Tooth-Colored Fillings

Composite Resin Fillings

Composite resin is a filling material designed for aesthetic dental restorations. Formulated to resemble the color of your natural tooth, composite resin is often used for filling dental cavities or for dental bonding front teeth.

Composite resin consists of glass or quartz filler added to a resin medium, which produces a tooth-colored filling. The invention of composite resin offers a substitute to the amalgam dental fillings we’ve grown so accustomed to. This plastic and glass mixture contains no metal and can be shaped to resemble a real tooth. Onlookers usually can’t tell that a tooth has even been filled!

For years, amalgam was the only option for filling teeth. Those who wanted natural-looking restorations had to opt for more expensive cosmetic treatments, such as a dental crown. Composite resin enables dentists to cosmetically treat dental cavities without using invasive procedures.

Although composite resin has only recently gained popularity, white fillings were originally introduced in the 60s. At that time, composite consisted of a different material, and was not sturdy enough to be used on back teeth.
The first composite fillings tended to wear down easily, subjecting the tooth to even more tooth decay or breakage. It has taken years of development for scientists to find the right mixture of composite resin and justify it as a safe, effective filling material.

Glass Ionomer Fillings

  • Glass ionomer filling, like composite filling is another filling material that is tooth-colored. Although not as strong as composite as a white filling, glass ionomer filling does have some uses:
  • For filling decay, dental erosion or other tooth-wear cavities around the gum area.
  • As a strong temporary filling. Glass ionomer can be placed on a cavity as a temporary filling before a permanent filling is placed. It is often used in emergency situations and as a temporary filling in between root canal appointments.
  • As a filling in areas that aren’t exposed to chewing forces. It is strong enough to last where you will not be biting down on it.
  • In patients with a lot of decay (as the material releases fluoride).
  • For filling baby teeth, glass ionomer is an excellent choice.

Porcelain / Ceramic Fillings / Inlays

Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain, zirconium and or lithium di silicate and are both durable as well as aesthetically pleasing. The material is more expensive than other fillings, but tooth-colored ceramics are more resistant to staining and wear than composite resin. The ceramic fillings are best when the
restoration needs to be larger.

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