Let’s start with a quick overview about fillings. Fillings are replacements for parts of the tooth that have been lost or damaged through wear, trauma, or decay. Usually your tooth in question will go through pain or extra sensitivity due to the resulting exposure. Once the pain or discomfort sets in, that’s when you’d most likely schedule your visit to Bedford Dental Group. We’ll carefully, expertly remove any damage or decay in order to restore the tooth to its previous size and shape with a strong, durable filling.
If a filling is impractical, due to size or the location of where the damage or decay occurs, the weak part of your tooth can be treated, removed, and replaced with an inlay (or an onlay for larger surface area coverage — but that’s a different blog topic altogether).
Fillings can either be amalgam fillings, (silver/black) or in some cases gold fillings. These types of fillings are indeed strong, but they can be quite obvious to someone in close proximity of you. Amalgam fillings can also discolour your teeth over time.
Now, tooth coloured fillings (white fillings) are actually known as composite fillings. This type of filling is made from a resin-based, putty-like material that is molded to your tooth with an ultra blue light, restoring the original shape of your tooth. These are far more lifelike than amalgam fillings and are by far the most popular cosmetic dental procedure.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays (and onlays for that matter) are a sought-after alternative to fillings, but work basically the same way. Inlays replace part of the tooth that has been lost due to accidental damage, wear, or decay. Inlays are stronger and last longer than fillings. They are especially suitable for your chewing surfaces on your back teeth and also large repairs to your front teeth.
The advantages of porcelain inlays compared to composite fillings are worth mentioning, since we have you here. The porcelain material that we use for inlays is extremely durable. They’re more natural looking and can help your actual bite while giving your teeth extra protection and strength. Less bacterial leakage can occur in porcelain inlays compared to amalgam and composite fillings. An inlay (or onlay) promotes a healthy gum line, and they can also add durability to your biting surface, which will end up causing less wear and tear on your teeth overall. Lastly, inlays can often act as preventative measures, a welcome alternative to dental crowns, bridges and implants.
If you have any additional questions regarding composite fillings, porcelain inlays, or any other dental procedure, please contact Bedford Dental Group today.