We use a variety of dental restoration techniques to repair cracked, decayed, fractured or chipped teeth. These include white composite fillings, and dental inlays and onlays.
White (Composite Resin) Fillings
Composite resin fillings are made a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass.
These fillings are used to repair decayed portions of teeth, and to make cosmetic changes to teeth by reshaping them and changing their colour. Indeed, the main benefit of composite fillings over amalgam (silver) fillings is aesthetics.
Composites allow the dentist to blend shades to create a color that is nearly identical to that of the actual tooth.
But composite fillings are for more than just looks! When used to repair decay, composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining structure. This helps to prevent future damage and breakage, and protects the tooth from sensitivity to temperature changes.
Composites typically last 7-10 years.
Dental inlays are bigger than regular fillings, and are used to fill the space in between the cusps, or rounded edges, at the center of the tooth's surface.
Inlays can be made from either composite material or porcelain, and are strong enough to withstand the chewing pressure placed on the back teeth.
Dental onlays are used to cover one or more cusps, and sometimes even the entire biting surface of a tooth. Because they cover so much surface area, dental onlays are sometimes called "partial crowns." Onlays are placed in cases where a dental crown would be excessive.
Dental onlays are extremely durable, and can last far longer than regular fillings. In fact, if cared for properly, dental onlays can last for up to 30 years.