings

There are many different types of filling materials available today. However, there is no one material that is ideal for every scenario. Your dentist will be able to guide you in deciding which material is best suited to your individual needs.

Tooth coloured fillings are a more attractive alternative to traditional silver amalgam fillings. They don’t stand out and are virtually undetectable. We primarily use 2 families of tooth coloured filling materials.

Composite Resin

Composite resin is the most commonly used tooth coloured filling material. Like traditional amalgam, it is placed directly into the cavity. However, unlike amalgam, it is designed to blend with the natural colour of your teeth and actually bonds to the tooth structure.

Composite resin can be used to treat front and back teeth. However, for large restorations in molar teeth, composite resin may not be suitable as it is not as strong as other restorative materials.  In these situations your dentist may recommend other more suitable long term options such as a crown. Composite resin restorations are technique sensitive and take longer to place than traditional amalgam fillings. As such, they tend to be more expensive than amalgam fillings, but with a superior aesthetic outcome.

Ceramic Inlays

Inlays are fillings that are used on teeth that are more broken down and need protection from the forces associated with chewing or tooth grinding. In years gone by, these fillings were made from gold but recent technological advances have seen development of ceramic inlays.

Inlays are “indirect” restorations meaning they are made by our laboratory technician. Like dental crowns, the process is completed over 2 appointments. During the first appointment, any decay is removed from the tooth and the shape of the cavity is refined. An impression is taken and a temporary filling placed. The impression is then sent to the laboratory where a porcelain restoration is crafted to mimic the remaining natural tooth structure and blend in with the adjacent teeth. At the second appointment, this filling is checked for perfection before being bonded into the cavity. The end result is a strong and beautiful tooth.

Ceramic inlays are successful in such circumstances because of their strength when compared to directly placed filling materials. As such, they are often used in large cavities in molar teeth.

We hope you now understand a little more about tooth coloured fillings. If you have any further questions, please contact us here.