If you have a cavity that needs a dental filling, there are different types of materials available. At Toothworks Dental Clinics, we offer composite fillings and porcelain inlays and onlays. Other types of fillings include porcelain, gold and amalgam. Here, our Toronto dentists at Toothworks Brookfield Place Dental explain the differences.
What is a Dental Filling?
A dental filling is a restoration that is used to restore the function, structure and appearance of a decayed or damaged tooth. In some cases, fillings can be used to make cosmetic improvements to your smile.
Dental fillings can be made from a variety of materials, each having their own advantages and disadvantages.
A composite filling is a tooth-coloured plastic and glass mixture used to repair a tooth. Because this type of filling is the same colour as your natural teeth, it blends in nicely with your surrounding teeth giving you a natural look and feel.
Composite fillings are also easy for your dentist to shape and sculpt and they bond naturally to the tooth, which means your dentist doesn’t have to remove as much existing enamel during preparation.
Porcelain Fillings (Inlays & Onlays)
Porcelain fillings, called inlays and onlays, are strong, tooth-coloured dental restorations. These types of filling are made in a dental lab and then placed in your mouth by your dentist. Typically inlays and onlays are used on molars because they are more durable and last longer than a regular dental filling.
Amalgam fillings are silver in colour and often used to fill teeth located at the back of the mouth. They are a mix of metals such as mercury, silver, copper and tin.
While the silver colour may not appeal to people who want a natural look, they are a durable option for molars which receive a lot of wear and tear.
Cast gold fillings are made based on a model of your tooth from a mixture of gold with other metals such as silver and copper.
A cast gold filling is made in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist, who cements it in place in your mouth, so this type of filling generally requires at least two dental appointments.