Tooth Colour Filling/White Filling
Years ago, dental fillings were done with metal amalgam and that was the only choice. With the extraordinary advancement of modern dentistry, now we have better choices. You can have a tooth-coloured filling done. It is our aim and goal here to restore your damaged tooth whilst complementing and enhancing your smile!
Appearance of posterior teeth after change to tooth colour fillings (Composite fillings)
Apperance of Front tooth after changing of old composite fillings.
What Types Of Tooth Filling Materials Are Available?
Generally, there are two types of restorations : direct and indirect restoration. Direct restoration is a procedure completed on the dental chair within the same visit. Indirect restoration need 2 visits where laboratory work is mandatory.
Amalgam, Composite and Glass Ionomer Cement are material commonly used for direct restoration. Composite/ porcelain/ metal inlays and onlays are used for indirect restoration. Different filling materials possess different properties and can be used in different situations.
Read more at Amalgam Filings. How Safe Is It? An Overview.
Composite Resin (CR)
Composite Resin composed of a complex molecular structure of a resin matrix and fillers. Composites or resins were introduced in the 1960’s, and have undergone continual improvements in durability, color stability, material handling qualities, and esthetic properties.
Aesthetic results using tooth-coloured CR filling material are excellent. A great number of colors (shades) can match to your individual tooth colour. The materials used for front teeth have a high shine; whereas, the materials for back teeth are designed for strength — both look great! Under suitable circumstances, CR may also be used to change tooth colour, shape and size to improve the smile.
When a cavity is huge and less retentive (with frequent fracture/ dislodged), dentist might advise to do an indirect composite inlay or onlay. Indirect fillings have the advantage of precise margin, aesthetic and longer lasting. Composite inlay/ onlay are fabricated in the laboratory, so it is much stronger. This reduce the chances of fracture fillings.
Problems With CR
CR is not as strong as Amalgam because it is not as wear resistant. CR may shrink when it sets and so this could lead to a small gap between the tooth and the filling. This gap may cause sensitivity or it could become a potential site for recurrent caries. With time, CR has a potential for being discoloured by picking up stains from food or drinks.
Glass Ionomer Cements (GIC)
GIC are another type of tooth-coloured filling material which are commonly used for baby teeth and fillings close to the gum and root area. It bonds to the tooth structure and releases fluoride to help strengthen teeth and prevent decay. Post-operative sensitivity is rare.
Problems With GIC
GIC are weaker and wear faster than CR and Amalgam. It is not as good as CR in terms of colour. Neither it as strong as Amalgam in term of wear resistant. So, GIC are commonly used in area where occlusal loading are minimal.
However, with advance technology, the properties of CR and GIC have much improved to meet the goal of aethethic smile without compromising the quality. Never the least, tooth colour restorations are actually bonded to remaining tooth structure compared to amalgam restorations, which are “locked” into tooth structure. This property makes CR and GIC a very conservative approach to tooth restoration after caries removal. That means, less of your tooth structure need to remove for a white colour filling as compared with Amalgam filling. You can eat on tooth coloured fillings right away compared to amalgam fillings, which there is a waiting period of time.
In this clinic, we’ll talk you through the process and explain exactly what’s involved. We make every effort to restore your damaged tooth back to its original shape and match your filling to the natural colour of your tooth!
Teeth restored with amalgam fillings
Amalgam fillings were replaced with composite resin fillings
How Long Do They Last?
Tooth colour fillings now are harder and more comparable to amalgam restorations. A small filling could conceivably last a lifetime, and larger fillings can be expected to last many years. The factors that determine the lifespan of a particular filling include: the tooth (loading force on molars are greater than bicuspids), the size of the filling relative to the tooth (smaller fillings will usually be more durable than larger fillings), and how teeth are cleaned and maintained daily.
Inlays And Onlays
Inlays and onlays are made in a dental lab because is hard and must be milled to the right shape. An inlay is smaller than an onlay. Inlays fit within the tooth’s cusps whereas onlays extend over on to one or more outside surfaces. We will plan your inlay or onlay by taking some photos, an X-ray, and measurements, and sending the data to our dental lab.
During, second visit after the lab sends your restoration to our office, we will fit it into your tooth to check its fit and your bite before we bond it permanently to your tooth. Bonding makes it part of the tooth and it will never loosen or fall out as metal fillings used to do.