More often these days our patients are opting for their fillings to be done in a white tooth coloured material called composite resin or to have our dental laboratory technicians make white inlays. At Devonshire Dental Care we can use either of these methods to repair decayed or fractured teeth or even just to replace old metal fillings with white ones to improve your smile.
Composite Resin Fillings
What is a Composite Resin (White Filling)?
A white composite filling is a tooth-coloured plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the colour of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
How is a composite placed?
Following preparation, the dentist places the composite in layers, typically using a UV light made to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth. The dentist then polishes the composite to prevent staining and early wear.
What are the advantages of composites?
Cosmetics are the main advantage of composites, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.
What are the disadvantages?
After receiving a composite, a patient may experience postoperative sensitivity. Composites may wear out sooner than silver fillings in larger cavities, although they hold up as well in small cavities.
What is an inlay or onlay?
An inlay is a filling that is made in our dental laboratory by our skilled technicians. Inlays and onlays provide an alternative to fillings, replacing part of a tooth that has been lost because of decay, wear or accidental damage. They are stronger and can last longer than fillings, and are especially suitable for the chewing surfaces on back teeth and large repairs to front teeth.
What are inlays and inlays made of?
Onlays and inlays can be made of metal, composite or porcelain. Conspire or porcelain inlays result in a repair that is virtually unoticeable.
What is the difference between an inlay and an onlay?
An inlay sits in a hole in the tooth. An onlay sits on the tooth and builds up its shape.
What happens during the treatment?
The tooth is prepared in the same way as a filling. Once prepared, an impression is taken of the tooth using a soft putty like material. This is then given to our dental technicians to build a bespoke inlay/onlay to the exact size and shape and shade required.
A temporary filling is placed in the tooth, whilst the inlay/onlay is being created. When it is ready, we will cement the inlay/onlay into place and make small adjustments to ensure a comfortable bite is maintained.
What are the disadvantages?
The main disadvantages are the high cost compared to a normal filling and the fact that the procedure requires two visits.