Tooth-colored fillings were created as an alternative to traditional metal dental fillings. Also known as Composite Resins, they are actually dental fillings which are specifically colored to look like a natural tooth. They are made out of plastic dental resin combined with porcelain and glass particles. These types of fillings are quite durable and are way more natural-looking than amalgam fillings. If you have a cavity in a tooth or broken fillings or if your teeth are full of mercury or amalgam fillings, you may want to ask your dentist about changing them with tooth-colored fillings. Mercury or amalgam fillings can easily be removed and replaced with far more attractive tooth-colored fillings.
Research shows that composite fillings actually strengthen your tooth and further protect it from decay. These dental fillings are a safer and more attractive alternative to older silver amalgam fillings. By precisely matching tooth-colored composite fillings with the natural color of your teeth, a skilled cosmetic dentist will be able to provide you with dental fillings that are virtually invisible.
The most popular kind of “white filling” is called a Composite filling. It is made up of a composite quartz resin (glass and porcelain) and usually contains some sort of light sensitive agent that is used during curing. They are the ideal alternative to amalgam (silver) fillings because they are far more attractive and very durable. In the past, these white fillings may be placed only on front teeth. But nowadays, as these composite materials have been specifically designed and improved to be able to survive the pressure of grinding when you chew, they can be placed on any position of a tooth. These light-cured composites offer great aesthetics and in most cases, can be placed in a single appointment.
This is used when cosmetics and wear resistance is most important for a patients. A porcelain inlay or onlay is used when the cavity is too big for a filling, but isn't so big that a crown is required. An inlay is a filling within the cusp tips of the tooth. Onlays (also known as overlays) will overlay one or more cusps in order to protect and strengthen the tooth. This type of filling costs about the same as an indirect composite inlay/onlay and takes two visits.
An inlay or onlay may also be made of gold. Gold fillings despite being expensive, have long history of use with excellent durability, wear well, and do not cause excessive wear to the opposing teeth. But they do conduct heat and cold making its presence felt in the mouth. Recent advances has brought consumer focus on aesthetic results of composites and porceelain veneers and crowns.
This is considered fairly conservative procedure as it disturbs fairly less tooth structure. This highly fluoride contained filling material interacts with the enamel and dentin and actually allows the tooth tissue to remineralize at the filling interface. This provides a true biological and chemical seal with the tooth. It is good for those who feel sensitivity with the rest of their otherwise healthy looking teeth.