At our Surrey dental practice, our dentists use a variety of dental restoration techniques to repair cracked, decayed, fractured or chipped teeth. These include white composite fillings, and dental inlays and onlays.
Composite Resin (White) Fillings
Composite resin fillings are made a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide). Composites are used both to restore decayed areas, and to make cosmetic improvements to the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
Aesthetics are the main benefit of composite fillings over amalgam (silver) fillings, since dentists can blend shades to create a color that is for all intents and purposes identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage in the future, and insulates the tooth from excessive temperature changes.
A dental inlay is larger than a regular filling, and fills the space in between the cusps, or rounded edges, at the center of the tooth's surface.
Aesthetic inlays can be made from either composite or porcelain and are now strong enough to be placed in the back teeth. Replacing old silver fillings with aesthetic inlays can help you regain the natural beauty of your smile for years to come.
Dental onlays cover one or more cusps, and in some cases the entire biting surface of a tooth. Because of their extensive coverage, dental onlays are sometimes referred to as "partial crowns." Onlays are placed in cases where a dental crown would be excessive.
Dental onlays are more durable, and typically last longer, than a regular dental filling. If cared for properly, dental onlays can last for up to 30 years.