At Redwoods Dental, our dentists can use a variety of filling options to repair fractured or decayed teeth using white composite fillings, onlays, and inlays.
What are Dental Fillings?
You may be familiar with dental fillings as a common treatment for minor damage to a tooth, usually caused by a cavity - also known as tooth decay - or by wear and tear over long periods of time.
Dental fillings can be composed of a number of different materials depending on the location of the damage being treated and your budget. Likewise, fillings may vary in how extensive they are, how much they support the structure of a damaged tooth and even what they are called based on where on the treated tooth they are applied.
When your dentist applies a filling to a tooth to repair damage, they not only restore your tooth's function and support the natural tooth structure, but also relieve discomfort and pain that you may have been feeling as a result of wear, tear or cavities in your teeth.
Dental fillings, when applied to tooth damage in early stages, can help to prevent an oral health issue from growing worse and requiring more intensive treatment.
At Redwoods Dental, we welcome you and strive to help you feel confident in our care.
Types of Fillings
Direct fillings are small and targeted fillings that are placed inside a prepared cavity, covering only the parts of the tooth that are experiencing a cavity. This type of filling can be made from any material and is usually used for cavities on the sides or located between two teeth.
Indirect fillings are a more extensive form of a dental filling, used by dentists to address teeth that have suffered more serious decay or structural damage. These kinds of fillings are constructed from durable materials and can serve as a kind of 'middle ground' between a regular filling and a dental crown. There are two kinds of indirect fillings:
Larger than regular fillings, inlays are restorations that fill the space between rounded edges, or cusps, at the centre of the tooth's surface. Aesthetic inlays can be made from composite resin or porcelain. You may opt to replace silver fillings with aesthetic inlays to restore the appearance of your smile.
One or more cusps on a damaged tooth may be covered with onlays. Onlays may be a helpful solution for cases where a dental crown would be excessive. With proper care, dental onlays can last for decades. They are often more durable and longer-lasting than regular fillings.
Fillings made of composite resin are used to treat cavities or damage while maintaining the shape and natural colour of the tooth.
When applying these fillings, your dentist will custom-blend each one to match the colour of the surrounding tooth, helping to preserve the appearance of your smile. Because of this, composite fillings are often used for treating the visible part of your smile.
Silver Amalgam Fillings
Much more durable than composite resin, silver amalgam fillings can last up to 15 years in a tooth.
However, the material used to create these restorations have a characteristic silver-grey appearance that is very noticeable against the colour of a natural tooth. Because of this, amalgam fillings are often used for parts of your smile that are hidden from view.
Cast Gold Fillings
Fillings made from cast gold are very strong and long-lasting. Some patients may find the appearance of gold in their teeth to be more desirable than amalgam.
Gold fillings are, generally speaking, more expensive than either of the above options. Fillings made from gold will often take 2 appointments to add to your smile, unlike other options, and are often used for similarly-located cavities as amalgam fillings.