What are Dental Fillings?
Despite good oral hygiene habits, your dentist may still discover a cavity and recommend a dental filling. At Hunter Dental in Markham, we use fillings to try and treat tooth decay as well as some forms of tooth damage, such as cracks and fractured teeth, to restore the function and structure of your tooth.
Types of Dental Fillings
There are several types of filling materials available, and your dentist will usually recommend the best one for your particular needs. The most common types are composite (white) and amalgam (silver) fillings.
At Hunter Dental we often use white composite fillings due to their natural appearance. If the affected tooth is likely to be seen when you open your mouth or smile, your dentist may suggest a composite filling.
If you care for your filling properly, it should last many years. But they are not permanent and may need to be replaced eventually.
Inlays & Onlays
Cavities may also be filled with a dental inlay or onlay. These are single, solid restorations that are formed outside of the mouth.
In cases where the tooth is too damaged to be able to support a standard filling but not damaged enough to require a dental crown, our dentists may use inlays or onlays.
An inlay is larger than a standard dental filling and can be used to repair decay in the pits and fissures of a tooth. They fill the space between the cusps (the rounded edges at the centre of the surface of the tooth).
Inlays should be strong enough to be placed on molars as well as front teeth. Aesthetic inlays can be made from composite material or porcelain. Replacing old amalgam fillings with inlays is normally a simple way to improve your smile.
Onlays cover one or more cusps of a tooth and, in some instances, they cover the entire biting surface of a tooth. Onlays will normally be used when a dental crown would be considered excessive.
In general, dental onlays last longer and are stronger than a standard dental filling. With proper care, onlays might be able to last up to 30 years.