Tooth Fillings

A filling is a dental restorative material used to bring back the function and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma.  Dental restorations may be fabricated out of a variety of materials.  If you need to have a tooth restored (filled), your options may include several different materials. 

If you need to have a tooth restored (filled), your options may include several different materials. A dental filling is a dental restorative material used to bring back the function, and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma. Dental restorations may be fabricated out of a variety of materials.

Dental fillings fall into two categories based on the method used to place them: direct restorations and indirect restorations.

Direct restorations are fillings placed immediately into a prepared cavity in a single visit. They include dental amalgam, glass ionomers, resin ionomers and most composite (resin) rellenos. Indirect restorations may require two visits. They include inlays, onlays, veneers, crowns and bridges fabricated with gold, base metal alloys, ceramics or composites. These restorations are a solution for cavities.

A cavity (caused by a disease called caries) happens when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that attack your teeth. In time, this acid can dissolve away the enamel on your teeth and cause a hole, which is known as a cavity. Unlike some other diseases or injuries, a cavity will not heal by itself, but if the early signs of dental decay are promptly treated before a cavity forms, it can be stopped.  Without treatment, dental decay may continue to advance. Extreme decay can result in the loss of the affected tooth or teeth, potentially preceded by great discomfort, infection and other health problems

Many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye.   Porcelain inlays and Tooth Colored Restorations (onlays) create rellenos 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.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored 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. The old filling is removed along with any additional decay.
  2. An impression is made of your teeth. A model of your teeth is made and sent to the lab.
  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. The temporary onlay is removed.
  2. A conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new onlay.
  3. Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and a high intensity light bonds the resin to the tooth.
  4. The tooth is then polished.

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