A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. This filling will help prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria might enter. There are a variety of filling materials available including tooth colored composite and porcelain. We will work with you to determine which material is best for you, depending on the extent of repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and the cost. Each of the filling materials is briefly explained below:
Composite resin fillings are custom made to the exact color of the patient’s teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While these white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years. They may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.
Porcelain fillings, called inlays or onlays, are created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, and resist staining. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.