These are tooth-coloured aesthetic fillings. The main advantages are:-
Composite fillings can be made to look smooth and glassy, which gives a natural-looking surface ideal for matching the appearance of front teeth. To give an even more natural appearance, various stains can be added to match existing teeth precisely.
Composite material can be bonded to the tooth substance. which helps to strengthen and support the remaining tooth structure as well as keeping the filling in place better that other types of filling.
Composite fillings are made from a mixture of different components. The proportions and even the materials used can vary depending on the exact requirements of the filling. For example, for back teeth, fillings need to be strong to withstand chewing, but for front teeth the appearance of the filling is more important.
Glass lonomer Fillings
Glass Ionomer is a polymer made from organic acid and modified glass particles. Fillings made of this material are mainly used near the gums. They are often used for filling children's teeth.
Glass Ionomer is naturally adhesive to tooth substance, which prevents leakage and minimises disruption to the seal of the filling, preventing bacteria getting inside the tooth.
These fillings release fluoride over time, helping to strengthen and harden the enamel adjacent to the filling. This has the effect of preventing further decay around the filling.
Glass Ionomer fillings are available in different shades to match the colour of the existing tooth.
Metal Amalgam Fillings
This is one of the longest-standing materials used in dentistry. Its contents are 40%-50% mercury, and the rest is alloy powder consisting of silver, tin and copper. More modern materials are slowly taking over from amalgam, but there are still some cases where we need to use it.
Bonded Ceramic Inlay
For larger cavities, or replacing large fillings, we recommend bonded ceramic restorations, such as porcelain inlays, onlays or veneers. The main advantages are:-
Modern-day porcelain made with zirconia and pressed ceramics has improved strength. This allows us to use porcelain in situations where there is increased bite pressure.
As these are individually hand-made by a ceramic technician in the dental laboratory using measurements of the cavity, they are specifically made to fit precisely for that tooth.
The porcelain restoration is made using a layered technique which allows different parts of the restoration to have their own colour and translucency to match the surrounding tooth material.
As the ceramic can be bonded to the tooth substance, it will provide an accurate and stable fit, seal and support to the tooth structure.