Tooth Fillings

Many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Porcelain inlays and Tooth Colored Restorations (onlays) create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.

Tooth-colored Direct Composites

Advantages of direct composites:

  1. 1. Aesthetics – the shade/color of the composite fillings can be
    closely matched to the color of existing teeth; is particularly well
    suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth
  2. 2. Bonding to tooth structure – composite fillings actually chemically
    bond to tooth structure, providing further support to the tooth
  3. 3. Versatility in uses – in addition to use as a filling material for
    decay, composite fillings can also be used to repair chipped, broken, or
    worn teeth
  4. 4. Tooth-sparing preparation – sometimes less tooth structure needs to
    be removed compared with amalgams when removing decay and preparing for
    the filling

Disadvantages of direct composites:

  1. 1. Lack of durability – composite fillings wear out sooner than
    amalgams (lasting at least 5 years compared with at least 10 to 15 for
    amalgams); in addition, they may not last as long as amalgams under the
    pressure of chewing and particularly if used as the filling material for
    large cavities
  2. 2. Increased chair time – because of the process to apply the composite
    material, these fillings can take up to 20 minutes longer than amalgams
    to place
  3. 3. Additional visits – if composites are used for inlays or onlays,
    more than one office visit may be required
  4. 4. Chipping – depending on location, composite materials can chip off
    the tooth
  5. 5. Expense – composite fillings can cost up to twice the cost of

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Onlay/Inlay Restorations

There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger.

Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums!

The result is a beautiful smile!

Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth Colored Restoration

You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations (onlays). This process requires two appointments.

Your First Appointment:

  1. 1. The old filling is removed along with any additional decay.
  2. 2. An impression is made of your teeth. A model of your teeth is made and sent to the lab.
  3. 3. A temporary onlay is placed on the tooth.

At the Lab: A resin is carefully placed into the model of your teeth. It is then designed to look natural.

Your Second Appointment:

  1. 1. The temporary onlay is removed.
  2. 2. A conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new onlay.
  3. 3. Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and a high intensity light bonds the resin to the tooth.
  4. 4. The tooth is then polished.

Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!