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Tooth Fillings

Direct and Indirect Fillings

Tooth Fillings are substances used to restore teeth following tooth decay or injury. They can be direct or indirect fillings. Direct fillings are made with usually with resin material. There are other materials which can be used to restore to the depending on individual circumstances and clinical presentation. They are also selected depending on the size of defect and missing area. They prolong the life of your natural teeth. Fillings fill in openings on a tooth after a cavity is removed or a crack has occurred. Fillings are made of various materials and have different strengths. Advances in dentistry have made fillings less obvious than ever before.

Fillings done on the front teeth can be shaped and modified to remove stains and make the teeth look lighter or darker. Fillings on the front teeth can also make the teeth appear longer or shorter depending on the situation. They are called composite veneers and they are cheaper alternative to ceramic veneers. They are usually done to make sure the patient gets a feel for the shape and size of teeth before a long term option of ceramic can be considered. Your dentist will help you select the most appropriate option for you.

Composite resin fillings are also referred to as “composites” or “filled resins.” They are made of resins and glass or quartz. They are used to restore small to mid-size spaces. They are best for places with moderate chewing forces. Composite resin fillings are made to match the colour of your teeth. They are barely noticeable. They can be used in areas where heavy biting forces are present with an understanding that they might wear off or chip/fracture in future. Composite fillings need good maintenance and regular cleaning compared to amalgam/Silver filling. Composite fillings can be polished in cases of staining or repaired on minor defects.

Most fillings can be completed in one dental visit. You may need more than one appointment if you have several teeth on different sides of your jaw that need to be filled. Your dentist will apply your filling after numbing the affected area, removing tooth decay, and preparing the tooth. Composite resin fillings are applied in a series of thin layers and bonded to your tooth. Your dentist will check your bite pattern and adjust the filling as necessary to complete the procedure.

Indirect Restorations or Onlays

In cases where the lesion is severe involving many surfaces of teeth, teeth which are cracked, teeth with lots of missing tooth structure, the dentist will use composites which have been reinforced with glass fibre, ceramics or completely ceramic. In areas where heavy occlusal forces are anticipated, metal indirect restoration can be considered. In this way, the tooth becomes more resistant to wear and tear due to its greater durability.

One of advantages of ceramic Onlays are the reproduction of exact shape and bite of the missing tooth. They can form tight contacts between the adjacent teeth which makes cleaning and flossing easier.

The placement of an Onlay or indirect restorations does not involve cutting away as much of the tooth as in the cases of crown placement. Ceramic crowns are recommended when there has been a great loss of dental tissue or for aesthetic reasons.

Call us on (02) 9723 5757 for more information.