Fillings are used to treat a cavity due to decay, and repair chipped or broken teeth caused by trauma, nail biting or teeth grinding.
Traditionally, teeth are filled with silver amalgam. However, there are other options available now. Highly aesthetic fillings are available in tooth-coloured resin (plastic) materials known as composite resin fillings, or as ceramic restorations.
Fillings can be classified as direct or indirect restorations.
Direct restorations are usually chosen for smaller cavities and can be easily done in one visit. Common materials used are amalgam (silver) and composite resin (tooth-coloured). A soft filling is placed on the prepared tooth, and the material hardens as it sets.
Indirect restorations (fillings) usually require 2 visits and are chosen when the cavity is large, and stronger restorations are needed. Common materials used are:
- Gold, which can last for over 20 years,
- Ceramic, which can match the colour of your teeth for a natural finish and is highly bio-compatible with the gum,
- Hybrid ceramics, which offer reduced wear of opposing teeth and flexibility compared to ceramics.
Inlays and Onlays are types of indirect restorations made of ceramic. They are first prepared using dental impressions of the mouth, and then placed on the tooth. An inlay is fitted into a large cavity in the tooth, whereas an onlay also replaces a missing tooth cusp, which are the raised points on a tooth.
Thanks to modern technology, these indirect restorations can now be completed in a single visit. These aesthetic ceramic restorations use digital technology, such as CEREC, to create highly accurate and beautiful restorations. CEREC is a unique CAD (computer aided design) / CAM (computer aided milling) system for individual all-ceramic restorations. It removes the need for a second appointment and increases patient’s comfort as a traditional impression of the teeth is no longer needed. Instead, a scanner is used to capture photographic images of the cavity and these images are sent to a computer. This helps us offer speedier and more comfortable treatment for your cavities and chipped or broken teeth.
From left to right:
Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns