Tooth Coloured Fillings

Q. What are composite fillings?

Composite fillings are a good alternative to amalgam fillings. They are suitable for repairing and rebuilding both the front and the back teeth due to how well they colour match and their improved strength and quality.

Q. What are the advantages of composite fillings?

  • They look better, just like natural teeth
  • Teeth filled with composite material tend to be stronger, as it micro-mechanically bonds to the surrounding tooth and adds to its strength
  • Composite fillings can be fitted into very small holes. As less drilling is required, they are more conservative for the original tooth structure
  • Being plastic they can help insulate the tooth from temperature variations in the mouth
  • They are versatile as they can be used to repair chipped, broken or worn teeth which would not be repairable using amalgam fillings
  • Reduced quantity of mercury released to the environment

Q. What are the disadvantages of composite fillings?

  • Composite fillings take slightly longer to place than amalgam, as the technique is more complex.
  • Successful outcomes in composite fillings is related to the skills of the practitioner and technique of the placement of the filling
  • Composites are usually more expensive than amalgam
  • Composite fillings may not last long or can wear out sooner particularly if used for large cavities that are subjected to excessive biting force
  • A tooth filled with composite filling may become sensitive if the procedure technique is not followed properly which is more common with deep fillings
  • Some food and drinks can stain composite fillings Eg. Coffee, red wine

Q. What are inlays?

Inlays are the fillings that remain within the confines of the cusp tips of the tooth, made by ‘’Indirect technique’’ using materials like ceramics or composites (previously gold) in order to withstand the grinding pressure of the back teeth.

The Indirect technique technique involves fabricating the restoration outside of the mouth usually in the dental laboratory using dental impressions of the prepared tooth and then are fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place.

Q. What are onlays?

An onlay is the restoration similar to an inlay and uses the same materials, except that it incorporates a replacement for a tooth cusp by covering the area where the missing cusp would be. They are much stronger than any other type of filling and actually increase the strength of the tooth.

Q. What are the advantages of inlays and onlays?

  • Because inlays and onlays are bonded directly into the tooth, they can increase the overall strength of the tooth
  • Porcelain, ceramics and composite material can be made to match the natural tooths colour
  • They are durable and may last for many years unless they get decay underneath them
  • In some cases, they are good alternatives to the more complex crown

Q. What are the disadvantages of inlays and onlays?

  • They can be costly due to the high-quality materials used in their manufacture and the precision required in their fitting and use of dental laboratory procedure
  • The fitting of inlays and onlays usually requires two dental visits

Note: The aim of this general information is to educate the reader about Fillings, Inlays and Onlays and may not essentially contain all aspects of the treatment. It would be beneficial to see us for a consultation to discuss the procedure and all of the associated complications.

Give us a call on (03) 5821 2388 to book an appointment and our dentist will be more than happy to answer all of your concerns.